Last week, after months upon months of waiting with our breath held, ARRI unveiled the pricing for its ENG-style documentary camera, the highly anticipated AMIRA. As was expected, the camera, which sports the same 16:9 sensor as some of its ALEXA brethren, is not an inexpensive one by any stretch of the imagination, with basic AMIRA packages starting in the neighborhood of $40,000. Even though the cameras are starting to make their way out into the wild, we still haven't seen too many people put the AMIRA through its paces yet. Until now, that is. Filmmaker Jens Hoffman was recently given the chance to finish up his ALEXA-shot documentary MATA MATA, which is about soccer culture and players in Brazil, on a brand new AMIRA, and the footage is breathtaking, to say the very least.
For the past three years, Hoffman has been using his personal ALEXA, which is rigged up for handheld documentary-style work, to document the lives of up and coming Brazilian soccer players. The documentary is called MATA MATA (which translates to "All Or Nothing"). Here's the trailer:
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Although a vast majority of the film was shot on an ALEXA, there were a few scenes that still needed to be shot, and the AMIRA was the obvious choice due to its awesome high-speed functionality. In the film, one of the protagonists recounts playing soccer in the streets of the infamous City of God favela. Hoffman used the AMIRA's slow motion functionality to create a sense of magical realism for these scenes. Here's a look at his footage for this scene:
When asked how the AMIRA performed in comparison to his ALEXA, Hoffman had this to say:
The image quality and dynamic range are exactly the same as ALEXA; the only way to tell the AMIRA footage apart is because it's 200 fps. It was crazy bright in Rio, with very strong sunlight and very dark shadows, so we needed the dynamic range for those extreme contrast levels in the middle of the day, and then we needed the sensitivity once the light started to drop, because it drops fast. Even when it seemed too dark to shoot, we were still getting incredibly nice shots with the AMIRA.
And here's some additional AMIRA footage shot in Rio De Janeiro.
Really the only thing to say about this AMIRA footage is that it looks fantastic. It's exactly what you'd expect from a documentary version of the ALEXA. The color is immaculate; the dynamic range is incredible; it's clean and beautiful, but not overly sharp. The AMIRA is going to be an incredibly popular camera in not only documentary production, but also narrative productions with a run and gun style.
What do you guys think about this AMIRA footage from Rio? Let us know down in the comments!