Arri has announced the new ALEXA Mini, a versatile additional tool in the ARRI ALEXA camera range, combining a compact form factor with the same ALEV III sensor and unrivaled image quality as all other ALEXA models. Designed for specialized shot-making, the ALEXA Mini features a super-lightweight carbon body and titanium PL mount, frame rates of 0.75-200 fps, in-camera recording of ARRIRAW and ProRes (including 4K UHD) and state-of-the-art integrated functions.
Strength and Agility
To maintain ARRI’s famously rugged build quality in a small and lightweight camera, a number of unique design solutions have been incorporated. These include highly integrated and sealed electronics, a lightweight carbon housing and a solid titanium PL mount that connects directly with the new internal sensor mount – also made of titanium – to ensure a super-stable flange focal distance, even when using large lenses. Nimble in use and hardy on set, the ALEXA Mini is a go-anywhere tool, easy to transport in backpacks or as carry-on luggage.
Versatile Mounting and Shooting Options
The ALEXA Mini can be operated in a number of ways: by wireless remote control, as a normal camera with the ARRI MVF-1 multi viewfinder attached, or with an on-board monitor and controlled via the user button interface on the camera body. Light enough to be comfortably held at arm’s length in a hand rig, its compact size and extremely quiet operation also make it ideal for tight shooting conditions.
The symmetrical design permits filming in any orientation, including upside-down and in portrait mode, while multiple accessory points enable highly creative mounting solutions. In addition, the ALEXA Mini’s interchangeable lens mount can be replaced with any of those designed for the ARRI AMIRA, allowing the use of B4 video and EF mount stills lenses.
Uncompromised Image Quality for Specialized Shots
The overwhelming advantage of the ALEXA Mini is that it marries such a compact and lightweight form factor with the same unparalleled image quality that has made the ARRI ALEXA system a gold standard for the industry.
Combine the Mini with any other ALEXA camera and you will have perfectly matched images, even on anamorphic productions – thanks to the 4:3 sensor and automatic de‑squeeze function.
Workflows will also be identical, with options to record ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder.
Save Time on Set
With the ALEXA Mini, no extra time need be spent on set configuring third-party cameras previously required for specialized shots, or on wrangling the image files coming out of them. Multi-camera setups such as 360° plate shots will be made simpler and faster by the external Codex recorder, which can record image streams from up to four ALEXA Minis simultaneously. The camera’s maximum frame rate of 200 fps means it can also be used for stunning slow-motion cinematography, saving further time and money on set by doing away with the need for a separate high-speed camera.
Save Time in Post
In the past, productions combining small cameras from other manufacturers with an ARRI ALEXA shooting kit have encountered time-consuming difficulties in the grade, trying to match images from those cameras to ALEXA’s famously natural colorimetry and pleasing skin tones. With the ALEXA Mini these difficulties are eliminated because all images come from the same sensor and share the same color space. The ability to use CDLs and 3D LUTs in-camera for on-set color management will also reduce time and money spent in post.
Integrated Lens Motor Control and ND Filters, Perfect for Gimbals and Multicopters
The ALEXA Mini’s camera body has been designed with new-generation brushless gimbals, multicopters and other specialized rigs in mind. It is compact enough in the lens direction to allow the use of standard PL mount lenses even on lightweight and space-constrained rigs, such as gyro-stabilized aerial systems. The camera’s superb low-light performance makes it perfect for underwater work, and dedicated underwater housings are currently being developed by leading manufacturers.
Greater Efficiency through Integrated Functions
An integrated lens motor controller allows new active lens motors to be connected directly to the titanium PL mount, so focus, iris and zoom settings can be controlled from ARRI hand units without an additional external box. Further operational settings can be made remotely when working with the ARRI WCU-4 hand unit.
Cost-saving Camera and Lens Metadata
Integrated ARRI Lens Data System (LDS) technology brings the added value of frame‑accurate metadata about focus, iris and zoom settings. With these lens settings and exact depth‑of‑field displayed live on wireless hand units, precise adjustments can be made during a shot. The data also allows lens mapping to pre‑marked focus rings and reduces the time and expense involved in achieving complex visual effects in post.