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The Sony FX9 is Coming Soon + We’re EXCITED!

Today, I wanna talk about the newly announced Sony FX9, a camera I couldn’t be more excited for… But before I do that, we need to talk about some history.

The Year: 2014. Latvia has just adopted the Euro, Birdman and Whiplash have made Jazz drumming the official soundtrack of the year, and Dr. Dre became a billionaire after selling some headphones to Apple.

It was a time of transition in our industry, and Sony decided to make a big move in the cinema camera market. At this point, Sony’s lineup was based mostly around the F55 and F5, twin cameras that spanned the $15-25K market. We tend to see large manufacturers borrowing technology from their higher-end cameras and spinning it off into lower tier models, and in 2014 Sony swung for the fences. They borrowed the sensor from their popular F5 cinema camera, stuck it in a cheaper, shoulder-friendly model — and released the PXW-FS7.

People. Freaked. Out. 

The FS7 went head-on against Canon’s massively popular C300, and the mid-tier cinema market changed. The FS7 was popular for a host of reasons, but the one that stuck out most and really set it apart was the form factor. Sony decided that, sometimes, it’s nice to put a camera on your shoulder. Borrowing designs from Super-16 Aatons, not to mention a carbon copy of their hand grip, the FS7 was unlike any other camera – because it looked most like a camera. The best part was the price point – coming in around $8K, compared to Canon’s C300 that sold closer to $15K.

The FS7 was updated a few years later with the FS7 II. The model was exactly the same, specs-wise, but had the addition of the FS5’s Variable ND filter system. Sony also created a new locking E-Mount to deal with the hefty lenses shooters were pairing with the camera. The mirrorless, small flange distance E mount lent itself well to adapting — and the smart cropping modes for the 4K sensor meant that you could use pretty much any lens you could get your hands on. 

The FS7 was, at the time, a powerhouse of specs. Full DCI 4K up to 60fps, HD up to 180fps – a RAW back for 12bit RAW up to 240fps at HD. The camera was scalable, somewhat modular, and fit on pretty much anyone’s shoulder out of the box – no need for third party shoulder pads and accessories. 

The interesting piece of this story is that even in today’s camera landscape, the FS7 II is still an extremely capable camera at its price point. It’s still more powerful than the C300II, having no issues with crop and high frame rates, and is in line with great color options in Slog3. So, what could they improve on? 

That brings us to today, the Fall of 2019 — 5 years since the FS7’s release. The industry has been waiting patiently for a true update to the FS7, and an FS7 III had been rumored for years. In September, Sony announced the PXW-FX9 – something much more than a small update to the line, and, in fact, a whole new model with something very different to bring to the table, all while keeping what worked with the FS7 in mind. 

Just as the original FS7 borrowed some DNA from it’s older brothers, the FX9 is no different. Sony’s new flagship VENICE camera has made some serious waves in the industry, offering not only an amazing full frame 6K image — but a new color science that has DP’s second guessing their ARRI and RED cameras. This is a huge step for Sony. As a colorist, I hear the “it’s an ok camera but it has that Sony video look” quite a bit — a claim I find entirely foolish. The offering of a true wide gamut and log gamma mean that the camera looks however you want it to — and if it looks too “video-y,” then you’re doing it wrong. That point aside, the VENICE is beautiful. The new color, paired with the full-frame look, is something to behold.

And that’s where the FX9 comes from, borrowing the new color science and sporting a brand new 6K imager. Now, that doesn’t mean it can record full 6K like it’s older sibling (currently), but what it does mean is that it creates a wonderfully deep image from the 6K to 4K debayer. If you know anything about sensors, you know that you don’t necessarily want to shoot the native resolution of a CMOS sensor – ideally you want a larger resolution to debayer a better image from. This is how the original C300 made its HD image look so nice, even though it had a 4K sensor. The C300II uses a similar 4K sensor to shoot 4K, and it really doesn’t shine as brightly as it should for that reason.

The FX9 has an entirely new body, and while it’s price point is somewhat higher than the original FS7 – I think the extra costs have been put in the right places. It’s more rugged, built tougher, and looks amazing. Using the same media as the FS7, XQD (now called CFexpress and being widely adopted by plenty of other manufacturers) means one doesn’t have to worry about corrupt cards and all the problems that come with CFast2.0 — a media format I’d describe as straight garbage.

The FX9 still has the option for an external RAW back, just like the original XDCA unit, but this time it’s pushing out 16Bit RAW. 

Preorders are available now, with it due to ship in December 2019. We’re pretty confident that this camera is going to be THE camera for mid-tier cinema uses. Commercial, doc, streaming, even TV – all in that glorious full frame field of view. Look for an update once ours arrive!

-Alex Enman, Engineer

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Rent the Sony VENICE Digital Cinema Camera at 25% off in July

Rent the Sony VENICE Digital Cinema Camera at 25% off in July! Each month, we offer a special rental rate on equipment we think you’ll love. This month, we’re offering the Sony VENICE at 25% off the regular rate of $1,300.

