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Andrew Reid

You can now get an Arri Alexa for £4900

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Fantasies do come true for people willing to work hard over many years but sometimes, a dream can be realised simply by sitting down for a very long time and doing nothing, until the object of your desire becomes a bit old and tatty.

Yes, now is your chance to own an Arri Alexa.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I've never looked back at anything I shot with the H3D and mumbled "what was I thinking when I bought that" and I suppose thats the acid test.

Ten years on it still smokes every other camera I've had image quality wise. 

Unfortunately, it developed a fault on the main board in the digital back and the quote from them to fix it was a "what are they thinking" moment. So much so that I've resigned myself to waiting until a used one comes up at the same price as the repair and buy it, which it is virtually at now. The good thing with it being modular is I'll then have a spare of the camera body and OVF as well as a spares kit for most of the parts in the digital back.

That's what would concern me about the Alexa in that you're buying a £50K camera for £5K but as soon as anything goes wrong on it then its a £50K camera again ;)

But then again when you look at the devaluation of new cameras then if you got three years out of it and had to throw it in the bin you'd still be about even with the cost of ownership against a even a low/mid range Canon or Sony cinema model.

I suspect that there are many people that have lost more than £5K trading in gear in the past few years in pursuit of the Alexa look so at least this would stop that.

Shall we go halves on that one from CVP then? 

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I would do, but it's probably going to die at some point :) It's also a heavy beast, so my back might die even sooner that it does.

I wish we had got a smaller Alexa, in days gone by - for around £25,000 which could now be picked up for £5000.

I suppose we'll have to wait a big longer for the Alexa Mini to come down in price!!

I wonder how much it would be to insure an Alexa and how much it could be rented out for? That would be one way to make the £5k back.

Talking of depreciation... I just bought a 1DS Mark III with 28-70mm F2.8 for 900 euros all-in... That combo was over 10 grand in 2008.

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Great post. I like how you linked the Alexa and early DSLR/Mirrorless cameras to the pursuit of a filmic image.

With @DaveAltizer ‘s recent return to the 1DC and this post, I wonder if you have any interest in writing a 10 years later review on some of the original cameras that paved the way to the pursuit of that elusive filmic look and how they hold up today?

Although outdated, I think the mjpeg codec adds a special meatiness to the IQ of some the earlier cameras... your hacked GH1 videos come to mind as a perfect example and it would be interesting to see how you would use these camera today.

With the prices of the 1DC and C100 steadily declining, I must admit I’m tempted to give one or the other a try.

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So it is impossible to see any old digital camera making a come back in the future, appreciated for their unique artistic appeal – especially ones with compressed H.264.

Ooh, I don't know...  if you wait long enough.  Those VHS plugins were/are pretty popular in music videos!  Having said that though, there is still something about ML RAW, even on a non-classic Canon body, that is delightful in a way that even the nicest non-RAW modes of any modern MILC just don't quite have.

And the image from the Alexa really is just exquisite 😎😎😎

 

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4 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I would do, but it's probably going to die at some point :) It's also a heavy beast, so my back might die even sooner that it does.

I wish we had got a smaller Alexa, in days gone by - for around £25,000 which could now be picked up for £5000.

I suppose we'll have to wait a big longer for the Alexa Mini to come down in price!!

I wonder how much it would be to insure an Alexa and how much it could be rented out for? That would be one way to make the £5k back.

Talking of depreciation... I just bought a 1DS Mark III with 28-70mm F2.8 for 900 euros all-in... That combo was over 10 grand in 2008.

in the states, you can rent it for around $300 a day on sharegrid and kitsplit - but I don't know the demand for it, but I think it's probably fairly good, especially wtih an odyssey for arriraw.

But as a former owner of a sony f65 - having a big giant heavy power-hungry camera with a slow boot up time definitely limits creative choices that you can get with a smaller camera.  You can't fly on a gimbal or steadicam as easily you can put it in a car or other tight spaces, you can handhold for as long.

