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

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




Archive: Jul 2015

  1. Throwback Thursday: Super 8 Edition

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    Occasionally, we take a big look back to see old technology in our new context. We call it “Throwback Thursday.” This week: the Elmo Super 8 Sound film camera.elmo-super8mm-camera

    Meet the Elmo Super 8 Sound 612s-XL Macro. This super 8mm film camera was first released in 1978, and offered a ton of features for a consumer camera. Adjusting for inflation to today’s dollars, it would be about $3300, making it quite pricey for the average mom or dad’s home movies. Those parents today are probably buying a Canon 5D mark III, with 24-105mm f/4L lens.

    Mic and auxillary inputs, plus a headphone output. Most DSLRs didn't get features like that until 2012.

    Mic and auxillary inputs, plus a headphone output. Most DSLRs didn’t get features like that until 2012.

    As film cameras go, it was loaded with features. Sound, of course, was the most notable. The camera, like all consumer super 8 cameras with sound, recorded audio to a magnetic strip opposite the film perforations. It also included both 18 and 24 fps shooting, a motorized servo zoom, and “good” low light performance. The f/1.2 lens made exposures possible even in interiors (assuming they are well-lit). The camera also included a tungsten/daylight switch, making it much easier to use the same film cartridge both indoors and outside.

    By today’s standards, the sound was terrible. It’s scratchy, noisy, and film and shutter sounds creep into every recording. The motorized zoom was loud. You definitely couldn’t sneak up on anyone with this camera.

    Super 8mm cartridges were much easier to load than 16mm reels, because the cartridge kept sunlight from exposing the film during the loading process.

    Super 8mm cartridges were much easier to load than 16mm reels, because the cartridge kept sunlight from exposing the film during the loading process.

    Super 8mm film exposes an area about 7.5mm diagonal, making it most comparable to 1/2″ sensors (like found in a modern Sony EX3 camera, for example). The 4:3 aspect ratio is similar to standard definition cameras, and the ability to resolve detail is above any standard definition camera ever made. It would be nearly two decades before video could compete with the quality of super 8mm film (assuming it was exposed, processed, and stored carefully).

    With apertures as wide as f/1.2, focus required a bit of effort. Autofocus wouldn’t become popular in still cameras for a few years, and many more advancements would be needed before autofocus for moving pictures was a reality. Auto exposure, however, was old news, and this super 8 camera was designed to use autoexposure full-time.

    This Elmo 612S-XL was released as the baby brother to the 1012s-XL. The camera with magazine weighed about 3.5 pounds, half a pound lighter than the 1012S. This is about double what most high-end consumer camcorders weigh today, and in-line with most professional broadcast HD and 4K cameras.

    Anyone in Milwaukee looking to check out the Elmo 612-S XL is welcome to see the working model in our antique camera collection. The camera is retired from service, and not available to rent.

  2. Canon 5D mark III DSLR Camera

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    The Canon 5D mark III is the only DSLR that supports uncompressed 14-bit raw video recording in 1080p24, through the use of Magic Lantern.  It also offers uncompressed 4:2:2 output over HDMI.  For video shooters using DSLRs, the 5D mk III builds on the legacy of the 5D mk II, with an updated sensor for reduced moire and improved low-light performance, timecode support, and a headphone jack.  This Canon DSLR also records .mov files in IPB or all-I compression.  Oh yeah, it’s a pretty awesome stills camera, too, with some of the most advanced autofocus features available in any camera today.

    This camera accepts EF lenses, not included.  We include three batteries, a charger, and 64GB of Compact Flash storage, and will install Magic Lantern for free by request.

    Rental Prices

    $129 for 1 day
    $258 for up to 3 days
    $387 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
  3. Sony EX3 Camcorder

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    The Sony EX3 camera is an incredibly popular renter for shooting presentations, events, and documentary-style work. It uses Sony’s XDCAM-EX intraframe codec for broadcast quality video in a reasonable file size. It is ergonomically designed for shoulder mounted use, or can be used with a tripod.  We include the standard Fujinon 5.8-81.2mm f/1.9 lens. The EX3 also supports over and undercranking, for slow motion and timelapse effects.

