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WCU4/FIZ3


Brandon Harris
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I took delivery of both units (single SXU and three channel WCU4 Arri units) and I'm not regretting either purchase one bit. The motors are strong (CLM4). The ergonomics are comfortable and light. Direct plug and play into Alexa Plus/XT. Compatible with all cameras using UMC4 or SMC1. Handset lens mapping with new firmware. Compatible with my Cinetape without the cost of the $700 cable. Vibrating handset marks. Anyone who says the vibrating marks are distracting are not using them in the right situations. I use them all the time. And, the biggest selling point is the ability to change multiple camera settings wirelessly through the WCU4 handset like the old wired 435 RCU (white balance, framerate, shutter, EI, monitor out functions, 3 user buttons, and auto focus tracking with the Cinetape. Cranes, camera cars, helicopters, handheld, etc. There was a range issue with some of the beta units. This was due to an antenna that was not powerful enough. Arri has fixed this problem with newer, stronger antenna upgrades and all new units are being shipped with no range issues (including mine). Not sure what else to say. I went to order a Preston. They told me 8 months or more for delivery. I ordered my WCU4 and UMC4 and pretty much got everything in less than 2 months. I took a leap of faith. I'm happy. It looks and works reliably like all the professional Arri cameras and accessories did and do for the past I don't know how many decades. Preston may have had the market up until now but, Arri has now made a unit that can truly compete and possibly surpass once the word gets around. It may be a slow process. There are many stubborn, old school assistants out there that will live and die with their Prestons. Don't get me wrong, Prestons are and have been work horses. But, as I see it, the future may show Preston will no longer have the whole market cornered.

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Trying to figure out if I should be buying an Arri or Preston Focus System?

 

I mostly shoot on Red Epics, but occasionally work on shoots with Alexa XT/Mini.

 

50% of my work is Macro Food & Jewelery on Jibs, Dollies etc and the other 50% is Movi for Aerial and Handheld.

 

I really am leaning to go with the Preston HU3 and the new MDR4 because it seems to be there first lightweight receiver option and all i worked on a Sony set in Pittsburgh and the whole crew 3 cameras was all Preston and were definitely enthusiastic about them!

 

I did play with WCU4 on an Alexa Mini shoot for Fox sports during the World Series and was by far the nicest handset I've ever held.

 

Really could use some input from other experienced professionals!

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They are both high end systems and both work well. Obviously the WCU-4 has some advantages when using Arri cameras.

In terms of protecting your investment and where everything is going you just have to look at the number of Preston units

currently being sold on all the usual forums and you'll have a good idea :-)

That being said: If you do want that Preston this is certainly a good time to snatch one up.

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They are both high end systems and both work well. Obviously the WCU-4 has some advantages when using Arri cameras.

In terms of protecting your investment and where everything is going you just have to look at the number of Preston units

currently being sold on all the usual forums and you'll have a good idea :-)

 

That being said: If you do want that Preston this is certainly a good time to snatch one up.

I originally was thinking Preston Preston Preston, but after looking into the Arri system more there AMC-1 and CForce Mini Motors being ultra compact for gimbal work and still FIZ if I need to with RED and ultimate Arri Control without an MDR I'm having trouble wanting to go the Preston route.

 

I'm going to a nearby rental house to test out both units next week.

 

If anyone else had other feedback I'd be happy to hear from someone who's more experienced than I am Ive got a very open mind.

 

Would potentially want to be setup to pull focus for features that come into town as well...

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