New ARRI Alexa Mini

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I’ll bet Chris Haarhoff will like this announcement. He was the Steadicam/Pro-Rig camera operator on “Birdman,” which soared at the Oscars last night, and for which Chris won The SOC Camera Operator Award a couple of weeks ago. “Birdman’s” seamless 6-minute long takes used an ARRI Alexa M (mostly with 18 mm Leica Summilux-C lens) — so a lighter and smaller camera would have been just the ticket.

Here it is. Today, ARRI officially announced the much-whispered  ALEXA Mini.

It has a lightweight carbon fiber housing. This may be a coincidence, but ARRI’s new Co-Managing Director Jörg Pohlman was in charge of the group working with carbon fiber when he was at BMW. The Mini has a titanium PL mount connected directly to a new sensor assembly for unwavering flange focal depth. It can also accept interchangeable lens mounts of the ARRI Amira for B4 video and EF (Canon) mount lenses.

The Alexa Mini can be operated by wireless remote control, as a normal camera with the ARRI MVF-1 multi viewfinder attached, or with an on-board monitor. It has user buttons  on the camera body.

Alexa Mini is compact, quiet and (hurray) has a symmetrical design. You can shoot in almost any orientation: upside-down, portrait mode, straight up, down, etc. There are many mounting points.

 

A sigh of relief can be heard worldwide today. Alexa Mini comes with a 4:3 sensor. It has an automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic lenses. The camera records 0.75-200 fps, ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW, either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder. The Codex recorder can handle up to four image streams simultaneously. For example, you might use 4 Alexa Minis at one time for car rig shots, stunts, or 360° plate shots.

Alexa Mini images will match  all other ALEXA cameras.

 

Alexa Mini has a built-in lens motor controller. New active lens motors can be connected directly. iOS or Android tablets can be connected via Wi-Fi to remotely control camera functions such as the motorized internal ND filters. Wow–internal ND in something this small.

 

The Mini has been designed with brushless gimbal mounts, multicopters, gyro-stabilized aerial systems and other rigs in mind. You can smell the fiberglass resin and milling machine oil: underwater housing manufacturers are already at work.

 

Like the ARRI Amira, the Alexa Mini can record UHD ProRes images and provide real-time 4K/UHD output.

 

The ARRI Alexa Mini is scheduled to ship in May 2015. A prototype of the ALEXA Mini will be on show at the British Video Expo (BVE) from February 24-26, 2015, in Booth J30.

It will also be at NAB.

 

ALEXA Mini microsite: www.arri.com/alexamini

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Specs 

Camera 

35mm digital camera with lightweight and compact carbon fiber body, 4:3/16:9 switchable active sensor area, support for ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder, built-in remote control capabilities via ARRI Electronic Control System and Wi-Fi, support for cforce motors, built-in motorized ND filters, interchangable lens mounts and ARRI Lens Data System

Size

  • Length: 185 mm/7.3″
  • Width: 125 mm/4.9″
  • Height: 140 mm/5.5″

(camera body with PL lens mount)

Weight

~ 2.3 kg/5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount)

Sensor

35 mm ARRI Alev III CMOS 

Photo sites

(with surround view)

16:9

  • HD: 2880×1620 (3168×1772)
  • 2K: 2868×1612 (3154×1764)
  • 3.2K: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)
  • 4K UHD: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)

 4:3

  • 2K: 2867×2150 (3168×2160) (may not be available at product launch, available as a software upgrade later in 2015)

Shutter

Electronic shutter, 5.0° to 356.0°

Exposure latitude

14+ stops — EI 160 to EI 3200 (measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart DRTC-1)

Exposure index

EI 800 base sensitivity

Filters

Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1 — and clear.

Lens mounts

  • Titanium PL mount with L-Bus connector and LDS
  • EF mount
  • PL mount with Hirose connector and LDS
  • B4 mount with Hirose connector

Recording media

CFast 2.0 memory cards

Recording formats

  • HD 1920×1080
  • 2K Cine 16:9 2048×1152
  • 2K Cine 4:3 2048×1536 *
  • 3.2K 3200×1800
  • 4K UHD 3840×2160
  • ARRIRAW 2.8K 16:9 2880×1620 *
  • ARRIRAW 2.8K 4:3 2880×2160 *

Recording codec

ProRes 4444XQ, 4444, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW *

* may not be available at product launch, available as a software upgrade later in 2015

Color output

Rec 709, custom look or Log C

Look control

Import of custom 3D LUT, ASC CDL  (slope, offset, power, saturation)

Adjustable image parameters

Knee, gamma, saturation, black gamma, saturation by hue

Focus and exposure control

Peaking, zebra, false color

White balance

Manual and auto white balance

Sound level

< 20 dB(A) at standard frame rates

Environmental

  • -20° C to +50° C (-4° F to +122° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing
  • Splash and dust-proof with sealed electronics

Viewfinder

  • Multi Viewfinder MVF-1 (OLED and LCD ) with flip-out LCD screen
  • and military-grade connector to camera

Control interface

  • Soft buttons and OSD on SDI output,
  • integration of Transvideo StarliteHD touch interface *

ARRI lens motor control

  • Built-in radio interface for ARRI lens control
  • L-Bus motor output for daisy-chainable cforce lens control motors

Wi-Fi remote control

  • Built-in Wi-Fi interface and web-based remote control from phones,
  • tablets and laptops

Custom control

Optional GPIO interface for integration with custom control interfaces

Power input

Lemo 8-pin, 10.5-34 V DC

Video outputs

  • 2x HD-SDI out 1.5G and 3G: uncompressed HD video with embedded audio
  • metadata, SDI-6G interface to external CODEX recorder *

Inputs

  • SDI-Genlock (optional activation through ARRI Service),
  • timecode (in and output)

Other connectors

  • USB 2.0 (for usersets, looks etc.)
  • Ethernet
  • EXT accessory interface w. RS pin

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

6 Responses:

  1. Seems like there’s no way to get audio into this camera, can anyone confirm this?

    • There is a lemo plug in front of the camera which takes a line-level stereo signal.

  2. How much will the Arri mini cost?

    • The body is priced at 32500€

    • Jon Fauer:

      Michael Jonas knows whereof he speaks. He’s the ARRI product manager for ALEXA Mini.

  3. Miroslav:

    What lens motors are compatible with Mini? CLM-2?

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