Finding the Right Movie Camera
Whether youre a film student or amateur movie maker, finding the right camera can be essential to getting the cinematography you are looking for. Arri is just one brand that can provide a variety of cameras and lenses for an independent filmmaker.
Features to Look for in a Movie Camera
There are so many different kinds of cameras to choose from, depending on whether you plan to make an Internet video, a television show or a feature film. Your choice of medium can reflect the kind of quality you need.
- Recording format: The camera needs to record in a format that your or your teams editing program can handle. The quality also needs to be appropriate for your needs. If you are making a movie, you may not need a camera with broadcast quality footage, and if youre just making an Internet video, you wont need Ultra HD 4K pixels.
- Lens: The lens is an important part of the filming process, as it determines the quality of the video as well as the cost of post-production editing.
- Lens Mount: The mount, only found on cameras that allow for interchangeable lenses. The bayonet mount is a popular style, but thread and breech-lock mounts are also in use.
- Magazine: The magazine refers to the chamber that holds the film stock. 16mm cameras can hold up to 400 feet of stock while 35mm cameras can hold up to 1000 feet of film stock.
What are the Differences Between 16mm and 35mm Film?
The mm, or milimeter, in the name refers to the width of the film used for cinematography. The differences in width of 8mm to 16mm and up to even 70mm results in drastically different film quality and cost.
- Standard: The 35mm film was established as the standard film width for movies in 1909. This film is regarded for its quality, but can be costly in the editing room, since the 35mm uses more film stock than a 16mm.
- Intended Use: 16mm film is mostly used in television and is also often used in amateur and low-budget films. It was intended to allow amateurs and average people experiment with film without having the financial backing of a studio. 16mm has since evolved into a more professional grade, called Super 16, that is sometimes used in more artistic films, such as Black Swan, which used an Arriflex 16SR. However, the standard film width is still 35mm while 16mm still dominates the silver screen.
Which Arri Camera is suited for Me?
Arri has a selection of 35mm and 16mm cameras for aspiring filmmakers to rent or purchase.
- Arricam: The Arricam comes in two models, the Studio and the Lite. Both use 35mm film. Arricam cameras have electronic mirror shutters and quiet sync sounds. The Lite model is smaller for possible shoulder operation.
- Arriflex: This series comes in multiple models. These cameras record 16mm, 35mm, and even 65mm film. Popular models include the Arriflex 416 and the Arriflex 16SR.
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