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A-Z //


Photography Kit

For years we have mainly been a moving image camera hire company. The majority of the cameras and lights that we stocked were for TV and online video production. Sure over the years we’ve had a few Canon 5D’s but they were limited in numbers, and the lighting we focused on having in stock for rental was all constant lighting for production. But with the opening of our inhouse Photographic Studio at our base in Hackney, we thought it was the right time to expand our rental fleet to service those in the photography realm. And so with that, we are pleased to announce that we now stock strobe lighting kits, soft boxes, photography backdrops and optical snoots. Of course, we still have stills cameras including the Canon 5D range and also the Sony Sony A7s cameras. Along with the tripods and lenses that we have always stocked, we can now fulfil the needs of photographers looking to hire that little extra for their next shoot.

And don’t forget, the best bit is that when you hire any kit from Alias for use in our Studio, you get an automatic 25% discount. Not bad right. If you would like to learn more about the photographic equipment rental we offer, or if you are thing about booking The Studio At Alias, email us at info@aliashire.co.uk.

Our Green Thumb

Doing our part.

The team at Alias are very focused on reducing and improving the impact the business has on the World around us. Our Carbon Footprint both as a business and individuals is a very important topic right now and not one that should be ignored or waved away without care or concern. If we all made a stronger effort to tackle climate change it would make a huge impact. But sadly, not all people around the World are as keen to focus on the situation which is why it’s important for those who are doing what they can to promote a positive message for change. That’s why it’s important to talk about and share the fantastic work of organisations that are bringing about change within industries. Within our industry, we are incredibly proud or organisations such as Albert and initiatives such as The Green Pledge in Film and TV Rental Houses. Focus points like these help spread the word and bring companies inline with shared goals and targets for an improved future.

Firstly we would like to say that we are very honoured to be part of the Albert Certified Suppliers. We have had a focus over the last few years to improve our carbon footprint and the changes we have made have been impactful. We are a Climate Positive workforce having teamed up with Ecologi to offset our employees Carbon Emissions. We use a certified waste disposal company to take care of all office wastage and we separate recyclables and non-recyclables in house using our recyclable waste bins. We also entirely dispose all of our batteries, from AA types to V-Lock style, into a specific battery recycling program via a certified battery recycling partner. Some of our kits use AA Batteries. We encourage our clients to use rechargeable AA Batteries but if that is not a possibility we ask that our clients return any unwanted batteries to us so we can dispose of them using our certified battery recycling partner.

Our energy supply is largely based on the building infrastructure so unfortunately it’s not possible for us to create renewable energy such as solar etc, but where possible we have LED lighting or energy saving light bulbs in place with a goal to have all inhouse lights LED by the end of 2021. Our current Electricity supplier is increasingly moving to renewable fuels. Between April 2019-March 2020, 76% of their fuel came from Renewable sources. We turn off all possible lights and PC’s when not in use to lower our Carbon Footprint.

We have recently upgraded our delivery vehicle to meet the Ultra-Low Emission requirements. This was done in part with the scrappage scheme from TFL to improve the air quality within London. Our future goal is to move towards a fully electric vehicle to further reduce our impact.

We used to wrap the majority of our items before dispatch to prove equipment has been properly cleaned and checked in plastic. Since 2019 we have reduced our single use plastic by 95%. In July 2021 we ended our single use plastic need, and are now using Glassine Envelopes or reusable plastic bags to wrap items. We are steadily increasing the number of LED lighting kits, and decreasing the number of standard bulb lighting kits in our equipment rental service.  Since 2018 we have halved our printing needs with paper dispatch notes, and hope to go fully paper free with regards to dispatch notes in 2021.

We definitely can’t say we are anywhere near as green as we want to be as a company, but we have the goals and drive to be. We know what we want to change to further continue in our quest to be a company that has little to no negative impact on the World. And we want you to join us on that quest. If you as an individual or company have not yet started with your green thumb, it’s not too late. Check out Albert or other organisations that help promote change. Ecologi is a great way to offset your staffs carbon emissions. And once you start the change, spread the word. Once we all get on the road, it will be a greener future.

Alias Hire.

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

We have implemented new safety protocols for Alias for the reopening of the office following the Covid-19 lock down. The below outlines what we have implemented in house and the changes to our day to day practices to ensure our staff and clients remain safe.

  • All employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Only essential staff will operate in the office.
  • For staff who will be based in the office, PPE will be provided including gloves and masks.
  • Staff will regularly wash and or sanitise their hands.
  • Staff will follow strict hygiene practices and maintain social distancing where possible.
  • Staff who must travel to work via public transport will wear masks and gloves.
  • Equipment that is returned from hires will where possible enter into a quarantine period.
  • Equipment will be cleaned before and after hires using disinfectant spray and alcohol wipes.
  • Clients will no longer be allowed into the building when collection equipment. Equipment will be brought to the loading bay where it can then be collected by the client.
  • For anyone essential visitors entering the building, strict hygiene practices and social distancing will be observed.
  • Our office will be regularly cleaned.
  • If Alias provide any deliveries, the staff member will be wearing PPE and will not be permitted into the clients location, and transfer of goods must be made in a external location.

