Thread: Reasons we bought a used Alexa Classic in 2021...

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Aaron Lochert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    Thanks. Planning to buy these soon. Really appreciate it. Is that just half the arm and you need the handle, too?

    I agree with your thinking in this video.

    These are bargains if you know what you want. For me it is the familiarity of Log C ProRes. If you want something different, they're a dinosaur. Tempted to get a smaller Black Magic camera so I can have the best of both worlds.
    Those are just the "dog bone" arms. You'd need to supply your own handles that have rosettes on them. It looks like Dean is using the Tilta handles that come with the Nucleus-M follow focus. Plenty of other options on the market, though.

    Edit: looks like he beat me to it!
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    Senior Member PatrickWebb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karim D. Ghantous View Post
    Sounds reasonable. AFAIK ProRes is really good, so I don't think that lack of RAW is a handicap. I wouldn't have one, but there's no doubt that at these prices, the value is terrific for how you're using it.

    Some people are still using the old HD BMPCC. That also makes some sense, as it's very small and very capable. It's an order of magnitude cheaper and it has both RAW and ProRes.
    I used for a long time the 2.5K BMCC and that was a nice camera. Problem was the internal battery... wtf! I know a few filmmakers in the region who sill used a rigged up HD~PCC today and still produce very lovely content. I know one of them up-resed it to 4K and it looked... well sharp. haha
    You do get CDNG out of it and that is a good raw to work with. I have personally never use one, but my experience with BM cameras is extensive. Even the original URSA 4K was a lovely image creator ... just never under expose it or the dreaded FPN would tartan your shadows! URG!
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    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Butler View Post
    What do you think of our reasoning / decision? Dumb? Makes sense? Don't care?
    I would say that if the output delivery from the camera is only 1080p it doesn't really make sense as an investment. It gets less and less reasonable to be sub 4K when almost all windows of distribution are getting into UHD HDR. With all the side gear necessary, especially for the weight of the camera, the cost goes up and the most important factor, in my opinion, is that the weight and size of the camera makes it very limited in the types of shots you can do. I remember the last directing gig I did with the classic, it was just a very small short film production with the camera in a kitchen and the shots weren't complicated at all. But at the end of the day... like literally end of day at 11:55 PM, everyone was rigging down and I had a few shots to do myself. Normal close-ups of details in the kitchen while the HMI light was still burning outside as a key daylight. It was freakin hell to shoot those inserts, moving the camera around, getting the angles etc. I was like, why the fu** did we rent this piece of shit camera.

    So, in my opinion, the size and weight of it make it impractical, to say the least. It's not worth the wasted time on set to get the shots you need. Now, with my Komodo, I can actually be creative, I can try out shots, experiment, without having to lift a freakin tank and waste time getting the shot.

    Wasting all of that just to get the color science is not worth it. Most cameras are so good today that even though I favor the Alexa LF mini, its cost makes it unpractical for owning and the color science is not enough to buy older Alexas. Being able to get a wide range of shot types during a shoot day is more important than being locked in place due to weight and size.
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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    I would say that if the output delivery from the camera is only 1080p it doesn't really make sense as an investment. It gets less and less reasonable to be sub 4K when almost all windows of distribution are getting into UHD HDR. With all the side gear necessary, especially for the weight of the camera, the cost goes up and the most important factor, in my opinion, is that the weight and size of the camera makes it very limited in the types of shots you can do. I remember the last directing gig I did with the classic, it was just a very small short film production with the camera in a kitchen and the shots weren't complicated at all. But at the end of the day... like literally end of day at 11:55 PM, everyone was rigging down and I had a few shots to do myself. Normal close-ups of details in the kitchen while the HMI light was still burning outside as a key daylight. It was freakin hell to shoot those inserts, moving the camera around, getting the angles etc. I was like, why the fu** did we rent this piece of shit camera.

    So, in my opinion, the size and weight of it make it impractical, to say the least. It's not worth the wasted time on set to get the shots you need. Now, with my Komodo, I can actually be creative, I can try out shots, experiment, without having to lift a freakin tank and waste time getting the shot.