    The camera can record resolutions up to 1080i60 or 1080p30, and can output HD video over HD-SDI. It also fully supports timecode and genlock, for professional-level broadcast applications. If you require 50 Mbps or higher bitrates, we suggest using an external recorder, or using a camera like the Sony Z100 or Sony FS7.The Sony EX3 offers a few advantages over the Sony EX1, including a removable lens, better ergonomics, and an improved LCD. It uses the same sensor and same picture profiles, so color matching between EX1s and EX3s is quite easy.

    Included in the kit is the PMW-EX3 body, Fujinon 5.8-81.2 mm lens, lens hood, two BP-u30 batteries, Sony charger/AC adapter with power cable, EX3 eyepiece, and 128GB of media (enough for more than eight hours of recording in highest quality).

    Sony EX3 manual (downloadable PDF)

    Rental Prices

    $195 for 1 day
    $390 up to 3 days
    $585 up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
    Suggested accessories:
    Tripod
    Wide Angle Adapter
    Additional BP-U Batteries
  4. Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

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    The Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8  zoom lens for Canon is a full frame wide zoom. That means it works on any Canon EF or EF-S mount camera. Most shooters with crop cameras will probably prefer Tokina’s more portable 11-16mm f/2.8 II lens, though. This lens is very popular with photographers, but docu-style video shooters will appreciate the full-time manual focus option and useful zoom range.

    This lens performs exceptionally well, outperforming most wide zooms from Canon, even wide open. Autofocus is fast and not too loud. Distortion is minimal, making this a great lens for architecture and interiors. The lens hood is built in, and does not accept filters. It close focuses to about ten inches, giving you some creative options for extreme perspective.

     

     

    Rental Prices

    $39 for 1 day
    $78 for up to 3 days
    $117 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Suggested accessories:

    Canon DSLR

  5. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art EF Lens

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    The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 zoom lens for Canon is the fastest zoom lens available for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Part of Sigma’s Art line, the lens is one of the best-reviewed zoom lenses for photo and video, ever. It is designed specifically for crop (APS-C) sized sensors, and will not work with larger, full frame cameras.

    This ultrafast zoom is perfect for shooting indoors and at night. The wide-angle to medium focal length is well-suited for architecture and landscape shots. An HSM motor provides fast, silent autofocus for photo and video. Like all Sigma Art lenses, it is compatible with the Sigma USB Dock.

    The lens has 72mm filter threads and close focuses to 11″.

    Rental Prices

    $49 for 1 day
    $98 for up to 3 days
    $147 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
    Suggested accessories:
    Canon DSLR
  6. Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS Zoom Lens

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    Canon’s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS zoom lens is a versatile option for anyone shooting on an EF-S mount on a crop factor camera or S35 video camera like a C100.  The image stabilization, zoom range, and fast optics make it our first choice for a video zoom on any Canon Rebel. It also works well on a GH4 or other MFT camera, especially with a speedbooster.

    The lens is a massive upgrade from Canon’s 18-55mm kit lens, with a speed advantage of 2/3 to 2 full stops.  This makes it much more useful indoors. This lens works only with crop factor cameras with EF-S mounts.  For a full-frame camera, we suggest the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC lens instead.

    Rental Prices

    $34 for 1 day
    $68 for up to 3 days
    $102 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
    Suggested accessories:
    Canon DSLR
  7. Pedestrian Cable Covers

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    These cable covers are a great way to keep electrical, audio, data and other cables safe and protected from pedestrian traffic and hand carts. The cable channel is 1/2″ high and 1.5″ wide. They are about 40″ long, under 1″ tall, and are rated for over 440 pounds.

    Rental Prices

    $5 for 1 day
    $10 for up to 5 days
    Call or email for availability.

     

    Suggested accessories:
    Tape

Can’t Find It?

If you haven't found what you're looking for, try the search box above, or call (414) 939-3653. We have way too many clamps, cables, and widgets to list everything. And we have new stuff coming all the time, too!