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The ARRIFLEX D-21 is a film style digital camera that combines familiar high-end film style functionality, handling and creative options with the immediacy and economy of digital acquisition.

Price: P.O.A. per day

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The ARRIFLEX D-21 combine leading edge digital technology with film camera features that have been refined over ARRI’s 90-year history. They allow directors and cinematographers to shoot in the same way as they would with 35 mm film, while taking advantage of the immediacy and economy of digital acquisition.

As the top of the line digital cameras from ARRI, the market leader in professional imaging, they are equipped with a number of unique features: an optical viewfinder, the Mscope™ anamorphic output, a 4:3 format sensor, simple operation and an unequalled film-like image quality. In addition, the D-21 is the only camera capable of simultaneously outputting raw data and HD.
The bright optical viewfinder has zero delay, works without power and shows an image area outside the primary image. Through ARRI Imaging Technology (AIT), both cameras produces brilliant images with a cinematic look and feel, a high dynamic range, high contrast and the most film-like motion and color reproduction of any digital motion picture camera.

The cameras’ single, Super 35-sized CMOS sensor exhibits the same cinematic depth of field as 35 mm film. The industry standard PL lens mount accepts the same vast variety of prime, zoom and specialty film lenses used on 35 mm film cameras. Since both cameras are the only digital high-end cameras with a 4:3 aspect ratio sensor, they easily accommodate all image formats, including anamorphic 2.40:1. The anamorphic image can be recorded in the new and innovative Mscope™ mode, utilizing a standard HD workflow, or, on the D-21, also in Data Mode.

Further film style features include variable frame rates from 1 to 60 fps (D-21)/1-30 fps (D-21 HD), exposure compensated speed ramps, compatibility with ARRI film style accessories, simple to use controls and the robust construction and ergonomic design for which ARRI cameras are famous.

The ARRIRAW format enables the D-21 to output raw uncompressed data. Alternatively, both D-21 and D-21 HD can output an uncompressed HD signal that works perfectly in the established HD infrastructure. With such flexibility, both ARRIFLEX D-21 and D-21 HD easily adapt to a variety of production requirements and budgets.

What is so special about the D-21?

The most noticeable difference between the D-21 and any other digital or HD camera is the picture quality it produces. The D-21 is renowned for a cinematic look that comes very close to 35mm film in terms of sharpness, colorimetry, exposure latitude and depth of field. This is because the D-21’s sensor is the same size and shape as an open gate 35mm film frame.

Why is the optical viewfinder so important?

Because it helps your operator to work more creatively and more efficiently; the direct look-through from viewfinder to lens creates a crisp, bright image with zero electronic delay. Since the image in the viewfinder is much larger than that being recorded, the operator has absolute compositional control and can prevent unwanted objects from entering the frame, thereby minimising costly retakes.

Who is using the D-21 and for what kind of productions?

The D-21 has been used for numerous movies, commercials and TV productions across the globe. Many prominent producers, directors and cinematographers have become loyal proponents of the D-21 over the last few years. To see a list of D-21 production credits please go to PRODUCTION CREDITS; to read about the experiences of those who have shot with the camera, please visit the NEWS & VIEWS section.

What impact could the D-21 make on my schedule?

Talented and well prepared crews can easily get through more than 20 setups per day on a D-21 shoot, so even in the worst case it should not be much different to shooting on film or HD. In our experience, large-scale TV productions routinely achieve over 25 setups per day with the D-21.

What impact could the D-21 make on my budget?

Though it is ARRI’s flagship model and a premium product, the D-21 is actually more affordable than you might think. Since the look of images generated by the D-21 is nearer to 35mm film than conventional HD, it is to film that the D-21 must be compared. This being the case, the stock and processing costs of shooting on film play an important part in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the D-21. In general, if a production can afford Super 16 then it can afford the D-21, though exact costs will depend on the shooting ratio and other factors. Of course, a detailed quotation for any particular project can be obtained from your usual camera rental company.

What kind of a cinematographer do I need?

