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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    The thing to keep in mind is if you're spending $50k on your camera for high end jobs, skimping on media by using what you already have to save say $3k probably isn't wisest thing to do. I went the safe route and stuck with approved media.
    Yeah, agreed. I was hoping that Arri might not care, as long as the card was VPG-130 certified. I do get why they would want to certify a smaller subset of cards 'though.


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    #12
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I believe just Sandisk and Lexar 3600x are officially approved by Arri. Other cards may work, but if they fail on set, and the client looks up the card, you can't say, "They were officially approved by Arri." In large part cards being approved by the camera manufacture is a way to avoid blame being thrown on you if something goes wrong with the card.

    I had a Lexar card malfunction on a C300 shoot, the client (producer) did some research, and brought up that he found an article saying the Lexar 3400x was not approved for the C300 and had had issues. Fortunately I was able to point out that I had the 3500x, not the 3400x, and the 3500x was approved by Canon, so the memory card having an issue was not my fault since I was using approved media. Then it just becomes something that happened and was dealt with, as opposed to the camera guy skimping on or choosing the wrong media for the job.


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    #13
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    I got the impression from another thread in the Arri forum that the camera won't even recognize an uncertified card:

    https://www.arri.com/forum/viewtopic...811d5a4f68ac1b

    On a related note, would you mind sharing how your Amira is configured? I asked a reseller for a sample setup (i.e,. camera and accessors) but they just gave me a configuration guide that lists everything. Not super useful.


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    #14
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fhammond View Post
    I got the impression from another thread in the Arri forum that the camera won't even recognize an uncertified card:

    https://www.arri.com/forum/viewtopic...811d5a4f68ac1b

    On a related note, would you mind sharing how your Amira is configured? I asked a reseller for a sample setup (i.e,. camera and accessors) but they just gave me a configuration guide that lists everything. Not super useful.
    Yeah, that's what I heard regarding the Sandisks before they updated the firmware. I suppose the newest firmware will recognize Sandisk cards now, but may still not recognize others such as Ego Disk, etc.

    Here's what my typical camera kit comes with. I've stuck with the Zacuto VCT Pro over the Amira shoulder rig; it has softer padding which I like. One of the Amira shoulder pieces is super hard and not to my liking as it's a pain to switch to Steadicam with it. The other one, the VCT setup, looks decent, but I think I prefer the Zacuto, plus I already had the Zacuto, so saving $800 didn't hurt.

    Arri Amira Premium
    EF Mount
    6x 256 GB Lexar CFast Cards w/reader
    Zacuto VCT Pro
    VCT Tripod Plate
    Shape Handles
    Shape handle Extensions
    1-3x Anton Bauer 90w (60-80 minute runtime each)
    3x Intellytech 280w AB Batteries (3-4 hour runtime)
    Dual battery charger
    SmallHD 702 High Bright Monitor w/Bright Tangerine or Zylight Articulating arm
    Canon 15.5-47 T/2.8
    Canon 30-105 T/2.8
    2x Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom Matte Boxes

    Here are some photos of my setup.







    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 02-13-2018 at 11:57 PM.


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    That Arri forum is lame and has no real community of people going there. DVXuser needs to make an Arri forum. I often have questions I'd like to ask a community about the camera, but don't have a good place to do so.

    Working on color in post with the Alexa? Never heard of that. You just bring it in and it looks perfect and there's no work left to do. It's amazing!

    [...]
    Haha, if that was true why do you still own Canon cameras? The C300 II with "Alexa" settings and the builtin Alexa => Rec709_EE in PP CC is pretty easy to grade, but I guess it's not foolproof. Loading C300 II clips in FCPX, the proper LUT is applied automatically.

    I agree it's beyond unbelievable that you can't use a LUT for playback on the C300 II! That's a very telling sign of management/engineering and a lack of a product/cognitive-engineering element in their company. That said, having worked many years in corporate/software/tech, you wouldn't believe the shenanigans that go on when trying to get things done right, even simple things like adding/removing/moving a SINGLE BUTTON haha.

