The Perfect Documentary Camera: A First Look at the ARRI AMIRA
Earlier in the year at the IBC convention, ARRI announced a new camera, one that many believe to be the perfect documentary camera. This camera, the ARRI AMIRA, combines the image quality of its cinematic big brothers (the ALEXA line of cameras) with the single-shooter ergonomics of ENG style cameras. The result is a camera that is perfectly suited for high-end documentary production (as well as run 'n gun narrative production, for that matter.) The fine folks at Zacuto and NewsShooter have released their first look videos and interviews from IBC. Here's what they had to say about the AMIRA:
For those of you who missed our post during IBC, here's a list of the utterly impressive features of the AMIRA:
- 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
And here's another IBC video from NewsShooter, this one featuring an extensive interview with ARRI representative Stephan Schenk and legendary cinematographer Rodney Charters ASC. Charters, who is one of my all-time favorite DPs, has a style that seamlessly blends documentary techniques with traditional narrative storytelling, which can be seen in excellent series like 24 and Shameless. Needless to say, this camera is absolutely perfect for how he works. Here's the interview:
At this point, the only things that we don't know are when exactly the camera will be officially released (we're told that it will be before NAB 2014,) and what the camera will cost. As much as I think people would be thrilled to death if this camera came in under $25,000, it just doesn't seem plausible. I'd love to eat my words on that one, but my guess is that we'll see this thing priced in the $35-40,000 range, which will most definitely make it a rental-only option for most shooters.
What do you guys think? Is the AMIRA a dream camera for documentary and run-and-gun narrative shooters alike? How much do you think this camera will cost when it's all said and done? Let us know in the comments!