Please note that during these uncertain times while we return to a more normal way of working, the office will be operating on reduced hours. This means that for any last minute hires not pre booked that have to be collected while the office is closed, there will be a minimum charge hire fee of £100 + vat. This will be a short situation until we can safely bring back all of our staff and return to normal operating hours.

Coronavirus (covid-19)

As the Coronavirus (covid-19) continues to spread worldwide, we want you to know that Alias is taking steps to help prevent the spread via staff, clients and kit. We have implemented steps already within our day to day operations. These include:

  • Hand sanitising gel. We have this in stock in our office for staff and customers as they enter the building.
  • Staff are requested to continually wash their hands throughout the day.
  • Our technical staff have rubber gloves and Alcotip 70% Alcohol Swabs for cleaning equipment.
  • Staff will be required to self-isolate if any potential symptoms arise.
  • We have asked our staff to refrain from physical contact such as hand shakes with clients. Please don’t take it personally.
  • Our delivery driver has been requested to limit contact with clients upon delivery and collection.

We will be remaining open unless we are ordered to close. If you have any questions you can get in touch with us on 020 7436 3060

The Year Ahead

We’re now well into 2020 and Christmas will be here before we know it. But what does the year ahead hold for us at Alias? And what do we think will be most popular hire items?

This year we’re continuing to take active steps to become greener in our day to day operation. We feel it’s very important for everyone to lower their carbon footprint. We’ve already implemented some steps in this journey including charging for single use AA batteries in the hope that this will encourage users to move to rechargeable batteries. We’ll soon have made the switch from single use wrapping plastic to biodegradable plastic which is a big one for us. We’ve always prided ourselves on the presentation of our equipment when we deliver and having loose items wrapped lets clients know that equipment has been checked and tested before being sent to them. But the plastic that was used over the last few years has been a talking point recently and we are excited to be moving to a planet friendlier option by upgrading to a degradable option.

Also for this year, we’re planning on investing in both new equipment and new staff. We’ve already added new kit to our shelves this year with the recent purchase of multiple Aladdin LED lights, but we’ve already got our list together for the next round of purchases including the new Sony PXW-FX9 camera. Released at the end of 2019, we’re expecting the FX9 to be the next big thing on the hire market and we already have plans in place for several units to join our hire stock. Building from the popular Sony PXW-FS7 and FS7 m2, the FX9 will be the natural progression for those already familiar and using the FS7. There will be a price difference when hiring, so we still expect the FS7’s to be busy this year as they have been for the last few, but the FX9 will ramp up as the year progresses and we are very excited about this camera.

The Canon C300mkii cameras have been busy already for us this year and we expect that to continue as they are perfect for mulit camera and series shoots. They are easy to use and like the FS7’s, you can build your perfect rig to make it work for you.

We’re very excited with how the Studio at Alias has been growing in popularity. The Photography Studio Room located at our base on Well Street in Hackney is a perfect setup for those looking to do a range of shoots. Some of the types of photographic shoots that have taken place at our studio in 2019 are product photography, portraits, social media ads and even a music video. We love our little studio and we’re very excited for what shoots will take place here this year.


Ben Solo Challenge

We thought we’d have a little go at the Ben Solo Challenge that was making the rounds. How do you think we did?

The challenge had fans around the world showing off their own version of Ben Solo’s shrug from Star War The Rise of Skywalker.

Shot on the Canon C300mkii and lit with 1x Kino Flo Celeb 250 LED light. Enjoy

GoPro Hero 8

So here comes another. The GoPro Hero 8 is now out and it’s time to move to the next model already. Boy, time flies doesn’t it. Especially when it comes to GoPro. We’ll be on the 20 before we know it.

So what does the GoPro 8 offer us? Well we have the usual waterproof body, in-built stabilisation, touch screen and voice control. But what else. Well the 8 offers folding fingers on the base which means you don’t actually need to us a frame to mount the GoPro on to clamps, straps, rods and what ever other accessory you may have in your arsenal. So actually, that is pretty cool, because having to take the unit in and out of the frame did get a little tiresome when having to change batteries and cards.

But what else is there to know? The GoPro Hero 8 is waterproof to 33ft (10m). The Black Edition has three levels of stabilization — On, High and Boost—so you can pick the best option for whatever you do. You can take 12MP photos with improved HDR—while in motion or stationary—with reduced blur and serious detail even in low-light areas.

What does this mean for the rental market? Well, Alias still do very well out of the GoPro 4, GoPro 5 and GoPro 7. But we know like all new things, there will be demand to hire the GoPro Hero 8 in London. Currently we do the GoPro 4’s at £30 + vat per day, and the GoPro 5 and 7 and £50 + vat per day. Expect the GoPro Hero 8 to be at the same ball park as the 5 and 7 with those cameras even taking a reduction in the daily rental prices soon.

The GoPro 8 will be as all of the previous GoPros a much requested item on productions. What’s great is that the mounting connectors remain the same which means you can still use all of the straps and mounts we hire out.

If you need to get hold of the GoPro Hero 8 for hire in London then get in touch. We’re based in Hackney, East London and are a Camera rental company that has been around for 2 decades.

