It's no secret that ARRI's cameras are a staple of Hollywood productions. But with so many high-end cameras on the market, why is ARRI so dominant?
While that question is perhaps a bit biased — I'm sure there will be plenty of people claiming so in the comments — it's hard to argue with the lists released after every major festival and awards show that detail which cameras were used on the films. Without fail, the higher budget films are almost always shot on Alexa, with some occasional love for Sony and RED cameras, as well as film.
A video recently released by ARRI at IBC 2015 might offer some answers as to why this is. Of course, this video is an advertisement, but it's fun to watch and it takes a swing at pinpointing the characteristics that make the Alexa, Amira, Alexa Mini, and Alexa 65 such popular options in their respective categories:
Of course, image quality — both in terms of dynamic range and color reproduction — is at the top of the list of reasons for the Alexa's dominance (more about that later). However, I firmly believe that the last reason in that video, the reliability and intuitiveness, are the driving forces behind why cinematographers (and producers) continually choose these cameras project after project. When you combine the fact that the Alexa is dead simple to learn and operate (at least compared to several competitors) with the fact that these cameras are built like tanks and steadfastly reliable, and then you throw in the superb image quality, it's no wonder why people return to the Alexa time and time again.
And while we're at it, let's take a look at some of the most notable footage from each of these cameras. First up, the most recent showreel of Alexa footage, which was just released at IBC this week.
And here's the most recent Amira showreel:
And here's some stellar footage shot on the Alexa Mini:
What do you guys think about why ARRI's cameras are used so often throughout the industry, despite stiff competition from Sony, RED, and now Panasonic with the new Varicam35? Share your thoughts with us down in the comments!