February 23, 2015

New ARRI ALEXA Mini: Same Image Quality in a Much Smaller Package

ARRI's ALEXA just got a whole lot smaller.

Not content to let RED have all the drone and gimbal fun, ARRI has just introduced the ALEXA Mini which takes the image quality of the original ALEXA and shoves it all into a much smaller Carbon Fiber package. The camera is capable of up to 200fps 2K ProRes and 30fps 2.8K ArriRAW recording to internal CFast 2.0 cards (60fps at 4:3 and 120fps at 16:9 if you go to a Codex recorder).

ARRI ALEXA Mini

Here's a quick rundown of the Mini:

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. Images from the ALEXA Mini will perfectly match those from all other ALEXA cameras, making the final grade easier and quicker.

Check out the size comparison with the normal ALEXA:

Here's a video they are showing off that was shot with the camera, on the Freefly MōVI M15 and CineStar 8 multirotor:

Here are the specs:

  • Camera type: 35 format film-style digital camera with lightweight and compact carbon 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
  • Dimensions (camera body with PL lens mount)Length: 185 mm/7.3" | Width: 125 mm/4.9" | Height: 140 mm/5.5" 
  • Weight: ~ 2.3 kg/5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount)
  • Sensor: 35 mm format ARRI ALEV III CMOS with Bayer pattern color filter array
  • Photosites: 
    • 16:9
      HD: 2880x1620 (3168x1772)
      2K: 2868x1612 (3154x1764)
      3.2K: 3200x1800 (3424x1926)
      4K UHD: 3200x1800 (3424x1926)
    • 4:3
      2K: 2867x2150 (3168x2160) *
  • Shutter: ​Electronic shutter, 5.0° to 356.0°
  • 14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200 
    as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)
  • EI 800 base sensitivity
  • Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1
  • 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

  • CFast 2.0 memory cards

  • HD 1920x1080
    2K Cine 16:9 2048x1152
    2K Cine 4:3 2048x1536 *
    3.2K 3200x1800
    4K UHD 3840x2160
    ARRIRAW 2.8K 16:9 2880x1620 *
    ARRIRAW 2.8K 4:3 2880x2160 *

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

  • Rec 709, custom look or Log C

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

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

  • Peaking, zebra, false color

  • Sound: < 20 dB(A) at standard frame rates

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

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

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

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

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

  • Power: Lemo 8-pin, 10.5-34 V DC

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

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

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

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

​And a look at the list of frame rates and resolutions (which are lower than the bigger ALEXA in some cases recording internally):

ARRI ALEXA Mini Frame Rates Resolutions

The coolest thing about the Mini is that nearly everything is controllable from WiFi, including the ND filters, so you can operate the entire thing remotely. 

It records internally to CFast 2.0 cards or can be tethered to a Codex (or likely other recorders):

Even though the 4K is upscaling, the quality of the sensor is such that ARRI can get away with it more than some other companies probably can. It's not really surprising that ARRI decided to come out with this model, especially since RED has been taking a lot of the work on gimabls and drones. Coming in now at about the same size and weight of the EPIC DRAGON, this ALEXA Mini gives DPs everything they wanted in the ALEXA in a smaller package. 

The pricing for the ALEXA Mini starts at €32,000, goes up to €40,000 with a full package and viewfinder. If those are translated exactly to US dollars (which we don't know if they will be), that works out to a price range of about $36,000 to $45,000 depending on options. It is scheduled to begin shipping in May 2015, with orders starting in March.     

Your Comment

58 Comments

Thanks for reminding me that I'm a poor college student.

February 23, 2015 at 11:33AM

21
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Emerson Shaw
Student
664

Wait til you're 35 and still can't afford it!

February 23, 2015 at 12:01PM

0
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Maybe I can scrounge together enough cash to afford a used one in 10 years haha

February 23, 2015 at 12:07PM

18
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Emerson Shaw
Student
664

Well a used F35 is under $10k these days. So you might have a chance.

