January 29, 2014

Prices Revealed for AMIRA, ARRI's Cheaper ENG-Style ALEXA-Sensor 2K/HD/200FPS Camera

AmiraAt the IBC show in Amsterdam back in September, ARRI made a huge splash unveiling the AMIRA, which has the same 16:9 sensor as some of the higher-end ALEXA cinema cameras. While the AMIRA is an ENG-style camera marketed towards documentary filmmakers by the company, the possibilities for its use certainly don't stop there. The promise of ALEXA image quality in a cheaper rental package is certainly enticing, but what if you want to own one of your own? Click through for some pricing information that has finally been revealed.

[Update 2]: The base price for the three different camera tiers is $40,000, $45,000, and $52,000 in the US. Full packages for those tiers depending on what you get will be $50,000, $58,000, and $66,000.

[Update]: ARRI has issued a press release with some pricing information for the US (thanks to AbelCine). It looks like instead of being cheaper in the States, it's actually going to cost more. The basic AMIRA package is going to start at $40,000, and then presumably cost close to (or more than) $50,000 for the highest spec package. It's worth noting since it was not mentioned below, that these software licenses for more functions can also be rented, so if you owned the base package, you could likely rent licenses when you need them for specific projects.

As a refresher, here are the specs, followed by the product demo from ARRI:

  • Super 35mm 16:9 Sensor (Same Exact Sensor as Other 16:9 ALEXAs)
  • 2K/1080 Rec 709/Log C using ProRes LT, 422, 422HQ, or 444 codecs
  • Up to 200fps
  • Records to CFast 2.0 (New Compact Flash card standard)
  • 1280 x 1024 OLED Viewfinder and Separate LCD Monitor
  • Internal ND filters
  • 4-Channel PCM Audio: 48KHz 24-bit
  • Selectable 3D LUTs can be recorded
  • Aimed at Documentary, TV Magazines, Trailers, Corporate, Factuals, Live Events
  • Interchangeable Lens Mounts: PL, PL Broadcast, B4, and Canon EF

CVP Group tweeting the details of the pricing options for the AMIRA:

25,980, 28,980, and 32,980 Euros is obviously the price for Europe, but if that's translated directly to American dollars, what would it look like?

$35,444, $39,537, $44,994 for the three different packages.

Now, as we know, prices don't always work like this, and often cameras can end up being more expensive in Europe even accounting for exchange rates. It's unclear if this will be the case with the AMIRA, but if it is, these prices may end up being a little less in the US (or maybe quite a bit less).

The AMIRA does have a lot going for it that the lower-end ALEXAs do not have, including built-in ND filters and full audio controls. What you lose with the AMIRA package is the ability to shoot any higher than 2K (and you're going to pay the most if you want that 2K and high frame rates), and also the ability to record RAW. For the market this camera is aimed at, neither of those things are really an issue, but it's something to keep in mind if you were considering using it on all sorts of different projects.

It will be interesting how a camera like the ALEXA HD fits into all of this, but it could very well be that ARRI sees them as completely separate markets even though they aren't too different in pricing. It has been stated that the sensor in the AMIRA is the same one found in the 16:9 ALEXA, but it has also been mentioned by ARRI people that the processors inside differ, so final image quality may not be exactly the same.

It's worth noting again that this kind of gear is a rental for the vast majority, but the price of the camera does affect how much it's going to cost to rent. Either way, I think it's clear that ARRI isn't really interested in trying to be the lowest cost option out there, even among the highest end of cinema and TV. First and foremost for them are usability and image quality -- and it's hard to argue with that philosophy when the company has pretty much ruled the Oscars this year.

We'll update if this information changes, and will add US pricing when it is official.

Links:

[via CVP Group Twitter]

Your Comment

120 Comments

I believe $25K was the speculated price back in September (depending on the package), so this falls in line with the expectations. With a bunch of new cams coming out in two weeks, this is a clever in-between-the-shows announcement. My prediction is that Amira will do better in Europe than in the US, which is gearing up for the 4K adaption already.

January 29, 2014

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DLD

And $25000 is roughly the price you're going to see.
When translating prices of electronic equipment from US$ to euros, you don't use the exchange rate. Taxes are way higher here in Europe, and there are laws mandating things like warranties and such, which make things more expensive (plus, there's less competition in retail, which also pushes prices up).
Quick example: cheapest Mac Pro, price at apple.com $2999, price at apple.de 2999eur
Same 1:1 exchange rate with MBP, macbook air, etc

Bottom line: prices will probably be $25980, $28980, and $32980.

