Jump to content


Photo

Is the Arri D-21 any good?

arri d-21 alexa camera

  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 Georgio Agusto

Georgio Agusto

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Other
  • Melbourne

Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:57 PM

I have the opportunity to purchase a used Arri D-21 from a local rental shop for $6000. I have heard that the D-21 footage has a unique film like quality that surpasses most cameras, even the Alexa. Although it's dynamic range is limited to 11 stops and low lightcapabilities seem to be quite poor.

 

Can those of you who have used the D-21 please share your experiences.


  • 1

#2 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:40 AM

I shot a short on it, and yeah it was a fun little camera-- but I'd not buy one because no one is going to rent it out these days. It was fantastic for what it was, when it was, and still is an interesting camera for very specific shoots, and can make some beautiful images (though be very careful about moire) but it's not a money maker these days.


  • 0

#3 Will Barber

Will Barber
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NYC

Posted 28 March 2014 - 10:48 AM

Here's a test some Motion Picture Science majors did at my school with 4 cameras, including the D21. It might help you with a couple of questions.

 

http://sofatube.cias...ideos/show/2671

 

I haven't used it personally, but all I've heard about it is how much of a pain in the ass it is to shoot on because you have to tether it, though that could be solved with an SDI recorder like the Samurai I suppose. I wouldn't say 11 stops is really a limit, that's a pretty acceptable range, especially if you want a falloff to black. I've seen some pretty beautiful stuff shot on it.

 

 

There's a short film also shot at my school, which intercuts the D21 with Kodak stock, I'm not sure which one exactly.


  • 1

#4 Vadim Bobkovsky

Vadim Bobkovsky
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts

Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:53 PM

Seems to work well for this guy. A lot of diffusion helps, I guess.


Edited by Vadim Bobkovsky, 07 April 2014 - 08:55 PM.

  • 0

#5 Jerry Murrel

Jerry Murrel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts
  • Little Rock, AR

Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:29 PM

Here's an impressive video shot with the Arri D-21.

This was lit properly, and was well graded in post.

 

 

-Jerry Murrel

Little Rock, AR


  • 0

#6 Matthew Kerins

Matthew Kerins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Leeds

Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:24 PM

I'm totally stumped how the D-21 works. I'm also thinking of getting one because it produces beautiful images, and i've also found a cheap one. However i'm not familiar with working with external recorder and have no clue how they work! I've done some googling on the subject and can't seem to learn anything. How do you get the best out of the camera without paying for an arriraw recorder? 

 

Cheers 

 

Matt


  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19760 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:06 PM

Most people used to send a dual-link HD-SDI signal out of the D-21 to an HDCAM-SR deck to record 1080P HD 4:4:4 -- nowadays you could record 1080P if you wanted to an external recorder (non-tape), you don't necessarily have to record ArriRaw (I'm not even sure if the flavor of ArriRaw that the D21 produces is supported by many onboard recorders that claim to handle the Alexa's ArriRaw.)

 

The sensor is not particularly fast, more in that 200 to 320 ISO range.


  • 1

#8 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:08 PM

I rated it at 200 to a KiPro (we only needed ProRes) if memory serves.


  • 1

#9 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3066 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 August 2014 - 12:47 AM

When I was an operator, I worked for Derek Suter BSC a few times, who used to shoot it at either 200 or 500 ISO. He got great results either way, but actually preferred the look of 500 ISO. We were shooting tethered to an HD-CAM SR deck, which at the time was pretty much the only way to do it.


  • 2

#10 Matthew Kerins

Matthew Kerins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Leeds

Posted 16 August 2014 - 04:13 AM

Ahh thanks, ok, I can't afford a tape recorder though. What about them blackmagic hyperdeck ones? would they work? Also is 1080p the highest resolution you can record without the use of arriraw?

 

Cheers

 

Matt


  • 0

#11 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11939 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:06 AM

I have never used D21, but assuming the SR deck wasn't using special techniques to suit the camera, it just sounds like it has a dual-link out. So, yes, you could get a dual-link to 3 gigabit SDI converter (the Blackmagic "Mini Converter SDI Multiplex 4K" will probably do it, but there are probably less overspecified approaches) and record it to something like an Atomos Samurai Blade as ProRes. Presumably. Probably. All things being equal. 

 

Or, if you're happy to go tethered, you could probably just use a Hyperdeck Studio recorder on its own, which might give you an uncompressed option. Various configurations are possible.

 

What're you going to do for lenses?

 

P


  • 0

#12 John Miguel King

John Miguel King
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 153 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • London, UK

Posted 29 August 2014 - 07:01 AM

An FS700 with an Odyssey 7Q costs roughly that, but gives you 4k 12 bit raw up to 30 fps, 2k raw up to 240 fps and even prores 4444. It's more sensitive and has roughly the same DR.

 

And it's just one of the many options.


  • 0

#13 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11939 posts
  • Other

Posted 29 August 2014 - 10:12 AM

Is D21 rolling shutter?


  • 0

#14 John Miguel King

John Miguel King
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 153 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • London, UK

Posted 29 August 2014 - 10:22 AM

Alexa is...


  • 0

#15 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11939 posts
  • Other

Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:08 AM

Yeah, more's the pity. May Red be accursed by all sorts of fictional demons for normalising that...

 

But in all seriousness, Alexa is quite a lot less rolling shutter than an FS700.


  • 0

#16 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:21 AM

An FS700 with an Odyssey 7Q costs roughly that, but gives you 4k 12 bit raw up to 30 fps, 2k raw up to 240 fps and even prores 4444. It's more sensitive and has roughly the same DR.

 

And it's just one of the many options.

 

The D21 produces really nice pictures tho.

 

It's easy to look at the specs for a camera and say "hey this is way better" but it's a bit like judging a cake on its ingredients.

 

Definitely the D21 is not that practical in a lot of ways if you are on a low budget. It is slower (200 or 500 ASA) and it doesn't record sound at all, so no plural eyes or anything, you have to work in an old school kind of film kind of way.

 

The FS700 is a fantastic camera for small indie films. It just depends on what suits the job.

The D21 makes nicer images tho.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 29 August 2014 - 11:23 AM.

  • 1

#17 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19760 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:28 PM

Is D21 rolling shutter?

Since it has an optical viewfinder and a mechanical mirror shutter, generally there wouldn't be rolling shutter artifacts (though a spinning mechanical shutter is in fact a form of rolling shutter).  I don't know if you could just run the camera with the rotating shutter open and only use an electronic shutter, and if that was global or rolling.


  • 1

#18 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 29 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

Yes it would be an effective global shutter or to look at it another way it would be an actual shutter! ;)

Somewhat like Reds motion mount.

 

Freya


  • 0

#19 Jerry Murrel

Jerry Murrel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts
  • Little Rock, AR

Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:07 AM

Ahh thanks, ok, I can't afford a tape recorder though. What about them blackmagic hyperdeck ones? would they work? Also is 1080p the highest resolution you can record without the use of arriraw?

 

Cheers

 

Matt

Matthew,

 

Mark Mervis is selling several D-21s, and has a digital recorder option to go with the camera, for a reasonable price.

If you are interested, message me here and I can put you in contact with him.

 

-Jerry Murrel

Little Rock, AR


  • 0

#20 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3066 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 25 September 2014 - 10:17 AM

 I don't know if you could just run the camera with the rotating shutter open and only use an electronic shutter, and if that was global or rolling.

Wouldn't leaving the mechanical shutter open render the viewfinder useless? Of course, you could always operate off a monitor, but one of the major attractions of the D-21 was its optical finder.


  • 0



Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Opal

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Abel Cine

Glidecam

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc