Zacuto’s Rentals adds $125K worth of Panasonic cameras and accessories


Zacuto Rentals has added another $125,000 worth of Panasonic gear to its rental inventory, giving them 12 camera packages, including four HD Varicams, and the only D5 recorder in the Midwest, a $125,000 item itself.

Zacuto’s consistently good rental business motivated the new purchases, noted Steve Weiss, Zacuto partner (with cameraman Jens Bogehegn). “Everything we have is in great demand. Our cameras are out all the time.”

New cameras are two Panasonic SDX900 24Ps, with SDI and pre-recording boards installed. “The SDI Boards allow you to output to their new SDI on-board monitors. The pre-recording board buffers 14-seconds of video so you can recapture moments that have just past and it also has Intervalometer features,” said Weiss. Rentals range from $650 to $1,500/day.

Other Panasonic purchases:

Three new Panasonic BT-LH900 8.4-inch HD/SD on-board LCD focusing monitors with built-in waveform. “With a picture that rivals any CRT, these screens blow away anything released previously, and they’re viewable from all angles,” said Bogehegn.

  • BT-LH1800 18-inch LCD monitor with an incredible picture, which can be used as a lightweight location video village screen, for rent with cinema packages.
  • AJ-HD1700 DVC Pro HD/SD recorder, capable of up-converting the SDX900 video or DV video to HD in Real-Time. This recorder can cross-convert footage shot in 720 (24p) to 1080 (24p) in real-time for capturing, editing, or projecting.
  • DVCpro50 recorder AJ-SD930 that allows shooters to capture or duplicate the DVCpro50 format, renting at $400/day.
  • Firewire board that allows shooting on the SDX900 and have a Firewire out for easy Final Cut or AVID capturing.
  • Zoe-11 zoom controllers for both Canon HD lenses in Docu configuration as well as for their DVX100 and XL1 cameras.
  • Three new Panasonic DVX100A cameras were added to Zacuto’s stock of three DVX100 cameras. The DVX100A adds several new features including internal 16×9, auto focus, and gain-up in 24p mode, as well as many others. Zacuto modified each have Cine-style manual focus rings with positive stops by Century Precision.

“These modifications allow a follow focus to be attached with incredible precision control and add professional features to prosumer cameras,” said Weiss.

Also added: two super lightweight DV follow focus units that can be used on HD cameras and on a DVX100 or XL1.

To make all camera packages deliverable in ENG, Docu or Cine configurations, Zacuto Rentals bought two more Chrosziel 2 Stage Matte Boxes, each with 12 Panavision-sized filters.

Zacuto Rentals is located at 401 W. Ontario; phone, 312/863-3452; Steve Weiss at See