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How would you rate these cameras?


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#1 FilmmakerJack

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 07:40 PM

How would you rate the following cameras on a scale from 1 - 10 (1 = worst, 10 = best)?

Krasnogorsk-3
Canon Scoopic
Beaulieu R16
Bolex H16
Arri S
CP16R
Arriflex 16BL
Eclair NPR
Eclair ACL
Aaton LTR
Arriflex SR
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

In my personal preference:

1: Canon Scoopic
2: CP16R
3: Beaulieu R16
4: Bolex H16
5: Aaton LTR
6: Eclair ACL
7: Krasnogorsk-3
8: Eclair NPR
9: Arri S
10: Arriflex 16BL
11: Arriflex SR

Now, I'd shoot with any of these. But the primary reason for the order is based on how the cameras feel to me when operating. Also, how readily available it would be to fix them, I so love to tinker with my cameras. And on top of it, the ease of using the lenses I already own.
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#3 Rik Andino

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 09:02 PM

It's very difficult to rate cameras on a scale of 1-10...
Each camera has a special application
A camera that may be used for one shoot might not be perfect for another.

I broke down your list into MOS cameras and Synch Sound Cameras
And I added a few cameras to your list.


MOS Cameras
Canon Scoopic---4
K3---5
Beaulieu R16---6
Bolex H16---6
Bolex RX5---7
Arri S---8
Ikonoskop---9

Synch Sound Cameras
CP16R---5
Arriflex 16BL---5
Eclair NPR---6
Eclair ACL---7
Aaton LTR-54---8
Arriflex SR---8
Aaton XTRProd---10
Arriflex SR3---10
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#4 Robert Skates

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 09:24 PM

SYNC CAMERAS
10. Arri SR
9. Aaton LTR 7 (owned)
7. Arri 16BL (owned)
6. Eclair NPR
5. Eclair ACL
6. CP 16R (owned)

MOS CAMERAS
10. Arri S (own)
7. Bolex H16 (owned)
6. Canon Scoopic M (owned)
4. Beaulieu R16 (owned)
3. K3

I put the cameras into SYNC and MOS groups. I rated each 1-10 and I also put them in order from best to worst. Arri SR being best K3 bringing up the rear. The Arri S is every bit as good as the Arri SR. Different tools for different jobs. Now before all the K3 owners start raising RED flags, I like the K3. Great camera for the price. I have used two of these cameras over the years. Both had the stock zoom lens. One was shockingly sharp. The other soft, and loop issues more often than not.

Assuming all these cameras are in perfect condition, I put them in order based on quality of build, number of available accessories, durability, built in features, repairability/spare parts, ergonomics. The Currently manufactured Arri SR3 and Aaton XTRprod are based on the same platform of the SR1 and LTR respectively. That says alot about the quality of the initial design. The SR gets the nod over the Aaton. More accesssories. The Arri 16BL is a great solid camera. Get the offset viewfinder and the prime blimp and you have a quality camera. Plus the Arri SR long viewfinder works nicely on the BL. Think of it as a studio camera. The Eclair NPR is a delicate camera. Mags secure to the camera in a dubious fasion. Terrible to hand hold. Not many accessories available. It does have a variable shutter. This and this only this puts it above the ACL and the CP 16R. The ACL is better to hand hold than the CP16 and has clip on coaxial mags in 200' and 400'

The Arri S is in the best MOS 16mm camera ever made. Built like a tank. Steady and compact. 400' and rare 200' mags plus an internal 100' load. Sync motor are currently available from Tobin. Tons of accessories. This was designed as a pro camera. Bolex H16. Solid and still manufactured based on a tried and true 50 year old design. Tons of accessories and lenses. The Canon Scoopic M has a great FIXED lens. There is the rub, fixed lens. Batteries are proprietary as well. Get the 400' mag adapter (one on ebay right now). The Beaulieu R16 is one beautiful camera. I love the design. 200' mag is cool. C mount lens are very plentifull. Plenty of c mount to SLR mounts on ebay. The Scoopic gets the nod based on the 400' mag adapter and it's rugged build. In terms of cosmetics the two could not be further apart. The Beaulieu is graceful, the Scoopic is blunt. The K3 is a great camera for the price. However you get what you pay for. I love this camera. The design and build just is not on par with the rest.

Just my thoughts.
Rob Skates
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#5 Robert Morein

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:02 AM

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Depending upon the criteria, the ranking will vary.
Suppose the following requirements have to be met:
1. Gate has side rail so that super-16 can be telecined without gate weave blowing the compression algorithm. Only certain cameras satisfy this: All Eclairs, all Aatons, and only Arris equipped or retrofitted with the SR-3 Advanced Gate. Any other camera you try to telecine with a Spirit will result in uncompressible output; hence, worthless for HD.
2. Camera can accept the following mounts: Arri-S, Arri-B, Arri-PL, Nikkor, Canon, C-mount, CA Only one camera can take all these: ACL, because it has interchangeable mounts. Important if you're fooling with surplus military WA optics, which is why a Swedish aerial photography firm has two custom modified ACLs.
3. Camera must have absolute minimum noise level for closeup work. Having spent two weeks with the ARS audio suite to remove camera noise, I know how important this is. The Aaton XTR series is the quietest camera.
4. Camera must shoot 200,000 feet of film between maintenance intervals. Only the Arri mechanism can do this. Aaton can do 80,000.
5. Camera must not hinder optical sharpness in any way. This excludes prism Bolex, and Canon Scoopic
6. Camera must be a feasible solution for S-16: This excludes Arri S, Arri M.
7. S-16 camera must weigh under 8 lbs. Only three cameras in this category: Eclair ACL with a 200' mag and a C-mount lens, an Aaton A-minima, or an Iknonoscope
8. Camera must run 75 fps. Eclair ACL, Arri SRII & higher, Aaton XTR Prod.
9. Camera must function in Artic conditions. The Arri is best at this.