The VENICE is equipped with a newly developed, full-frame image sensor, phenomenal color science, and a user-friendly design with clear and simple menu navigation. With the wide latitude and gamut recorded by the VENICE, freedom of expression is significantly expanded in grading and based on established workflow. Click here for product page and rental rate.

Contact RENTALS by email or phone at 800-rule-com for availability, details, and to book.

25% OFF REDucation Workshop at Rule Boston Camera with SPRING INTO SAVINGS Code

SAVE 25% with our SPRING INTO SAVINGS Discount Code: RBC-SPRING-25

Good for BOSTON workshop only! See registration details + link below!

Join us for a 3-day REDucation workshop focused on hands-on learning with the latest RED Digital Cinema camera systems.

Offering a fully immersive training environment, REDucation provides the on-set and post-production experience needed to feel confident when shooting with any of RED’s professional cameras. This is real-world training taught by AbelCine’s Director of Education, Jeff Lee, for DPs, Camera Operators, Camera Assistants, DITs, and Independent Filmmakers.

REDucation is tailored to all skill levels, from students to working professionals with instructors who teach application knowledge of RED’s entire RAW workflow process, from digital acquisition through post production. 

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from RED Digital Cinema after completing this comprehensive workshop.

Click here for Details + Registration. Select Rule Boston Camera for “Location” and May 3-5 for “Date”, and be sure to add the SPRING INTO SAVINGS DISCOUNT CODE: RBC-SPRING-25 when you get to the cart. With this 25% discount, you’ll pay just $1,125 vs. $1,500 for the entire 3-day workshop.  Participants will receive lunch along with the Certificate of Completion from RED Digital Cinema. All REDucation courses start at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 pm each day at Rule Boston Camera’s Newton location. See below for daily agenda. And click here for downloadable flyer.

Day 1

  • Welcome/Introduction/Videos
  • About RED / Products / Build Demo
  • Camera Builds
  • Firmware Upgrading / Fan Settings
  • Advanced Black Shading
  • GUI – First Level Menus – RED Mag System
  • Exposure & Exposure Dynamics
  • Shooting Exercise #001 (Exposure / Frame Rate / Shutter Angle)
  • Introduction to REDCINE-X / Footage Review

Day 2

  • GUI – Second Level Menus
  • Sensor Technology
  • Compression Settings – How Compression Works – Downsampling 8K for 4K / 4K for 2K
  • ProRes / DNx / HDRX
  • Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF)
  • Shooting Exercise #002 (Compression / HDRX / OLPF)
  • REDCINE-X – Advanced / Footage Review

Day 3

  • Advanced Recoding Modes (Frame Averaging / Summing / Speed Ramping / PreRecord / IPP2)
  • IPP2 / 3D LUTS / CDL’s
  • Shooting Exercise #3 (Advanced Modes / Apply LUTS / IPP2)
  • Workflow (DIT / Offload / Storage / Systems)
  • Davinci Resolve
  • Footage Review / Stills and Motion
  • Questions & Answers / Questionnaires

ABOUT INSTRUCTOR, JEFF LEE:

As Director of Education at AbelCine, Jeff Lee oversees the educational initiatives of the company and develops business opportunities in this area. Jeff helps develop new curriculums, whether for in-person workshops, online courses, or custom training. He also manages the training team across all three offices. Jeff is a technical editor on AbelCine’s blog and serves as the lead technologist for AbelCine NY. He joined AbelCine in 2009 as a member of the sales team. He then transitioned to Camera Technology Specialist and Trainer, eventually becoming the National Training Manger. Additionally, Jeff is an accomplished still photographer who has traveled extensively working on documentary projects. His work has appeared in publications such as Shutterbug, and he has been a featured Gawker Artist. His photo blog can be found at jeffleephoto.com. Born and raised in NYC, Jeff Lee attended Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of Arts where he concentrated in both photography and filmmaking.
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POSITION FILLED – Seeking Dynamic, Production-Savvy Rental Agent

This position has been filled. Thanks to all who applied!

Rule Boston Camera is looking for a dynamic, production-savvy person to join our rental team — perfect candidates should be comfortable talking with our clients about the latest cutting-edge cinematography equipment.

Our rental agents form long-term relationships with our clients who are actively producing some of the best content here in New England and around the world.

If production and camera technology are your passions, please send a resume and letter of interest to General Manager, Brian Malcolm – malcolm@rule.com.

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Now Renting the RED EPIC-W Helium 8K

Now renting, the RED EPIC-W Helium 8K with these key features:

  • HELIUM 35.4 Megapixel CMOS
  • 8K 2.4:1 resolution up to 30 fps
  • 16.5+ stops of dynamic range
  • 275 MB/s data speeds
  • REDCODE RAW + Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR/HD

Click here for Rentals or call us at 800-rule-com for details.

