Last weekend I filmed a little passion project. It was a music video, and I was operating as a one-man show. Since I was shooting solo, my goal was to have a camera that was both lightweight and compact without sacrificing quality. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K was a perfect fit with a 4/3 image sensor that captures 4096 x 2160 DCI 4K. With great Codecs — like ProRes and Blackmagic Raw — I was in for an easy post-production workflow.
For this shoot, I was operating in a variety of locations, and I knew the camera had to be able to handle each one. The first location was a dark basement and another location was outdoors in daylight. My goal was to make sure I didn’t lose my shadows in the basement or my highlights in the sky while outdoors. With the BMPCC’s 13 stops of dynamic range and its dual ISO, I didn’t have any issues at all.
The 5-inch LCD touch screen that comes with the camera was perfect. I had mounted a SmallHD monitor to the camera, but I caught myself looking more at the camera’s screen than at the external monitor. It was big enough to get that sharp focus, which I really liked.
The one flaw I found with the camera was using it with an LP-E6 Battery. I use these batteries with my Canon DSLR, so I always have a bunch of them lying around. I couldn’t believe how fast I went through them while shooting. I was switching batteries about every half hour or so. Since I was in one location with a charge station it was not a concern for me. If your shoot happens to be less convenient to a power source, then you’ll be glad to know that this camera does come with a DTap Power Cable to draw power off your gold mount and V-mount batteries. Keep in mind that this adds weight to your camera set-up, but it saves you from the hassle of worrying about power.
One last great feature with the BMPCC is that you have some media options for recording. This camera has built-in SD and CFast card slots along with a USB-C port. The USB-C is great because you can record to an SSD through it, and you’ll get almost endless amounts of storage potential.
Overall, I was glad I brought the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K along. It most definitely got the job done.
– Alex Lopez, QC Technician
Despite popular belief, analog acquisition is alive and well in 2019.
The continual re-birth of photochemical filmmaking has given us at Rule the great joy of keeping our film cameras on hand for new generations to discover. After a long pause we are finally able to bring a new (to us) film camera into our offerings.
The ARRICAM ST (short for Studio) is the flagship culmination of ARRI’s long history in building beautiful motion picture cameras — with the ST combining features from the ARRI 535B and the Austrian Moviecam Compact into one elegant camera system. It is a whisper quiet film camera (under 20dB) with all the bells and whistles one would expect from a studio camera.
One of my favorite features of this particular ARRICAM ST is that it has a 3 perforation Super 35mm movement. This allows you to frame for 1.78, 1.85, and 2.39 while using 25% less film. Less film means longer takes on the same 400′ and 1000′ loads as well as a significant cost savings in processing, prep, and scanning of your film. While not as aggressive a savings as shooting 2 perf, 3 perf affords you more flexibility for choice of aspect ratio and still leaves you some wiggle room for reframing when shooting for a 2.39 aspect ratio.
My second favorite feature is the programmable speed control box on the side of the camera. By working in conjunction with the electronically controlled spinning mirror shutter, the speed control box can generate speed ramps from anywhere within 1-60fps at the push of a button. The ability to “slow time on a dime” is something incredibly special when imaged on film. Cue up your favorite Wes Anderson film for reference.
I’m admittedly quite personally biased to shooting film. While many will find good reasons to disagree, I feel that nothing quite matches the characteristic response of a spinning mirror exposing emulsion. Film after all has the built-in “film look” that many of us try to desperately mimic with every digital cinema camera that races down the track. Film negative has unparalleled highlight handling, smooth motion cadence, and fine organic texture. Film is even more forgiving to focus pulls.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the guilty pleasure of shooting film, perhaps the ARRICAM ST can be the muse for your next project and your first photochemical romance.
-Adam Van Voorhis, Equipment Manager
Join ARRI’s Guenter Noesner and Michael Best for an overview of the new ALEXA Mini LF Camera System + accessories including the ALEXA LF, ALEXA Mini LF, ARRI Signature Primes, and the latest accessories.
The new ALEXA Mini LF (coming soon to rentals!) combines the compact size and low weight of the popular ALEXA Mini with the large-format ALEXA LF sensor, providing excellent image quality in large format, internal recording to new Codex Compact Drive, new MVF-2 high-contrast HD viewfinder, great system compatibility, and lots more.
Also on-hand will be the ARRI Signature Prime lenses in focal lengths from 18mm to 150mm and the latest accessories including the cforce mini RF, Master Grips, OCU-1, FSND Filters, as well as the WCU-4.
6-8pm Pub Night with Pizza + Beer featuring ALEXA Mini LF + Signature Primes • FREE! • RSVP here
3-5pm Drop-in with ARRI Pro Camera Accessories • FREE! • Feel free to stop by before Pub Night, anytime between 3-5pm, for a casual hands-on look at ARRI Pro Camera Accessories.
Click here to RSVP for Pub Night. RSVP’s help us plan food + drink, so THANK YOU! Click here to download our Pub Night flyer.