Geared more toward documentary, news, or TV work -- yet using the same sensor as some of the higher-end ALEXA cinema cameras -- the lower-cost, ENG-style AMIRA is expected to provide the usability that a run-and-gun shoot would require without sacrificing too much in image quality. Earlier this year, ARRI revealed the prices of its different upgradable camera packages, but yesterday they added another very important piece to the puzzle by announcing that they'll begin shipping the highly anticipated camera this month.
At one point we were promised a pre-NAB release date, but that's looking less and less likely. However, according to Creative Cow, ARRI is planning on releasing the AMIRA this month, though an actual specific date hasn't been established. In case you're not familiar with the camera or just need a refresher, here are the key specs:
- 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
When it does come time to order, there are 3 available camera configurations with different features. Lens and battery mounts, and bottom plates are chosen to meet your specific needs. Furthermore, with the purchase of a license (available on ARRI's website), your camera set can be upgraded later on. Here are the 3 different camera packages:
The Economical - AMIRA CAMERA SET
Features include: HD 1080i and 1080p; 0.75-100 fps; ProRes 422 and 422 (LT) recording in Rec 709; three looks; adjustable in-camera image parameters for knee, gamma and saturation; peaking for focus control; zebra and false color for exposure control.
The All-Rounder - AMIRA ADVANCED
Features additional to the economical AMIRA set: 100-200 fps; ProRes 422 (HQ) recording; Log C; unlimited Look functions; import Looks; ASC CDL in-camera grading; dynamic auto-tracking white balance; WiFi remote control; Bluetooth audio monitoring; pre-record function.
The All-Inclusive - AMIRA PREMIUM
Features additional to the AMIRA Advanced: 2K (2048 x 1152) and ProRes 4444 recording; import custom 3D LUTs.
ARRI certainly had a certain kind of user in mind when they designed the AMIRA. It's design is optimized for a single operator: built-in ND filters, full audio controls, extendable shoulder mount, with most of the important settings accessible on the outside so you don't have to go into the menu. These features will appeal to shooters who need to pick up and go quickly and easily, but those same features, as well as the 35mm 16:9 sensor, the newly added Adobe Premiere Pro support, and lower rental price will more than likely draw the attention of independent and low-budget filmmakers as well. Though the AMIRA can only shoot up to 2K, it may be a fair trade-off to get still really excellent image quality at a relatively reasonable price.