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FBX from Unitcine... First impressions


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#1 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 12:56 PM

Hi all,

Just got my FBX from Unitcine this week. Unitcine
For all those LCD monitor owners (and others with no frameline generators or electronic bubble level)...One word: GREAT addition....
The thing is big as a matchbox. Simple to use and cheap compared to others...Service from Ben Fisher was A-1.

This little thing is as good news as the introduction of the Bartech in the follow focus world a couple of years ago:

-Simple design
-Easy to operate
-Configuration with any sled design.
-Twice the features (bubble and frameline) for half the price of anything similar on the market today.
-Great and fast service

Worth a look , a good one.
Really impressed for now, I will use it in very harsh conditions next week, I will keep you posted on it's reliability.
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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 01:19 PM

Mine is in too. Today it arrived and just connected to my sled. Fantastic piece of equipment. Works easy and much cheaper.

Job
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 02:21 PM

Any Idea on Price?
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#4 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 03:46 PM

Any Idea on Price?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Around 1300$US with cables to sled and monitor. Price will vary depending on the cable configurations . But I recall getting a quote of about 2400$ from XCS regarding the PDL about 6 months ago... Thanks to this forum, I knew Unitcine was coming up with something else and prayed while waiting patiently... My patience was rewarded. :rolleyes:
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:20 PM

"But I recall getting a quote of about 2400$ from XCS regarding the PDL about 6 months ago... "

In fairness to Greg, the XCS level kicks butt. It allows you to do a tremendous number of things including altering the sensitivity, size of display, the degrees you have to be off before it moves, etc. I personally love the "slanted" setting that angles your bubble slightly as it drifts from center. Great engineering; great product; great options. Much better than the 3a level, etc.

Of course I made do with a $2 bubble level glued to my monitor for years too. All depends on what you want. Whatever you do, I suggest mounting any electronic level sensor as close to the center post as possible.

Of, I have not seen Ben's level and this is in no way meant to detract from it. Just saying that the XCS one kicks butt.
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#6 Ben Fisher

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 01:46 PM

Hi All,

The FBX not only does bubble & crosshair (including 4 different cross hair sizes & variable bubble sensitivity, damping, direction AND axis) it is ALSO a frameline generator with a variable mask/border.

The FBX is also physically smaller than the competition, uses connectors/cables instead of captive cables and is around half the price of the competition.

Feel free to visit our website: www.unitcine.com, read up on the FBX, download the manual (DOWNLOAD) and request a quote (QUOTE). FBX's are presently instock and orders being turned around in <1 week.

Kind regards,

Ben Fisher
ben@unitcine.com
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#7 JobScholtze

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 11:40 AM

Got some pic's from the unit



Posted Image
Posted Image
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#8 WillArnot

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 06:14 PM

I checked out the website. Nice packaging for 3 important functions. 2 things concern me.

Primarily, positioning the electronic bubble. What are the key things you watch out for in a frame?? For me, it would be horizon level, and head-room. For this reason I have placed the e-bubble just above the TOP frameline for 10 years now. This means alot less eye-travel... at a glance I get a quick check on both, I can see both simultaneously, rather than taking my eye off one to check the other, as one has to do if the bubble is at the bottom of the frame. I have no idea why anyone would place the bubble actually IN the frame, that seems ludicrous to me.

In the FBX description it says the bubble can only be placed BELOW the crosshair, and vice versa the crosshair only able to be placed ABOVE the bubble. Is this right? This would be a major shortcoming in my estimation.

Also, why only two levels of border shading (50% & 100%)?? If you are going to go to the trouble of providing such a function, why put limits on it?? Why not have operator selectable levels? For me I often find that different lighting set-ups require different levels of border shading on the monitor.

...."you can have this but you can only put it here and here, or, you have a little of it or alot of it, nothing in between"....

As an operator I resent when manufacturers don't go all the way like this. It's just such a tease. You're like "aw man, if I could only put it just there it would be so great".

I may be wrong w/ these facts, I'm asking for clarification.
Sounds like it will be great for my back-up PRO sled. My XCS Ultimate is the Rolls-Royce.

