WHY HOLLYWOOD USES THESE CAMERAS THE MOST ($45,000 BODY ONLY!!!)


(upbeat music) – This camera, the footage that this intro was shot on, costs about $45,000. And that’s just for the body, that’s not without any
screen or viewfinder, no batteries, there’s not
autofocus in this camera. It’s terrible in low
light, it weight a ton. You have to buy the
viewfinder for it separately. And guess what, that costs over $7,000. And then once you have
that, there’s no way of mounting it to the camera. You have to buy another mounting bracket or a cage or something
to put it on the camera. And the viewfinder’s not even that good. You pay $7,000 and it’s not
really that good at all. And get this, this is one of
the cheapest Arri’s there is. They go all the way up to way
over $100,000 for one camera. Gene, how do you film with this thing? (Gene laughs) Oh my gosh. Actually, this reminds me
of the commercial days. It’s bringing back memories right now. Standing like this for an
hour filming a commercial. You gotta keep filming
until the director yells cut and your muscles are starting to shake. Have you ever had that? – Yeah, all the time.
– Your muscles are starting to shake and you’re just like, you just start pushing it. Keep it as stable as possible. And as soon as they say
cut, you’re just like, “Oh my gosh, thank
goodness, thank goodness.” But you try to play it off
cool, you’re just like, “Yeah, it’s fine.”
– No worries. – “Just gotta put this
camera down for a second.” So, Gene, why do you think
Hollywood uses this camera so much?
– Cause it’s so huge and it looks impressive. Look at me right now.
– Cause you look like a beast. – Look. I look like I’m really, really talented. I look like I know what I’m doing. – [Matti] I think it’s just
a flex actually, right? – It is.
– It’s just a flex. – Yes, both visually
but also I’m constantly flexing holding this thing.
– Actual flexing. – I’m like, “Ugh!”
– It’s a workout. So why the heck are the Arri cameras the most widely-used
camera’s in Hollywood, even with all these things it’s lacking and how hard it is to use? It’s just not very usable
when you first buy it. You have to buy so many things to just make this camera usable. Why is Hollywood using these cameras? Okay, so it does have some
really great specs also. It shoots ProRes and 4K and up to 200 frames per second in 1080. It does raw video. It’s got some pretty good features, but in the end, the one reason why Hollywood uses this
camera the most is the image. And for those of you who don’t know, up until only about ten years ago, Hollywood still only
really used film cameras for all of the Hollywood films, pretty much, the majority of them. And then about ten years
ago, they started switching into the digital realm of things. And that was because film is so good. The image that you get when you shoot on film is really, really nice. And that took a really long time to replicate or to have a better image in digital than the film image was. It wasn’t really until
the Arri Alexas came out that people were like, “Oh, okay, “this is close, similar to film. “Maybe even a little bit
better than the film image.” Some people were still, “No
no, film is the way to go.” But then others were like,
“Oh, this digital image “is actually, I like it
better than the film image.” So once the Alexas came
out, that’s when Hollywood and the very high-end, the
most high-end of filmmaking started to realize the
potential in digital filmmaking. So why is the Arri Alexa’s image so good? Why is this the camera of choice? And first off, it’s the color science. It has, by far, out of all the cameras, I’m slightly subjective but I
think most people would agree, it has the best color
science out of any camera, especially when it comes to skin tones. It has just the most natural and just good-looking skin tones. If you thought Canons, like this camera, have good skin tones, guess again. The Alexas have way better
skin tones than the Canons. There’s some sort of magic going on with the image processing. I have no idea what they’re doing. But the image just looks
so good and detailed, even though it’s not overly sharp, which is kind of a characteristic of a cheaper digital camera,
having that overly sharp look. It almost looks kind of soft at times, but when you look at it, there’s just so much detail in the image. And a lot of the Alexas
don’t even shoot actual 4K, I think it’s 3.2K and then
