Tag Archives: Cameras

Digging Deep: Sony intros the PXW-FS7 II camera

By Daniel Rodriguez

At a press event in New York City a couple of weeks ago, Sony unveiled the long-rumored follow-up to its extremely successful Sony PXW FS7 — the Sony PXW-FS7 II. With the new FS7 II, Sony dives deeper in the mid-level cinematographer/ videographer market that it firmly established with the FS100, FS700, FS7 and the more recent Sony FS5.

Knowing they are competing with cameras of other similarly priced brands, Sony has built upon a line that fulfills most technical and ergonomic needs. Sony prides itself on listening to videographers and cinematographers who make requests and suggestions from first-hand field experience, and it’s clear that they’ve continued to listen.

New Features
The Sony FS7 II might be the first camera where you can feel the deep care and consideration from Sony for those who have used the FS7 extensively, in regards to improvements. Although the body and overall design might seem nearly identical to the original FS7, the FS7 II has made subtle but important ergonomic improvements to the camera’s design.

Improving on their E-mount design, Sony has introduced a lever locking mechanism much how a PL mount functions. Unlike the PL mount, the new lever lock rotates counter-clockwise but provides a massive amount of support, especially since there is a secondary latch that prevents you from accidentally turning the lever back. The mount has been tested to support the same weight as traditional PL mounts, and larger cinema zooms can be easily mounted without the need of a lens support. Due to its short flange distance, Sony’s E-mount has become very popular with users for adapting almost all stills and cinema lenses to Sony cameras, and with this added support there is reduced risk and concern when adding lens adapters.

The camera body’s corners and edges have all been rounded out, allowing users to have a much more comfortable control of the camera. This is especially helpful for handheld use when the camera might be pressed up against someone’s body or under their arm. Considering things like operating below the underarm and at the waist, Sony has redesigned the arm grip, and most of the body, to be tool-less. The arm grip no longer requires tools to be adjusted and now uses two knobs to allow easy adjustments. This saves much needed time and maximizes comfort.

The viewfinder can now be extended further in either direction with a longer rod, which benefits left-eye dominant operators. The microphone holder is no longer permanently attached to the other side of the rod so it can either be adapted to the left side of camera to allow viewing the monitor to the right of the camera or it could be removed altogether. Sony has also made the viewfinder collapsible for those who’d rather just view the monitor. The viewfinder rod is now square shaped to allow uniform horizontal aligning in the framing in relation to the cameras balancing. This stemmed from operators confusing their framing by believing framing was crooked due to how the viewfinder was aligned, even if the camera was perfectly balanced.

Sony really kept the smaller suggestions in mind by making the memory card slots protrude more than on the original FS7. This allows for loaders to more easily access the memory card should they be wearing something that inhibits their grip, like gloves. Compatibility with the newer G-series XQD cards, which boast an impressive 440MBps write and 400MBps read speed, allowing FS7 II users to quickly dump their footage on the field without the worry of running out of useable memory cards.

Coming straight out the box is the FS7 II’s ability to do internal 4K DCI (4096×2160) without the need for upgrades or HDMI output. This 4K can be captured in nearly every codec, whether in XAVC, ProRes 422HQ, or RAW, with the option of HyperGammas, Slog-3 or basic 709. RAW output will be available to the camera, but like its siblings, an external recorder will still be required to do so. The FS7 II will also be capable of recording Sony’s version of compressed RAW, XOCN, which allows 16-bit 3:1 recording to an external recorder. Custom 3D LUTs will still be available to be uploaded into the camera. This allows more of a cinematographer’s touch when using a custom LUT, rather than factory presets.

Electronic Internal Variable ND
The most exciting feature of the Sony FS7 II — and the one that really separates this camera from the FS7 — is the introduction of an Electronic Internal Variable ND. Introduced originally in the FS5, the new options that the FS7 II has over the FS5 with this new Electronic Variable ND makes this a very promising camera and an improvement over its older sibling.