    Wasting all of that just to get the color science is not worth it. Most cameras are so good today that even though I favor the Alexa LF mini, its cost makes it unpractical for owning and the color science is not enough to buy older Alexas. Being able to get a wide range of shot types during a shoot day is more important than being locked in place due to weight and size.

    +1

    it's up to you . if you can use it why not go for it..
    i used it as a b cam to the mini..i was also the director. we were getting behind schedule.and i had the a.d. breathing down my neck to move to the next set up. and we had to wrap out of location.. you don't want your b cam holding you up. it needs camera assistants...rigging etc... i think the red cams scarlet or epic used are the best deal at that price..really nicely designed cams and versatile and for a little more the komodo...i think arri's best cam is the arri lt and some of those 35mm rolls ..which i just used on a spot ..and it turned out amazing
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  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    It gets less and less reasonable to be sub 4K when almost all windows of distribution are getting into UHD HDR.
    I agree about having a smaller camera, unfortunately for me a P4K and an Alexa does not add up to an Alexa Mini. But an Alexa Mini is expensive.

    But the 4K argument I don't get. In the past years I've worked on maybe fifty to a hundred jobs and maybe 2% of them were 4K+ acquisition and delivery. If your client demands it from you, they demand it from you. Otherwise it's a non-issue.
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    I agree about having a smaller camera, unfortunately for me a P4K and an Alexa does not add up to an Alexa Mini. But an Alexa Mini is expensive.

    But the 4K argument I don't get. In the past years I've worked on maybe fifty to a hundred jobs and maybe 2% of them were 4K+ acquisition and delivery. If your client demands it from you, they demand it from you. Otherwise it's a non-issue.
    It depends on what you do. The thing is that UHD HDR will quickly become the standard and the argument of future-proofing is starting to come into play now that people who shot 4K back in 2010 can do remasters for UHD releases. 99% of all my deliveries are in 4K, in any sector. Shooting 4K+ acquisition also has to do with getting a 4K subsample correct. 8K to 4K makes up for the lack of color resolution in Bayer sensors. So shooting 1080p and 2K nowadays makes very little sense, especially if investing in a tech that should be used for a few years. While in the realm of narrative work, you cannot do anything for channels that demand 4K+ acquisition, so you're locked out of their budget money.

    At this moment, for narrative work, I would argue that the Komodo is the very best indie camera to get for narrative work. Maybe even DSMC2 Dragon for its lower-sized compression. But the size of that camera, the cost of it and the ability to get complicated shots without the need to pour a lot of money into stabilization gimbals, steadycams and tripods that can support the weight of an Alexa classic makes any argument just about color science irrelevant for the quality of output you get in all other regards. And the versatility of being able to reframe and resize images in post can make or break shoots that didn't have the time to get all necessary setups.
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  7. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    It depends on what you do. The thing is that UHD HDR will quickly become the standard and the argument of future-proofing is starting to come into play now that people who shot 4K back in 2010 can do remasters for UHD releases. 99% of all my deliveries are in 4K, in any sector. Shooting 4K+ acquisition also has to do with getting a 4K subsample correct. 8K to 4K makes up for the lack of color resolution in Bayer sensors. So shooting 1080p and 2K nowadays makes very little sense, especially if investing in a tech that should be used for a few years. While in the realm of narrative work, you cannot do anything for channels that demand 4K+ acquisition, so you're locked out of their budget money.

    At this moment, for narrative work, I would argue that the Komodo is the very best indie camera to get for narrative work. Maybe even DSMC2 Dragon for its lower-sized compression. But the size of that camera, the cost of it and the ability to get complicated shots without the need to pour a lot of money into stabilization gimbals, steadycams and tripods that can support the weight of an Alexa classic makes any argument just about color science irrelevant for the quality of output you get in all other regards. And the versatility of being able to reframe and resize images in post can make or break shoots that didn't have the time to get all necessary setups.
    I think we're just after different things.