they just up-res it to 4K. That’s why a lot of Netflix shows aren’t shot on the Arri Alexas because Netflix has this policy of no, it has to be true 4K, it
can’t be this up-resed thing. So yeah, that’s kind of interesting. But I think Arri, with all their testing, found that this was the best kind of, the most optimal image they could get. Instead of doing true 4K
and having so many pixels, they decided to go with a little bit less and have a better image. So I guess quality over quantity. And then probably the biggest
reason why the Arri Alexa has such a nice image
is the dynamic range. And I’ve explained this before, it’s basically the difference
between the brightest parts of your image and the darkest parts. So for example, my shirt
is pretty dark here, and then this part is pretty bright. So how much of a difference in
light can the camera capture. And the Arri Alexas have
the biggest dynamic range out of any camera on the market right now. Yes, you can argue that,
because there’s not really a scientific standard that
camera companies are going by. So some companies claim
they have 14 stops, just like the Arri Alexa claims, and it is not the same at all. So there isn’t really a scientific way of comparing the numbers,
because every camera company kinda does it a little bit differently. But the Arri Alexa has
the most dynamic range and that really gives its film-like look. Film has a ton of dynamic range, and this is probably the biggest thing that digital sensors struggled with was getting that same
amount of dynamic range. And not just the dynamic range,
but the way things roll off. So on a cheaper digital camera, when you have something that overexposes, it’s like, we have detail, we have detail, and then it just goes nuclear instantly. There isn’t a nice roll off. Whereas on the Alexa, it would be like, we’re good, we’re good,
we’re good, we’re good, we’re going into overexposed, overexposed, and now we’re overexposed. It slowly rolls off into
that overexposed area. And that looks really nice,
it’s really pleasing to the eye. Instead of having that quick roll off into that nuclear overexposed zone. It’s unlike any camera
out there right now. The Reds are pretty close I think but the Arri Alexas are
still way more widely used in the highest high-end
commercials and movies. The Arri Alexas are still the
most popular for most DPs. So why would Hollywood use a crazy, crazy expensive camera
that doesn’t even have all the features of a cheaper DSLR camera? Well, because they want
the absolute best image. They have, essentially,
an unlimited budget. They have as much money as
they want to use on films. So they want the absolute best image. What’s the best image they can get? That’s what they’re gonna pay for. They don’t care about convenience or how easy it is to use
or the specs, necessarily. They just want the best image. And the further you go in your career, the less you’re gonna
start caring about specs, and the more you’re gonna
care about the actual image, what does your footage look
like at the end of the day. Image becomes the highest priority by far. The further you go in your career, the higher budget the commercial
or TV show or movie is, the image is the main thing,
not how easy it is to use. Or price for that matter. And that’s why Hollywood
consistently, right now, is using the Arri Alexa the most. For their highest-end biggest productions, of course they’re gonna choose the camera with the absolute best
image, in their opinion. No but actually, what do you think? What are some of the reasons? – I think even just the camera you’re shooting on right now, the A7 III, they’re great cameras and
they have a lot of power, but they’re definitely designed, the designers have the consumer in mind. Someone that just wants
to pick up a camera, have very convenient features. This is very much designed
with an entire crew in mind. – [Matti] Zero convenience. – Exactly. No convenience. No smart features, nothing
that makes it easy to shoot on. As a matter of fact, just
me shooting right here with this by myself is reminding me how much this camera is not
designed for solo operation. I’m dying. I was like (grumbles). Matti’s like, “Get that shot over there.” I’m like, “Ah!”
– Yeah, just keep going G. – “Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah.”
– Just a little bit more! – You know, one thing–
(wind wooshes) Ah! Blowing away!
– The wind’s gonna take you. I hope the sound is amazing right now. – Okay, one example is size and weight. You want a small, compact camera if you’re making a vlog