Oftentimes with similarly priced cameras, or ones that offer the same options, there is either a lack of internal NDs or a limited amount of internal ND control, which is either too much or not enough when it comes to exposure control. The term Variable ND is also approached with caution from videographers/cinematographers with concerns of color shifts and infrared pollution, but Sony has taken care of these precautions by having an IR cut filter over the sensor. This way, no level of ND will introduce any color shifts or infrared pollution. It’s also often easy to break the bank buying IR NDs to prevent infrared pollution, and the constant swapping of ND filters might prove a disadvantage when it comes to being time-efficient, which could also lead you to open or close your F-stop to compensate.

Compromising your F-stop is often an unfortunate reality when shooting — indoors or outdoors — and it’s extremely exciting to have a feature that allows you to adjust your exposure flawlessly without worrying about having the right ND level or adjusting your F-stop to compensate. It’s also exciting to know that you can adjust the ND filter without having to see a literal filter rotate in front of your image. The Electronic Variable ND can be adjusted from the grip as well, so you can essentially ride the iris without having to touch your F-stop and risk your depth of field being inconsistent.

closeup-settingsAs with most modern-day lenses that lack manual exposure, riding the iris is simply out of the question due to mechanical “clicked” irises and the very obvious exposure shift when changing the F-stop on one of these lenses. This is eliminated by letting the Variable ND do all the work and allowing you to leave your F-stop untouched. The Electronic Variable ND on manual mode allows you to smoothly transition between 0.6ND to 2.1ND in one-third increments.

Recording in BT
Another exciting new addition to the FS7 II is the ability to record in BT. 2020 (more commonly known as Rec. 2020) internally in UHD. While this might seem excessive to some, considering this camera is still a step below its siblings the F55 and F65 as far as use in productions where HDR deliverables are required, providing the option to shoot Rec. 2020 futureproofs this camera for years to come especially when Rec. 2020 monitoring and projection becomes the norm. Companies like Netflix usually request an HDR deliverable for their original programs so despite the FS7 II not being on the same level as the F55/F65, it shows it can deliver the same level of quality.

While the camera can’t boast a global shutter like its bigger sibling, the F55, the FS7 does show very capable rolling shutter with little to no skewing effects. In the FS7 II’s case it is preferable to retain rolling shutter over global because as a camera that leans slightly toward the commercial/videography spectrum of cinematography, it is preferable to retain a native ISO of 2000 and the full 14 stops over global shutter, which is easy to overlook and use cost much-needed dynamic range.

This exclusion of global shutter retains the native ISO of the FS7II at 2000 ISO, which is the same as the previous FS7. Retaining this native ISO puts the FS7 II above many similar priced video cameras whose native ISOs usually sit at 800. While the FS7 II may not be a low-light beast like the Sony a7s/a7sii, the ability to do internal 4K DCI, higher frame rates and record 10-bit 422HQ (and even RAW) greatly outweigh this loss in exposure.

The SELP18110G 18-110 F4.0 Servo Zoom
Alongside the Sony FS7 II, Sony has announced a new zoom lens to be released alongside the camera. Building off what they have introduced before with the Sony FE PZ 28-135 F4 G, the 18-110 F4 is a very powerful lens optically and the perfect companion to the FS7 II. The lens is sharp to the edges; doesn’t drop focus while zooming in and out; has no breathing whatsoever; has a quiet internal zoom, iris, and focus control; internal stabilization; and a 90-second zoom crawl from end to end. The lens covers Super 35mm and APSC-sized sensors and retains a constant f4 throughout each focal length.

It’s multi-coating allows for high contrast and low flaring with circular bokeh to give truly cinematic images. Despite its size, the lens only weighs 2.4 pounds, a weight easily supported by the FS7 II’s lever-locking E mount. Though it isn’t an extremely fast lens, paired with a camera like the FS7 II, which has a native ISO of 2000, the 18-110 F4 should prove to be a very useable lens on the field and as well in narrative work.