Will

PS How about no mask/border overall, but just a mask/border strip behind wherever the bubble is, so you can clearly see that. Now that would be cool (!coughXCScough!)
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#9 Ben Fisher

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 08:34 PM

Hi Will,

Interestingly several potential clients have requested the ability to put the bubble above crosshair (i.e. at the top of the screen) - so we will be adding this extra functionality very shortly.

One down, one to go.

Border shading - when we designed the FBX and wrote the orginal code we had variable shading, however it was more complex for the user to control and most of the guinea pigs ended up using it at either 90-100% or 40-60%, so we settled on 50% & 100% and a simple and fast interface.

I may have misread your last point about the strip; but the FBX bubble is very easy to see as it is a combination of black and white lines.

We are shipping some FBX's next week to Abel in New York & LA so if you want to play with one I'm sure Jeff at Abel will oblige.

Kind Regards,

Ben Fisher
UNITCINE

NB: Dutch/Belgian operators: I'm in Amsterdam/Hilversum later today (17/Nov/04) all are welcome, call Job Scholtze (cell: +31 653530754) for directions/details.
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#10 WillArnot

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 09:03 PM

Hey Ben,
Thanks for getting back directly. Yup. Must be able to put that bubble anywhere on the screen. No exceptions, no limits.

My point on the bubble w/ a shaded background occured to me looking at the screen shots on the FBX web page. When there is no shading/mask/border and the level is over something very 'busy' or bright, it can be difficult to see exactly.

On my digital level you can put a black background just behind the scale of the bubble. You can also halve the height of this black bubble mask so that is doesn't obscure too much other information on the screen. This is an exceptional feature.

You may want to consider black behind just the 'fixed' part of the bubble as well as black as far from one side to the other that the 'traveling' bubble goes.

Now to really go one up, you have that strip of black be selectable density! :blink:

Thanks again for your personal response.

Will
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#11 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 10:21 PM

" I have no idea why anyone would place the bubble actually IN the frame, that seems ludicrous to me."

Ah, Will. Another reason to love HD! No safety zone for the boom and no place to put your level except in the damn frame.

Ben, I agree with all of Will's thoughts. I, too, keep the level at the top.

Good luck.
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#12 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 10:39 AM

Gents--

I must agree with Alec and Will on the ability to place the level display anywhere in screen.

The human eye reads a frame, such as what we compose with, in a bell curve fashion. That is the eye enters frame bottom left, tracing a curve up towards top/center, and then traces a curve mirroring that down and to the bottom right.

While I have not used an on-screen level display, I would like to be able to place the display to the top/center area so as not to "look away" when I am framing.

On the subject of the mask, I would like to vote for the user-selectable function, rather than a binary set of choices. I usually like no mask, BUT there are those jobs where a mask makes easier the job at hand.

Just my two cents on two issues!

Ben--I like the praise I have heard and the price seems nice! Will email directly about FBX.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
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#13 Ben Fisher

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 01:55 PM

Hi All,

We have completed the revisions to the FBX code to allow the bubble to be set at either the top or bottom of the screen - as requested by several customers and other interested operators. The first of these revised FBX's leave our factory this Wednesday. Exisiting FBX customers wishing to have this modifcation please contact me ben@unitcine.com and we will re-FLASH their FBX free of charge; a revised manual will be up on our website before the end of this week.

Kind regards,

Ben Fisher
UNITCINE
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#14 JobScholtze

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 05:39 PM

Today i made a trip to the UK for upgrading my Benz to an extra channel. Flying there was much cheaper than sending it over :P . It was nice to see the factory and nice to see all the gadgets. Ben, thanks for the support and especially the BIG Lunch :P (Took us almost 2 hours.)
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#15 Gus Trivino

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 09:58 PM

We have a TB6 on the Artemis with XCS electronic level but on the another Steadicam EFP we have a cheaper monitor.
FBX is a great equipment, and in the future I will buy one for the EFP...
In a few days, I will recive my new 3 channels Benz follow Focus like Job :D
Best,

Gus.
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