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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.

SOLD OUT! Capturing + Creating the Filmic Look, from Lighting to Capture to HDR Display with Alister Chapman

Alister’s Workshop is officially SOLD OUT! Thanks to all those who registered. Just a reminder to bring your ticket to the event for entry. Thanks! 

Please visit Alister Chapman’s website for details on other, upcoming workshops, training opportunities and more. 

Sony and Rule Boston Camera present an all-day workshop with Director of Photography and Cinematographer, Alister Chapman at WGBH Yawkey 4K Theater.

At this full end-to-end Lighting and Workflow Workshop for the Modern Digital Cinematographer, participants will learn:

• Light and Shadows: Using a combination of case studies and practical demonstrations, Alister will look at how different lighting techniques can dramatically alter the look of a scene.

• Lenses: What’s the difference between a prime lens and a zoom lens?  Which lenses should you consider for different types of production?

• How light levels effect the noise levels in a finished production, the all-important signal-to-noise ratio, and how to get the best results from any video camera.

• Master the difference between standard gammas, S-Log and raw: Which to use and when, and how to correctly expose S-log and raw.

• The importance of grading and post-production in modern workflows. Using footage shot from the lighting session, discover how to create different looks and styles including the blockbuster look, how to create your own Look Up Tables (LUT’s) and load them into a Sony F7, F5 or F55 camera.

• What is HDR and what do you need to do to ensure your content is ready for the HDR revolution? See how the Sony FS5 can shoot instant HDR material and learn how to use S-log or raw for high quality HDR productions, window pass-offs, running, and more.

Click here to learn more about Alister Chapman.

Thanks to WGBH for facility support with the Yawkey 4K Theater!

10am to 4pm with lunch between 12:30–1:30pm

SHOWROOM DEMO: An Intro to the New Sony FS7 II

Join RBC Engineer, Tim Coughlan, for an introduction to the new FS7 II from Sony.

Tim will cover the many features of this versatile 4K Super35 digital cinema camera, including Electronic Variable ND filter, Lever Lock type E-Mount with locking collar, improved ergonomics, and the 18-110mm servo zoom lens. 

12n to 1pm in the Showroom

Click here to RSVP • FREE

Interested in buying or renting this or other Sony products? Contact us at answers@rule.com or 800-rule-com or check our website sales and rental pages for product 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: Why Buy a Professional Monitor When A Consumer Monitor Looks So Good? (WATCH LIVE STREAM!)

Join Gary Mandle, Senior Product Manager, Production Displays, for an overview of Sony’s professional monitor and display systems. Gary will discuss the value of using a professional monitor for a variety of purposes (on location, in the edit suite, etc.) and why using that $247.99 LCD from a big box store is a bad idea. 

Gary will also make it easier to select the best monitor/display with your project in mind by answering these key questions:

• Why is a professional-grade LCD the right choice, even for the price-conscious?

• What makes a PVM OLED monitor different and, potentially, a better option than an LCD monitor?

• What’s so special about the BVM OLED, anyway?

• Why is calibration so important?

Click here to RSVP.  This event is free with breakfast. Can’t make it in person? We’ll be live streaming this Learning Lab on our Facebook page starting at 10:10am EST. 

ABOUT GARY MANDLE, Senior Product Manager, Sony Electronics, Inc.:

Gary has worked within Sony’s Professional Solutions Group for over 30 years in the development of new display technologies. These include CRT, SXRD (LCOS), LCD, and OLED products for use in professional applications such as video and post production. Gary was also the lead engineer with the implantation of Sony’s digital cinema system and the introduction of 4K projection. His current focus is on Sony’s OLED technologies which are used in the Sony BVM and PVM monitor models. Other areas of work include the design of camera image stabilization systems (called Steadyshot and used in most of the Sony camera models) and CCD sensor development where he holds multiple patents. Memberships include SMPTE, CIE, IEEE, SID and OSA.

Interested in buying or renting Sony professional monitors or other Sony products? Contact us by email or call 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.

Run-and-Gun with the Sony PXW-Z150

Join RBC engineer, Alex Enman, for an overview of the new PXW-Z150 camcorder from Sony with built-in ND filter, powerful autofocus and full auto mode. This practical and versatile camcorder delivers 4K image quality, 120fps HFR Full-HD slow-motion and built-in advanced networking for live streaming and wireless workflow. Learn more about the Z150 in Alex’s blog post.

Click here to RSVP.  These events are free.

Interested in buying or renting the Z150? Click here to email us or call 800-rule-com.

Missed a Learning Lab? Click here to catch up!

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.

Women in Film & Video New England: Camera Petting Zoo

WIFVNE presents RBC engineer, Alex Enman (aka Camera Tamer), who will be on hand to talk about a variety of cameras, price ranges and the best applications for each. Click here to see more details and sign-up via WIFVNE.

Featured cameras will include:

Sony Z150 and Sony FS7

Panasonic GH4 and Panasonic VariCam 35

Canon C100 Mark II

ARRI Amira

Freefly MoVI M15 with RED EPIC X Dragon

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!