New ARRI ALEXA Mini: Same Image Quality in a Much Smaller Package
ARRI's ALEXA just got a whole lot smaller.
Not content to let RED have all the drone and gimbal fun, ARRI has just introduced the ALEXA Mini which takes the image quality of the original ALEXA and shoves it all into a much smaller Carbon Fiber package. The camera is capable of up to 200fps 2K ProRes and 30fps 2.8K ArriRAW recording to internal CFast 2.0 cards (60fps at 4:3 and 120fps at 16:9 if you go to a Codex recorder).
Here's a quick rundown of the Mini:
The ALEXA Mini can be operated in a number of ways: by wireless remote control, as a normal camera with the ARRI MVF-1 multi viewfinder attached, or with an on-board monitor and controlled via the user button interface on the camera body. Light enough to be comfortably held at arm's length in a hand rig, its compact size and extremely quiet operation also make it ideal for tight shooting conditions. The symmetrical design permits filming in any orientation, including upside-down and in portrait mode, while multiple accessory points enable highly creative mounting solutions. In addition, the ALEXA Mini's interchangeable lens mount can be replaced with any of those designed for the ARRI AMIRA, allowing the use of B4 video and EF mount stills lenses.
Equipped with a 4:3 sensor, automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic productions and frame rates of 0.75-200 fps, the ALEXA Mini records ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder that can record image streams from up to four ALEXA Minis simultaneously -- a compelling option for multi-camera setups such as 360° plate shots. Images from the ALEXA Mini will perfectly match those from all other ALEXA cameras, making the final grade easier and quicker.
Check out the size comparison with the normal ALEXA:
Here's a video they are showing off that was shot with the camera, on the Freefly MōVI M15 and CineStar 8 multirotor:
Here are the specs:
- Camera type: 35 format film-style digital camera with lightweight and compact carbon body, 4:3/16:9 switchable active sensor area, support for ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder, built-in remote control capabilities via ARRI Electronic Control System and Wi-Fi, support for cforce motors, built-in motorized ND filters, interchangable lens mounts and ARRI Lens Data System
- Dimensions (camera body with PL lens mount): Length: 185 mm/7.3" | Width: 125 mm/4.9" | Height: 140 mm/5.5"
- Weight: ~ 2.3 kg/5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount)
- Sensor: 35 mm format ARRI ALEV III CMOS with Bayer pattern color filter array
HD: 2880x1620 (3168x1772)
2K: 2868x1612 (3154x1764)
3.2K: 3200x1800 (3424x1926)
4K UHD: 3200x1800 (3424x1926)
2K: 2867x2150 (3168x2160) *
- Shutter: Electronic shutter, 5.0° to 356.0°
- 14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200
as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)
- EI 800 base sensitivity
- Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1
- Lens Mounts:
Titanium PL mount with L-Bus connector and LDS
PL mount with Hirose connector and LDS
B4 mount with Hirose connector
CFast 2.0 memory cards
2K Cine 16:9 2048x1152
2K Cine 4:3 2048x1536 *
4K UHD 3840x2160
ARRIRAW 2.8K 16:9 2880x1620 *
ARRIRAW 2.8K 4:3 2880x2160 *
ProRes 4444XQ, 4444, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW *
Rec 709, custom look or Log C
Import of custom 3D LUT, ASC CDL parameter (slope, offset, power, saturation)
Knee, gamma, saturation, black gamma, saturation by hue
Peaking, zebra, false color
Sound: < 20 dB(A) at standard frame rates
Working conditions: -20° C to +50° C (-4° F to +122° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing. Splash and dust-proof through sealed electronics
Viewfinder: Multi Viewfinder MVF-1 (OLED and LCD ) with flip-out LCD screen
and military-grade connector to camera
Control: Soft buttons and OSD on SDI output, integration of Transvideo StarliteHD touch interface *
ARRI Lens Control: Built-in radio interface for ARRI lens control. L-Bus motor output for daisy-chainable cforce lens control motors
Built-in Wi-Fi interface and web-based remote control from phones, tablets, and laptops
Power: Lemo 8-pin, 10.5-34 V DC
Outputs: 2x HD-SDI out 1.5G and 3G: uncompressed HD video with embedded audio
and metadata, SDI-6G interface to external CODEX recorder *
Inputs: SDI-Genlock (optional activation through ARRI Service), timecode (in and output)
Other Interfaces: USB 2.0 (for usersets, looks etc.). Ethernet. EXT accessory interface w. RS pin
*may not be available at product launch, but will become available as a software upgrade later in 2015
And a look at the list of frame rates and resolutions (which are lower than the bigger ALEXA in some cases recording internally):
The coolest thing about the Mini is that nearly everything is controllable from WiFi, including the ND filters, so you can operate the entire thing remotely.
It records internally to CFast 2.0 cards or can be tethered to a Codex (or likely other recorders):
Even though the 4K is upscaling, the quality of the sensor is such that ARRI can get away with it more than some other companies probably can. It's not really surprising that ARRI decided to come out with this model, especially since RED has been taking a lot of the work on gimabls and drones. Coming in now at about the same size and weight of the EPIC DRAGON, this ALEXA Mini gives DPs everything they wanted in the ALEXA in a smaller package.
The pricing for the ALEXA Mini starts at €32,000, goes up to €40,000 with a full package and viewfinder. If those are translated exactly to US dollars (which we don't know if they will be), that works out to a price range of about $36,000 to $45,000 depending on options. It is scheduled to begin shipping in May 2015, with orders starting in March.