But still, yea that alexa has some great skintones, and so easily.

still though, an ursa mini pro with a custom olpf filter or  red scarlet maybe more useful at that price range

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Maybe two threads in one here, Cheap old pro gear and old consumer cameras for stills and video.    Poverty limits me now to old cameras as my main ones.    I still have my A7s but it will be ages before I could get it fixed and even then it might cost more than getting another one would.    I do think the first version A7s will be considered a classic in future (if it isn't now).   There is no Alexa in my future.    I am shooting with an old Canon 450D and the jpegs are absolute rubbish but if you put a good lens on it, the RAW files are ok still (luckily I still have some good lenses).   I have started getting old cameras from the charity shop I work at. Many can not be sold for various reasons and I have upgraded my point and shoot cameras as I can.     Currently my video needs are met by a) Canon SX410IS (not too old- from 2015) and love it, 24-960mm FF angle of view excellent stabilization but crap at high ISOs and no RAW for stills and not a huge amount of control and 720 HD only, b) A Panasonic FX700 this one is from 2010 but is one of the earliest with full HD I think and while it doesn't have a lot of control for video, it has PASM rec modes for stills and can do 15/30/60 sec exposures (which is great because it is also crap above about ISO 200- which I can limit it to in auto ISO).    All in all a wonderful little camera (for its age). Pity it doesn't have RAW stills either.    c) The third I have is a Panasonic little underwater P&S, not great IQ or video (HD only again), this one is from 2012, but something for wet days or to use in water.     The little Canon SX410IS really is a useful little camera for daytime use and the old FX700 is great for use with flash or on a tripod for long exposures (it does have ok stabilization though).    I do want a cheap Sony so I can use my Sony lenses as well as keep using my old FD lenses as well as my Canon EF L's.

 

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We had a similar discussion back in 2017 when it was noticed just how cheap as chips an ARRI ALEXA Classic is getting:
 

So they've been "affordable" for a while now. 

 

5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

It's also a heavy beast, so my back might die even sooner that it does.

I work on lots of shoots using ARRI cameras (I'm the sound recordist for a series right now which is being shot on an AMIRA, with a BMPCC4K for some occasional specialist B cam shots). And yeah, you really need to have at least a small crew behind you if you want to shoot on an ARRI. 

5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I suppose we'll have to wait a big longer for the Alexa Mini to come down in price!!

Lots more Minis for sale in recent weeks compared to last year, now that ARRI has confirmed a Mini S35 4K will be coming in 2020. 
Folks need to get rid of their Mini before then! 😉

5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

 I wonder how much it would be to insure an Alexa and how much it could be rented out for? That would be one way to make the £5k back.


Depends entirely on a persons connections as to what kind of network they have of people who'd hire it from them directly vs via a full service rental house. 

As the owner of a popular site like EOSHD you could probably do better at getting rentals than most, however on the flip side people would need to be local to rent from you, which is a much smaller part of your total audience. (unfortunately a contributor like myself from way out in New Zealand will never be renting an ARRI to get it shipped from the UK to NZ and then back again!)

2 hours ago, mercer said:

With @DaveAltizer ‘s recent return to the 1DC and this post, I wonder if you have any interest in writing a 10 years later review on some of the original cameras that paved the way to the pursuit of that elusive filmic look and how they hold up today?

Although outdated, I think the mjpeg codec adds a special meatiness to the IQ of some the earlier cameras... your hacked GH1 videos come to mind as a perfect example and it would be interesting to see how you would use these camera today.


I'd like to see a 2019 review of the GH1 as well!
 

2 hours ago, mercer said:

With the prices of the 1DC and C100 steadily declining, I must admit I’m tempted to give one or the other a try.

Skip the C100, the C300 is only a little extra cost and offers much more!

 

2 hours ago, Ed_David said:

in the states, you can rent it for around $300 a day on sharegrid and kitsplit - but I don't know the demand for it, but I think it's probably fairly good, especially wtih an odyssey for arriraw.

But as a former owner of a sony f65 - having a big giant heavy power-hungry camera with a slow boot up time definitely limits creative choices that you can get with a smaller camera.  You can't fly on a gimbal or steadicam as easily you can put it in a car or other tight spaces, you can handhold for as long.

But still, yea that alexa has some great skintones, and so easily.

still though, an ursa mini pro with a custom olpf filter or  red scarlet maybe more useful at that price range


Yes, in terms of a more "practical" camera then EVA1 / FS7 / UMP / RED DSMC1 / Kinefinity Terra / etc will all be much much more usable in that general price range. 

Just because they're lighter / faster / power efficient. 
(relatively speaking)

And over the course of a long day of shooting then the more "practical" camera can give you better looking results than one you have to constantly fight against. 

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I suppose we'll have to wait a big longer for the Alexa Mini to come down in price!!


Sadly $5K in 2020 is definitely not going to come true 😞
 

On 2/24/2015 at 9:01 AM, Guest Ebrahim Saadawi said:

In 2020 I wouldn't be surprised if you could indeed pick  it up used for 5K or so, but then again, by that time you will be able to buy a new Samsung that's better in everyway and has a cupholder for the same money :)

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

I work on lots of shoots using ARRI cameras (I'm the sound recordist for a series right now which is being shot on an AMIRA, with a BMPCC4K for some occasional specialist B cam shots). And yeah, you really need to have at least a small crew behind you if you want to shoot on an ARRI. 

