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Aaton Vs. Arri


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#1 bragis chut

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:00 PM

Hi everyone:

I'm doing some research/budgeting for an upcoming short project that will be shot on super 16mm. In looking around at camera prices it seems like the Aaton XTR costs more than the Arii SR 3 or even the SR 3 High Speed. What are the differences between these cameras and which do you guys prefer and why? If you had a choice which camera would you use? This is a sync sound project, shooting mostly on locations in and around LA, some indoors, some night stuff outdoors...

Thanks.
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#2 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 02:21 PM

Hi everyone:

I'm doing some research/budgeting for an upcoming short project that will be shot on super 16mm. In looking around at camera prices it seems like the Aaton XTR costs more than the Arii SR 3 or even the SR 3 High Speed. What are the differences between these cameras and which do you guys prefer and why? If you had a choice which camera would you use? This is a sync sound project, shooting mostly on locations in and around LA, some indoors, some night stuff outdoors...

Thanks.


The Aaton magazines are slightly trickier to load than the almost 'idiot proof' Arri SR magazines, but personally I like the shape and feel of the Aaton more. When I used an Aaton for a short, I did a lot of waste level handheld and shoulder mounted work (and despite having a bad shoulder) it sat much better than experiences with the Arri SR cameras, which has a very un-ergonomic base plate.

The Aaton feels a lot more together as the battery checker and frame rate controls are all on board (though they may be onboard on board the SR3s now, I can't remember), I also found the viewfinder slightly brighter too, and showing more outside the frame borders which is usefull.

The Arri SR3 seems to be more common though, so that may explain the price.

It comes down to personal taste of use, with the same lenses and film they'll produce the same image.

Both are very much products of their country:
Arri (Germany) - Sturdy, Practical and Reliable.
Aaton (France) - Stylish, On its own terms, and with a few cards up its sleeve.
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#3 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 02:45 PM

Both are good cameras, but generally speaking I would say the the Aaton XTR is a better camera overall. Some of the reason that the aaton is better is that the registration is better on the Aaton than on the SR3, so if you intend to blow-up to 35mm that is a big bonus, futhermore the design of the Aaton gate, and movement tends to dramatically reduce the chance of hairs, and dust (A big plus when shooting 16mm). Also many of the newer aatons have the option for Panavision mount, instead of PL. So that opens up the possibility of using Primos. Those are just a few reasons I would choose the XTR over the SR3, if your budget allowed for it. That being said, the SR3 can produce just as high quality images. The OC is shot on an SR3 with Ultra Primes, for instance. On the otherhand March of the Penguins, as well as Many of Christopher Guest's Films (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman) were shot on the XTR.

Cheers,

Steve

Edited by Stephen Whitehead, 27 July 2006 - 02:49 PM.

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#4 bragis chut

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:02 PM

Both are good cameras, but generally speaking I would say the the Aaton XTR is a better camera overall. Some of the reason that the aaton is better is that the registration is better on the Aaton than on the SR3, so if you intend to blow-up to 35mm that is a big bonus, futhermore the design of the Aaton gate, and movement tends to dramatically reduce the chance of hairs, and dust (A big plus when shooting 16mm). Also many of the newer aatons have the option for Panavision mount, instead of PL. So that opens up the possibility of using Primos. Those are just a few reasons I would choose the XTR over the SR3, if your budget allowed for it. That being said, the SR3 can produce just as high quality images. The OC is shot on an SR3 with Ultra Primes, for instance. On the otherhand March of the Penguins, as well as Many of Christopher Guest's Films (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman) were shot on the XTR.

Cheers,

Steve

Thanks for the scoop, Steve... All valuable details to have. The registration is certainly key as several shots involve comps.

--Gallantyne

The Aaton magazines are slightly trickier to load than the almost 'idiot proof' Arri SR magazines, but personally I like the shape and feel of the Aaton more. When I used an Aaton for a short, I did a lot of waste level handheld and shoulder mounted work (and despite having a bad shoulder) it sat much better than experiences with the Arri SR cameras, which has a very un-ergonomic base plate.

The Aaton feels a lot more together as the battery checker and frame rate controls are all on board (though they may be onboard on board the SR3s now, I can't remember), I also found the viewfinder slightly brighter too, and showing more outside the frame borders which is usefull.

The Arri SR3 seems to be more common though, so that may explain the price.

It comes down to personal taste of use, with the same lenses and film they'll produce the same image.

Both are very much products of their country:
Arri (Germany) - Sturdy, Practical and Reliable.
Aaton (France) - Stylish, On its own terms, and with a few cards up its sleeve.


Thanks for taking the time to reply. It certainly does seem as though the Arri's are more common but I've found a few places that rent the Aaton's and opne of them is comparable with most of the Arri pricing. I also heard that there is a new Aaton XTR on the market (or will be shortly). Heard anything about that yet?
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:49 PM

I've heard that the last generation of SR3's have equally good steadiness as Aaton's.

Arri also has the new 416 coming out, although I'm sure it is out of your price range.

I like Aaton's for the balance and bright viewfinder and lighter weight. I've twice had problems when the mag isn't seated properly (you need to slap them in there decisively), causing the film to just streak through the gate -- that's never happened to me on an SR. But they are both fine cameras. Being a wimp, though, I'd probably opt for the lighter one...
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 04:44 PM

I can't imagine how anyone would think the Aaton mag harder to load than the Arri. It's incredibly easy and there's no fumbling with sprockets in the bag. The camera has a more forgiving loop size and it's simpler to set that loop. The mags simply slide onto the camera instead having to be accurately aligned and swung into place on the Arri.

