The ALEXA Mini provokes the same feeling I had decades ago when I first saw the Rollei 6006 medium format single lens reflex: I may not be good enough for it, but if I just hold it, I’ll learn from it and get better. I promise.
We don’t expect the just-announced ARRI ALEXA Mini to be on most people’s short list of cameras to buy next, because there are much, much less expensive alternatives more consistent with their (our) skills, budget and clientele.
But I wouldn’t be surprised to find a copy of this Mini someday sitting in the permanent exhibition of someplace like the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
I really don’t want to address its technical specifications, its price, its value, or compare it to other cameras – there will be plenty of that in the coming days.
Instead, for just a moment, I want to take a time-out from what it is as a filmmaking device and just savor its existence.
Can we do that?
Hellz yeah. I just did. [bctt tweet= “Carbon-envy: ARRI introduces ALEXA Mini”]
ARRI ALEXA Mini
Compact, lightweight and self-contained, the ARRI ALEXA Mini is a versatile additional tool in the ALEXA camera range. Crews will find that the ALEXA Mini perfectly complements their ALEXA shooting kit, eliminating the complications of working with third-party cameras for specialized shots and keeping everything within a single system that is trusted all over the world.
To maintain ARRI’s famously rugged build quality in a small and lightweight camera, a number of unique design solutions have been incorporated. These include highly integrated and sealed electronics, a lightweight carbon housing and a solid titanium PL mount that connects directly with the new internal sensor mount – also made of titanium – to ensure a super-stable flange focal distance, even when using large lenses. Nimble in use and hardy on set, the ALEXA Mini is a go-anywhere tool, easy to transport in backpacks or as carry-on luggage.
Learn more about ARRI ALEXA Mini Here.
Captured with the ALEXA Mini and directed by MINDCASTLE.
The Balloonist – Behind The Scenes
ALEXA Mini with MōVI M15 and CineStar 8 multirotor from FREEFLY SYSTEMS
ARRI announces the ALEXA Mini, a lightweight carbon fiber cinema camera with 4K output
We don't normally write about thirty-thousand-dollar cinema cameras, but the ARRI ALEXA Mini (announced this morning) caught our eye. This digital motion picture camera packs a whole lot of firepower into a super compact, carbon-fiber body. The specs also foreshadow what we might expect in future consumer-level cameras, in terms of video capabilities.
At its core is a Super 35mm format ARRI ALEV III CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern color filter array. ARRI claims it is capable of 14+ stops of sensitivity when shooting at an exposure index of 160-3200 (EI is essentially the same as ISO).
The unit can be operated in a variety of ways, including via wireless control. It also has an integrated lens motor controller (which allows new active lens motors to connect to the PL mount) allowing for focus, iris and zoom to all be controlled from an ARRI hand unit, wirelessly. This makes the ALEXA Mini 4K an excellent choice for use with a drone.
Physically, the Mini measures 7.3×4.9×5.5-inches, and weighs just 5lbs. ARRI cameras are known for being incredibly modular, and the ALEXA Mini 4K is no exception. The titanium PL mount can be swapped for an EF mount, and the camera can be used handheld with the addition of the ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder and a hand rig.
The unit can record in a wide variety of formats including HD, 2K, 4K and UHD and can also spit out native resolution outputs like uncompressed ARRIRAW 2.8K or ProRes 3.2k. Frame rates range from .75 -200fps. And a built-in set of motorized ND filters including a .6-stop, 1.2-stop, and 2.1-stop give even more exposure control. Other cool features: the sensor area can be switched from 4:3 to 16:9 and because the unit is symmetrical, it can be used in portrait-orientation, or upside down
(cover photo credit: snap from ARRI)