Just curious (I'm not in the market for this) but do you need a crew to just shoot with it, or is the crew really to setup & teardown?  The reason I ask is that there's a bunch of YouTubers who make shows from a home studio setup where the camera, lighting, sound, and set don't move, and it's just about workflow efficiency and content.  We're talking completely predictable exposure, WB, focus, and infinite power via wall outlets, etc.

I know lots of those shows have multiple angles and that kind of stuff, but if you run a talking-head style channel with one angle and b-roll, maybe these old cinema classics will find home studios in suburbia to age gracefully in :) 

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9 minutes ago, kye said:

Just curious (I'm not in the market for this) but do you need a crew to just shoot with it, or is the crew really to setup & teardown?  The reason I ask is that there's a bunch of YouTubers who make shows from a home studio setup where the camera, lighting, sound, and set don't move, and it's just about workflow efficiency and content.  We're talking completely predictable exposure, WB, focus, and infinite power via wall outlets, etc.

 


For sure, if you leave it all set up, you could just walk in and press record. 

But for a normal film / web series / tv series / doco / etc shoot, then you really really need that extra manpower. Unless you're going to keep it ultra ultra simple. 

 

9 minutes ago, kye said:

 I know lots of those shows have multiple angles and that kind of stuff, but if you run a talking-head style channel with one angle and b-roll, maybe these old cinema classics will find home studios in suburbia to age gracefully in :) 


But even that B roll stuff you'll find tough to get with an ARRI Alexa by yourself, unless you're sticking with fairly simple stuff (like just in the studio with no movement, or only limited movement), and/or using a 2nd camera for B roll.

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39 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

For sure, if you leave it all set up, you could just walk in and press record. 

But for a normal film / web series / tv series / doco / etc shoot, then you really really need that extra manpower. Unless you're going to keep it ultra ultra simple. 

But even that B roll stuff you'll find tough to get with an ARRI Alexa by yourself, unless you're sticking with fairly simple stuff (like just in the studio with no movement, or only limited movement), and/or using a 2nd camera for B roll.

Makes sense.

There's a few channels I watch where they do talking head stuff, and all the B-Roll is stock footage or graphics / animations.  There are even quite a lot of channels that don't have any filming at all and you don't know what the channel owner looks like because it's all motion graphics and voice-over.

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A couple of stills resized only from the little  SX410IS.   I am looking for something to video with it to post frame grabs from at various points along its zoom range.   Not that old but probably has a sensor a few years older (20mp CCD). A LOT more useful to me (and most people I think) than an Alexa, even for video and even though it has little control and only 720 HD.

IMG_3072.jpg

IMG_3092.jpg

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Really, the Alexa is impractical for most people and I agree with Ed that there are better buys even at £5k

It has such a nice image but easy to make an impulsive decision based on the name.

This might even get you close to the image for MUCH less

https://cvp.com/product/z-cam-e2c-4k-cinematic-camera

And RED Dragon 6K getting down towards £6k now. Worth keeping an eye out for those. Much lighter at 2.2kg, so more like an Alexa Mini. And much more res plus a better raw codec, all internal.

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48 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Really, the Alexa is impractical for most people and I agree with Ed that there are better buys even at £5k

It has such a nice image but easy to make an impulsive decision based on the name.

This might even get you close to the image for MUCH less

https://cvp.com/product/z-cam-e2c-4k-cinematic-camera

And RED Dragon 6K getting down towards £6k now. Worth keeping an eye out for those. Much lighter at 2.2kg, so more like an Alexa Mini. And much more res plus a better raw codec, all internal.

Close is a real stretch here though. Nowhere near the DR, colors, latitude or that 3D pop the Alexa gives.

But agree the camera is too heavy to handle without any crew/the needed support. 

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I'd love to buy a used Alexa as a studio camera. Why not! 

 

Loving my stupid little 1DC again. There was something great about the effort it took for me to use it. I'm starting to go back to my original reason why I started making youtube videos again...and Im excited to be using the 1DC. Sold my EOS R and will be shooting on the GH5 and 1DC primarily now for a while.....with the exception of gear I will be reviewing. 

If I can get an Alexa for $5k I'll jump on it. 

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"You can now get an Arri Alexa for £4900" Not anymore. :)  Sold.

Edit: Andrew, Dave, what´s up with that!:)

12 hours ago, DaveAltizer said:

Im excited to be using the 1DC.

Exited to see you using it again. Would love to see some classics revised, esp. the Mjpeg hacked GH1!

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