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Cmotion vs Preston?


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#1 William Demeritt

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

So I'm trying to decide on a direction for my wireless follow focus future, particularly a 2 or 3 channel system sometime soon. Trying to get some thoughts on the gear, particularly Preston FIZ vs Cmotion Cvolution 2M or 4M.

Preston:
- tried and true
- more industry acceptance
- more knowledge already out there, more comfort by the AC's
- I like the lower price (compared to Cvolution 3 channel), lack of need to train new AC's, proven workhorse.
- I don't like: 4 month turnaround on buying a new system, some AC's have expressed preference for HU2 over HU3...not many that are real dealbreakers.

Cvolution:
- newer technology, improved a lot over the last few years
- similar features to Preston, but with some new twists on the technology.
- accessory modularity, premium versions for some gear, etc.
- ??
- I like the features: impressive LCD screen upgrade with depth of field display, lens database RFID reader for quick programming, etc. I'll admit it, I'm a geek for new technology that's futureproofed or forward thinking.
- I don't like: needing to train every AC how to use it, even though many AC's I work with need a refresher course on setting up a Bartech; I fear losing jobs to new technology easily "thrown under the bus" (e.g. Missed focus on a shot, claims come up that it's because of the Cmotion).

Charles Papert once told me recently he held off buying the Preston HU3 until he felt the acceptance among the AC's had reached an acceptable level. As the technology is constantly changing, I wonder if the concern over some gear and it's acceptance is still as relevant, but then again, I want people using my gear to be comfortable with what I give them to accomplish their jobs.

Any thoughts?
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

Here's something to think about. You aren't buying a follow focus for yourself, your buying it for your focus puller.

Ask the 1st's that you work with and see what they think, my guess is that they are going to say Preston.
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#3 William Demeritt

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:28 PM

Yes definitely, I've got some feelers out right now for feedback. A lot of my guys are versatile and not necessarily entrenched in wanting a Preston and only a Preston; of course, I want to consider alienating future AC's. Thanks!
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

I'd also add that you in live in LA, where the Preston is made. Howard and the gang have always been amazingly supportive to me and everyone else I know. Useful.
I personally love my HU3 (or I should say my ACs do since I never touch it).

In addition, if your jobs are anything like the ones I'm on in NY, there are usually two other Preston HU3 set-ups on set. Its great being able to mix & match parts. Frequently, my hand unit is not even used as I leave my MDR & motors on the Steadicam so when we go to Steadicam we just use the A/B Camera hand unit.
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#5 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:32 PM

Everything Eric and Alec said plus:

1. Preston because it works
2. Preston because it is recognized as the established leader in the industry
3. Preston for compatibility with other ops gear when you need to mix or you need to rent/borrow.
4. Preston because ACs know it and want it
5. Preston because the MAJORITY of ACs already know how to use it.
6. Preston because they've supported us, it's made right here in LA and we should support them.
7. Preston because their staff knows the kit, cameras, needs and you can walk in the door, have a nice chat, do your business and have a friend there instead of a faceless rep.
8. Preston because you can use it, rent it out and still make most of your money back on it when you sell it to upgrade five years later.

Otherwise, I'm not biased! But, I will say that the Bartech you have is a fine system supported by a fine company and another huge supporter of our industry. Virtually all of the above can be said for Bartech as well.

Unless you are going to rent it out, your Bartech or Preston are "loss-leaders"; you're expected to have one and despite the substantial investment it is doubtful you'll be able to increase your kit rental enough to pay for it in 5-10 years.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Robert
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#6 Dave Blackham

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:02 AM

Do you think there is any operational advantage over either Preston or Cmotion or if theres a bigger following in Europe on teh Cmotion over Presion. My guess is hare are still more PReston users worldwide tehn CMotion ?
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#7 joe carini

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:17 AM

I've owned 2 Preston systems over 15 years' MDR-1 & 2. Seems that a majority of AC's always want a Preston. True & reliable. Buy the best and only cry once..They are work horses, plus if something does go down they are there for you.
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#8 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:45 AM

Here's something to think about. You aren't buying a follow focus for yourself, your buying it for your focus puller.

Ask the 1st's that you work with and see what they think, my guess is that they are going to say Preston.



