Camera, Light, Projector and Sound Rental in Milwaukee & Chicago

            Renting cameras, audio, lighting & grip for Milwaukee, Chicago, and the surrounding area.

Archive: Jan 2015

  1. GoPro Hero 7 Black

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    The GoPro Hero 7 Black takes the action camera category to a new level.  Get super-sharp 4K video at 60 fps, and amazing slow motion with 240 fps in 1080p HD.  Use the built-in stabilization for gimal-like smoothness.


  2. Five Predictions for Video Production in 2015 – Part 2

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    Every year, we publish a list of predictions for the video industry.  Here’s what I see coming up in the next twelve months.

    #1 – Standard Definition is dead, at least as far as professional acquisition is concerned.  We will see nearly all professional and most consumer cameras introduced without any standard definition support.  This trend has already been underway in many manufacturer’s 4K cameras, and this year we’ll see a lot of cameras dropped from production that offer SD recording as an option.

    #2 – Canon will lose their death grip over low-budget video production.  The 5D mark II and III and the 7D completely owned the market for low-budget commercial, documentary, and narrative projects for the last 4-5 years.  As more shooters and producers see the performance gap between those cameras and mirrorless options from Panasonic and Sony, there will be pressure to change cameras.  This will be amplified by Canon’s decisions on pricing and video recording resolution.

    #3 – Metadata will be growing quickly as people and applications find new ways to use it.  Most still cameras today record exposure information in the file. Some record GPS-based location information. Video has been woefully behind in this, but 2015 will see us starting to catch up, hopefully not just with more tools for acquisition, but also for the preservation of that data through the editing and broadcast process.

    #4 – There will be many more jobs in video production. With the economy at large picking up steam, video as entertainment and advertising will increase.  This will be amplified by improved mobile device bandwidth, increased number of screens, and the accessibility of the technology.  We’ll also see video production professionals who specialize in mobile and mixed-platform video campaigns. What works in a theater doesn’t always work on mobile, and advertisers are learning that quickly.

    #5 – In-camera video HDR will start to take shape. We’ve seen plenty of still cameras with HDR built in, and solutions for video so far (Like RED’s HDRx) require a lot of processing after capture. Now that more and more cameras can capture 60+ fps and still have processing power left over, manufacturers can use that hardware for expanding dynamic range.

    What changes do you see coming in 2015? Sound off in the comments!

    Posted by Jon Kline

  3. Sony PXW-FS7 4K Camera

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    The Sony FS7 features a Super 35-sized sensor, 4K internal recording, and codecs including XAVC-I at 113 Mbps, to match Sony’s flagship F55.  Capture 14 stops of dynamic range in Slog3, or choose a different picture style for your workflow.  10-bit 4:2:2 color in DCI-4K, QHD, or 1080p resolutions without bulky recorders means shooting for the colorist is easy.  The Sony E-mount can be adapted to fit EF and PL lenses, and a behind-the-lens ND filter means no clumsy filter changes.  The camera includes an electronic viewfinder/display and adjustable hand grip.  The versatility makes the FS7 equally at home in cinema and broadcast applications.

    The FS7 camera supports UHD framerates up to 60p as well as 1080p at 180 fps, all continuous and in-camera.  Sony rates native ISO at 2000. Low-light performance is superb, especially when compared with other 4K cameras.

    While Sony continues to offer the FS700, the FS7 offers multiple improvements in functionality, internal 4K, higher-quality recording formats, and a more ergonomic layout.  The FS7 is a well-matched camera to an F5 or F55, and also works well on a set with an FS700 or even an A7s backing it up, especially using the Slog-2 or Slog-3 color profile.

    This FS7 rental package includes

    Sony FS7 body
    2 Sony BP-U battery
    1 Sony BP-U charger

    This camera requires a lens and XQD card, rented separately.  An FS7 rental kit with the most popular accessories is also available.

    Rental Prices

    $199 for 1 day
    $398 for up to 3 days
    $597 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Suggested accessories:

    Lenses, HD-SDI monitor, tripod, additional XQD cards, extra batteries

  4. Nyrius Aries Prime Wireless HDMI

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    The Nyrius Aries Prime lets you stream video wirelessly from any HDMI source to any HDMI display or recorder. It supports resolutions up to 1080p and even 3D video. It’s a great way to connect your computer at the front of the room to the projector in the back. No software and no WiFi required.

    The signal is rated for 30 feet line-of-sight. For longer distances and critical signal applications, we suggest an active 50′ HDMI cable.

