Pimp Your Element Technica Mantis Shoulder Rig

Over the years with much use and time your Hand Grips begin to lose their density. The acids in palm sweat brake down the rubber and causes the grips to slip. The look of the rig turns sloppy and under maintained. Since the grips become softer it’s harder to keep a firm grip over long takes so your hands have to constantly re-adjust which effects movement in camera.

A great way to facelift your Element Technica Mantis is by ordering a set of ODI Lock-On HandGrips which are available in fun colours to best suit your personality. The bottom caps protect the Mantis Handle from getting scratches.

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To remove the old grips I’d recommend a compressor with a point tip for the easiest removal if not canned air will do with a few twist and turns.

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Keep in mind if you have an older style rig like mine with the Shorter Grip Post w/Remote Stop  you’ll have to order a smaller 90mm handgrip to compensate. The newer models use a pair of traditional 130mm length Grips.

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You can see the olds grips do no justice to the Lock-Ons!

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SOURCE: Element Technica MantisElement Technica Grips – ODI Lock Rings – ODI Grips 130mm/90mm

BMC Cages are released for a Delayed Camera //

Everyday it seems like a new camera is released. Finally any camera you find on the street can promise a certain “Image Quality”.

BMCC ProRes

2012 we can say aside from 2008 is a landmark for digital cinema. The RAW push has begun, younger generations are born into a world with ease of accessibility to create content, Hollywoods 2D elite storytellers pursuit shooting in larger formats like 70mm IMAX Film (Christopher Nolan, Terrence Malick “Knight of Cups”, JJ Abrams “Star Trek 2013”).  We’ve all had to learn a new set of digital skills, “film” is but memories and old set tales to the youth. Every camera company at NAB announced 4K output and every recorder company announced 4K Recorders.  Red and Black Magic are the few camera manufactures with on-board RAW recording thats accessible to the consumer. Everything for the most part is still 8-bit on board recording and RAW  4K output.

The camera of today…. the camera that’s on everyones mind is the Black Magic Cinema Camera, aside the Scarlet-X it’s the most anticipated camera of 2012. Black Magic proved that a RAW 12-bit 2K camera with SDI is available for $3k. It has its compromises smaller than Micro 4/3 Sensor (16mm size more or less), Funky Form Factor, Built-in-Battery….. I highly doubt it will stop it from being the next “Jesus Camera”.  You’ll never lose a job due to codec delivery, RAW DNx ProRes it does it all. Everyone is happy, Owner Operators never lose a job, Producers and Editors don’t need to sweat. In my view it’s the Scarlet 8x 2/3 reborn for 2012.

BMCC

Making cameras isn’t easy, Black Magic is working on the final touches, the release has been pushed to mid-August. The streets are calling it the “DSLR Killer” which could very well be true, I await industry reactions.

Until then gear up for when your sweet sweet BMC arrives…

Third party vendors are releasing accessories check out the links bellow.

SSD MEDIA 128GB at $100 – 240GB at $220 – 480GB at $380                          (5 MB/frame in RAW 2.5K fits about 30 minutes of 24p video on a 256 GB solid state disk. Compressed HD formats fit more than 5 times the amount of RAW video.)

ViewFactor Cage Starting at $299 and up

Wooden Camera Cage starts at $399

145900-CAMERA-CAGE-BMC-6

Black Magic’s President gives us a little History of  BMC.


Wooden Camera Quick Back

Just received an emial that Wooden Cameras is now shipping their Quick Back System which is compatible with Epic/Scarlet. Its a very cost effective way to power your camera or protect/add mounting options. Get all the details below with the video and chart.

QB WC

Depending on the options you go with, you’ll pay around $600-$700 +Shipping

Everything You Need to Know About Scarlet-X

In less than a week from today all the Scarlet models will ship, Red has created more assembly lines to meet demand. Its looking like everything will finally be out of backorder by Dec. 1st. Just in time for the Holidays and a great way to start the new year.

Where will Scarlet “fit” in the industry?

Scarlet falls into a great category which in many terms is being established, theres really nothing else like it on this planet. Years ago you would get an EX3 for the same price of a Scarlet Bundle, then you’d buy a Letus Adapter and Lens just to get a film look. Yes we were crazy!

It seems to me like it will replace the Red One. Now in days no one really wants to shoot on anything smaller than a S35mm Sensor. Camcorders are slowly becoming extinct, since they’re being replaced by Flip videos and iPhone 4S. All the “video” guys are getting access to Filmmakers tools (DSLR, AF100, F100, F3, C300) which is really strange.

What kind of image will a Scarlet give me and do I need it?

So 4K right….this is clearly gonna be the future. Is it accessible to everyone? No. These files require proprietary processors in order to view/render 4K in realtime.  You can use a standard PC/Mac but it will take ages to render. A great option would be to build a PC and run CS5.5. 4K my guess will become more present in the consumer world by the end of this decade (If lucky we can’t even get Full 1080p yet!). I care about my footage to the point that ten years from now I want to say damn that looks good! Rather than damn I can see the pixels. Gives you plenty of headroom for post, and R3D files are the best way to preserve your footage (Other than MPEG-2,AVCHD, .MOV).