Lighting Options

Brighten up your shoot with lighting options from Alias.

As the shorter days and lack of bright sunshine kicks in for the winter period, you may need that extra little bit of light for your shoot. At Alias, we don’t just hire cameras, we try and cover everything including lighting. We have a wide range of lights to hire from small LED toplights all the way to large and powerful HMI’s for when you need that extra kick. Brands in our lighting stock include Rotolight, LitePanel, Arri, KinoFlo, F&V, Dedolight and more.

Certainly the most popular lights that we hire are the 1×1 LED Bi-Colour Panel lights that we have across 3 separate brands. These lights are easy to use, lightweight for when small shooting packages matter and can be powered by Vlock battery or mains. Oh and when you hire with Alias, we include the batteries and lighting stands at no extra cost.

If you are after something bigger, then check out our Arri HMI range. We stock the 1.2K and 2.5K HMI but we can source through suppliers very easily a whole host of Arri lighting and HMI’s.

KinoFlo Divas and 4fts are also popular with our clients, often in a studio or interview set up where you need a good balance and throw of light. If you need something soft then the Dedolight Octodome is a winner. It comes with a Tungsten and Daylight head in the kit as standard so you can choose what best suits your set up.

A brand of lighting that we absolutely love is Rotolight. A British company who work so hard in creating some of the best lights in the filming and photographic world. We stock Anovas, Anova Pro’s and Neos. If you have not tried them yet we would highly recommend that you do. When we do inhouse shoots we love using the Rotolights because not only do they give a beautiful light, but they also look beautiful so if they sneak into shot it is not a problem.

So what ever your lighting needs are for your shoot, you can probably find what you need with us. And if you can’t we can probably find it for you. So get in touch with us and let us know what lighting kit you wish to book. Or let us know what you think we should have in stock that we don’t currently have. You can check out our full list of lighting here.

Alias Hire is a camera and lighting rental company based on Well Street, Hackney in East London. We offer professional equipment and great prices and with great service. We’ve been providing kit to the Broadcast industry for 2 decades.

Going Greener

In a bid to do our part with helping the planet become healthier for all living life, we’re announcing our environmental policies for you to read as we make changes in our working world so we can do our part.

We use a certified waste disposal company to take care of all office wastage and we separate recyclables and non recyclables in house using our recyclable waste bins. We also entirely dispose all of our batteries, from AA types to V-Lock style, into a specific battery recycling program via a certified battery recycling partner.

In an effort to make the planet greener, we are going to try and reduce the number of single use AA batteries in our kits. To do this, from December 1st 2019 we will start charging for each battery used or not returned to us still sealed.  We want to promote you using your own rechargeable batteries to help the environment. We will still supply batteries with any of our equipment that requires them, but there will be a 50p per battery surcharge for each battery used.

Our energy supply is largely based on the building infrastructure so unfortunately it’s not possible for us to create renewable energy such as solar etc however but where possible we have LED lighting or energy saving light bulbs in place. We turn off all possible lights and PC’s when not in use to lower our Carbon Footprint.

We have upgraded our delivery vehicle to meet the Ultra Low Emission requirements. This was done in part with the scrappage scheme from TFL to improve the air quality within London.

We currently wrap our items before dispatch to prove equipment has been properly checked. From December 31st, our wrapping material will be biodegradable.

We are steadily increasing the number of LED lighting kits, and decreasing the number of standard bulb lighting kits in our equipment rental service.

Since 2018 we have halved our printing needs with paper dispatch notes, and hope to go fully paper free with regards to dispatch notes in 2020.

Sony PXW-FX9

Well, it’s happened. Sony have just announced the next big thing…maybe. The Sony PXW-FX9 is the natural progression from the camera that has dominated the handheld market for the last few years, the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7ii. Boasting a Full Frame 6K Sensor and 4K Recording, the FX9 ergonomically is very much born out of the FS7. The FX9 combines the technology of their Venice series, FS series and the Alpha camera creating a hybrid that could further bridge the gap between everyday TV shooting and digital cinema.

Upgrades to the FX9 include the 6K dual native ISO sensor, upgraded auto-focus ca[abilities and something that we’re very happy to hear here at Alias, built in timecode and genlock. We’ll be having a more in depth investigation into this announcement at IBC this weekend, but rumours are the units will start shipping this December. How quickly will this camera catch on in the market? Tough to say. There is not a huge need for 6K at the moment but there will always be those looking to future proof their content.

For now here is a quick look at some of the specs but expect more info next week. Stay tuned.




HDMI Output: Yes

Recording Media: SD card, XQD

Resolution: 6008×3168

SDI Output: Yes

Video Resolution: 4K

Lens Mount: Sony E

Sensor Resolution (Mega Pixels): 35.7MP

Sensor Size: S 35mm

Weight: 0-2kg

XLR Audio Input: Yes

IBC 2019

The Benefits of Trade Shows.

Are you heading to IBC in Amsterdam this weekend? We are. And we’ll tell you why. With our industry being heavily based in technology it’s important for a company like ours to make sure we stay informed and top of current trends, new equipment, new brands and new technologies. The fundamentals of making programs and films are very simple. Film, record, edit, post. But’s it’s the equipment behind those stages that are forever changing and right now in this age of rapid expansion and development, that equipment seems to have a fairly short shelf life until the next big thing comes pouring on to the shelves.

