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All about the Arricam


JJ Walker
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Hi, is anyone willing to share their knowledge on using the Arricam system of cameras? I’ll be shooting with the Arricam LT and I don’t have any experience with it (or film cameras, in general).


Regarding battery solutions, the Anton Bauer Cine VCLX batteries seem to be the closest thing to the de facto standard battery for this 24V camera. And while I’m open to using a block battery, I’m curious if there are any other preferred battery solutions, especially concerning hand-held use. While I’ve heard of battery belts, I’ve never used one myself and I don’t know how comfortable I am strapping large batteries around my waist. Maybe it is a good solution though, considering the alternatives.


How much wattage does the camera consume while filming at different speeds? It’s been difficult to find this information.


The manual states the Power Bridgeplate is the standard plate used with this system. Will other ARRI plates, such as the BP-8 bridge plate, fit as well?


The standard video assist system (IVS) operates on the aged NTSC/PAL system (and I have little hope of getting my hands on the HD-IVS). It seems the best signal output is S-Video. This isn’t an ideal connection for production use, but can anyone recommend a monitor that has an S-Video input? Or, should I just stick with the BNC Composite signal? Or, is it worth it to use a convertor box to covert the signal to SDI?


Any modern-day, practical advice regarding these cameras would be very helpful. Thanks!


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Kenny recommand you a really good book. In this book you can find many things you cannot find in the manual.

Especially if you are not familiar with shooting on film and how to use film cameras, it is really a good investment!

If you buy the book second hand, then make sure if you will use the first or the second edition of the Arricam LT. If you will use a second edition camera, then buy the second edition of the book. In this edition also the new features are explained.

 

For bridge plate compability and other things, also the Arri Website is useful. You can download there more than it looks at the first view.

They also have some very useful diagrammes.

At this link you find a pdf for Analog Support Accessories:

https://www.arri.com/camera/pro_camera_accessories/products/support_systems/studio_support/bridge_plate_bp-8/?node_id=52fe843c3baf673c1003763b

 

To power belts: I think it is a question of usage. If you plan to shoot many scences handheld, then I would use a power belt.

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Thank you for those suggestions. I look forward to reading Jon Fauer’s book; I imagine it will be an excellent resource. The last printing was in 2005, so I wonder if there have been any advancements regarding the camera’s operation that are worth noting?


Previously, I did download many useful PDFs from the ARRI sites (after some hunting), though it still has left some questions unanswered.


Is there a particular belt and battery combination to recommend? I am still weighing the cost-to-benefit ratio. Maybe a block battery is a better initial choice, especially since I don’t know how much wattage I’ll need for operating the camera.


I’ve looked at many photos of the cameras being used in recent productions to get a sense of how it’s being configured and rigged, but it’s only partly helpful since the rig becomes a tangle of wires. In a behind-the-scenes clip, I saw Sean Bobbitt, BSC; using an Arricam in hand-held mode with a battery belt, but I couldn’t determine what type it was.


Out of curiosity, does anyone have a well-informed guess as to how many of these cameras were manufactured?

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  • 2 weeks later...

It is good to read the books first, then visit the rental house to get some real hands-on experience with it and to try different configurations and practice loading (if you are planning to do that by yourself). You can also test power options there easily.

 

Cameras are really the kind of things you have to actually use, at least a little bit, before ypu can actually use them as creative tools. Especially film cameras because there is so much mechanical stuff and different configurations and you have to know how the camera should sound like when it's running etc

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