camera for an everyday user. You actually kind of want this weight. Because right now, I’m not running through any sort of stabilization. Nothing in the lens,
nothing in the camera. But the weight of this
itself, it makes it stable. And we are handheld right now, so we are still kind of
getting a little bit of shake. But it’s not jittery shake, it’s more like cinematic movement. – Yeah, people don’t realize
that the heavier the camera is, the smoother especially
the handheld look is. When you have a small camera, your hands are shaking so much. When you have a big, heavy camera, just because of the weight,
you end up keeping it a lot more stable and
it looks a lot nicer, especially for the handheld look. It’s not so convenient when you’re trying to put it on a gimbal
or something like that. – 100% And another example, IBIS
is something that’s great to have in a small camera
to kind of counter that. And IBIS is great to have 90% of the time, it makes the shot look smoother. But 10% of the time, sometimes it might do something kind of weird. This is a different approach. They just want it to work 100% of the time exactly how they want it to. If you get a super expensive shot and then you see all
this wobble from IBIS, then they’re gonna be
like, “That’s unusable.” You don’t want any
smart features trying to just assume that you want to do this. There’s a lot of smart features– – No auto-extension.
– Exactly – [Matti] Nothing auto,
nothing convenient. You gotta do it all yourself. – Exactly.
– The right way. – I think the image is something that’s really hard to explain also. It just looks really, really good, right? Yeah, this camera’s great, but this camera image is so much nicer. But if you put them side-by-side, it’s kind of hard to say
exactly why it looks better. It’s so subjective, but at
the same time not subjective. I’d say pretty much everybody would say that that’s a better image. But you can’t say exactly why. – Yeah, image quality
is one of those things that’s really hard to define. Because in the consumer world, everyone’s always just like,
“We want more resolution, “We want better sharpness.”
– We want 8K! – Exactly. The thing is, what gives
it a cinematic look, it’s really hard to describe. Because pixels and stuff,
the number of pixels, you can count that. It’s something you can explain,
it’s easy to comprehend. The cinematic look is
very hard to explain. If you watch a Hollywood movie on your iPhone in standard definition, you look at it and you go,
“That looks really good. “I’m watching in 360p
but it looks fantastic.” So it’s one of those things,
it’s kind of hard to explain what gives Arri and Red
cameras that cinematic look. But as soon as you look through this viewfinder, you immediately see it. You’re like, “Wow, everything
looks nice and creamy.” Skin tones look so good. I don’t know if it’s dynamic range, if it’s color science or whatever. But there’s some magic voodoo in here. Something’s going on. – So the short answer is, it’s magic. – Yeah, exactly.
– It’s just magic in a box. Now, am I gonna start using an Alexa for all my YouTube videos? No, it doesn’t make sense for me. It doesn’t work, well, at least not yet. It just doesn’t work for my filmmaking, the things that I am making. It makes sense for Hollywood, but it’s not gonna make
sense for a lot of you guys. Until you’re in that range of
you’ve got massive budgets, and the most important thing, the absolute most important thing is the image. Not how long it takes to use that camera, how easy it is to use that camera, how much it costs to use that camera. When only the image matters in the end, that’s when you should start looking at cameras like the Alexas. Cause they’re pretty dang
heavy and hard to use and very, very, very expensive. One camera is pretty much worth more than all of the gear that I own. All the cameras, all
my lenses, everything. It just doesn’t fit my needs right now, but it does fit Hollywood’s needs. What a beast of a camera, though. Just an insane camera. Okay, I’m gonna go back to
using my mirrorless cameras. See ya, guys. Thanks Gene for showing me this beast of a Hollywood cinema camera. (both laugh) And thanks for carrying it around, too. – Yeah I know, I’m like
okay, can we trade? Let’s trade. – Nah, I’ll keep this camera. I can carry your EOS R, it’s fine. I got two cameras, you carry the one. It’s fair. (upbeat music)