    We include a Nyrius Aries Prime transmitter, Nyrius Aries Prime receiver, 5v USB power supply, USB cable, USB battery, 3′ HDMI cable, and a hard case.

    Rental Prices

    $24 for 1 day
    $48 for up to 3 days
    $72 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.


    Suggested accessories:
    HDMI Extension Cable


  5. Five Predictions for Video Production in 2015 – Part 1

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     Last year, I posted my five predictions for video production in 2014.  Let’s take a look back and see the hits and misses.

    #1 – 4K Heyday

    With far more new cameras offering 4K resolution, I think this was an accurate call. I also suggested selling your Sony EX1. That camera has lost about 40% of its value this year.  I predicted a new 4K camera in the $5,000 to $8,000 range before the end of the year, and the Sony FS7 is exactly that.   This prediction gets a “confirmed” rating.

    #2 – Prosumer Video DSLR

    This prediction is mostly accurate, if you replace “DSLR” with “mirrorless.” The GH4 shoots and records 4K video on a crop sensor and can be outfitted with timecode and XLR ins.  The Sony A7s has significantly larger pixels than previous DSLRs, and definitely qualifies for “far better low-light performance.”  The miss here was all about Canon’s strategy.  Instead of delivering a 4K DSLR, Canon avoided bringing their video and photo lines in direct competition.  While the merits of this strategy may outweigh the risks to Canon right now, there’s a lot of other companies who aren’t afraid to shake up the market between still/video and prosumer/professional. This prediction gets a “sorta” rating.

    #3 – Lytro in Motion

    The closest match to this prediction is Pelican Imaging’s announcement of “upcoming” video support for their light field camera. 2014 also saw the release of the first light-field plugin for an NLE (Frauenhofer’s Light Field plugin for Avid). Lytro, the leader in bringing light field to consumers, spent their efforts on improving photographs. The Lytro Illum is really a fantastic camera within the tiny niche of light field photography, and the Lytro Development Kit has put the hardware and software in the hands of NASA and the DOD, who have video applications on the horizon.  Want to develop with the LDK? You’ll just need $20,000 a year. The part of the prediction I missed? This revolution is not hyped at all.  We’ll probably need a storyteller or brand to start using light field video before the world at large sees it and starts to take notice.  I give this predition a “mostly” rating.

    #4 – LED over HMI

    This year was certainly a banner year for LED technology. We’ve seen a dozen new manufacturers, and several are emerging as leaders in the LED video lighting category. Arri updated their LED fixtures with a 25% brightness improvement. This was significant, but the fixtures are still a long way from matching a 575w HMI in output (to be precise, an L7 has about 40% of the 5600k output of an HMI at 575w). Arri also launched the L5 fixture, with less output than the L7, less color adjustments, and lower CRI.  The biggest advantage of the L5 is battery operation. This prediction gets called a “miss.”

    #5 – Magic Lantern will change or become irrelevant

    2014 saw the announcement of the Axiom line of open-source video cameras, with firmware to be developed by the Magic Lantern team.  I think that qualifies as a significant change.  The ML team put a great deal of effort into making raw recording more stable, but the Blackmagic 4K camera gave shooters raw files with higher resolution, more dynamic range, and significantly more manageable workflow. For shooters that don’t need raw, cameras like the GH4 integrate nicely into existing workflows (and shoulder rigs, memory cards, and lenses too).  We’ve seen the rentals of the Canon 5D3 for video shooters drop around September 2014. This prediction gets another “mostly” rating.

    Now I’m off to write part 2, where I make new predictions for 2015.

    Posted by Jon Kline

  6. FS7 Extension Unit XDCA-FS7

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    Expand the features of the Sony FS7 with the XDCA-FS7 extension unit. It mounts on the back of the FS7 camera and adds a V-mount battery plate, genlock, timecode in & out, and raw output. 12 DC XLR in and DC out over 4-pin Hirose are also provided. These features are a welcome addition on multi-camera and pro-level shoots, and make the camera a perfect match for a Sony F5 or F55.

    The unit enables raw video recording with an external recorder (not included), as well as on-board ProRes and ProRes HQ 4:2:2 1080p recording. Raw frame rates can be set up to 240 fps continuous in 2K, as well as DCI 4K (4096×2160) and DCI 2K (2048×1080) resolution. Sony’s raw recording is 12-bit log, making image quality and latitude in post production unmatched

    We suggest renting this with the Sony FS7 camera kit and a V-mount battery kit.

    Rental Prices

    $95 for 1 day
    $190 for up to 3 days
    $285 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Suggested accessories:

    Sony FS7
    HD-SDI monitor

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