January 30, 2014

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Ya, I brought this up in the GH4K CES announcement, when the expected price was €2799. I referred to the Big Mac and iPhone indexes. It'd be nice to get a warranty on a Big Mac though - a "no tummy ache" guarantee.

January 30, 2014

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DLD

Except US ARRI pricing is based on exchange rate for last 40 years

January 30, 2014

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Michael

Didn't know that (obviously)

January 30, 2014

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well, you can all call me a fool now...

USA price is out: $40K, nearly twice as much as I expected
http://about.abelcine.com/2014/01/30/arri-amira-pricing-announced/

This must be the first time a piece of electronic equipment is cheaper in EUR than in USA...

January 30, 2014

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It's the same price at current exchange rates.

January 30, 2014

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An adventurous move, I say. It's pretty hard to back off these levels, which may play right into Sony's (and Panasonic and/or Red's) hands. Alexa has been the king of digital but, if a perception of being gouged emerges, this will negatively effect the general relationship between the manufacturer and its customers. To further this along - if Amira is priced at $40K and up, then the yet-to-be-seen 4K Arri cam will have to be priced close to $100K and Hollywood studios will have to really, really, really like it to pay such a premium over F65 or the Dragon. Moreover, with the cost of the electronics on a consistent downward slope, even the two year old $65K F65 should see a price drop. Looking at the general high end market, the big budget production is still dominated by film, the TV market is heavily leaning toward Sony's far more affordable offerings, making Arri aim at a very small market niche. A few years ago, a 2K movie cam was priced at a quarter mil, so maybe they'll succeed at $100K or so but bigger fortunes have been lost with smaller missteps.
.
PS. Out of curiosity, Samuel, what are Porsche 911 and BMW prices in Europe? It'd be interesting to compare the prestige brands with production facilities within a stone throw from each other. (Like ARRI, BMW is also HQ's in Munich, though the plants are scattered throughout Germany and, in some cases, across the globe)

January 30, 2014

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DLD

Porsche 911, new, in Spain, goes from 100,000 eur to 240,000 eur depending on the model (that's $136,000 to $325,000, nearly twice as much as in the USA, I think; taxes for cars and gas are huge here)

January 31, 2014

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Based on the new 2014 model comparisons on Kelly Blue Book, it kind of looks like a dollar per Euro type of a deal (and that's for LA, which I think has some added CA taxes ... other states may not have it) or very close to it. So, maybe there's some wiggle room in pricing with the early adopters paying premium.
http://www.kbb.com/cars-for-sale/cars/new-cars/porsche/911/?pricerange=5...

January 31, 2014

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DLD

I rather buy a Car

January 29, 2014

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Kendrick

If your car is more expensive then your camera, then your priorities are wrong.

January 30, 2014

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Ha ha! Love this.

January 30, 2014

0
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+1

January 30, 2014

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Raul

You guys own a car?!

January 30, 2014

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Charlie

got a 2500 dollar car and a red epic...clearly i got my priorities right lol

January 30, 2014

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brian merlen

Ain't that the truth.

January 30, 2014

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Anthony Marino

I love the look out of the Alexa and I hope the Amira holds up to that. But am I correct in understanding the price differences between the three Amira's are just licensing? I understand software is takes a lot to create, but there's something dirty feeling about them intentionally nurfing a camera and charging an extra 10k to unlock it. If I'm wrong here than I retract this statement.

January 29, 2014

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Tyler

What if Arri have worked it out like this:

They expect to sell 5,000 Amiras and start turning profit (after R&D, production and distribution) at $35,000.

Option 1:
Sell one fully-featured model for $40,000, making $5,000 on each for a total profit of $25m.

Option 2:
Sell a basic model below profitability ($30,000), a mid-range model at a modest profit ($38,000), and a top-of-the-range model at a healthy profit ($45,000). They expect to sell 1,500 of the base model, 1,000 of the mid-range, and 2,500 of the top-of-the-range, for a total profit of $25m.

You may not like the sound of software crippling, but option 2 means more people can afford an Amira.

