Chances are, if you've operated or assisted on a production using an ARRI ALEXA, you've also used ARRI's fantastic ALEXA camera simulator, which digitally mimics all of the menu functions and exterior buttons of the camera. Resources such as camera simulators are excellent training tools for both up and coming cam-ops and assistants, as well as experienced guys who need a refresher on how a particular system works. With the new AMIRA camera making its way out into the world, ARRI has released the first version of the AMIRA camera simulator, and it's definitely worth checking out you intend to use this camera any time in the near future.
Just in case you're not already familiar with the features of the AMIRA, here's a quick recap:
Now that you're up to speed with the features, you're ready to get to know the AMIRA a bit more intimately. I suggest opening a bottle of wine, putting on some Barry Manilow, lighting a few candles, and then clicking this link to take you to the AMIRA camera simulator. Or you can click the image below.
After several minutes of using the simulator, it's clear that the AMIRA is a very different beast from the ALEXA, at least in terms of the ethos of its exterior button and menu design. The hardware switches on the side of the camera allow for common settings such as frame rate, ISO, and white balance to be switched between user-defined settings at the quick flick of a knob. This means that a single operator can control crucial functions of the camera without ever having to look at a menu of any kind. For this reason, the AMIRA is a dream camera for documentary and run and gun shooters who are constantly changing settings on the fly.
What do you guys think of the AMIRA Camera Simulator? What similarities or differences do you notice between the AMIRA's external button/menu configuration and that of the ALEXA? Let us know down in the comments!