The D-21 is known as the film-style digital camera, designed by a company that has been making professional film cameras for over 90 years; any cinematographer with 35mm film experience should be able to create great looking pictures with it. Ergonomically, the D-21 will be familiar to anybody who has shot with a modern ARRI film camera. In contrast to the numerous pages of camera settings that typically comprise the menu structures of other HD cameras, the D-21 features a single menu page, making it far more intuitive and film-like. The D-21 credit list shows the names of cinematographers that have used the camera and its predecessor, the D-20.

Do I need a bigger crew?

An experienced film crew will have no problems getting to grips with the camera system as it is straightforward to set up and operate, and has been designed with filmmakers in mind. As with all equipment, it is advisable for the crew to perform thorough preparations before shooting. It is not usually necessary to supplement the camera crew with a digital technician, unless your production has unusual complexity, but the best thing would be to discuss requirements with your cinematographer.

Do I need a video village?

This is entirely up to you, your director and your cinematographer; some productions use minimal monitoring on-set and work in the same way as they would on a film shoot, while others opt for an elaborate monitoring setup. It is straightforward to get a range of outputs from the D-21, allowing many different monitoring needs to be met. Due to extremely sophisticated in-camera processing, the D-21 produces stunning pictures instantly in full colour and resolution for the benefit of those who want to see the full results while shooting.

What are the D-21 workflow options?

Thanks to the unique flexibility of the D-21 you can choose between a wide variety of workflow options to suit your production needs and budget. The HD output can be either 4:2:2 or full RGB 4:4:4 and set to either ‘linear’ or ‘log’ modes. Alternatively, uncompressed raw sensor data can be outputted from the camera in Data Mode. A range of recording devices can be used for either HD or Data Mode output. Moreover, the D-21 offers an option to shoot full resolution anamorphic (2.40:1), using conventional anamorphic lenses, in either Mscope (HD-based) or Data Mode. To find the optimal recording and workflow solution for your production, please consult your cinematographer, camera rental company and postproduction/DI facility.

Should I worry about make-up, costume and set design?

Commonly voiced concerns about the “hyper” clarity of HD revealing and mercilessly emphasising performers’ skin imperfections and the artifice of make-up and costume are unfounded when it comes to the D-21. No more or less care and attention to detail should be applied on a D-21 shoot than is required on a film set. The natural and forgiving look of the sensor, combined with film lenses and film-like depth of field, make the camera an excellent choice particularly for highly demanding period or costume-heavy productions.

Technical Specifications

Camera Type 35 format digital film style camera with an optical viewfinder
HD-SDI Connections 2x dual link HD-SDI out
Frame Rate HD Mode - HD422 (16:9): 1-60fps
HD Mode - HD444 (16:9): 1-30fps
Mscope(tm) - Mscope(tm) HD422 (4:3): 1-25fps
Date Mode - ARRIRAW (16:9): 1-30fps
Date Mode - ARRIRAW (4:3): 1-25fps

Frame rates other than the standard HD video frame rates of 23.976 PsF, 24 PsF, 25 PsF, 29.97 PsF, 30 PsF, 48 PsF, 50 PsF, 59.94 PsF and 60 PsF can be achieved with a recorder that can interpret the Variframe Flag.

All frame rates are crystal controlled and can be set with 0.001 fps precision. Exposure compensated speed ramps are supported by the electronic-mirror shutter.

Aperture 23.760 x 13.365 mm/0.9354" x 0.5262" in HD Mode 23.760 x 17.820 mm/0.9354" x 0.7016" max. in Data Mode & Mscope(tm)
Signal Output

HD Mode - HD-DSI (SMPTE 292M):

  • 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 YCbCr 10 bit @ 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 PsF

HM Mode - dual link HD-SDI (SMPTE 372M):

  • 1920 x 1080 4:4:4 RGB 10 bit @ 23.976, 24,25, 29.97, 30 PsF
  • 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 YCbCr 10 bit @ 48, 50, 59.94, 60 Psf

Mscope(tm) - dual link HD-SDI (SMPTE 372M):

  • 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 YCbCr 10 bit @ 23.976, 24, 25 PsF

Data Mode - ARRIRAW T-Link
(ARRIRAW transmission protocol mapped into RGBA dual link HD-SDI stream according to SMPTE 372M):

  • 2880 x 2160 RAW 12 bit Bayer data @ 23.976p, 24p, 25p
  • 2880 x 1620 RAW 12 bit Bayer data @ 29.97p, 30p
Weight (without lens) Body only: 8.6 kg/19.0 lbs
Body and viewfinder: 10.9 kg/24.0 lbs
Lens Mount 54 mm PL, centered for Super 35, with Lens Data System (LDS) contacts Flange focal depth 52mm nominal

Camera display on left side with individual buttons for: camera RUN, PHASE (electronic inching & mirror rotation). NORM-PS/CCU control, LOCK, MODE, SEL, and SET.

