A big step for ‘Freedom to Make, Right to Repair’ in the world of cameras.

If you have been following along with our manufacturing endeavours over at ‘Nicholas Hacko Watchmaker’ then I’m sure you will know we are very vocal about ‘Freedom to Make, Right to Repair’ particularly when it comes to our watches. It’s something we strive to support and further in any way we can; not only by providing guarantees on our watches that other manufacturers wouldn’t, but also investing heavily in machinery as well as training people to run our facilities. 

There has been a big shift from major manufacturers in the past decade to monopolise on spare parts and the repair of their products, hidden under the umbrella of ‘quality control’; without naming any names. But far too commonly we see that the ‘professionals’ that are servicing your products are no more qualified than the independent repairer they are trying to put out of business, and frequently charge for services and replacements of components that are unaffected and unnecessary. 

So it was quite a surprise to me the other day when scrolling through Instagram, that a major German camera manufacturer ARRI, going against the grain, made the announcement that they too would be supporting ‘Freedom to Make, Right to Repair’ in a very unique way.

Unless you work in the film industry or are versed on the topic of motion picture cameras then I don’t expect the company ‘ARRI’ to ring any bells. They are out of the reach for average consumers with the their camera packages commonly starting around the $100,000 AUD mark – but to put it simply, they are the most important company in the motion picture camera industry and have been for decades. Don’t believe me? Here’s a graph of the representation of camera manufacturers at Cannes 2021 to put it into perspective. No competition.

image: https://ymcinema.com

So how exactly is ARRI supporting the movement? Here’s their statement posted on their instagram:

“ARRI Academy just released two new Advanced Service Training Online Courses:
– Advanced Service Training for ALEXA Mini and MVF-1
– Advanced Service Training for AMIRA and MVF-1

In these prerecorded courses you will learn how to disassemble and reassemble the camera and viewfinder of the ALEXA Mini and AMIRA, including every action you might be confronted with in the repair shop.
After completing the training, you will be authorized to order tools and spare parts that are not available to anybody else! You’ll get permanent access to your personal online service training library, with prerecorded videos, up-to-date service manuals and software download links.”

In the majority of other industries, taking out even one screw can void your ‘service eligibly’ and the manufacturer might even refuse to work on it – but ARRI not only provides the opportunity to learn how to disassemble their camera and fix issues that may arise, but also provides all the necessary documents, tools and spare parts – amazing! If only more companies would lead by their example. 

Great work ARRI !