February 23, 2015 at 12:40PM

1
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haaa, im 39 and i still cant afford it

February 24, 2015 at 1:01AM

7
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I just have to echo all the comments about the price, for what it does it should be more like 3k, right? Then I'd jump right aboard, it would really look cool on my proaim shoulder rig, and who knows, maybe magic lantern can hack it and unlock 4k! (sarcasm)

February 24, 2015 at 5:57AM

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I have been waiting for something like this for a long long time. The interchangeable lens mount, the dynamic range, the size, F**K.... THE PRICE!

Oh yeah, is ARRI.

February 23, 2015 at 12:04PM

0
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Edgar More
All
818

For owner/operator the price is a big factor and you just get a lot more camera for the same $40,000 with RED

February 23, 2015 at 12:12PM, Edited February 23, 12:12PM

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Can you elaborate on that? Aside from resolution and a touch more in the way of frame rates my somewhat uneducated opinion would equate them for the most part.

Consider that each of the major Oscar nominated films were shot on 35mm or Alexa. Doesn't that suggest that this offers a lot more camera (assuming it's as similar to the full on Alexa as is claimed) than an Epic or Dragon? I'm not trying to instigate anything I just want to know your opinion.

February 23, 2015 at 3:07PM

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No, it suggest that the DP did a great/spectacular/beautiful job with the tools they had. The war is over, Alexa look its the Alexa look, Red has its look, even freaking Sony still have that weird video look a lot of people like. Some DP's will preffer working with a tool, and it will also change as in what the project needs. So no, what he's saying is true. For that price you can get a great more complete package (Hell even the Scarlet Dragon) of accesories and lenses for a tool that will also shoot a high dynamic range image with a great raw codec.

February 23, 2015 at 4:10PM

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John Nouel, obviously, you have not shot with one of the Sony F series cameras. Please stop promulgating the false notion that Sony cameras are only capable of delivering a "weird video look".

February 23, 2015 at 11:25PM

3
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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
510

Sonys don't have a weird look. but it if some camera companies are video focus on emulating the film look. Sony is video emulating video look.

February 24, 2015 at 3:51AM

0
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Vincent Gortho
none
777

I don't get this whole oscar nominated nonsense, that everyone always goes on about, if those dops were given blackmagic 2ks in an arri body, and were told it was an arri, they would still win those oscars, to the average joe, the quality is negligible, and most awards are won by composition and lighting, not resolution or sensor size.

February 26, 2015 at 10:05PM

5
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Wait another 2 years and someone will introduce a cam w/ double the specs, half the cost and a third of the weight.

February 23, 2015 at 12:16PM, Edited February 23, 12:16PM

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Tom Holton
UAS Specialist
192

I love how NFS always baits us in with the title, and spends 5 pages telling us how great the product is, and then the last line is, oh yeah, by the way it cost 23.4 million dollars....thanks for wasting my life lol

February 23, 2015 at 12:44PM

0
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Roger Alexander
Director, DP, Editor
81

As soon as you hear "Alexa" it's safe to assume it's gonna be very expensive. This is a rental item for specialty shots unless you're in the gimbal / drone business.

February 23, 2015 at 2:15PM

0
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Micah Van Hove
Writer
director, producer, dp

I'm in the drone, gimbal business and still can't afford one. The Freefly guys probably do though. :D

February 25, 2015 at 2:21PM

0
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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
100

It's Arri and it's Alexa, therefore it isn't cheap.

February 25, 2015 at 1:05AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

Most freelancers don't buy Arri cameras. They rent from rental companies. Freelancers/Self-shooters who buy Arri cameras, rent them out to make their money back. There is no reason for a student to buy this camera, so I wouldn't worry about it. Both this and the Dragon look like amazing options for aerial photography.

February 23, 2015 at 12:44PM, Edited February 23, 12:44PM

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James Oldham
Cinematographer
213

Cinema was never cheap.
Arri products are garanteed to work hard without problems. So I think the price is right.
Now a days we have a lot of under 20k$ possibilities to shoot film-like-videos, so I don't complain Arri's selling choices. Otherwise we would have a lot of rich boys with an alexa that believe their selves to be the new spielberg or kubirk or anyone else; I can't imagine something more awfull...

My only complain is the arriraw at 2.8k... not very future proof, in my opinion.

