SF Bay Area Video Cameras and Crews

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23 Feb 4k Internal Recording on our Sony F5


Move over F55, our Sony F5 can now shoot 4k internally straight onto SxS cards. We just upgraded it this week, so now there’s no need for the AXS-R5 external RAW recorder for quick and easy 4k shots. While it doesn’t shoot RAW internally (for that you’ll still need the R5), if you want to shoot 4k and don’t want to deal with the size of RAW footage, it’s a lighter, cheaper alternative. Now, rather than recording 500GB of footage for just an hour of 4k RAW, you can fit a lot more on your cards and hard drives with the more compressed 4k XAVC codec.

Since they first came out, the ability to shoot 4k internally is one of the main aspects that set the more expensive F55 apart from the F5. With upgrades like this, however, the gap is narrowing and the F5 is proving to be the better investment.

Best of all, the basic camera rental hasn’t changed in price at all with this upgrade, so you can now rent the F5 and get beautiful 4k images for the same rate as before.

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10 Feb C-Stand Basics by Shane Hurlbut

DP Shane Hurlbut just posted an instructional video on the basics of setting up and operating C-Stands. Whether you’re a beginner or a key grip, (though it’s definitely more for beginners), it’s worth watching just to fill any gaps in your knowledge.

Check out the post on his site where he also includes a lighting schematic diagram for the making of this video.


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18 Dec Studio B Films Holiday Party 2014

Fresh off another awesome year, Studio B threw its annual holiday party last night. With great people, great food, a white elephant gift exchange, and a compilation of our work from the year, the party was a grand success. We threw up a GoPro Hero 4 to capture a timelapse of the festivities.

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24 Oct Warrior Dash

Some of the Studio B Crew at the Warrior Dash Finals.

This past weekend we shot the Warrior Dash competition in Sacramento. With a crew of nine people, eleven cameras, and a 3am call time, it was a long but exciting day. We survived the mud and dust with some amazing footage, and I think it’s safe to say the cameras got the worst of it:


Our gear list: Sony F5, Sony FS700, Red Epic, Red Scarlet, two Canon C300s, Canon 5D mk.II, two GoPro 3‘s, two GoPro 4’s, the DJI Ronin, Porta-Jib Traveller, and a quadcopter.

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09 Sep New in Studio B: Teradek Bolt Pro

Teradek Bolt Pro Rental

The Teradek Bolt Pro Wireless SDI Video Transmission System just arrived! Send 1080p60 video wirelessly up to 300 feet from your camera. This is the perfect device for when you need to go wireless on set. If you’re using our new DJI Ronin stabilizer, for example, and your director, DP, clients, (or whoever!) want to see what the camera sees, then there’s no other way to send video since tethered cables would ruin the balance and autonomy of the camera. Our kit comes with one transmitter, one receiver, and all the necessary cables and mounting hardware you’ll need.

Check out the Teradek Bolt Pro page here and rent one today!

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28 Aug Sony F5 Hacked, Can Shoot 4k Internally

The Sony PMW-F5 has just been hacked to shoot internal 4k XAVC video. This is big news, of course, because one of the biggest differences between the F5 and the more expensive (almost twice as much!) F55 was the ability to shoot 4k internally, without needing to purchase a separate AXS-R5 4k recorder. There has always been speculation that the F5 was capable of internal 4k, and this new discovery proves both that it’s capable, and that Sony has intentionally disabled the functionality of the F5. See cinematographer Paul Ream’s short Vine video below to see the 4k resolution readout on the F5 screen.

Ream, who discovered the hack, goes on to explain the process of hacking the camera on the ExtraShot podcast here. Start listening around 19 minutes to jump straight to his explanation, which is remarkable in that he does not change the firmware nor tweak the physical hardware of the camera in any way. Instead, he merely edits the camera settings via a text editor on his computer.

Of course, we’ll need to wait and see if others can replicate his results, as well as wait for Sony’s response. The company may choose to not respond at all, much like Canon and the Magic Lantern firmware hacks on their DSLRs, but the debate will continue about the ethics of artificially limiting a camera’s capabilities only to sell more higher-end models and accessories. Futhermore, if there’s enough backlash over this discovery, Sony may choose to update the F5 firmware to allow internal 4k, essentially making the F55 obsolete (at least for the price) and alienating F55 owners who’ve already made the purchase. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out.

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14 Jul Coming Soon to Studio B– the DJI Ronin

The DJI Ronin 3-Axis stabilized handheld gimbal system is coming to Studio B! With tool-free adjustment, lightning quick set-up time, and the ability to fly nearly any camera up to 16 pounds, this brand new gadget makes it easy to get the shots you’ve dreamed of. Check out the video above to see some of the Ronin’s features and capabilities, and watch our blog and Facebook page for an update when it’s ready for rentals this August.

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20 Jun New Item in Studio B: Kessler Philip Bloom Motorized Pocket Dolly

We just picked up the Kessler Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly with motorized add-on here at Studio B Films. Rentals Intern Chris set it up for a test run with a Canon 5D to get some behind the scenes timelapses and dolly moves around the office– starting with our vfx team hard at work and moving into the studio as we set up for a shoot.

Check out the results of that shoot for Castlight Enterprise here.

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22 May Crew Services Gig: Tesla Music Video Shoot


(above) Studio B grip Enrique Escudero wrangles cables for DP Mike Epple in front of the band Tesla.

Here at Studio B Films, we’re often asked to provide extra crew members to help out on clients’ shoots. Whether it’s just a single videographer or a full crew with jobs ranging from steadicam op to stylist to DP, we hire the best in the bay and coordinate everything on our end.

At the beginning of the month, director Kevin J Custer called in about an upcoming shoot he had with the band Tesla. With Tesla’s new album on the way, he needed to rent a full production package of equipment, five crew members, and find the perfect location for their new music video– all within a week. We locked down the best talent (DP, gaffer, grip, PA, and hair/makeup), prepped all of the gear they would need for the shoot in a production van, and after some searching, were able to secure a corner of the American Steel Studios warehouse in Oakland for a day.


(above) Director Kevin J Custer observes the scene on one of our Panasonic 17″ monitors.

(below) DP Mike Epple flies one of our Canon C300’s on a Dana Dolly.


(below) Mike and the C300 on a Porta-Jib Traveller, framed in the background by a 6×6′ silk and frame.


Check out BAM Magazine’s article here about the band and their music video shoot, including more pictures from the production.