    How's the power situation with the Amira? Weight, runtime per? Fan noise?


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    #16
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs View Post
    Haha, if that was true why do you still own Canon cameras? The C300 II with "Alexa" settings and the builtin Alexa => Rec709_EE in PP CC is pretty easy to grade, but I guess it's not foolproof. Loading C300 II clips in FCPX, the proper LUT is applied automatically.

    I agree it's beyond unbelievable that you can't use a LUT for playback on the C300 II! That's a very telling sign of management/engineering and a lack of a product/cognitive-engineering element in their company. That said, having worked many years in corporate/software/tech, you wouldn't believe the shenanigans that go on when trying to get things done right, even simple things like adding/removing/moving a SINGLE BUTTON haha.

    How's the power situation with the Alexa mini? Weight, runtime per? Fan noise?
    I still own Canon cameras because they're smaller, lighter, have autofocus, better in low light, are easier to use as a one-man-band for many types of work, work with Glidecam instead of full Steadicam rig, need lesser support in general (slider instead of dolly, smaller tripod, jib, etc.), and I have a regular existing client base who want Canon cameras for their shoots. Right camera for the right job.

    That's cool FCPX automatically applies the LUT. Does it just recognize which color matrix, gamma, etc., you choose, and turn it into Rec 709? I kind of like how on the Amira you really just have two main profiles to choose from, Log-C and Rec 709, with Log-C being the standard. Not complications between C-log 1, C-log 2, C-log 3, Wide DR, Canon EOS Std, etc. Means when I get to a shoot one less thing to ask the producer as far as camera settings.

    I have the Amira, not the Alexa Mini. Think the power draw between the two is pretty similar. I get 3-4 hours of battery on each Intellytech 280w AB Battery and 60-80 minute runtime on each Anton Bauer Digital 90. I've never notice fan noise on the Amira. I think it's there, but it's quite quiet. I know a co-worker who had his Alexa Mini on a shoot and the fan noise was showing up in the shoot's audio, but apparently the fan could be turned off, so that solved that problem.

    The weight with my setup as pictured above is around 22-24 lbs, perhaps 26-28 lbs with the shoulder mount and handle setup. More weight means more stability, so it's not always a bad thing to have a heavier camera. The Amira also balances better on the shoulder than most large sensor cameras.

    Another thing I like about the Amira is it requires less rigging. The locking EF Mount feels sturdy enough to me to use my cine zooms without lens support. No need to rig up rear rails with a rear Zacuto AB plate as I'd do with the C300 for bigger jobs. There's a certain satisfaction of knowing with the Amira that it's already fully rigged and ready to go for the shoot the next day where with the C300 I'd often have to spend 30-60 minutes prepping/rigging it for a shoot.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 02-14-2018 at 12:17 AM.


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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    I still own Canon cameras because they're smaller, lighter, have autofocus, better in low light, are easier to use as a one-man-band for many types of work, work with Glidecam instead of full Steadicam rig, need lesser support in general (slider instead of dolly, smaller tripod, jib, etc.), and I have a regular existing client base who want Canon cameras for their shoots. Right camera for the right job.

    That's cool FCPX automatically applies the LUT. Does it just recognize which color matrix, gamma, etc., you choose, and turn it into Rec 709? I kind of like how on the Amira you really just have two main profiles to choose from, Log-C and Rec 709, with Log-C being the standard. Not complications between C-log 1, C-log 2, C-log 3, Wide DR, Canon EOS Std, etc. Means when I get to a shoot one less thing to ask the producer as far as camera settings.

    I have the Amira, not the Alexa Mini. Think the power draw between the two is pretty similar. I get 3-4 hours of battery on each Intellytech 280w AB Battery and 60-80 minute runtime on each Anton Bauer Digital 90. I've never notice fan noise on the Amira. I think it's there, but it's quite quiet. I know a co-worker who had his Alexa Mini on a shoot and the fan noise was showing up in the shoot's audio, but apparently the fan could be turned off, so that solved that problem.