    I don't run a company, but most of my paid work is with 3.2k and 2.9k (anamorphic) Alexa footage.

    And so I bought one for my personal work, for familiarity.
    Last edited by Matt W.; 03-20-2021 at 02:10 PM.
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  8. #18  
    Senior Member Dean Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    I would say that if the output delivery from the camera is only 1080p it doesn't really make sense as an investment. It gets less and less reasonable to be sub 4K when almost all windows of distribution are getting into UHD HDR. With all the side gear necessary, especially for the weight of the camera, the cost goes up and the most important factor, in my opinion, is that the weight and size of the camera makes it very limited in the types of shots you can do. I remember the last directing gig I did with the classic, it was just a very small short film production with the camera in a kitchen and the shots weren't complicated at all. But at the end of the day... like literally end of day at 11:55 PM, everyone was rigging down and I had a few shots to do myself. Normal close-ups of details in the kitchen while the HMI light was still burning outside as a key daylight. It was freakin hell to shoot those inserts, moving the camera around, getting the angles etc. I was like, why the fu** did we rent this piece of shit camera.

    So, in my opinion, the size and weight of it make it impractical, to say the least. It's not worth the wasted time on set to get the shots you need. Now, with my Komodo, I can actually be creative, I can try out shots, experiment, without having to lift a freakin tank and waste time getting the shot.

    Wasting all of that just to get the color science is not worth it. Most cameras are so good today that even though I favor the Alexa LF mini, its cost makes it unpractical for owning and the color science is not enough to buy older Alexas. Being able to get a wide range of shot types during a shoot day is more important than being locked in place due to weight and size.
    Really good counter points Chirstoffer! I'll let you know how much the size and weight causes havoc / slow downs for us. As for the sub4k resolution. Our main distribution for what we are planning is festivals and straight to YouTube. If I'm making a movie for STAN in Australia on NETFLIX we won't be using our own camera so we aren't fazed about that at all (the lower than 4k rez)... the size and weight, as I said for sure solid point.
    Will see how we go. It'll be interesting to see if we integrate the BMPCC 6k for speciality shots etc and try to match in.
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member Dean Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    I agree about having a smaller camera, unfortunately for me a P4K and an Alexa does not add up to an Alexa Mini. But an Alexa Mini is expensive.

    But the 4K argument I don't get. In the past years I've worked on maybe fifty to a hundred jobs and maybe 2% of them were 4K+ acquisition and delivery. If your client demands it from you, they demand it from you. Otherwise it's a non-issue.
    Yes same for me. Not concerned about sub 4k. I have a 4.6k and 6k camera. But not being able to fly it on a gimbal, getting certain low angle shots etc... that may cause headaches.
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member Dean Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    It depends on what you do. The thing is that UHD HDR will quickly become the standard and the argument of future-proofing is starting to come into play now that people who shot 4K back in 2010 can do remasters for UHD releases. 99% of all my deliveries are in 4K, in any sector. Shooting 4K+ acquisition also has to do with getting a 4K subsample correct. 8K to 4K makes up for the lack of color resolution in Bayer sensors. So shooting 1080p and 2K nowadays makes very little sense, especially if investing in a tech that should be used for a few years. While in the realm of narrative work, you cannot do anything for channels that demand 4K+ acquisition, so you're locked out of their budget money.

    At this moment, for narrative work, I would argue that the Komodo is the very best indie camera to get for narrative work. Maybe even DSMC2 Dragon for its lower-sized compression. But the size of that camera, the cost of it and the ability to get complicated shots without the need to pour a lot of money into stabilization gimbals, steadycams and tripods that can support the weight of an Alexa classic makes any argument just about color science irrelevant for the quality of output you get in all other regards. And the versatility of being able to reframe and resize images in post can make or break shoots that didn't have the time to get all necessary setups.
    I actually agree with what you are saying here. But we have a very specific use plan for the Classic and it does not involve making money on it to using it on UHD streaming releases.
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