Final Impressions
This camera is very specifically designed for camerapersons who either have a very small camera team or shoot as individuals. Many of the new features, big and small, are great additions for making any project go down smoothly and nearly effortlessly. While its bigger siblings the F55 and F65 will still dominate major motion picture production and commercial work, this camera has all its corners covered to fill the freelance videographer/cinematographer’s needs.

Indie films, short films, smaller commercial and videography work will no doubt find this camera to be hugely beneficial and give as few headaches as possible. Speed and efficiency are often the biggest advantage on smaller productions and this camera easily handles and facilitates the most overlooked aspects of video production.

The specs are hard to pass up when discussing the Sony FS7 II. Hearing of a camera that does internal 4K DCI with the option of high frame rates at 10-bit 422HQ with 14 stops of dynamic range and the option to shoot in Slog3 or one of the many HyperGammas for faster deliverables should immediately excite any videographer/cinematographer. Many cinematographers making feature or short films have grown accustomed to shooting RAW, and unless they rent the external recorder, or buy it, they will be unable to do so with this camera. But with the high write speeds of the internal codecs, it’s difficult to argue that, despite a few minor features being lost, the internal video will retain a massive amount of information.

This camera truly delivers on providing nearly any ergonomic and technical need, and by anticipating future display formats with Rec.2020, this shows that Sony is very conscious of future-proofing this camera. The physical improvements on the camera have shown that Sony is very open and eager to hear suggestions and first-hand experiences from FS7 users, and no doubt any suggestions on the FS7 II will be taken into mind.

The Electronic Variable ND is easily the best feature of the camera since so much time in the field will be saved by not having to swap NDs, and the ability to shift through increments between the standard ND levels will be hugely beneficial to get your exposure right. Being able to adjust exposure mid shot without having filters come between the image will be a great feature to those shooting outdoors or working events where the lighting is uneven. Speed cannot be emphasized enough, and by having such a massively advantageous feature you are just cutting more and more time from whatever production you’re working.

Pairing up the camera with the new 18-110 F4 will make a great camera package for location shooting since you will be covered for nearly every focal length and have a sharp lens that has servo zooming, internal stabilization and low flaring. The lens might be off-putting to some narrative filmmakers, since it only opens to a F4.0 and isn’t fast by other lens standards, but with the quality and attention to optic performance the lens should be considered seriously alongside other lenses that aren’t quite cinema lenses but have been used heavily so far in the narrative world. With the native ISO of 2000, one should be able to shoot comfortably wide open or closed down with proper lighting and for films done mostly in natural light this lens should be highly considered.

Oftentimes when choosing a camera, the biggest question isn’t what the camera has but what it will cost. Since Sony isn’t discontinuing the original FS7, the FS7 II will be more expensive, and when considering BP-U60 batteries and XQD cards the price will only climb. I think despite these shortcomings, one must always consider the price of storage and power when upgrading your camera system. More powerful cameras will no doubt require faster cards and bigger power supplies, so these costs must be seen as investments.

While XQD cards might be considered pricey to some, especially those who are more familiar with buying and using SD cards, I consider jumping into the XQD card world a necessary step to develop your video capabilities. CFast cards are becoming the norm in higher-end digital cinema, especially when the FS7 II is being heavily considered.

Compromise is often expected in any level of production, be it technically, logistically or artistically. After getting an impression of what the FS7 II can provide and facilitate in any production scenario I feel this is one of the few cameras that will take away feelings of compromise from what you as a user can provide.

The FS7 II will be available in January 2017 for an estimated street price of $10,000 (body only) and $13,000 for the camcorder with 18-110mm power zoom lens kit.


Daniel Rodriguez is cinematographer and photographer living in New York City. Check out his work here. Dan took many of the pictures featured in this article.

Canon intros C700 camera and two new UHD/4K monitors

Canon has introduced a line of new cinema cameras — the EOS C700, EOS C700 PL and EOS C700 GS PL. Featuring a completely new, customizable, modular design, Canon says the EOS C700 is suited for all types of pro workflows, from feature films to documentaries to episodic dramas. They also have two new reference displays, but more on that later.

