Anyone who has looked at a list of the top cameras used on professional cinematic productions will see that ARRI is always present – and a big presence at that. The ARRI ALEXA is one of the most loved cameras today, and historically ARRI cameras were some of the go-to picks for film cinematography.
Wondering how ARRI managed to cement itself as the industry standard for camera choice in professional productions? Check out this video from Camera Zone who breaks down how, even in a world with an increasing amount of competition from the likes of RED and even Blackmagic, ARRI is still considered the best.
History of ARRI and Hollywood
ARRI is based in Germany and was started in 1917. The first model that made an impact is the Arriflex 35 in 1936 and its follow-up II model was even more significant. It was popular and used on tons of well-known films. ARRI was used in a ton of films in the coming decades, like Easy Rider, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, The Shining, and more.
By 2017 – well into the digital era – around 80 percent of all major productions were using ARRI cameras. They have been and continue to be trusted in the cinema world. ARRI made amazing cameras and continues to do so. Also, since they are so well-known and respected, many cinematographers are more willing to stick with the brand they know before jumping over to many of the newer competitors.
Convenient Form Factor
ARRI has created a very good design that is optimized for professional filmmaking. The controls are all laid out clearly on the side for operators and large sets. The modern designs are based on decades of working directly with filmmakers and what their needs are for production.
Users can easily and quickly navigate menus and settings to get the job done right and as quickly as possible. Every minute costs a production a ton of money and any way to shave some time off helps.
Sensor & Video Quality
One thing you always hear about ARRI’s digital cameras is the quality of the video. A lot of this comes down to the sensor they chose and how they even doubled up on the same sensor for the ALEXA LF models. The image quality is top tier.
Plus, ARRI’s handling of the image is beautiful and natural. Many ARRI cameras didn’t even do 4K when it was becoming more and more popular, a strong point showing that the quality of the image matters a lot more than pure resolution.
Dynamic range is critical, and the ARRI system works similarly at all sensitivities. And, skin tones are considered to be the best in the business.
For digital workflows, ARRI developed its own ARRIRAW format. This codec contains as much information as possible from the sensor allowing for incredible flexibility in post. It retains ARRI’s distinct processing and the data is able to stay very clean even when pushed significantly in post. This ability to handle practically any grade a professional workflow might demand is critical.
That’s the short answer for why ARRI cameras are the industry standard. It’s impossible to deny that ARRI look.
[source: Camera Zone]