February 23, 2015 at 12:58PM, Edited February 23, 12:58PM

4
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Andrea Cassina
Filmmaker
159

Sadly, we have too many Spielberg's and not enough Kubrick's but point taken

February 23, 2015 at 1:30PM

0
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1 Alexa Mini price = 30!!! BMPCC or 10 BMP4K or 5 Ursas ??

Can anyone justify this madness of high price tag ??

February 23, 2015 at 1:17PM

0
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Its best in the world in terms of image and reliability. Same as justifying the cost of a Rolls versus a Mercedes versus a Chevy. Any of them will get you from here to there but best one doesn't it better, if you can afford it.

February 23, 2015 at 1:33PM

12
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also the BMD cameras are hilariously cheap

February 23, 2015 at 3:37PM

0
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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
624

10 years ago this camera would cost $300,000...quality for the price has never been so good in the history of cinema

February 23, 2015 at 4:32PM

0
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Rob Wilton
DoP
300

Alexa Mini is not equal to the cameras you compare them to. Good luck putting an Ursa on a gimbal.

February 24, 2015 at 10:28AM, Edited February 24, 10:28AM

3
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William Stewart
Director of Photography
513

I was kind of hoping for a <$15,000 price point so I could at least imagine not having to make a choice between buying it and putting a down payment on a house.

February 23, 2015 at 1:32PM, Edited February 23, 1:32PM

0
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Alex Chancey
Editor, Filmmaker
182

Holly shit!. My dream came true overnight! Time to pre order

February 23, 2015 at 1:40PM

0
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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1139

How could you possibly complain about this price? Look up the retail of an Alexa XT. Look at what all the majority of Oscar winners used. Total game changer. Can't wait to rent one.

February 23, 2015 at 2:13PM

0
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Tom MacLeod
Director/ Director of Photography/ Editor
27

Was this a good camera commercial? I'm missing something in the image, look or feel. I liked the video as a whole but not as a camera test/commercial. I think the price tag is GREAT, it will pay its self off in no time if it can produce better image than a Dragon. I think I need to see another example. Good video, but more on the Movis side as far as a commercial.

February 23, 2015 at 2:57PM

0
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asa martinez
Camera Movement Tech, Camera Operator
108

I'm just not sure, it seems like a dream come true, maybe it was just showing the camera in the nature it was designed for, no lights run and gun on a Movi and in the air where you can't set up diffusion and lighting. The more I watch it a see a great image but not the same as it's bigger counter part.

February 24, 2015 at 1:37AM

0
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asa martinez
Camera Movement Tech, Camera Operator
108

I noticed the Mindcastle logo at the end. I remember them as a talented couple that shot a lot of wedding videos years ago. They then got more work doing commercials and promos.
It's great to see them go from shooting weddings with 5Ds to doing promos for Arri.

February 23, 2015 at 4:29PM

0
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I don't think the price is bad at all. It's cheaper than the RED and you get ProRes recording which is a deal breaker for someone like me who has no desire to work with RAW files at this moment. Imagine 2k ProRes at 200fps with no obstacles in post!

February 23, 2015 at 5:55PM, Edited February 23, 5:55PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
887

It's cheaper than that premium Carbon Dragon though, not the regular one.

February 25, 2015 at 1:08AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

It's funny to me how some people can say that they'll never be able to afford this camera. Even if I can't afford something currently I'd still say "one day I'll get one". I love creating film/video work but at the same time I DO plan to make a tremendous amount of money. There are people in the world who buy these cameras for their own pleasure and nothing else. If you set goals to make a great film, then set another goal to make boat loads of money too. There's no reason anyone shouldn't be able to afford a camera like this one day.

February 23, 2015 at 6:54PM

0
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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
550

I usually don't respond on here but...Wow, your statement defines almost everything that is wrong with film today...if you want to make boat loads of money, go become a doctor or make an App for IOS. I got in this for the passion of making memorable images and personally can't stand those who just want to be cool and get "rich."

February 26, 2015 at 7:23AM

0
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people drooling over this (and it is cool) but BMCC is already darn close.