Being a hire company, we have to be both proactive, and reactionary. We have to assess what we believe will be the next hot ticket item which can often mean gambling to get ahead of the competition and be on the forefront of what every one will be demanding. And that in turn moves us nicely on to being in a reactionary business. We may see a new piece of kit or brand and think that won’t take off, but at the end of the day if the client base is calling for it, we have to be able to provide it. And that is why it’s important for Alias to stay up to date on all new releases so that we know what it is the clients are calling for.

We’re excited to see what IBC 2019 holds. We’ll be on the ground this weekend visiting the exhibitors that we know, and those that we don’t to make sure we are well versed in what is announced. If you are going to be there and want to say hello, be sure to book us in to your schedule. We’ll be roaming the floors Saturday.

Stay tuned though as next week we’ll have our report back from IBC. What excited us; what announcements were made and what new kit was released that may be of interest.

Summer Filming

It’s hot. Boy it’s super hot. I mean melting to my seat hot. But hey, the show must go on. Shoots have to be done, programs have to be made. But what do you need to think about when filming in this sort of sunshine and heat. First off, I’ll be mum and say drink plenty of water and apply plenty of sun cream. Now that is out of the way, what considerations need to be made equipment wise?

Let’s start with shading from the sun. If you are hiring kit or taking your own kit on a shoot, make sure your lenses have sunshades and if possible UV filters. ND’s wouldn’t be a bad idea either. If you are using monitors on a shoot and it’s outdoors, make sure it comes with a sunshade. In this sort of summer sun it will be a struggle to see anything without one. If you are planning on using the LCD on a camera and it does not come with an attachable eyepiece, look at getting in a sunhood. We stock a variety of sunhoods for LCD screens for cameras such as the Canon C300 and C300mkii, Sony PMW-200 and the Canon XF305.  What about bigger sun protection? We hire out EZ up tents to give the kit and crew a bit of protection when out on location.

What about when it comes to keeping cool? For this I would say, if you are planning on using lighting either inside or out at location (if needed) try going for LED over standard bulb related lights. It will cut down dramatically on the heat that the lighting equipment would kick off. We have a wide range of LED lights that you can find here.

Beyond these tips, have a few ice lollies.

Stay sun safe people.


DJI Ronin SC Hire

So another product has been announced by DJI, which will mean another wave of enthusiasm for the handheld gimbal stabilizers. This time it’s the DJI Ronin SC. Also known as the shrunk down version of the DJI Ronin S. But why another one? Well, the Ronin S, although a good unit wasn’t quite small enough for some users. It’s longer body wasn’t all that easy to pack down as compared to say, the Zhiyun Crane. That is a one hand gimbal stabilizer that could be packed down easily into a backpack or camera bag. The Ronin S though, was still a tad to long in the shaft and that I believe lost them a bit in the market for small stabilizers. But fear not DJI fans, you can now sell off what ever small handheld unit you’ve had and upgrade to the Ronin SC. But what do you need to know about it? Why should you go crazy for this item. Well here are some details on the unit.

With a lightweight design and superior stabilization, Ronin-SC is a 3-axis stabilizer for mirrorless cameras, allowing users to create professional footage with ease. Ronin-SC is built for mirrorless cameras, while Ronin-S is a professional handheld stabilizer designed for large and heavy cameras such as DSLRs and larger mirrorless cameras. Compared to Ronin-S, Ronin-SC is lighter, easier to carry, and more flexible when moving quickly while filming.

The optimal payload for this unit as tested by DJI, performs the best when mounted with a payload of 2.0 kg or less. The Ronin-SC can be used up to 11 hours when the battery is fully charged and the gimbal is well balanced.

You can check out the compatibility list for the DJI Ronin SC here.

So the question you are really asking, is when can I hire the DJI Ronin SC in London? The answer is soon hopefully. I’m sure the rental market will be inundated with these units as the DJI Ronin series and other gimbal systems such as Zhiyun have been so popular within the hire community. Stay tuned for more info.

Mark Wilson

The Studio at Alias – Photography and Filming

How’s it gone so far?

By Mark Wilson – Ops Manager

Towards the end of 2018, we embarked on a new venture for Alias by turning our training room into a multi-purpose room. It continues to be our training space for the courses run by our Alias Academy department but what we have done is created a wide open space for use as a photography and filming studio. Now don’t get me wrong, we haven’t been able to soundproof the room as of yet which means drama scenes won’t work. But if you are wanting to do some product filming or photography then this room is perfect. We created a large white background wall but the room is more than large enough to use a 12ft colorama for use as a backdrop. Photography is a doddle in this room. We have 2 windows in the room with black out blinds which allows you to be able to control the light with your own lighting systems, or lights from our hire department if required. Which leads me on to one of the big plus points for why our studio clients like using our room. Having a fully equipped camera and lighting hire company on site is a big plus. If you have forgotten to bring something or need that little bit extra, then not having to wait for an hour for more to kit to arrive is a real bonus. We also offer 25% discount off rate card for any of our equipment hired for use within the studio.