Video menu over composite video output for control of operational parameters: Output mode, standard frame rates, white balance and color matrix, signal output range, contrast characteristic and sensitivity.

Shutter Spinning, electronically adjustable reflex mirror shutter.
Adjustable to 11.2°, 22.5°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°, 105°, 120°, 135°, 144°, 150° 172.8° and 180°.
Viewfinder Optical reflex viewfinder with interchangeable ground glass.
Spherical or universal (adjustable to spherical or anamorphic) viewfinders available.
Viewfinders are adjustable in two axes with automatic or manual image compression, laterally extendable for left eye operation and show illuminated frame lines (ARRIGLOW, adjustable in brightness).
Optional medium or long finder extender including magnifier. Optional heated eyecup.
Video Assist SD monitoring (PAL/NTSC video downscaled from captured image) with composite video or S-Video outputs.
Recording HD recording devices supporting HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) or dual link HD-SDI (SMPTE 372M) signals for HD Mode operation.
Optional on-board HD recording using solid state memory recorder Flash Mag.
Common Connections
  • 2x composite video out (CVBS),
  • 1x S-Video out (Y/C),
  • 1x power in (BAT),
  • 1x 12 V accessory power out (Fisher 11-pin),
  • 1x 24 V accessory power out (RS),
  • 1x lens data display (LD),
  • 2x lens control system bus (LCS),
  • 1x accessory interface (AC),
  • 1x camera control unit (CCU), 1 each focus, iris, zoom for lens monitors.
Power 24V DC (acceptable voltage range: 20.5 to 36 V DC)
Power Consumption 2.1 A @ 24 fps, 1.9 A in Standby
Sound less than 20 dB(A) @ 24 fps
Dimensions L 39 cm/15.35"
W (viewfinder left) 27 cm/10.83"
H (with handle) 30 cm/11.81"
H (without handle) 23 cm/9.06"

Accepts the whole range of ARRI matte boxes (15 or 19mm rods), follow focus and ARRI electronic accessories, Lens Data System (LDS). Wireless Remote System (WRS), Wireless Remote Control WRC-2, Iris Control Unit for speed/iris ramps (ICU-1), Remote On/Off switch (RS-4), External Synchronization Unit (ESU-1).

Specficially for ARRIFLEX D-21/D-21 HD: Low mode support set for Steadycam operation or underslung use and top-mounting of accessories without bridge plate, Flash Mag Mounting Adapter (FMA-1), Fibre Unit and Fibre Remote for an optical link to the recorder.

Misc Extra attachment points for rigging.

ARRIFLEX D-21 Digital Cinema Camera Kit (Full Spr. 35 Sensor)

  • PL. Mount
  • Optical Swing Over Viewfinder with Anamorphic option
  • FrameGlow
  • Variable Speed to 60fps
  • Variable Shutter 11.2°-180°
  • 4 x 26.4v7Ah Batteries
  • PAG Charger
  • Changing Bag
  • Bridge Plate
  • 4"x4" Arri Matte Box
  • Uses ARRI 535/435 Style Ground Glass
  • Selectable ISO and Selectable Colour Temperature
  • Outputs in ARRI Raw Dual Link HD SDI, 444, 422, etc.

Please Note: All prices are listed in Australian dollars and exclude insurance, shipping and GST.


Who is Cameraquip?

Cameraquip is the largest privately owned Australian motion picture equipment rental and service facility, having operated in Melbourne for 38 years.


434 Clarendon Street,
South Melbourne,
Victoria 3205

Ph: +613 9699 3922

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