100 thoughts on “WHY HOLLYWOOD USES THESE CAMERAS THE MOST ($45,000 BODY ONLY!!!)

  1. Oh did I mention I barely color graded the Alexa footage! It comes with a LUT when you import it into Premiere and thats pretty much all we did….. sooooo yea that was easy

  2. Dude why are you looking so worried all the time? Like something is gonna go down😂 im a subscriber btw🤘🏼

  3. It's because "the man" chose this camera and because he wants ALL movies to look the same…So, they all use the same camera.

  4. is anyone else tired of the slow motion clip of a person walking and looking at things over vaguely familiar backpacker hip hop music aesthetic?

  5. Would have been great to put your dls image side by side with the Alexa so we could see for ourselves.

  6. A Hollywood recording vs YouTube content are two different products.
    Different audience, porpose, service, goals.
    YouTube videos are disposable and Movies are memories.

  7. screw arri and red… you can get comparable quality, raw recording etc from bm cameras… i hate this elitist mindset from some "professional" dp's. use whatever works best for your project. i almost invested in a red system until i finally realized what bs that is. the redmag alone is the biggest freaking scam i can think of.

  8. $45,000 c'était le pris d'une Sony Betacam SP sans optique il y'a 25 ans, et $300 sur ebay aujourd'hui. 😉

  9. Thx for the Video. But: 1.)Film is better then Digital, but way more expensive. They use it because of the flexibility with Digital, not for the image. 2.) The REDs are not near the Arris. The Image is much harder, oversharpend with a blue touch. 3.) This is a horrible Rig that you use, to much weight on the front…. (Sorry for my english)

  10. I really like your videos, but I noticed you tend to repeat yourself and restate the main conclusion about 3 times. What's up with that?

  11. The a7iii autofocus is straight up trash! I don’t care what Sony says look at when Potato Jet was talking.

  12. Film only has 13 stops of Dynamic Range on the best rating. It rolls off better due to it being a chemical capture vs pixels .

  13. I am so sorry but i am seriously anoyed by the speed of your talking so i cranked up the video speed to 1.25

  14. High price does not mean high quality. I think a ipad pro camera does the same job and you would not see a difference between that ALEXA camera or a default 2019 iphone ipad or android 4k camera

  15. Face it, cinematography and film making are hard work. Kudos to everyone who entertains us. Great vlog.

  16. Just switch metering mode on your A7III to for example full screen average and your sky won't be overexposed and your subject won't be either. Saves some money XD

  17. I'm really sick of YouTubers in general but especially tech and photo-videography relying on high value item prices listed in the title to almost clickbait people. It's just annoying.

  18. I like the idea of this video. It starts with an intriguing question that many might not know the answer to, and are hoping for an informative response. Unfortunately this is a vlog, and most of the responses you two give were "it's hard to explain", which is not helpful. Curiosity is good. Half-assed attempts to educate your large audience with a flashy thumbnail and a hastily-made vlog are not.

    To quote an excellent article on color science:
    "It's tempting (and common these days) to try to reduce all of the complex qualities and unintuitive attributes of a camera system down to a single slogan that ostensibly encapsulates all of its characteristics. Like: "Kodak's film is magic," "Arri's Alexa is filmy," "Red's Weapon is 8k," or "Sony's F65 is the only true 4k camera." But whether these mantras are more subjective sounding like the first two or more technical sounding like the latter two, these oversimplified slogans (even if true in some sense) don't get us closer to useful understanding, they merely evoke imagination to produce expectation; they reinforce preconceptions and belief bias. They discourage curiosity and instill confidence that we need not investigate any further, while not providing any essential information to be confident about. Simplifying is not the same as clarifying."

    http://www.yedlin.net/OnColorScience/

  19. The color science thing is total crap explanation. All films have professional digital grading team which grade every single frame.

  20. You need to shoot more B-roll, otherwise good info. And spot on with the HDR. That is the alpha and omega, in comparing digi to film – which is the benchmark for quality here. They're not thinking in terms of "is this a good digital camera". They're thinking in terms of "is this better than film?"

  21. Blair Witch Project was filmed with a crappy 1,300 dlls camera and made hundreds of millions of dlls…….bottom line, It's the story that counts.

  22. Hmmm, as someone in film that works with cinema cameras… I have to say a lot of information in this video is a bit off, I wouldn't say it's necessarily wrong, Matti just doesn't know a lot about actual cinema cameras. There are a number of reasons why you would want to use an Arri Alexa Mini vs let's say a Red or a Sony. A lot of it has to do with the sensor technology and the compatibility of the camera with certain lenses though many mounts can be swapped out (But if you shoot anamorphic you have to have the right sensor for it). It has to do with whether you are going handheld for most of the shots or not, what you're rigging the camera to, if you are rigging it, do you have a Steadicam operator?, how heavy are the lenses, what build do you want with the camera, what speed the camera can film at, how well that body can be in different environmental conditions, there are a number of reasons why you would choose a body over another. Also, I want to mention that lenses are a huge factor in what look you are going for that often go hand in hand with choosing a body. Lenses will give you different color looks more so than a body will (along with post color grading and filters). Also, since he dissed the eyepiece, there are a lot of functions and settings that can be displayed solely in the eyepiece for the camera operator to help assist that won't get output to any other monitor. They aren't just expensive to be expensive, they have lots of functionality.