10. Camera must mount zooms without deformation of lens mount. Understand that zooms are so critical that pros frequently take collimators to the job site with them. This excludes all cameras with turret mounts: NPR, Arri-S or M. Only hard front cameras can mount zooms with sufficient precision for professional jobs. The Arri-SR and the Aaton are best; the ACL requires a rods-mounted lens support with heavy zooms. It has a robust lens mount, but it isn't bolted all the way through the body to the film plane, as it is with the Aaton.

I interpret a "job" as commercial use, rather than hobby or student use. 16mm is a sharpness-challenged medium. A camera is not a gun or a tennis racket. The single most important factor is whether the camera will deliver the image, which means: register the film, without interposition of a prism, without side-weave, and will mount the lens I need to use.
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#6 oscar jimenez

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:53 PM

1. Gate has side rail so that super-16 can be telecined without gate weave blowing the compression algorithm. Only certain cameras satisfy this: All Eclairs, all Aatons, and only Arris equipped or retrofitted with the SR-3 Advanced Gate. Any other camera you try to telecine with a Spirit will result in uncompressible output; hence, worthless for HD

Could you be so kind to explain this ? actually Gate weave blowing + compression algorithm certainly for this Im not quite clear.
thanks
Oscar
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#7 Robert Morein

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 09:24 PM

1. Gate has side rail so that super-16 can be telecined without gate weave blowing the compression algorithm. Only certain cameras satisfy this: All Eclairs, all Aatons, and only Arris equipped or retrofitted with the SR-3 Advanced Gate. Any other camera you try to telecine with a Spirit will result in uncompressible output; hence, worthless for HD

Could you be so kind to explain this ? actually Gate weave blowing + compression algorithm certainly  for this Im not quite clear.
thanks
Oscar

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Most cameras have a gate that is machined to a standard width, and rely on the ability of the film manufacturer to precisely control the width of the film stock.

Unfortunately, there are limits to how well this can be done, and the stock shrinks and expands according to humidity. For years, there was a rivalry between Arri and Aaton owners as to which brand registered better: Arri with the registration pin, or Aaton, with heavy gate pressure and a spring loaded side rail. There was no final determination until scanners like the Spirit came along, as S-16 developed into a Hidef origination format.

Hidef is transmitted over cable and air using jpeg compression. This relies on similarity of successive frames, so that most frames transmit only the difference between the preceding frame and the current one. However, a shift of EVERYTHING in the frame, however slight, which is what occurs with gate weave, overwhelms the compression algorithm, which thinks it is seeing a new frame. This might be barely noticeable during projection, but it causes a channel capacity overload for HD.

Aaton did not have that problem, and neither did the Eclair, because both cameras incorporate a variable width, springloaded side rail that constantly pushes the film against one side of the gate. Since scanners have the same kind of gate -- there are no pin registered scanners -- it works for HD.

Suddenly, networks that had invested in $250K Arri SRIII cameras were stuck. This no doubt accelerated the shift of networks to HD. Arri responded by introducing the Advanced Gate, which can be retrofitted into any SR, at variable cost. Any Arri camera that does not have the Advanced Gate is unsuitable for HD origination.
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#8 oscar jimenez

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:24 AM

But, is Arri "advanced" gate, the same as Aaton Dual pressure plate on XTR model ?
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#9 Robert Morein

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 12:09 PM

But, is Arri "advanced" gate, the same as Aaton Dual pressure plate on XTR model ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No. But it solves the problem.
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#10 Sam Wells

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 10:23 AM

Hell a pan shifts everything in the frame.....

anyway, no one is going directly from telecine to ATSC compression...
(I'm not saying DTV isn't evil, but...)

-Sam
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#11 Dominik Muench

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 03:17 AM

had my first 16mm shoot with a ArriBl, what a heavy bitch for a camera, was an aerial shoot and i had nothing to strap the camera, the pilot got me one of those holding straps from his notebook bag which i clipped onto the cam :)
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#12 Rik Andino

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 01:40 PM

Had my first 16mm shoot with a ArriBl, what a heavy bitch for a camera

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I know what you're talking about...It's like over 20lbs!

Funny thing is that the camera was primarily made for handholding.
It was made to shoot film and sound at the same time--single-system shooting
(That what all those buttons in the back are for)
So it was primarily made for New Gathering and sport shooting...
Which meant it was usually used handheld.

I'm sure cameramen in the 60's must've hated it...
Either that or been built like linebackers. :)
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#13 John Thomas

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 08:50 PM

[quote name='FilmmakerJack' date='May 5 2005, 07:40 PM']
How would you rate the following cameras on a scale from 1 - 10 (1 = worst, 10 = best)?


Arri S is the best, 100' load, prime lens. When you're done taking pictures go out and hammer some nails, or break up some concrete. Caution! Not A Toy!
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