February 23, 2015 at 8:05PM

0
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Vincent Gortho
none
777

Not even

February 24, 2015 at 10:07AM

9
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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
510

No, it really is. I worked post on a few big commercial shoots that were using the BMCC along with the Alexa A-Cam... and you cannot tell them apart. We have to actually check the file properties to tell what was Alexa and what was Blackmagic when setting up VFX plates. Really. I'm not joking. I wouldn't be surprised if Blackmagic (they ARE the engineers of Resolve after all... the standard for color correcting and color science) were hired by Arri years ago to design the color science of the Alexa... which now, since the price of sensors/hardware has come down... have implemented in their own cameras. Think about it, Arri's pedigree is HARDWARE... not imaging.

I mean, obviously, I would take one of these Alexa mini's any day over the current Blackmagic cams. They are definitely better in terms of sensitivity and over-cranking capabilities. But if you think there is some "magic" to the Alexa that's missing in cheaper cam like the BMCC... you're dead wrong. The Blackmagic cams will get you about 85-90% the image quality of Alexa... even for grading. If your stuff doesn't look up to par on a BMCC, the Alexa isn't going to help you out. Rent the Alexa for sure if it's in the budget, but it's not going to make or break your film. (unless slo-motion is necessary)

February 24, 2015 at 1:57PM

13
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Arri / Alexa color science is rooted in 20-30 years of R&D gained from designing the the Arri Laser film recorder and scanner system. I used to work for an FX house back in the 90's that was a beta site for the Arri laser recorder. The color science in the Alexa is in many ways a digital emulation of Kodak Vision3.

February 24, 2015 at 5:49PM

11
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Sorry Chet but, to my eye, the image from the Alexa and the image from any of the BM cams don't look alike, at all.

And... BM is doing wonderful things with Resolve but, they've only been at the helm since 2009. Much of what Resolve is came from its development during the years since it's inception in 1982 by a small company in Florida known as Video Tape Associates. Hats off to Black Magic, though, for continued development and making it available in its present forms.

BTW, some 20 years before Black Magic acquired Resolve, during the development of da Vinci Renaissance in the 80's, there was an accompanying telecine machine called, of all things, URSA.

February 25, 2015 at 11:23PM

0
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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
510

I would put my BMCC images up against an Alexa image. We should have an image off and vote.

February 28, 2015 at 3:34AM, Edited February 28, 3:34AM

0
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You're probably just not comparing images from comparable DP/directors. When Alexa/BMCC dailies are coming in from the same team, they're so similar you just can't tell them apart by image alone. The only tell is really the aliasing from the BMCC in some situations or if they were over-cranking. The 4k Blackmagic, IMO, actually looks better than the Alexa when the dynamic range is within the camera's 12 stop range... much cleaner and better detail. The Alexa is starting to look a bit noisy and soft these days. Arri needs a real 4k sensor soon. The $40k price tag is really isn't worth it honestly as an investment... even though I would still choose to rent/shoot every project on Alexa for maybe another year.

March 1, 2015 at 6:26AM

12
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Baffling comments. It's a rental camera. Utter madness to buy one unless you're the kind of DoP who is a +kit operator which is fewer and fewer these days. It's not a camera you need to own. And if you've never done a shoot with an Alexa and seen how easy it is to work with, how much the camera department love it and how quickly you can knock through setups then someone telling you won't mean anything but, believe me, when you're chasing the page count, every second counts. Yes, the image quality is very special but these cameras are about a great deal more but it's about what they're like as tools on pressured shoots. A blackmagic is a crude flint axe comparatively.

February 24, 2015 at 7:56AM

0
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Robin Schmidt
Director
292

Wow. You just can't beat Arri on quality, but they sure did copy a lot fro RED. Including the touch screen capability via Transvideo. If this actually starts at 30K all i will need extra is the EVF and an EF mount in addition to the PL. Wonder how much those will cost ? :(

February 24, 2015 at 8:17AM

2
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Nigel Thompson
Director / Editor / Producer
163

I think it's a good thing for Red users. Since a few days I noticed a different atmospher on reduser. A spirit of rebellion from even the fan boys. Questioning the new name, Weapon, saying outloud things they didn't dare to tell before about the cameras. Many times, until now, it was possible to feel some fear as there were examples in the past of people being kicked off from the forum for ridiculous reasons. Something a bit sectarian. Now that Arri is launching some new machines, more affordable, I think many red users are looking back at Arri. Especially since the prices are getting closer or even. No more fear from the users to be kicked off from the only affordable pro system at that time will maybe create a new relationship where Red, as it was the purpose initially, listen to their customers again and slow down their arrogance.