I'd also add that you in live in LA, where the Preston is made. Howard and the gang have always been amazingly supportive to me and everyone else I know. Useful.
I personally love my HU3 (or I should say my ACs do since I never touch it).

In addition, if your jobs are anything like the ones I'm on in NY, there are usually two other Preston HU3 set-ups on set. Its great being able to mix & match parts. Frequently, my hand unit is not even used as I leave my MDR & motors on the Steadicam so when we go to Steadicam we just use the A/B Camera hand unit.


YES and YES!

And I don't think it's a four-month lead time now, maybe four weeks, but call Preston, and if you are needing something quickly they can probably figure something out. And I'll add that while there are some ACs who may still prefer the HU2, the majority of ACs I work and talk with now like the HU3, it's been out for years, has proven itself, and they prefer it.
My 2¢,
Matt
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#9 Markus Kuballa

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:32 AM

Do you think there is any operational advantage over either Preston or Cmotion or if theres a bigger following in Europe on teh Cmotion over Presion. My guess is hare are still more PReston users worldwide tehn CMotion ?


I haven't seen any Preston on set here in Germany. It was all cmotion or Arri. I loved the one channel Preston I tested on cinec last time though and am still considering buying one.
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#10 James Davis

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:43 AM

Do you think there is any operational advantage over either Preston or Cmotion or if theres a bigger following in Europe on teh Cmotion over Presion. My guess is hare are still more PReston users worldwide tehn CMotion ?


I haven't seen any Preston on set here in Germany. It was all cmotion or Arri. I loved the one channel Preston I tested on cinec last time though and am still considering buying one.


I've got a Preston Single channel set-up and every AC who has used it so far has commented on how much they love it and how they love it's compact size and the fact that it feels as nice as the HU3 hand unit without being as big and bulky.
Most reliable piece of kit I have ever owned and I can honestly say that I have never once regretted buying it.

On the subject of Preston Vs C-motion

I've made a point of asking a few very experienced AC's recently what their thoughts are on C-motion versus Preston, both are pretty readily available over here in England and every single one so far has said they prefer Preston.

They've said things like "simpler better laid out User Interface/Menu/buttons"

and many have said they prefer the feel of the focusing wheel on all preston units over C-motion, which some have said feels stiffer, more like a normal rail mounted follow focus as opposed to the slick/free feel of the focusing wheel on a Preston.

It's all personal opinion I guess but in my opinion Preston just do it better.

Edited by James Davis, 20 March 2012 - 09:44 AM.

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#11 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:21 AM

For all the reasons above, Preston...

Plus I'd add that my Preston has made me a LOT of money over the past 14 years.

Not saying that the C motion is not awesome and will not make you a lot of money but there are a whole lot of operators on this forum that make their mortgage payments in part because of their Preston.
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#12 Bryant Swanstrom

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:14 PM


And I don't think it's a four-month lead time now, maybe four weeks, but call Preston, and if you are needing something quickly they can probably figure something out. And I'll add that while there are some ACs who may still prefer the HU2, the majority of ACs I work and talk with now like the HU3, it's been out for years, has proven itself, and they prefer it.
My 2ยข,
Matt




10 weeks on mine, starting yesterday.

:-(
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#13 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:14 AM

10 weeks on mine, starting yesterday.

:-(


Check in regularly, they often get parts completed faster then expected. Also they may be ready to ship everything in a few weeks, excepting a DM-2 motor or something... obviously not a complete setup if that was included in your order, but you could get started, or get a DM-1x and DM-4, etc. Just depends what they are behind on.

-Matt
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#14 chris bangma

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

The Cmotion has been around longer than people think. The first couple Arri LCS generations were built by the Cmotion guys. They split off to do their own thing. My experiences with the Cmotion have never been good. The wireless is not as robust as the Preston. Even with the latest software and hardware, it still suffers from RF issues.
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#15 Pedro Guimaraes SOC

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:25 PM

Well......i have owned my Cmotion Cvolution 8motor system since dec 2010

So far I have had Zero issues with it.

Makes money for me in 2D shows and is constantly out on 3D productions.

Everybody has been happy with it.

No complaints from me.

compatible with cinetape, arritape, preston motors, LDS, Alexa.....many advance features.

Don't regret my decision for a min. My bank account is also happy.

Just my .02 cents and experience thus far.
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