The Canon EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL cameras feature a Super 35mm 4.5K sensor with wide dynamic range and can be used for productions requiring 4K UHD TV or 4K DCI cinema deliverables. The EOS C700 GS PL features a Super 35mm 4K sensor with a global shutter to enable the distortion-free capture of subjects moving at high speeds. In addition to supporting the earlier XF-AVC recording format, the cameras also support Apple ProRes.

The EOS C700 allows users to convert between EF mount and PL mounts, and between a standard CMOS image sensor and a global shutter CMOS image sensor at Canon service facilities. The EF lens mount provides compatibility with Canon’s lineup of over 70 interchangeable EF lenses as well as enabling use of Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. The EOS C700 PL and EOS C700 GS PL allow use of industry-standard PL lenses and compatibility with Cooke /i metadata communication technology.

For those wanting to shoot and deliver High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, the EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL provide 15 stops of latitude, Canon’s proprietary Log Gammas (Canon Log3, Canon Log2 and Canon Log) and color science. Additionally, these cameras seamlessly integrate with Canon’s pro 4K displays (DP-V2420, DP-V2410 or DP-V1770) for on-set color management and review that conforms to SMPTE ST 2084 standards of HDR display.

Canon has called on Codex to provide a fully-integrated (no cables) recording and workflow option. The combination of the EOS C700 camera with the optional Codex CDX-36150 recorder allows for high-speed 4.5K RAW recording at up to 100fps, 4K RAW at up to 120fps, 4K ProRes at up to 60fps, 2K ProRes at up to 240fps and XF-AVC at up to 60fps.

The EOS C700, EOS C700 PL and EOS C700 GS PL are the company’s first Cinema EOS cameras to support anamorphic shooting by using a “de-squeeze” function for monitoring, making possible it possible to create images with the 2.39:1 aspect ratio typical of cinema productions. Furthermore, enabling full HD HFR recording at a maximum of 240fps (crop), the camera enables smooth playback, even when slowed down.

Along with the announcement of these cameras, there are new optional accessories: OLED 1920×1080 Electronic View Finder EVF-V70, Remote Operation Unit OU-700, Shoulder Support Unit SU-15, Shoulder Style Grip Unit SG-1 and B4 mount adapters MO-4E/MO-4P.

The EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL are currently expected to go on sale in December 2016, while the EOS C700 GS PL is expected to go on sale in January 2017. The EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL will have a list price of $35K and the EOS C700 GS PL will have a list price of $38K.

New On-Set Monitors
Also from Canon are two new pro 4K/UHD displays targeting content creators — the DP-V2420, a 24-inch high-luminance model targeting HDR footage, and the DP-V1710 4K, a 17-inch, 3840×2160 display suited for use on set, in broadcasting vans and in studios. Both displays feature a Canon-developed image-processing engine, proprietary backlight system and an IPS LCD panel that when combined deliver excellent color reproduction and high-resolution, high-contrast imaging performance.

The Canon DP-V2420 supports HDR standards and display methods increasingly used for next-gen video production, and provides high luminance and black luminance performance essential for screening HDR content. The DP-V2420 display qualifies as a Dolby Vision mastering monitor and complies with the ITU-R BT.2100-0 HDR standard, which specifies a peak luminance 1000 cd/m2 and a minimum luminance 0.005 cd/m2. Allowing for the review and confirmation of high-quality 4K images, the display’s expanded dynamic range increases color expression and the contrast between the light and dark areas of an image to achieve luminance expression close to that of the naked eye while also supporting the expression of natural colors and a sense of three-dimensionality.

The DP-V1710 4K/UHD is a 17-inch 3840×2160 resolution display, which can be used with the 19-inch rack mounts that are commonplace in broadcast studio sub control rooms and broadcasting vans. In addition to providing high-image-quality UHD resolution, the display features a compact body size that makes it useful for on set, carrying during on-location shooting or for use in broadcasting vans with limited space.

The DP-V2420 and DP-V1710 displays are scheduled to be available in November 2016 and February 2017 for list prices of $32,900 and $13,500, respectively.

