ARRI announces the new ALEXA Mini, a versatile additional
tool in the ARRI ALEXA camera range that combines a compact and lightweight form
factor with the same unparalleled image quality that has made the ALEXA system a gold
standard for the industry. Designed for specialized shot-making, the ALEXA Mini
perfectly complements a full ALEXA shooting kit and allows crews to eliminate the
complications of working with third-party cameras by keeping everything within a single
system that is trusted all over the world.
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 environmentally sealed electronics, a lightweight carbon housing and a
solid titanium PL mount that connects directly with the new internal sensor mount 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.
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.
Equipped with a 4:3 sensor, automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic productions
and frame rates of 0.75-200 fps, the ALEXA Mini records ProRes or uncompressed
ARRIRAW either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external
Codex recorder that can record image streams from up to four ALEXA Minis
simultaneously – a compelling option for multi-camera setups such as 360° plate shots.
ALEXA Mini 1Images from the ALEXA Mini will perfectly match those from all other ALEXA cameras,
making the final grade easier and quicker.
Integrated functionality is at the heart of the ALEXA Mini’s efficient and self-contained
design. A built-in lens motor controller allows new active lens motors to be connected
directly to the titanium PL mount, while ARRI Lens Data System (LDS) technology
provides frame-accurate metadata that can save time and money both on-set and in
post. Wi-Fi connectivity means that iOS or Android devices can be used to remotely
control camera functions such as the motorized internal ND filters, which permit rapid
responses to changing light conditions without adding bulk to the camera configuration.
The body design is optimized for use with new-generation brushless gimbals,
multicopters and other specialized rigs. 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; dedicated underwater housings are currently being
developed by leading manufacturers.
Like the ARRI AMIRA, the ALEXA Mini can record 4K UHD ProRes images, facilitating
real-time 4K UHD output and simple pipelines for high-resolution deliverables. More
importantly, the Mini and all other ARRI cameras with the ALEV III sensor offer
unrivalled overall image quality by focusing not just on spatial resolution, but also on
other parameters such as colorimetry, skin tones and High Dynamic Range (HDR). This
is equally true whether the chosen output is HD, 2K, 4K UHD or one of the native
resolution outputs like uncompressed ARRIRAW 2.8K or ProRes 3.2K, ensuring that
images captured with the ALEXA Mini are future-proof, whatever new industry standards
The ARRI ALEXA Mini is scheduled to begin shipping in May 2015, with orders being
taken from March. A prototype of the ALEXA Mini will be on show at the British Video
Expo (BVE) from February 24-26, 2015, in Booth J30.