Being based on Well Street in East London, we are surrounded by other photography studios but we never launched this studio to take over the world. We made the decision to create this in-house studio so that we can offer that little bit more to our existing client base and potentially meet some new photographers and videographers along the way. We often have clients come in and spend time with us so we are no stranger to hospitality but what we wanted to do was create a space for those using the studio where they can chill out and not have to worry about the day to day operation of a hire company that is going on around them. So we created the Green Room, a space solely for those using the studio where they can prep or relax. The room features a desk, sofa, ironing board and iron, steamer and makeup mirror.

We are proud of the room we have created and the feedback from those who have used the studio has been very positive, but we know there is plenty of room to grow. It’s going to be an exciting year for us and our studio. The experience has been good so far and we don’t expect that to change. We’re very happy for visitors to come by and see the Studio before committing to hiring it to make sure it is exactly what they want. So if you are interested, then book in a time and pop by and see us in our Hackney office.

You can find out more about our photography studio details here

Who Misses Simple Camera Setups?

Ops Manager Mark Wilson takes a retrospective look at what Camera Setups in hire used to be.


Who else misses the days of simple camera setups and kits like the Sony PMW EX1 and Canon XF305?

Cameras that were built for you to take straight out of the bag and press record. No fuss, just do the job. Then we had the DSLR revolution and we entered into a whole new world of cameras. The ‘body only’ camera where you buy all of your accessories separately dependent on what the user wants.

I approach this question from a kit hire perspective because that has been my world for nearly ten years. My initial answer is yes. Hell yes! I miss the simplicity of an order from a client being camera, tripod, top mic and radio mic. They were the good old days because it was all uniform and simple.

But if I was answering that question from the shooters perspective then my answer would be no I don’t miss it. We live in an exciting world where the possibilities are endless for creating an amazing camera set up, how can you not be excited about the ability to personalise what you shoot with. There are so many different companies creating bolt on accessories and lets not forget about the myriad of lenses to choose from. It really has become a big world.

However, this does cause some issues when hiring kit. Hire companies face an ongoing struggle to have in stock every camera, every lens and every accessory that every individual user wishes to use. Gone are they days of buying the same mic in bulk or the same tripod in bulk, because client 1 may not want to use what client 2 does. This is a struggle that I’m well aware of. I often get requests for the most obscure piece of kit that no one stocks. It then becomes a test to fulfill the clients needs with what is available. Thankfully at Alias, we can usually cover every aspect of what a shooter needs, even if its not the brand or style the client was originally after.

This is the camera world we now live in. Choice. It has it’s positives and it’s negatives. But we’ll keep helping to fulfill clients shooting package needs. We’ll keep offering choice as long as you keep shooting. And if you do miss the simple shooting kits, we still offer Sony PMW EX1 and Canon XF305 for hire. #workhorses

IBC 2017 – Danny’s Views

You can now read MD Danny Dawson’s views of his 2017 IBC experience on the front page of Octobers Broadcast Film & Video. If you didn’t get the hard copy, then you can check out the digital version via this link.

Danny was on location in Amsterdam to see all of the new products that were on show.



Buy or Hire?? Camera Kit for Productions

Buy or Hire???

by Mark Wilson (Manager)

As a manager at a kit hire company, one would expect me to immediately say hire, never buy. But that is not the case. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never a simple this or that answer. You always have to weigh up the pros and cons for each circumstance. Because every hire is different. It didn’t use to be though. 7 years ago when I first started in the hire industry, you had 5 items that would make up a kit and that was it. The client was happy. The booker was happy. It was an easier time. EX3, tripod, top mic, radio mic and cards. That’s the price. Done. And in that case I would say always hire. But now it’s a completely different ball game with all of the accessories and ‘build it yourself rigs’ that are available. Every shooter wants something different and this does put the pressure on the hire company to be able to stock and supply everything that is requested. So you have to take that in to account when making the decision. Can the hire company supply me with everything I need?

Of course the biggest factor in this question is cost. If you are shooting long term, would the cost of hire be as much, or more than the value of the kit to purchase. If so, then if funds are available for an outright purchase it would be a no brainer to buy, because if the kit was not needed after the production, the equipment can be sold on and you can make some of the initial outlay back. But what do you lose in buying kit, rather than hiring? The main thing would be peace of mind to know that if any issues arose with the kit while on a shoot, the hire company would replace or repair any item where a natural fault occurs, usually at little or no charge. Being able to have a technical team at the end of the phone to help with situations on location is always a bonus. Something that you may not have access to if you are not using a suppliers kit.  It’s also good to be able to build a kit list with someone who knows all of the various kit that is available. If you have a PD who is so well versed in all equipment that is on the market right now, then great. But if your PM or Coordinator is working from a loose kit list that they have to bring together for a production, being able to speak and liaise with a booker at a hire company allows for a much fuller kit list to be built.