    The weight with my setup as pictured above is around 22-24 lbs, perhaps 26-28 lbs with the shoulder mount and handle setup. More weight means more stability, so it's not always a bad thing to have a heavier camera. The Amira also balances better on the shoulder than most large sensor cameras.

    Another thing I like about the Amira is it requires less rigging. The locking EF Mount feels sturdy enough to me to use my cine zooms without lens support. No need to rig up rear rails with a rear Zacuto AB plate as I'd do with the C300 for bigger jobs. There's a certain satisfaction of knowing with the Amira that it's already fully rigged and ready to go for the shoot the next day where with the C300 I'd often have to spend 30-60 minutes prepping/rigging it for a shoot.
    Right- look at my unedited post, it says Amira ;)

    Under good lighting the C300 II and Alexa/Amira/Mini etc. can look pretty similar. It's under real-world and mixed lighting where ARRI has the edge- looks better with less work. Since ARRI is a much smaller company than Canon, Sony, and Panasonic, they use large, power hungry components such as FPGAs instead of VLSI ASICs (expensive to set up, but cheaper at scale). In 2018 it's technically possible to have a cellphone-sized device to produce industry-leading performance and looks. However, they wont give that to us, for a variety of reasons one can reason out when looking at the big picture. Consider what you could do with an iPhone X wired to a Super35 or full frame sensor, today? As computational power increases, so will computational photography, and sensors and lenses will able to be much smaller, whereby shallow DOF can be simulated realistically from captured depth data. iPhone X has a low-res depth sensor which allows for real-time background subtraction without a green screen, as well as 'entertainment level' shallow DOF simulation. This will improve over time, and someday we'll be able to simulate Cooke, Zeiss, Leica, Canon, Nikon lenses, diffusion filters, etc., in the same way we can now simulate various amplifiers for guitars.

    Indeed a heavy camera has 'built-in' inertial dampening, though wouldn't you prefer to have a light camera with (really good) in-body stabilization or a small, light gimbal? In 2018, if one wants the best quality, it's ARRI, Red, Sony, Canon C, Panasonic Varicam etc., all relatively big, heavy cameras. In the future we'll look back and have a good laugh at how big and clunky cameras and lenses used to be


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    #18
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    AF is nice, but I'm typically using manual focus cine zooms on the Amira, so AF wouldn't do much good.

    Seems like quite a lot of this is not sharp.

    AF is great a keeping a car in the middle of frame sharp (drama less so of course)


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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs View Post
    Right- look at my unedited post, it says Amira ;)

    Under good lighting the C300 II and Alexa/Amira/Mini etc. can look pretty similar. It's under real-world and mixed lighting where ARRI has the edge- looks better with less work. Since ARRI is a much smaller company than Canon, Sony, and Panasonic, they use large, power hungry components such as FPGAs instead of VLSI ASICs (expensive to set up, but cheaper at scale). In 2018 it's technically possible to have a cellphone-sized device to produce industry-leading performance and looks. However, they wont give that to us, for a variety of reasons one can reason out when looking at the big picture. Consider what you could do with an iPhone X wired to a Super35 or full frame sensor, today? As computational power increases, so will computational photography, and sensors and lenses will able to be much smaller, whereby shallow DOF can be simulated realistically from captured depth data. iPhone X has a low-res depth sensor which allows for real-time background subtraction without a green screen, as well as 'entertainment level' shallow DOF simulation. This will improve over time, and someday we'll be able to simulate Cooke, Zeiss, Leica, Canon, Nikon lenses, diffusion filters, etc., in the same way we can now simulate various amplifiers for guitars.

    Indeed a heavy camera has 'built-in' inertial dampening, though wouldn't you prefer to have a light camera with (really good) in-body stabilization or a small, light gimbal? In 2018, if one wants the best quality, it's ARRI, Red, Sony, Canon C, Panasonic Varicam etc., all relatively big, heavy cameras. In the future we'll look back and have a good laugh at how big and clunky cameras and lenses used to be
    All fun to speculate about a future where we don't need expensive gear and even a cam op's talent may become less important, but for now that's not the case. I suppose worst case scenario we become more like painters, where the paintbrush may be cheap, and thus rely solely on our talent to justify our rates to make a decent living. Gear is an additional way to earn revenue by charging for the rentals, but plenty of DPs earn their living from labor rate alone. The cost of cameras will continue to go down, but I don't foresee the cost of high end support (lighting, grip, audio, stabilization, etc.) going down to dirt cheap consumer prices within our career span.