LEARNING LAB: Canon C200 Digital Cinema Camera with Ryan Snyder and Paul Hawxhurst

PLEASE NOTE: THIS LEARNING LAB WILL NOT BE LIVE STREAMED! WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US IN PERSON!

Join Ryan Snyder and Paul Hawxhurst for an overview of the Canon EOS C200, the latest “ready-to-go” production camera from Canon, delivering outstanding image quality, performance and versatility, and making it ideal for film, documentary and television production, corporate and event photography, and newsgathering.

Ryan and Paul will also cover the many features of the C200, including:

  • Internal 4K UHD and Full HD Recording in MP4
  • Internal 4K RAW recording with New Cinema RAW Light
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology with LCD Touch Panel
  • HDR Viewing and ACES 1.0 support
  • Built-in WiFi and LAN for camera control and FTP

10am-12n • FREE with Breakfast  • Click here to RSVP and here for the C200 event flyer.

The C200 is Coming Soon to Rentals, and Sales is currently taking pre-orders. Contact us at answers@rule.com or 800-rule-com for details.

Click here to watch our new IN THE SHOWROOM video series featuring the latest in production and post-production equipment and technology.

PARKING FOR RBC EVENTS:

If our parking lot at 395 Western Avenue is full, please park at the Brighton Mills parking lot at 360 Western Avenue, Brighton. Please be sure to RSVP so we can forward the parking pass for your dashboard if you park in this overflow lot, or click on RBC PARKING PASS to print your own. Thanks!

Learning Lab: Cinema VariCam Experience + More with Panasonic (LIVE STREAMING ON FACEBOOK!)

Join Panasonic’s Gregger Jones for a discussion of NAB and Cine Gear Expo highlights and featured gear, including the latest on the Cinema VariCam experience with VariCam PURE, VariCam LT, and more.  Gregger will also have the 20-120mm Cabrio Lens from Fujinon, and Sales will be taking pre-orders for the newly-announced AU-EVA1 Compact Cinema Camera from Panasonic. Visit our blog for more details or contact us at sales@rule.com or 800-rule-com .

10am-12n • FREE  • Click here to RSVP. Sign-in for a 20% Rental Discount on the VariCam LT!

Can’t make it in person? We’ll be livestreaming this Learning Lab on our Facebook page starting at 10:10am EST! Click here to see our video library in the Learning Lab Playlist under the VIDEO tab.

Interested in buying or renting Panasonic products? Contact us at answers@rule.com or 800-rule-com.

Click here to watch our new IN THE SHOWROOM video series featuring the latest in production and post-production equipment and technology.

PARKING FOR RBC EVENTS:

If our parking lot at 395 Western Avenue is full, please park at the Brighton Mills parking lot at 360 Western Avenue, Brighton. Please be sure to RSVP so we can forward the parking pass for your dashboard if you park in this overflow lot, or click on RBC PARKING PASS to print your own. Thanks!

BAVUG’s NAB Recap at AVID Headquarters

Avid’s theme for NAB this year is “The Sky’s The Limit.” Get a first-hand look at some of their key announcements and new features at BAVUG’s NAB Recap meeting at Avid Headquarters in Burlington.

Registration is strongly encouraged to help calculate food/refreshments for everyone. All registrants will be eligible for the raffle. One lucky registrant will win a copy of Avid Media Composer!

Free registration for BAVUG meetings closes at 12pm the day of the event. After that, only paid registrations are available until 6pm.

Raffle prizes for this meeting are provided by Avid, Boris FX, iZotope, NewBlueFX and Rule Boston Camera.

**Doors open for check-in at 6pm** Enjoy refreshments, networking and socializing until the presentations start at 7pm.

Register here. 

IMAGINE Magazine 200th Issue & 19th Birthday Celebration

Help usher in the 200th edition of IMAGINE plus celebrate IMAGINE’s 19th Birthday with an evening of networking, great music, fun, fabulous food and spirited libations at Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 9th, 6 – 9pm
WHERE: At Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen in Boston
WHO: FEATURING The Legendary James Montgomery & His Band +1, Don Packer, on SAX

Photos from this event will be in the 200th edition!

*Click here for more information 

PA Workshop

Starting out in the industry? Learning the ropes as a Production Assistant is where many get their start in the business. The Mass Production Coalition will be holding a PA workshop to prepare young industry members entering the workforce. This workshop teaches the skills to be a valuable Production Assistant on feature film and commercial productions in an immersive 1-day training program. Through hands-on training sessions and presentations, attendees gain knowledge to be a successful PA ready to work on set. The workshop is for new PA’s starting out as well as those already in the field- to hone their skill set, gain career insights, and make valuable connections.

Saturday, April 8th 9:30am-3:00pm at Red Sky Studios

*info and registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pa-workshop-tickets-32892040980