If you do come to the point of measuring up costs between hire and purchase, do take into consideration all of the extras that may not be as obvious when purchasing. It’s not always as easy as googling the cost of a C300mkii body, lens, tripod and mic because more often than not there will be a lot of extra bits you need to purchase just to get the kit up and running. Things like batteries, memory cards, bags, grips, cables and all of the fun little bits that actually turn out to be quite expensive. Things that would normally come as standard with a kit when hiring or at a smaller price. This is again a pro to hiring, because more often or not, the little things have been thought of.

So my advice to those who are gearing up for a shoot or production and may face this question is do your homework. Get together a complete kit list of what your shooter will need and get the quotes from a hire company to rent, and sales company to buy. If the quotes come back and it’s a close call, then ask yourself, what will we do if there is a problem at any point with the kit? And can I afford to buy all of the equipment and related accessories upfront? The thought of buying and owning can be a tempting one, but from my experience of long shoots and productions is that items are constantly added during production that may not be thought of in pre-production. So purchase costs can inflate, whereas the cost to hire is often lower. And there is nothing like knowing you can call on someone to sort out any equipment problems that may arise.

TV Productions Looking to Hire Kit

To all Production Managers, Coordinators, Heads of Production and Execs looking to get kitted up for their upcoming shoot; you have found your supplier. At Alias, we pride ourselves on our personal touch. As soon as you contact us, we guide you all the way through the quotation period, to the kit arriving with you and support every aspect of your equipment hire till the end of the show. We can be reached 24 hours a day to make sure that whenever you need us, we’ll be there. You can be safe in the knowledge that if you have a question, we can answer it. If you have a request, we’ll do our utmost to fulfill it. We love getting to know those who we work with so we can truly meet and understand your needs. So whether it’s knowing you can talk to us daily, meet in person at our office or yours, or even catch up for a coffee or two we go the extra mile to make sure you trust and can rely on us.


But let’s not beat around the bush. Liking and trusting your kit supplier is one thing, budgets are another. Well we take that into consideration too. We know budgets are getting tighter and tighter so saving every penny helps. Our booking staff will work with you to help you get the best kit at the best price. Our low rates make us a great starting point anyway, but once you have built your final kit list, you’ll be able to see the saving you make and the great choice you will have made hiring from Alias.


Based in London’s East end, we operate our own delivery service in London at rates far lower than conventional courier services. If you need kit outside of London, we can always deliver using outside courier firms to reach you. We currently supply kit to the South Coast, Midlands, Leeds and Scotland. We are known Nationwide and have been operating for well over 15 years. We provide a wide range of production kit including Cameras, Lenses, Audio, Grips, Lighting as well as Drone rental and Crewing facilities.  Our main focus is being able to provide equipment to TV productions and shows shooting on cameras such as Sony PXW FS7, Canon C300 mki and mkii, Canon XF305, Sony PMW 200 and more. Our equipment room includes close to 100 cameras so if you are doing a multi camera shoot, we should be fairly well covered to supply your needs.  Our training arm, Alias Academy run practical and theory courses in production and post production throughout the year so if your shooters need a little extra tuition  before the production, we can help with that too.


We know it’s tough to use a new supplier, but we can say that if you give us a try, you won’t regret it. You’ll feel like your equipment hire requests are in good hands. We’ll look after you and make the hire process as easy and hassle free as possible. Just ask any of our longstanding clients who continue to use us no matter what production company they move to. Give us a call and see for yourself. We’re looking forward to speaking to you.

SWS17 – 10/11th June

Alias Hire brings you a fantastic deal to lighten up the British Summer Weekends. Every Friday we announce equipment available to you at 50% off rate card price, simply by quoting SWS17 when booking. Check back every Friday to see what kit qualifies for that weekend.

Discounted Rates for June 10/11th. Collect Friday pm, return Monday am.

Canon C300 mkii EF         £90
Canon XC10                   £45
Sony PMW EX3                 £40
Sony PMW EX1                 £35
Panasonic HPX 250            £65
JVC GY-HM600E              £60
3 Head Dedo kit              £40
Kino Flo Diva                £22
1×1 LED Panel light          £27
2K Fresnel                   £17

Prices quoted exclude Vat. T+C’s apply. Open to existing account holders only.

NAB – The Alias Review by Mark Wilson

NAB 2016 was somewhat of a quiet affair with no new camera launches from the usual big players that would set the broadcast world alight, but that dear readers is not a bad thing at all from our point of view. Over the last five years, companies such as Sony, Canon, Arri, Blackmagic and others have been throwing a new must have model in our face at every possible chance. So to have no new announcements came as a welcome breather which allowed us at Alias Hire to spend time focusing on finding the items that make their current cameras even better.

Our first visit on Monday morning was to the Canon stand. As we did in 2015, we booked ourselves in for the first appointment of the morning. Alias have a great history with Canon and their products, so we wanted to get all the details and see what they had brought along to show off. Although they didn’t launch a new camera for the broadcast market, they did release an exciting new lens that peaked our interest immediately. The 18-80mm EF Servo lens is what we hope will be the start of a new wave of servo driven lenses that change the way we shoot on cameras such as the C300, C100 and C500. A Constant T4.4 across the focal range, this Super 35mm lens is a hybrid of the popular EF, Cinema and Cine-Servo lenses already available from Canon. It can be powered from the camera mount on the C300mkii or C100mkii and can control the zoom, focus and iris. It’s a lens we think many people will be looking forward to getting their hands on this year. Hopefully it will prove very popular so Canon can expand the range of this lens type.  Canon also showcased a lot of 8K research and development equipment including an 8K camera and monitor. Canon clearly want to be seen at the forefront of new technologies. From a personal point of view, I was blown away by the sheer detail shown on their 8K monitor. It was like no monitor I have ever seen.