Quick Chat: GoPro EP/showrunner Bill McCullough

By Randi Altman

The first time I met Bill McCullough was on a small set in Port Washington, New York, about 20 years ago. He was directing NewSport Talk With Chet Coppock, who was a popular sports radio guy from Chicago.

When our paths crossed again, Bill — who had made some other stops along the way — was owner of the multiple Emmy Award-winning Wonderland Productions in New York City. He remained there for 11 years before heading over to HBO Sports as VP of creative and operations. Bill’s drive didn’t stop there. Recently, he completed a move to the West Coast, joining GoPro as executive producer of team sports and motor sports.

Let’s find out more:

You were most recently at HBO Sports in New York. Why the jump to GoPro, and why was this the right time?
I was fortunate enough to have a great and long career with HBO, a company that has set the standard for quality storytelling, but when I had the opportunity to join the GoPro team I could not pass it up.

GoPro has literally changed the way we capture and share content. With its unique perspective and immersive style, the capture device has given filmmakers the ability to tell stories and capture visuals that have never existed before. The size of the device makes it virtually invisible to the subject and creates an atmosphere that is much more organic and authentic. GoPro is also a leader in VR capture and we’re excited for 2016.”

What will you be doing in your new role? What will it entail?
I am an executive producer in the entertainment division. I will be responsible for creating, developing and producing content for all platforms.

What do you hope to accomplish in this new role?
I am excited for my new role because I have the opportunity to make films from a completely new perspective. GoPro has done an amazing job capturing and telling stories. My goal is to raise the bar and grow the brand even more.

You have a background in post and production. Will this new job incorporate both?
Yes. I will oversee the creative and production process from concept to completion for my projects.

JVC upgrades 4KCAM line of camcorders

JVC Pro has made upgrades to its 4KCAM camera line, which targets filmmaking and digital production applications. The JVC 4KCAM family of camcorders encompasses the GY-LS300, GY-HM200 and GY-HM170.

Variable scan mapping technology in the GY-LS300 adapts the camera’s Super 35 CMOS sensor to provide native support of MFT, PL and EF mount lenses, among others. The technology also drives the new “prime zoom” feature, which allows shooters using fixed-focal (prime) lenses to zoom in and out — without losing resolution or depth of field — using the camera’s hand grip zoom rocker. Prime zoom can also be used as a lens extender for zoom lenses.

The GY-LS300’s new “JVC log” gamma setting expands dynamic range by 800 percent for increased flexibility during the color grading process and greatly enhanced image details. Other new recording modes include cinema 4K (4096×2180) and cinema 2K (2048×1080), which offer a 17:9 aspect ratio for digital cinema presentations.

All 4KCAM camcorders feature a new 70Mbps recording mode for recordinGY-HM200-LCDg 4K footage on economical class 10 SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Plus, every model includes dual XLR audio inputs, integrated handle with hot shoe and dedicated microphone mount, and LCD display and color viewfinder.

In addition to the upgrades that are available now, a new slow-motion 120 fps HD recording mode will be added to the GY-HM200 and GY-HM170 models via a free firmware upgrade in December.

Both the GY-LS300 and GY-HM200 include a built-in HD streaming engine with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity. With support for various streaming protocols, the cameras can stream directly from various content delivery networks and websites. The GY-HM170 features a built-in 12x zoom lens (24x dynamic zoom in HD mode) with optical image stabilizer, as well as comprehensive video profile settings and wired remote control capability.

‘Crocodile Gennadiy’ filmmakers tell story with C300, 5D cameras

Director Steve Hoover, producer Danny Yourd and DP John Pope used highly mobile cameras and lenses from Canon to document the struggle of pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko to operate a children’s rehabilitation center amidst civil unrest in eastern Ukraine.

For the documentary Crocodile Gennadiy, the team used two Canon EOS C300 Digital Cinema cameras, one Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera and multiple EF series lenses to capture cinematic, creative images while maintaining a low profile in dangerous areas.

