December 15, 2015 at 10:08AM

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Amira or Alexa Mini?

I'm buying a new camera in the new year but torn between the Alexa Mini or the Amira. I've used the Amira a few times and love it but not tried the Mini (will try it out before making a decision).

I've had quotes from resellers and they essentially come out the same price (Amira with premium licence and the mini without accessories). Although the Amira comes with the EVF included which is worth about £4K...

I do (and plan to do) a lot of one man and small crew shooting work so leaning towards the amira. Although the form factor of the mini is attractive I'm a bit turned off by a few things (no decent audio input, lack of controls on the body). I also shoot a lot of steadicam stuff (being a qualified Steadicam op) so the gimble possibilities of the Mini aren't super important as I can fly the Amira easily.

Anyone have experience of using both who could give some insight or recommendations of any factors I'm missing? How important is ArriRaw vs 4444XQ to people who own a Mini etc?

Thanks

2 Comments

I have had an Amira (with premium) and am expecting delivery of an Alexa Mini in the next few weeks, so maybe this comment should wait, but I've messed around with the Mini a few times and based on what you've said I would say stick with an Amira.

The Mini is essentially like a dslr, you need all sorts of rigging to shoot, whereas the Amira is like a Varicam or ENG camera, out of the box you just slap on a battery, lens and mic and you're good to go (fine, also a battery plate, mic mount, xlr cable, and mine came with a lens mount but Arri told me they don't). The accessories on the Mini are going to cost a good amount too, might be worth pricing both out so they're fully equipped for what you need to get a proper assessment.

The reason I have the Mini on order is for use on a gimbal and potential aerial use in the future. I don't want to make enemies with your back, but if you are comfortable with the Amira on a Steadicam I think that negates the benefits to the Alexa Mini. The ArriRaw vs ProRes I don't think is a big compromise, the value depends on what you're shooting and workflow, etc. I would be more worried about the limitations with the audio on the Mini, especially if you're doing any solo shooting that needs sound.

December 16, 2015 at 6:29PM

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Worked on both cameras quite a few times.
The Amira obviously is an ENG style camera and has its limitations in form factor.
The way the Alexa Mini's modular system works is great. The shoulder mount set up on the mini great as well.
But there's quite a few quirks too.
One, it glitches quite a lot for an Alexa product. One that was on set had to already go for service and the owner has only used it several times.
two, they completely changed the simple menu interface that we love so much about the alexas.
Formatting the cards are a little bit of a pain in the ass because you have to reconnect the viewfinder every time. The wifi capabilities arent stellar. you really need to be like 3-4 feet from the camera.
But with that said, the image is gorgeous and this form factor is the future.
They got most of the design right.
I personally think the mini is the way to go.

December 19, 2015 at 9:43AM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
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