We spent a lot of time on the Canon stand compared to Sony’s, purely because there was nothing new for us to look at. The Sony PXW FS7 is still a very popular camera for our market and with the FS5 being released in the latter half of last year, I don’t think Sony have any real need to introduce any new ‘camcorder’ cameras.  Having completed our visit to the big two, this meant we could really start our walk around the show and this is where the magic happens. This is where you go in blind and hope to stumble across something magical and that’s exactly what we did, but more on that later.

The stand that was difficult to miss due to its sheer size and colourfulness was the Atomos stand. It was here that they released the Flame series of monitor / recorder which included the Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame. Their key selling points being HDR (High Dynamic Range) monitoring capabilities. Using AtomHDR, a proprietary image processing technology that maintains vibrant colour whilst shooting in Log profile where bright scenes may cause banding or washout. Atomos did mention they would bring HDR monitoring to some existing products via a free download coming soon however they did point out it would not be as good as the Flame series because of the technical specs of the current machines, such as the Shogun.

There was a lot of LED lighting as you would expect at the show with brands from around the globe but the one we loved was from a home grown talent, Rotolight. They released the Rotolight Anova Pro which they were keen and excited to show us and we now know why. Improving on the original Anova, Rotolight have taken many of the SFX features from their Neo product and placed them into the Anova Pro along with a few extras including still photographer’s flash gun option where you can trigger a flash from a remote plugged into the back of the unit. You can also use a wide array of wired triggers from multiple manufacturers. We loved this light so much that we are hoping the first set of serial numbers 001 and 002 have our name on them.

A company that has really pushed its way to front of house at the trade shows over the last few years is DJI. Positioned next to the GoPro stand, DJI continues its drive to make products that are affordable, well built and appeal to the next generation of film makers. The DJI stand had a wide array of products including their range of Drones, the wonderful Osmo and very handy grip equipment that is already available but what caught my eye was an adapter plate to allows the X5 camera to be mounted to the OSMO along with the DJI Wireless remote follow focus unit. Hopefully soon they will release a chest mount for the OSMO as this little handheld gimbal camera has become a very popular unit in the hire market. For more info or to buy an OSMO or anything from the DJI range contact Dan Wheeler at PEC Video dan@pec.co.uk.

JVC were showing their PTZ remote heads as fixed cameras are becoming almost a mainstay in broadcast production at the moment, and while I’m on the subject of remote control units iFootage have multiple motorised attachments that can be used with their Shark Slider. A lightweight slider that we love and could quite possibly one of the best on the market at the moment, and we have loads of them.

Blackmagic released a beautiful and affordable 4K 7” monitor recorder in their Video Assist range. HD / Ultra HD monitoring and recording, with 6G-SDI and HDMI inputs. Recording to SD cards, this is a cost effective solution to the monitor / recorder world.

Beyond Blackmagic, is was great to explore the vast array of stuff that some may find boring but as a Hire Company manager it’s my job to check out bagging and packing solutions. Not only must our kit must be presented and packaged beautifully, it must arrive safely. So I always keep an eye out for items that will enhance our clients experience with us including, lightweight flight cases and camera back packs which are frequently requested.

Now, earlier I mentioned about stumbling across those magical items that you weren’t expecting but when you find them, you think to yourself “that’s brilliant, I need that!”. This year there were two for me. The first was the SyncBac from Timecode Systems. A BacPac for the GoPro that allows multiple units to have timecode synced from a master camera such as a C300. Available later this year, these BacPacs will clip directly onto the GoPro 4 and will fit snuggly into the Housing with the Back Door extension. It has its own internal battery so it will not feed off of the GoPros power and can be charged via USB. Having Timecode for a GoPro multiple camera shoot will come as a welcome addition to those who frequently use these as a setup. As soon as we stumbled across this stand we were blown away and were not surprised when Timecode Systems won the Innovation show award for NAB2016.  We look forward to these units being released and adding them to our hire stock.

The second ‘magical moment’ for me was stumbling across Rig Wheels at the end of the day on Wednesday. They were showcasing a lot of their magnetic mounts for cars which have been around for a little while, but their new release at the show left me impressed. The Cloud Mount is a magnetic mount that holds the DJI Ronin gimbal and camera. The plate that holds the Ronin is suspended between the magnets and Ronin with strong flexible wire so there is play in the mount so it can gently move when attached to the car to add to the smoothness of the shot along with the Ronin’s gimbal system. Alias stocks several DJI Ronin’s and Ronin M’s so this could also be a great addition to our hire fleet.