The Pilgrim Home rehabilitation center run by Mokhnenko is dedicated to drug-addicted orphans rescued from the streets of the city of Mariupol. To capture the dark, confusing world inhabited by the film’s characters, the team did a lot of shooting at night, relying largely on available light — sometimes just moonlight — and the low-light sensitivity of the EOS C300 cameras. The lightweight and ergonomic camera also allowed the team to shoot for long hours and move quickly when necessary. With two XLR inputs for recording, the EOS C300 allowed the team to capture inputs from both a shotgun mic mounted on the camera and the recordist’s wireless transmitter. The recordist also captured audio on a separate CT card recorder. This combination allowed the team to cut time spent logging, loading and organizing in post by a month or more.

The team used the EOS 5D Mark III to pick up additional footage. Its physical similarity to conventional still cameras made it less conspicuous than the EOS C300 cameras, allowing the filmmakers to capture imagery even in places requiring a very low profile.

The EOS C300 and EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR can be used with any of the more than 103 interchangeable Canon EF series photographic lenses, and Hoover, Yourd and Pope used EF series lenses strategically to tell the story. The tilt-shift lenses enabled creative representation of certain people and locations; primes were used both for interviews and for following Mokhnenko around on his nightly rescue missions, and zooms were used for undercover work, shooting from a distance and landscape-type shots.

In post, the preparation and editing of footage was simplified by the EOS C300 camera’s use of the MXF file format, which in turn facilitated editing with Adobe Premiere without the need for transcoding. The filmmakers shot in Canon Log mode, which captures the full exposure latitude that the camera’s Super 35mm CMOS sensor is capable of. This capability enabled the team to achieve cinematic subtleties in color grading.

Red debuts Weapon

Leveraging the 6K Red Dragon sensor, Red Digital Cinema introduced Weapon at NAB, their smallest and most lightweight camera Brain to date — the Brain refers to the part of the camera where the sensor lives. Combining a refined color science with the dynamic range of the 19-megapixel Red Dragon sensor, Weapon features a variety of performance enhancements over its siblings, including simultaneous on-board RedCode Raw and Apple ProRes recording (4444 XQ, 4444, 422 HQ, 422 and 422 LT) as well as 1D and 3D LUTs for precise color matching.

The brain itself has been completely redesigned for modular performance, with on-board audio recording, improved thermal management, new interchangeable OLPFs with smart detection, an integrated top plate and built-in Wi-Fi functionality. Capable of faster data rates with the Red Mini-Mag SSD cards, Weapon also offers tethered streaming of ProRes content via Ethernet while concurrently archiving R3D masters. Among Weapon’s operating improvements are automatic sensor calibration with a wider operating band for sensor temperature and improved low light performance.

Offered in magnesium or carbon fiber editions, Weapon is available as a new camera option or as an upgrade for existing customers.

JVC at Sundance with new pro cameras

JVC is at Sundance in Utah showing off its new GY-LS300 4KCAM Super 35mm camcorder at the New York Lounge, sponsored by the New York Production Alliance. Designed with DPs, documentarians and photographers in mind, the GY-LS300 features a JVC 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor and records 4K Ultra HD, Full HD with 4:2:2 sampling, SD and Web-friendly proxy formats to non-proprietary SDHC and SDXC media cards.

The camera also features an industry standard Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount, but JVC’s own Variable Scan Mapping technology maintains the native angle of view for a variety of lenses. As a result, using third-party lens adapters, the camera can accommodate PL and EF mount lenses, among many others.

“Sundance is the ideal venue to launch our new GY-LS300 and showcase its shooting flexibility for filmmakers,” said Craig Yanagi, manager of marketing and brand strategy, JVC Professional Video. “Our Variable Scan Mapping technology electronically adapts the active area of the Super 35 sensor to provide native support for many different lenses from a variety of manufacturers.”

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At the New York Lounge, JVC is also showcasing its new GY-HM200 4KCAM camcorder, which is also targeted at pros. The GY-HM200 captures 4K Ultra HD, 4:2:2 Full HD (50Mbps) and SD imagery with a 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS chip. A built-in 12x zoom lens with optical image stabilizer also offers 24x dynamic zoom in HD mode.

