What is the focusbug CINE RT?

Accurate real-time distance measuring & more for Focus Pullers


The CineRT system from Focusbug is not just one device, but actually a whole set of devices that all work together to help First ACs nail their focus every time in almost any shooting conditions. The Focusbug also integrates directly into handheld wireless focus units like ARRI’s Hi-5, further enhancing a focus puller’s existing toolset for setting marks, tracking focus, and more.

Ultrasonic Base Sensor, a.k.a. the “Horns”

The first item in the set of Focusbug devices that will catch most people’s eye is the Ultrasonic Base Sensor, which is the pair of cone-shaped “horns” that sit on top of the camera. At the base of the cones are small ultrasonic emitters that send out a high-frequency sound wave and detect distance in real time by measuring how long the sound takes to bounce back, like echolocation.

Handset Control Unit

This device is the main user interface, where ACs can use the touchscreen to see the current distance measurements, set custom parameters, view or alter their marks, and more. It can also be used as an ultrasonic tape measure to create marks, giving focus pullers a way to work faster than ever before. If your Focusbug is paired to a hand unit like the Hi-5, you’ll also be able to instantly see the marks that you’ve collected on your digital focus scale.

High-Bright LED Display

Probably the simplest device in this collection, the High-Bright LED Display shows your current distance measurement– that’s it, really! These can be mounted on a camera, at a focus station, a DIT station, or anywhere else, so that whoever needs to see focus distance in real time can do so. With two or more High-Brights, you can also monitor two distance readouts at once.

Ultrasonic “Bug” Transmitter

The “Bug” is another ultrasonic measurement device in CineRT’s arsenal, and can be easily hidden in an actor’s pocket or under a shirt. When the Bug is set as the tracking source, rather than simply measuring to whatever first object with which the sound makes contact, you measure distance to the Bug specifically. This can be very useful during scenes with lots of movement, for instance, when people may be passing through the foreground. You can also pair up to 4 Bugs at once, letting you track distance to multiple subjects.


PRO TIP: The Bug can also be worn by assistants or stand-ins as another way to quickly collect marks!

More Resources

Below is a quick overview video from CineRT, which shows what these tools actaully look like in practice. For a more thorough guide on how to use the Focusbug's many features, click here for CineRT's full playlist of instructional videos. And as always, if you're looking to get hands-on with the CineRT Focusbug or any of our other electronic accessories, give us a call and come check it out for yourself at CineMechanics!