February 24, 2015 at 8:29AM, Edited February 24, 8:29AM

3
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Jim Jeune
220

Actually the Mini may end up being a very bad thing for RED. You see a lot of Epic being used as B cameras on gimbals, steadicams, cranes, drones etc. Anywhere you need something smaller and lighter than an Alexa. Now you can just use a Mini that won't overheat, doesn't have a loud fan and shoots uncompressed RAW or Prores and matches the A camera.

February 24, 2015 at 6:06PM

10
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For the first time in alot of years a company is interpolating to get fake resolution and I cannot believe that that company is ARRI. I thought that went out of style in the mid 90s. This is really a 2.8k sensor, my black magic actually beats it. Don't they need to say that they upressolution in the specs?

February 24, 2015 at 10:18AM

8
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Again, the Alexa is an excellent 2K camera with a lovely cinematic look. Let's just not pretend it's a full-on ultra high-res 4K camera, Arri.

February 25, 2015 at 1:11AM

0
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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

I think we all would like ARRI to make a prosumer camera under 10k.

February 24, 2015 at 1:50PM, Edited February 24, 1:50PM

1
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David Cunningham
freelance filmmaker
140

You get what you pay for and in this case it's a smart investment if you have the clients and the work as well as renting it out. Yeah it's the price of a car but a car doesn't make you money. This is a tool for a job and people who spend money to go to college and invest in tools for their jobs don't seem to understand how similar this is. It's the best digital cinema camera ever made in a small package with a TRUE 4:3 sensor capable of outputting 4k for around 40k. Nothing is comparable in terms of DR, highlight rendition, colors and skin tones. It's german and built like a tank as well and I never hear of anyone having issues with Arri cameras.

February 24, 2015 at 7:12PM, Edited February 24, 7:12PM

0
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Brad Watts
Filmmaker/Creative Director - Redd Pen Media
408

This camera sounds awesome. I've been waiting for Arri to do something like this. All it really needs are some audio ports. It doesn't even look like there's anything for scratch audio.

February 24, 2015 at 8:16PM

8
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Derek Doublin
Director, Cinematographer, Large Scale Artist
344

Excited about this. We will be offering UAS drones geared towards this camera. Miniaturization is the future.

Our Gryphon Dynamics copters should do the job to lift one of these cams: http://www.providentialsystems.com/shop/octocopters/octocopter-gryphon-d... but we are looking at offering some UAVs that shouldn't break the bank!

Finally some competition (size wise) to the RED camera offerings!

February 25, 2015 at 2:11PM

0
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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
100

Yikes! What a awful demo video. Didn't show off the camera at all! For a company that's marketing a flagship camera, you'd think they'd want to produce something that looks half-decent.

February 27, 2015 at 4:21AM, Edited February 27, 4:21AM

11
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Agreed, it look like dSLR footage. Very weird choice.

February 28, 2015 at 3:47AM

3
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Good, I'll take two :)

April 26, 2015 at 5:27AM

0
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Eddy Bergman
Film maker
92

Is it just my computer or is there a fair amount of low light noise in the Balloonist video?

September 14, 2015 at 7:28PM

0
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Safe to say, we LOVE our Alexa Mini :-) www.pannyhire.co.uk/product/arri-alexa-mini-hire/

Our favourite camera out of the bunch of 35+ bodies!

May 16, 2016 at 4:10PM, Edited May 16, 4:10PM

7
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Stewart Addison
DP - Director - Filmmaker
1

where can i buy the ARRI ALEXA MINI plus STANDARD ACCESSORIES? PLEASE HELP ME WITH where to buy. BTW im here in Philippines. thank you in advance

June 29, 2017 at 12:55AM, Edited June 29, 12:55AM

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