Even though you can do “some” 5K, Scarlet is mainly designed to be a 4K camera which is great, 5K really demands a ton more hard drive space, SSD’s, RedRocket, DIT etc. 4K is still in reach for some indi-projects, not only that but we’ve been using 4K .R3D files since 2007 so pretty much everyone has dealt with these files/footage. If you mainly do Web content and small gigs this camera maybe overkill. Don’t get me wrong anytime I have a DSLR shoot I sigh and drag my feet, I feel ya. But for some gigs this camera may  put a production at risk. Especially if their post house has never dealt with RED files. You can open a can of worms and it usually delays the turnaround if they aren’t prepared. Main reason some will argue that 4K is not necessary which is true, all depends on what kinda show you run. On the other hand if you deal with experienced productions, heavy SFX, or make movies, this is the camera for you.

Phil Holland over on RedUser has put out this amazing Data Sheet with Resolution, Cropping, Bit-Rates, Lens Conversions, Record Times, Frame Rates. It’s all HERE. HDRx is not available for certain frame rates but RED is currently working on getting it for 4K 25fps (future firmwares) otherwise you have to bump down 3K to get 25fps HDRx.

How do I process .R3D files?

There’s a couple ways around this. RED provides an application which is free called Cine-X Pro. It’s designed to process, color correct, convert, edit sequences and allow playback. If you purchase a RedRocket Card which goes into a PCIe slot in a Desktop, it allows RealTime encoding and PlayBack.

Now in days most Red Users cut with a PC on Adobe CS5.5 . A set up can run you around $2500-$3500 w/software. You won’t be able to view footage in 4k but you can edit off .R3D files that are converted to your resolution of preference depending on your workstation (unless you have a RedRocket of course). If you know of any gamers, get them to build you a PC. Just be sure to get a CUDA Nvidia GPU, 580 or 590 would be best. These cards are designed to work with Adobe and they are a charm with R3D.

If you need some help with the Cine-X UI you can resort to this tutorial video or post your concerns on reduser.net.

How much will it cost?

$14,015_Al Canon Mount, Side Module, 5” Touch Screen, 2x RedVolts & Charger, SSD Reader & 64GB Mag

$15,515_Ti PL or Canon, , Side Module, 5” Touch Screen, 2x RedVolts & Charger, SSD Reader & 64GB Mag

This honestly doesn’t get you much, you could shoot your own little project or test but by no means can you get away with a 8hr-12hr day. More like 2hr worth of shooting. The Batteries last 36 Min. and take 60 Min. to charge. If you go the RedVolt route you’d want at least 6 Batteries and 2 Chargers. Media you can get away with two 64GB or one 128GB SSD. There’s nothing wrong with buying a brain for $9,750_Al Canon Mount_Side SSD and building up.

How should I build my kit?

You have many options to go with. You could get a Scarlet kit or get a Brain and customize certain parts. In the end you kinda spend about the same. Lets take a look at this list….

Total $18,460

If you get the Red Sacrlet Package from RED.COM then buy a 4-Pack of RedVolts, Extra Charger, one  64GB SSD Red Mag and you should be good to go!

Total $17,900

Both are great BASIC working kit, of course you can add and change whatever you want. Configurations are endless that’s the beauty. On this kit I try to steer away from RedVolt and rely on V-Lock batteries. Also there’s a huge lack of support, top plates, rigs, computers, drives, software etc. but I just want to show you how much a BASIC working kit would run ya.

Should I rent my Scarlet-X and how much does it run for?

Depends on what you have kit wise and location. For having any of the kits listed above, $795 a Day is fair game. Most owners I hope will rent their Kit for the same as price as a Red One. Those who can’t get work tend to low ball which in the end hurts the industry and themselves. Please don’t be that person, it’s a clear sign that you may want to re-consider your investment.

Being an owner you have to take responsibility of being a technician. That means anytime your camera goes out for a feature you send it back to RED for evaluation and service. If you decide to make this investment I expect people to follow through and be good owners. I only rent gear from guys I respect because they respect their gear. I’ve worked with a handful of Red Ones that have no business being rented out due to abuse. More than half the problems that occur with RED cameras is due to user error and irresponsible owners. If your camera rents out offer to be a Tech/DIT for the shoot or make sure you know someone in the camera department.

Insurance is also key you should definitely consider protecting your invest, on movie sets “anything” can happen.

What about the Dragon Sensor Upgrade?

Dragon sensor is on the Roadmap but we don’t really know much about it. The price will be more for Scarlet versus the Epic. Chances are it could meet Epic-S specs since it got ditched. Hopefully it’s a FF35 6K sensor. 2nd Half of 2012 is when it’s expected to roll out. Red mentions that the boards and sensors will be replced completely.