January 29, 2014

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Pippy

I understand the economics of it, if that's the real reason, but as an owner I'd feel burned is all I'm saying. It seems like most would be willing and able to put fourth that extra 5k to get the 444 and 200fps evening out costs and simplifying their sales model. Buuuut I dunno, whadyado. They know they've hit a niche market, no other camera produces an image like the Alexa (I sure hope it does at least) and has all the ENG type goodies.

January 29, 2014

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hahhah the lowest priced Amira shoots at maximum ProRes422 at Rec709....they may be joking......

January 29, 2014

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jesuan

you're not the target market

January 29, 2014

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john jeffries

I saw something a while ago where an Arri rep explicitly said that they build their cameras to be ready to shoot out of the box. None of that modular stuff (with the exception of the Alexa M of course). So really those prices should be all you need to spend with the exception of glass.

And I think the Alexa has done a pretty solid job of proving you don't NEED 4k to deliver beautiful images, so I'm not even going to say anything about that.

January 29, 2014

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Pat

Can't wait to rent one of these beauties. Will make an unbelievable doc cam!

January 29, 2014

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Too much , I'd rather buy a f55 in a heartbeat or better yet a red dragon because this camera is not future proof .

One could buy 6 black magics and build a TV studio for these ridiculous prices

The fs700 can do 444 and up to 240 fps

January 29, 2014

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jaye

The price isn't ridiculous in a professional context. A pro TV studio would never use Blackmagic Cameras and you certainly couldn't build one for 100 grand let alone 25. People make these judgements based on their own perspective as amateur videographers rather. These things are for professional cinematographers and TV camera men. The value of even the original Alexa is evidenced by how many TV shows and movies are being shot with them nowadays.

January 29, 2014

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Daniel

like

January 29, 2014

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The original Alexa offered something most camera's of that time didn't offer... What does this offer above other camera's? I'll tell you: a stupid price. Not even RAW for that price, what were they thinking??
ENG-style is nice sometimes, but then it's way better to go to a real ENG camera and not this transformed downgrade from a good cinema camera... Sorry Amira, you will sit on the shelves for a long time.

January 29, 2014

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Henri De Vreese

You're kidding, right? There's a reason Arri is known worldwide as the best. They don't half-bake any of their products.

January 29, 2014

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Pat

They already half-baked it by giving 3 options. These options are just a change in firmware and cost 10K to get a good firmware. The Amira looks good for the usage, but even their showreel doesn't show anything that justifies a ENG-style camera and cannot be done with a basic cinema camera of 1/4 the price or even much less. This would even bring down the whole production cost significantly.
If the full firmware option was around 15K it would be a good price/performance camera, but not offering 4K and Raw at 45K is just a joke...

January 29, 2014

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Henri De Vreese

That was 3+ years ago, its 2014 and there are plenty of cameras capable for less minus 200fps.

Also everyone knows it takes tv studios And productions at least 4 years to adapt to new technologies.

The Sony f35 and f3 is still used on many TV sets today

January 30, 2014

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jaye

Why do you NEED 4k so bad right now?

January 30, 2014

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Pat

There is no NEED for 4K, it's just that the market is moving over there.
4K is easily edited with the newer computers without braking the bank and it just looks better and gives more options. (bit of cropping, noise reduction, 4K playback on the new 4K delivering services like Netflix,...)
Sorry, but 2K is not of this decade anymore and by the time the films that are filmed with these camera's are done (in 2 years), 4K will be the standard... The next worldchampionship football will even be filmed and live-streamed in 8K! 2K is next years 480p. I want my next short film to be in 4K, so it can be futureproof. And I don't have to have tons of money for that like it used to be...

January 30, 2014

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Henri

Hahahaha 8k. Now I really can't take anything you say seriously.

January 30, 2014

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Pat

Pat, I am serious... There is an agreement between the cup and Sony to shoot and live stream it at 8K resolution. Why would I tell this if it weren't true? 4K live streaming is for 2014 in Brazil (this is already 100% sure for Japan) and 8K is agreed for 2018.
Heck, they are even shooting the 2014 winter Olympics in 8K:
On November 28, 2013, Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi chief Dmitri Chernyshenko stated that the 2014 Olympic Winter Games are to be filmed in 8K Super Hi-Vision.

January 30, 2014

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Henri

The World cup and the next 3 Olympics starting in 2016 will be in 8K on a tv network in South Korea and one in Japan. The BBC is testing out 8K right now. This is not a joke. The Japanese network is working on broadcasting 8K at 120Hz in real time by 2017 instead of 60Hz.