With the show coming to a close, and having covered the key equipment areas, it was time to look at future tech or tech that is currently outside of our comfort zone. A few years ago that would have been drones, not only for us but much of the industry so drones have since dominated the shows over the last two years as the gadget to show off. This year their presence was a much more drawn back affair. This time the new tech on the block was for 360º cameras and VR. Grouped together in the North Hall were lots of different companies showcasing their version of this technology with Nokia taking the lead. The technology is incredibly complex / easy (depending on your point of view) but amazing to see. The possibilities are endless with this immersive technology and it will be something Alias will be keeping its eye on the coming months.

We strive to stay at the forefront of new technologies so that our clients have access to the newest kit. Above are the key bits of it that we came across but did we miss anything?

Were you there? Did you see something that may be of interest to us? If so let me know me at mark@aliashire.co.uk.

Media Parents and Alias Hire

On Tuesday, 15th March Alias Hire partnered with Media Parents for a fun and informative Camera Workshop evening at Endemol Shine in West London. A fantastic turn out for the tech catch up where we showed off the new and popular cameras on the block including the Sony PXW FS7 and the Canon C300 mkii. MD Danny Dawson led the session with a technical but light overview of the FS7 and C300 mkii, pointing out the pros and cons of shooting with these cameras. The audience participation was great with questions from the floor and when the talk was finished we invited all to come and get hands on with the cameras and ask any further questions with Danny or our other staff members at the evening including Mark, Lawrie and Jon.

We met a lot of great people at the event and the feedback was fantastic. Many had not yet been up close with these cameras so to learn more and be able to play with the menu systems was invaluable for those wanting to progress in a technical industry where the technology is changing so rapidly. As with our current client base, we are more than happy for those wanting to spend a bit more time with kit that we own to come by one of our offices and spend some time with our technical staff. For those wanting to learn even more about specific cameras, kit or roles in the industry, our training department Alias Academy are constantly running courses that may be exactly what you are looking for. You can learn more about our training courses at www.aliasacademy.co.uk

This was our third event with Media Parents and every one of them has been a great evening. We would recommend you check Media Parents out, http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/

We very much expect that there will be many more evenings to come involving Alias and Media parents and we hope to see you at one in the future. In the meantime, email us at info@aliashire.co.uk or call us on 020 7436 3060 if you would like to book a time to come by, say hello and get a quick introduction to a particular piece of kit.

DJI Ronin Available to Hire

The DJI Ronin is now available to hire from Alias Hire in London. This amazing 3 axis gimbal system works perfectly with everything from Canon C300 to the Red Epic. Use it as a handheld system or on a movable rig; the DJI Ronin allows you to have the smoothest of movements. Made from precision machined aircraft-grade aluminum, the Ronin offers the durability to withstand rugged use on set and meets the high demand for reliability.

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Post BVE 2014

We at Alias genuinely had a good time at the BVE that has just passed. We did not drink, nor did we attend any of the parties. And it’s not as if we saw anything ‘new’ in terms of debut launches. The 4K camera from Black Magic, the Arri Amira, the wonderful soon to come updates for Sony’s XAVC are not new…so why the good time. I’m glad you (probably) thought of asking that.

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NHK Broadcasts 8K Super Hi Vision

So the whole world is going 4K bananas…and rightly so of course. If you haven’t seen true 4K then you are in for a REAL treat when you do as it is amazing. In fact, 4K demo footage in Curry’s (or indeed any other good electrical retailer of course) on Sony’s current 4K TV sets are stunning to say the least. Jumping ahead however, did you know that 8K is already making strides and is coming in the not to distant future. In fact, NHK plan to shoot and broadcast the Tokyo Olympics in 8K. If you’re wondering how, then this link should provide early information.

Click here to read more

Google Skate Park Ad

When Alias Hire moved to Hackney Wick we had a feeling that the area, as a whole, would eventually be something different from the time we moved in. Something more. Something better. We knew there was a migration of self expressing people to Hackney Wick. We knew that the area had seen better times in the not-too distant past and we always believed that better times were on the way. We felt that that there is not only a belief that things were turning for the better, but a whole new mindset with a drive to change the area whilst respecting the people, the buildings and the positive way of life that were here beforehand.

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Introducing the Sony PXW-Z100

The team attending IBC 2013 from Alias Hire always knew it was going to be busy, but now it’s a WHOLE lot busy!. Sony have launched a 4K handheld camera (it’s called the SONY PXW-Z100) and it looks like it’s the next step on the evolution ladder of  hand-held cameras. This is by no means a small thing (well actually, it is…look at the picture if you don’t believe me!). From the PD-150, Z1’s, EX-1’s and EX-3’s Sony have dominated the hand held camera market that is so widely used for broadcast. Canon took the lion’s share of that market with the still widely used and loved Canon XF-305 but Sony have been clawing their way back into the users hearts with the PMW-200 and the upcoming PMW-300.

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Blackmagic Cinema Camera packs ‘feature film’ 2.5K quality, touchscreen for £2,995

While Canon, Sony and Red have already stolen the show with new camera announcements here at NAB 2012, Blackmagic Design is trying to carve out a niche for its new Cinema Camera. Priced at £2,500, where the company sees this as differing from the competition is its ability to capture film quality video on its 2.5K sensor and output it to CinemaDNG RAW, ProRes and DNxHD file formats.

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