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A-Z //


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.


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

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.