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Elliot Rudmann

Shooting ArriRaw

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A few projects we've been getting at work have been shot with Alexa but NONE of them have shot RAW, all prores 4x4. Upon further investigation I heard from someone that renting the recording accessory that allows the ingest of the Arriraw t-link signal costs more than the camera rental itself! Google has come up short in helping me find a definitive answer here, so I was wondering if anyone could confirm this, or has any realistic rental figures for getting the ideal raw footage from the camera. Has anyone here actually worked on a project where Arriraw was recorded out of the Alexa? I know that Arri says there are a few third party recorders that allow this and maybe some cost more to rent than others, but it's worth noting if one of the key features out of the camera is financially impractical for most projects.

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I suspect that an uncompressed recorder is always going to look like a rather unattractive financial option compared to, well, a simple flash card.

 

As I understand it, the T-link signal is valid dual-link HD-SDI and ought to be recordable on more or less anything designed to that standard, though I've not seen it done. If the equipment was expecting an RGB image you'd get something rather odd-looking if you viewed it normally, but it still ought to be possible to take the resulting images and run the Arri debayer software on them. This is all speculation, of course. Don't the more recent Arri digital cameras offer an RGB output anyway?

 

In a world where solid state disks are getting bigger, faster and cheaper by the second, recording uncompressed oughtn't to be a big deal any more.

 

P

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I believe an S.two OB-1 or a codex onboard recorder with a couple mags usually rents for the same price as the camera, but then you also need to get a download station, the codex being very expensive, and the S.Two a little cheaper. You also need to factor in the cost of hard drive space, I believe uncompressed raw recording over T-link is about 750GB per hour. I'm in the process of planning a test to see if shooting uncompressed is really advantageous over pro res. I'm guessing that for most things it won't be, and for VFX heavy shots it will be.

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If you need to "sell" it to production, maybe take the approach that it still is a hell of a lot cheaper than shooting 35mm film. ;)

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As of last week on my Alexa jobs the dual sdi ports to raw recording capabilities were not yet implemented on the current release build (2.0). Not sure if the newer build allows for it yet. I think once it's up and running lots of people will be using it.

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Recording ARRIRAW from Alexa is not yet enabled by the firmware.

 

An uncompressed signal can be taken from the HD-SDI ports and recorded using a number of different recorders, such as S-Two's file-based OB-1 or mildly compressed using HDCAMSR tape.

 

I've been told that for most TV work the on-board PRO SxS cards using PRORES seem to be more than adequate, although the camera speed is reduced to a maximum of 30 fps. When recording ARRIRAW becomes an option on Alexa, I suspect it will mainly be used when going to a film out, or for Blu-Ray distribution.

 

The only recorders I'm aware of that are ARRIRAW compatible are OB-1 and Codex. The rental house I'm at has an OB-1 package including flash mags and docking station for around two-thirds the cost of the basic Alexa camera rental. As previously mentioned, some serious hard drive space is also needed. Other rental houses might have different pricing arrangements, but recording ARRIRAW will definitely increase the cost from using on-board cards.

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shooting on arriraw is not as easy as shooting uncompressed with recorders like the stwo dfr2k and ob1.

 

if you have the luxury of time shoot arriraw, manage the files, and then debayer it, it would be great to shoot on arriraw.

 

we have been shooting uncompressed with our stwo dfr2k and ob1 recorder for almost two years now, with our d21 and now the alexa.

 

the uncompressed raw dpx from the dfr2k shot on log c is really very good, plus the workflow is not that tedious.

 

we have shot a feature last year which the director one best director, "the execution of p" shot with the d21 recorded on stwo dfr2k, when it was blowed up on film, the output was really amazing.

 

just to sum it up, if you have time to manage files and debayer the arriraw materials, go for it. but shooting uncompressed dpx hd 1080p will do the job for you.

 

i promise you, when you view the arriraw images and uncompressed dpx side side... by eye you wont see any difference... it's just the psychology that i am shooting arriraw that gives you the wow factor.

 

hope this helps.

 

mark

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ARRIRAW is not yet enabled for ALEXA as the signal is slightly different from that of the D21 and ARRI wishes for all the recorders and post systems to be fully vetted on the new standard.

 

The next firmware release will deliver in a matter of days and will enable up to 60fps capture to the SxS cards.

 

 

There are three recording options on ALEXA:

 

1 - ARRIRAW to outboard recorder (not yet enabled)

2 - Uncompressed HD-SDI (4:2:2 or 4:4:4) to outboard recorder.

3 - DTE ProRes recording (all quality levels) to SxS cards.

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A few projects we've been getting at work have been shot with Alexa but NONE of them have shot RAW, all prores 4x4. Upon further investigation I heard from someone that renting the recording accessory that allows the ingest of the Arriraw t-link signal costs more than the camera rental itself! Google has come up short in helping me find a definitive answer here, so I was wondering if anyone could confirm this, or has any realistic rental figures for getting the ideal raw footage from the camera. Has anyone here actually worked on a project where Arriraw was recorded out of the Alexa? I know that Arri says there are a few third party recorders that allow this and maybe some cost more to rent than others, but it's worth noting if one of the key features out of the camera is financially impractical for most projects.

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