Arri reveals 'mobile' 4K Alexa Mini camera at BVE

In a move sure to interest creative filmakers, Arri has revealed the existence of the Arri Alexa Mini at London's Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) show.

The compact and lightweight version of the popular Arri Alexa is able to capture 4K UHD ProRes, is intended for aerial filming rigs and can be remotely controlled by smartphone.

The Mini is equipped with a 4:3 sensor, automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic productions and frame rates of 0.75-200 fps. It records 4K UHD 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. The company said this offered an option for multi-camera setups such as 360° plate shots.

Arri said the Mini can be comfortably held at arm's length in a hand rig and is compact enough to allow the use of standard PL mount lenses on lightweight and space-constrained rigs, such as gyro-stabilised aerial systems. The symmetrical design permits filming in any orientation, including upside-down and in portrait mode, while multiple accessory points allow a variety of creative mounting solutions.

The body design is optimised for use with new-generation brushless gimbals, multicopters and other specialised rigs. The camera's low-light performance makes it perfect for underwater work, said Arri, adding that dedicated underwater housings are currently being developed by leading manufacturers. Arri also claimed the Mini is easy to transport in backpacks or as carry-on luggage.

The Alexa Mini can be operated 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. Wi-Fi connectivity means that iOS or Android devices can be used to remotely control camera functions such as the motorized internal ND filters, which permit rapid responses to changing light conditions without adding bulk to the camera configuration.

It also features highly integrated and environmentally sealed electronics, a lightweight carbon housing and a solid titanium PL mount that connects directly with a new internal sensor mount to ensure a super-stable flange focal distance, even when using large lenses. The 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.

A built-in lens motor controller allows new active lens motors to be connected directly to the titanium PL mount, while Arri Lens Data System (LDS) technology provides frame-accurate metadata

Pricing isn't yet available, but the prototype of the Alexa Mini is on show at BVE, with units set to begin shipping in May 2015.

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