Both the GY-HM200 and GY-LS300 include a 3.5-inch LCD display and 1.56 megapixel color viewfinder, dual XLR audio inputs (mic/line switchable) with built-in phantom power, an integrated handle with hot shoe and dedicated microphone mount as well as SDI and HDMI video outputs. Each camera also features a built-in HD streaming engine with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity for live transmission directly to hardware decoders, the Wowza Streaming Engine and the ProHD Broadcaster server powered by Zixi. Integrated support for several streaming protocols including RTMP also allows the cameras to stream instantly to Ustream or other Web-based destinations while simultaneously recording to SDHC/SDXC media cards.

Aerial Robotics, Drone Pavilion new for NAB 2015

This year’s NAB show in Las Vegas, April 11-16, will feature a new a new Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, presented by Drone Media Group in partnership with NAB Show.

The new exhibit area, located in the South Upper Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, will feature dozens of aerial robotics companies, a flying cage, demonstration area with seating and daily sessions.

“Unmanned aerial systems are increasingly being used to cover live events and breaking news,” reports Mannie Frances, Drone Media Group. “Drones were one of the hottest technologies at the 2014 NAB Show.”

Exhibitors currently participating in the Pavilion include DJI, Canon, Amimon, DSLR Pros, XFly Systems, TeraLogics, Go Professional Cases, ArrowData, Sky High Media, ZM Interactive and Unmanned Vehicle University.

The Pavilion will also feature sponsored presentations daily from 9:15am–6:00pm. Topics include laws and regulations surrounding drones, the use of drones for news gathering, drones in space (NASA Project Case Study), capturing aerial video and employing range extenders.

To rent or buy? That is the question

What best fits your studio’s needs is a personal choice.

By Fred Ruckel

When it comes to production, there is always a debate about whether to buy equipment or rent it. RuckSackNY has faced this dilemma many times over the years and recently we decided it was time to take the plunge — we are now investing in the gear we would often rent.

This decision was not taken lightly and didn’t happen overnight because our choice wasn’t a cheap one. For me, it all comes down to quality control and consistent shooting. Over the course of the year we shoot as many as 20 times, which might not seem like a lot to some, but for a little company like ours it means constantly hiring crews and equipment.

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Arri Rentals beefs up in Atlanta and Miami

Ed Stamm has been tasked with running the new Arri Rental office in Atlanta. Arri Rental provides camera, grip and lighting equipment to the feature film, television, advertising, broadcast and events markets.

Besides promoting the Alexa 65 system, which is only available at Arri Rental, Stamm (pictured, above) will ensure that the company’s extensive inventory of digital, film, anamorphic and spherical camera equipment is available to this production community.

Craig Chartier will fill Ed Stamm’s previous position, taking over Arri Rental Miami as GM. Chartier will focus on strengthening Arri Rental’s strategy and operations, as well as growing the business in Florida and the South American market.

Stamm’s extensive experience spans 35 years in the pro equipment rental business. After his graduation in film production at the Columbia College Chicago, Stamm served as rental manager for Victor Duncan (VDI), a film camera and lighting rental house in Dallas.

In 1986, Stamm pushed ahead with the expansion of VDI and opened a new facility in Atlanta as GM. Following Panavision’s acquisition of VDI in 1997, he later transferred to the Orlando office, and in 2002 was hired by Arri CSC to open a rental subsidiary in Florida. He was promoted to VP in 2012.

Craig Chartier

Chartier brings over 22 years of experience in the motion picture and broadcast TV production industry to his new job. Chartier joined GEAR, a subsidiary of 501 Group in Austin as operations manager in 1992 after graduating from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film. In 1995 he became VP of production services and remained at GEAR until 2011.

Chartier has been an adjunct professor teaching Cinematic Lighting Techniques and Theory at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Recent productions serviced by Arri Rental include Birdman, Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Theory of Everything, John Wick, A Most Wanted Man, Expendables 3 and The Fault in Our Stars.