Isn't it funny that there are people on the internet complaining about 4K?

January 31, 2014

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Gene

And just why would you need RAW when shooting a reality show or Fact. Ent.?

You realise that even the high-end TV dramas such as Chicago Fire are shot in ProRes Rec709, not RAW? And these cameras aren't designed for high-end dramas. They're for documentaries, reality shows, game shows, news and sports, interviews and corporate video. And for that stuff, this is a brilliant camera. A brilliant camera.

January 30, 2014

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Patrick Benson

I think RAW is the most important for Docu/reality TV. If any of those shooting styles give you the least amount of time to setup, it's that style. You can't group in a Drama show like Chicago Fire with a Reality TV show. They have more time to setup than documentary style, and have a more controlled environment. Although you may have the privilege to spend time on setting up certain shots, the fact is you need to capture the right moments. And forgetting about your white balance settings and what not is such a great luxury to have on a quick paced shoot.

January 30, 2014

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CornettoTrilogy

You do realize that TV SHOWS SHOOTING ON THE ALEXA DONT SHOOT RAW RIGHT? One of the reasons they flock to the alexa aside from the high DR and dope camera build is prores

January 29, 2014

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thadon calico

You sound ridicoulous , a professional could easily use a black magic camera, production sets are usually ran and operated by ASC certified camera men who use rented cameras usually from vendors with long relationship history, so there for alexas will still probably be used for another 3 or 4 years, seeing that it usually takes years before production companies adapt to new and sometimes cheaper technology.

The sony F3 AND F35 is still used on alot of set despite the fact that there are cheaper and better cameras for certain instance.s

January 30, 2014

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JAYE

The FS700 is absolutely horrible at handheld and shoulder use. The image is the worse I have worked with too. Have you ever used a Fujinon powered lens? It's wonderful and you can use one with the PL mount of the Amira, not with the FS700 and Black Magic. This is aimed at the people who use those kind of lenses and thoses lenses cost as much as an F55 so the price of this camera is of course in another league.

And I own an FS700 and have rented kits with Fujinon zooms. I'll also rent an F55 kit very soon. Also like mentionned above please keep in mind that this camera comes ready to use. If it is ready to rent before the Summer I am pretty sure i'll rent the Amira over the F55 for a 5 week shoot in the middle of the jungle I should have this year...

January 29, 2014

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Haroun Souirji

However yes the cheapest option is a bit of a joke. And I think it is indeed priced slightly too high.

January 29, 2014

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Haroun Souirji

Um... I no way whatsoever should the piece of plastic fs700 be compared to this camera. It's sensor isn't nearly as good and you are extremely limited to the time in which you can shoot at higher frame rates. Anything more than 240fps isn't 1080p as well. So those extra 40 fps I could care less about.

January 29, 2014

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Barret

No way in the world that you can build even a half-decent studio for under $45k unless you have a lot of the major components in place already. I know, I've done it multiple times.

January 30, 2014

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Brian

F55 is a better camera all around.

January 30, 2014

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Mikey

You can't even shoot log c on the cheapest one?? It seems like the most inexpensive option is a bit of a joke. Capping off at prores 422 (which is around 150mbps) and only enabling rec 709???? What's the point? Save a few grand? At that level a few grand isnt much to save when you lose so much functionality (also 200fps is missing). As much as I am excited about this camera it seems like intentionally handicapping it just to have a "budget" option is silly. But hey, its Arri. They most likely know what they are doing. Probably want to have a cam to compete with Sony and panasonic in news and reality TV, and log c is useless for those situations.

January 29, 2014

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MW

Arri is an amazing company. In an infested 4k hyped industry it realeases an awesome and expensive 2k camera and you know what? It will sell a lot and will probably be the favorite camera again amongst its segment.

January 29, 2014

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Marcus

Obviously, the final prices are yet to be announced in the US but F5 is going to compete in this sector on both price and features. Plus, if 4K is going to really take off, there'll be a lot of used/rental Alexas available as well. The "inexpensive" $45K 1080p Alexa arrived with a thud too. And there'll be a lot of new 4K cameras coming out in all prices ranges. If I were to compare it in marketing terms, I'd bring up Porsche 924 - a stripped down version of a great car that didn't sell as well as hoped.

January 29, 2014

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DLD

ARRI is building a 4K camera.

January 31, 2014

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Gene

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