All that said, the Arri SR-3Advanced has the lateral gate plate that the Aatons have all had for years. The original SR-3 does not unless it has been retrofitted. I'm surprised you've found SR-3 cameras cheaper than Aatons. Have you tried contacting the Abel Cine Tech LA office?

The XTRProd is being replaced by the XTRProd2 in the Fall, and all Prod cameras are upgradable. The only difference between the cameras is the new videotap, a more advanced electronic junction box on the dummy side and a mounting bar for focus motors to aid Steadicam and other remote focus operation. The Prod2 will also come standard with an 11-position shutter, which was an option on the Prod.

And there's always the XTRPlus, which is the predecessor to the Prod.

Mitch Gross
Technical Director of Rental
Abel Cine Tech NY
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:38 PM

The XTRProd is being replaced by the XTRProd2


Such catchy product names! "XTRProd2" practically rolls off your tongue...
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#8 Arni Heimir

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:58 PM

Arri also has the new 416 coming out, although I'm sure it is out of your price range.


Does anyone know the rental price for it?
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#9 timHealy

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:05 PM

Personally I find the Arri SR the better prodcution camera in terms of accessories and the like working off a dolly and a tripod and Aaton better for handheld work.

best

Tim
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:29 PM

They're both great cameras. It sounds like either one of your choices will work great for your project. I would probably choose the camera I could get the best deal on if I was in your situation.
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#11 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 09:24 PM

I've worked with both pretty extensively and think they each have their advantages and disadvantages. It just depends on what you're doing. I've also played with the 416 a little. The 416 mags are similar to Aaton, a little tricky as far as the loop goes, but it's a really nice camera and has some very good design features. I think it will be quite successful once it gets out there. Some cool stuff...

1. You can change the color of the Arriglow.
2. It's REALLY quiet. Even with the door off the mag, if you step back a couple feet, you can barely hear it.
3. The handle makes it very easy to carry,it's got a flip-out tape hook, and you can mount all kinds of neat stuff on there. Like your onboard monitor or whatever.
4. The dust cover for the mag port on the camera is a good design...sturdy plastic, hard to lose, it sounds trivial but it's really nice.
5. The shoulder pad is a good fit and doesn't feel too awkward.
6. The mags are a little different than typical Arri, to be sure, but it's a smart design and again I am amazed by how quiet it is.
7. You can plug in your Ipod.

Just kidding about #7...!
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:09 PM

Hi everyone:

I'm doing some research/budgeting for an upcoming short project that will be shot on super 16mm. In looking around at camera prices it seems like the Aaton XTR costs more than the Arii SR 3 or even the SR 3 High Speed. What are the differences between these cameras and which do you guys prefer and why? If you had a choice which camera would you use? This is a sync sound project, shooting mostly on locations in and around LA, some indoors, some night stuff outdoors...

Thanks.


Folks can debate this as fervently as they debate Mac vs. PC.

Both great cameras. Both will make fantastic images. My limited experience is that the Aaton is the way to go if you are hand holding but may not be as robust. The ARRI is built like a tank and would be my choice if the shooting conditions were not ideal and you weren't planning to put it on your shoulder much.

-Tim
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#13 Joe Hemsani

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 12:37 AM

Well first of all, the aaton is a quieter camera beacause the movement mechanism is caused by a series of magnets so it is smoother as it pulls the film.
Of course both are great cameras but the aaton is lighter and alot easier to handle movement with it.

maybe yo could also check out the aaton A-Minima, which is almost as good as the XTR but even lighter and smaller thus making things much easier on the set.

Either one will work well but try Aaton for a change, maybe youll like it!
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#14 Rik Andino

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 12:54 AM

Folks can debate this as fervently as they debate Mac vs. PC.

-Tim


I don't know how they could do that (but I'm sure they can... :rolleyes: )
Because these two cameras are pretty much similar...
They perform the same functions, they have the same mount & accept the same lenses
And offer the same interchangleable features...
the only difference is really for the loader...and when you're going handheld.

Sometimes there a price difference and that's how most (sane) people base their choice.

As opposed to the difference between Mas and PC...
Which is just so much broader...

Both cameras are just really good and neither of them will hinder your work (which is important.)
So get the one you'll recieve the better deal with...like a free remote FF or an extra prime lenses...etc...


Good Luck

Some cool stuff...
7. You can plug in your Ipod.


Awright!
Now we synch all our studio footage with the latest Tool songs
And the maybe shoot a few cutaways to the soulful sounds of Barry White.
And make does camera test much snappier with some Jay-Z in the background.

:D
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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 02:24 AM

maybe yo could also check out the aaton A-Minima, which is almost as good as the XTR but even lighter and smaller thus making things much easier on the set.


Hi,

I think the Minima is a great little camera (slightly too noisy), but cannot be compaired to an XTR.

Stephen
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#16 Sam Wells

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 09:34 AM

Such catchy product names! "XTRProd2" practically rolls off your tongue...


"Periboea" would be better.....

-Sam

(JPB owes me one if he uses it B) )
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