    In-camera or lens IS has a different and less organic look than handheld with a heavy camera. IS tends to have a floaty bouncy feel to it, which typically isn't desirable and is good primarily for when whatever mode of stabilization in use is not sufficient (such as hand-holding a DSLR with no rig). I did a mockumentary style web-series with C300s with full shoulder rigs using L-series lenses (such as the 24-105 and 70-200 which both have IS), and if I recall rightly we left IS off most of the time to keep things looking more organic.


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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    When I was buying CFast cards for my Amira I was hoping to go Sandisk as Sandisk work with both the C300 and Amira, but Arri said Sandisk was no longer approved for use with their current firmware, so Lexar 3600x was the only approved media for the camera. I had/have eight Lexar 3500x cards for my C300s already, but Lexar said 3500x is for C300, and 3600x for Arri. Sandisk was supposed to work with both until Arri decided to no longer approve them. How annoying is that, particularly for Arri owners who'd already invested in Sandisk? Also annoying for me as I was hoping to go perhaps all Sandisk, maybe sell some of my Lexar 3500x. I'd originally gone with Lexar for my C300s because at the time Sandisk didn't have 256s available yet. I'd heard that an error would pop up if you tried Sandisk in the Arri with that firmware, but never tried it. I know other Arri owners who still use Sandisk, not sure if they'd updated to that firmware, though.

    Anyway, fast forward to me spending around $10k on CFast cards, getting six 3600x to go with my eight 3500x, and about a month ago a co-worker with an Arri tells me Arri have come out with a new firmware which now approves the Sandisk cards again. I guess it's not the end of the world; I did do a three camera shoot recently where I ended up using all of my memory cards for the shoot. I rarely work with DITs; I feel they're a waste of money. Just buy enough memory cards so you don't need to hire a DIT, assuming the DIT isn't being used for other actual jobs such as on set grading or editing. But a glorified copy and paste artist...maybe I just don't work on high end sets often enough to appreciate DITs.

    I haven't tried the 3500x cards in the Amira. Maybe I will.

    The thing to keep in mind is if you're spending $50k on your camera for high end jobs, skimping on media by using what you already have to save say $3k probably isn't wisest thing to do. I went the safe route and stuck with approved media. CFast cards are actually pretty cheap in relation to the cost of the Amira. I mean, $3K-$4k is less than 10% the cost of the camera. Contrast that with the four Cfast I bought for each C300, which came to 17% the cost of the camera. Red media is much more expensive, as is Sony F55 media. Not a ton of reason to not used approved media with the Amira.
    What's wrong with a data wrangler(not a DIT), unless you're having to pay for them completely out of your own pocket? If the client asks for one and is paying for one and the shoot warrants it, why not? It takes the responsibilty off of the shooter to make sure that everything was transferred properly. I worked on an EPK for a major theatrical release and a data wrangler/dit was asked for and they have very specific ways and rules for their data back-up, management and security, including full back-up verification, multiple copies to multiple drives, password protected/encrypted drives and only one drive with footage is allowed in-transit at any one time(i.e: the back-up drive cannot be shipped until the primary arrives safely and everything is offloaded, checked and verified). We've all seen bad things happen when too much is asked of one person. Granted I rarely ever work with a dedicated data wrangler, but I think it's silly to just dismiss them off-hand as a "waste of money".

    Regarding F55 media, it depends on exactly which media you're referring to. The AXS cards for the RAW recorders are ludicrously expensive and the SxS cards are pricey, but Sony G series XQD cards in Sony SxS adapters are very inexpensive AND approved by Sony for all internally recordable resolutions, framerates and codecs.


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