ORDER

Ordering can be made at RED.COM… All the Q&A about ordering is HERE. If you’re on the fence don’t hold your breathe for too long. At the end of the year Epic and Scarlet will both go up in price. Scarlet is estimated to go up another $3100. May not be a bad idea to get in the back of the line.

Conclusion

I hope this post can clear some of the cob-webs.  There’s tons of hype behind it, everyone wants one, and it’ll change the industry once again.

RedUser News Mid-Nov

Today many questions have finally been answered! A few have speculated that RED wasn’t gonna meet Scarlet-X ship dates  Nov. 17 (PL Mount) and Dec. 1st (Canon mount). Tonaci is the first person to receive a Scarlet-X PL and many more have already shipped…

Aside of the Scarlet news this is also a big day for Epic owners. A few hours later Alpha Firmware was released enabling PLAYBACK!

RED has done an amazing job with meeting their dates, wrangling all these orders while growing it’s infrastructure.

It’ll be interesting to see where it’ll take the industry. Almost everyone in the film scene here in Austin knows of someone who placed a deposit. Theres a rough guess of 1,000 or more orders already placed. Once again we don’t really know but from the community this is what we have gathered. I spoke with a film festival coordinator and was told that they received over 3000 feature film submissions and expect it to be even larger by next year. Not really sure what that means other than the competition is higher than ever. Tools do make the job easier but they can’t write you a good story. Let the digital film renaissance begin!

Nov. 3rd Speculation*

November the 3rd November the 3rd. The day we’ve all been waiting for, the day the movie industry changes as we begin to narrow the standards for Digital Cinema.

Since September 15 there’s been much anticipation to hear Canons “Historic Global Announcement” to be held in Hollywood, 5 days later Jannard decides to follow up with “November 3rd is the day that RED announces all the changes to Scarlet and shipping info.” Obviously the game is on, what can we expect? So much has happened since 2009 & 2010.

The pictures above represent a highlight of the past, all we really know is Canon has been testing 4K video for about 2 years now along with developing a new line of video cameras. RED on the other hand has been working on completing the EPIC and shaping the Scarlet line designed to appeal for the indie scene since 2009. Canon holds all their R&D close to their heart while RED lays hallow easter eggs building anticipation.

The Camera industry has taken a turn since film cameras are no longer being manufactured, this is when digital steps in to build the future of motion imaging…Very exciting if you ask me and a good time to be alive 😉

At the end of any day no matter what time period, digital technology is alway restricted due to bottlenecks in hardware/software and now the gates are opened to establish even bigger bottleneck hehe. SSD’s have become more common and affordable, our micro chips have become more powerful and more energy efficient due to the smart phone boom, USB 3.0 and ThunderBolt open new data transfer speeds, it’s really quite amazing seeing it all come together.

These are speculations that I try to keep on a leash, not being an employee from any of these companies your guess maybe good as mine but more or less this is what to expect.

RED

Scarlet Fixed 8x $3500-$5k SideGrip, SSD Module,  4REDvolt, Charger

Scarlet Fixed Kit 8x $6-7K LCD, SideGrip, RedMote, SSD Module, 4REDvolt, Charger

Scarlet S35 $7K  5K 30fps/4K 48fps, SideGrip, SSD Module (IF LUCKY!)

Scarlet S35 Kit $12-14k LCD, SideGrip, RedMote, SSD Module, 4REDvolt, Charger  (IF LUCKY!)

Ordering will start late in the evening around 6pm at RED.COM or you could go to Red Studios in Hollywood and pick up your gear. All the updates and specs will be made at reduser.net.

Canon

S35HD$5000 EOS 1080P 4.2.2CF_4.4.4HDMI

S35HD$7000 EOS 1080P 4.2.2CF_4.4.4HDMI/SDI/GenLock

S35$10000 PL 1080P 4.4.4SSD_4KSDI

S35 $20000 PL 4K SSD

-Possible Canon Cine Raw Compression in the near future

-3 EOS Lenses (Possible zooms w/aperture control and 0.8 gears)

-2 PL Cine Lens

MkIII$3500 1080P 4.2.2 CF_4.4.4 HDMI (2012 Announcement & Release)

From what rumors say Canon is making the announcement and will begin Shipping sometime in December-January. I’m sure Engadget will cover the event since they were the first ones to get the invite.

The Boil Down…

Be ready if you’ve been waiting to buy a new camera, you’ll probably need a good $10,000-$13,000 to get the best of the new technologies. There’s nothing wrong with starting small and building up it’s just gonna limit your capabilities until you have a full  kit. You can earn the little tools to make your shoots easier and faster starting with the basics and working up.

What you’ll need…

-New Computer: One that’s at least a ’09-’11 Model.

-Media: Hard Drives, Recording Media SSD or CF cards, Readers for transferring files.

-Support: Tripod , shoulder rigs, handles, cages, monitors.

-Insurance: If your smart and have the dough