    Alexa is also compatible with a lot of 3rd party products (hence why how you want to build you camera matters), whereas brands like RED are less so and have a lot of RED specific pieces, attempting to be like Panavision where every little thing is patented.

    If I can remember correctly, Arri is not a fan of going along with the crowd which is why they haven't made a true 4K cam (although one has been announced recently ), it has been a held belief and still is that the human eye cannot truly see the difference of quality in an image past I believe 2K or 3K. This has been a constant argument in the film world as 4K becomes increasingly popular (even though most people don't understand it) and companies like Netflix have made it the standard. If you're interested in learning more about that, go here: https://nofilmschool.com/2017/08/yedlin-camera-resolution-myths

    Also, I keep rambling but Dynamic range in these cameras is only relevant to your settings. There are optimal settings for the best dynamic range depending on what you are going for and a skilled Cinematographer will know how to manipulate this to their advantage. If you don't have the proper settings, your dynamic range won't be optimal. It's all mathematical in relation to the sensor and light. Also…I don't like RED but I'm pretty sure RED has some cameras with a better dynamic range than Arri. Could be wrong, I'd have to check on that.

    Anyways, do your own research if you are truly interested in film cameras. Hear it from people that are part of the ASC or work with them every day instead of from a YouTuber that mostly uses DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras to film. Nothing wrong with that, they just don't tend to know the detailed info about cinema cameras. There's lots to learn and I won't sit here and pretend like I know everything, but from my knowledge, this video is a bit misleading. Sorry Matti, love your other videos but this one isn't a fav.

  23. Great video @Matti. When you mentioned that this camera is not about budget and convenience, and how comfortable it is to use for a long time, but about the quality of the image, it made totally sense to me.
    You know, when you're vlogging, you hold your camera with your hand for long periods of time, and usually you do long shots, while in great budget movies, the cameras are held on cranes or tripods, and even though the shooting lasts all day, the scenes are not. Most of the scenes are seconds long, repeated many times, so the camera person only has to held the camera for short periods of time.
    I enjoy your channel content buddy, thanks for sharing !

  24. I get that we live in a digital era, and that people get used to convenience pretty fast, yet still you forgot to mention that film cameras of old had easily surpassed the bulkiness of this rig. I've just watched "Making of The Shining" again the other day and the trolleys Kubrick used looked like tanks and the handhelds looked like RPG's. Also the sole cost of the film and its development balances the high cost of this setup. So, after all it's not just HDR, I'd say.

  25. Beautiful, the capture really puts you in perspective. As an editor, I’m sure this would save the time and hassle for anyone that falls in the hands of color correction

  26. You are bang on about the roll off. I think that plus the dynamic range is really what makes the difference in the image quality.

  27. I work on film and TV shows. While there is a camera team there is only one operator. They probably just get used to the weight, where you guys are not. Still a cool video for people who don't know about these cameras.

  28. So here's what it is… Not only does arri have a great system, but they also have the service centers and support 24/7. On a big budget production, time is money, and if there's an issue, the quiker it's resolved, the better. The less expensive cameras like blackmagic, red, Panasonic prosumer, Sony prosumer (not Venice cinealta or the like) have limited on demand service centers. There have been movies shot with a Fischer Price pixelcam, but the pros go with equipment they know. If course if you're an independent and have the time, shoot the moon with whichever camera you fancy. To be honest, a lot of it is about the lens package, and although it's not as sexy, there can be a case made for purchasing a set of prime lenses, and renting whatever bodies you need when you have the job.

  29. Alexa is nice and not bad but not true about most what your saying.
    RED is used a lot and both go back and forth movie wise.
    Any one can see on imdb what lenses and cameras used so on.
    Don't forget Canon & Sony are used in top movies as well. Interesting tho a lot of Sony movies are shot on RED and few with Alexa.
    I like them all but cant say Alexa is manly used, but like using Phantom, RED, Sony and for basic things DJI , Sony and Nikon.

  30. Although this video may be about the Arri Alexa camera, it is also a great example of why I sold all my Sony stuff and moved back to Canon. Freakin Sony NEVER gets it right with the focus.

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