ARRI announces Alexa Mini cinematic camera

ARRI's Milan Krsljanin with the Alexa Mini
ARRI’s Milan Krsljanin with the Alexa Mini
ARRI, the lens, lighting and camera company, has announced a new, smaller version of its Alexa digital cinema camera.

The Alexa Mini is designed for use on gimbals, on jibs, or for specialist applications such as filming inside cars or other tight spaces. According to Milan Krsljanin, ARRI’s head of business development, the Alexa Mini is designed for use as a C camera alongside the full-sized Alexa, or the documentary-focused Amira. But, he suggests, the camera could also be used as a B camera or for second unit photography.

The Alexa Mini is based around a compact, box-shaped design with a titanium PL mount and sensor mount, and a carbon fibre body to keep weight down. All the internal electronics are sealed, but the lens mount itself can be swapped from the standard PL version to the B4 or EF mounts designed for the Amira.

Recording is to a single CFast card, in ProRes or ARRIRAW, or to an external Codex recorder. The Mini can record at up to 200fps – 360fps with the Codex unit — for slow motion, and comes with a switchable 16:9/4:3 sensor so it can be used with anamorphic lenses.

The camera can shoot in REC709, Log C or custom colour looks, and at up to UHD resolution, with sensitivity between 160 and 3200 EI. ARRI claims 14+ stops of dynamic range for the new camera.

ARRI has also set up the new camera so it supports several different methods of operation. With the ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder, also used on the Amira, the Mini functions as a standard camcorder.

The Alexa Mini prototype
The Alexa Mini prototype

But the Mini can also be controlled entirely using on-board buttons, and an external LCD screen. But ARRI has also fitted the Mini with WiFi, allowing remote camera control: an especially useful feature for filming in hard to reach or inaccessible spaces, or on jibs and cranes. In an unusual feature, the Mini’s built-in ND filter can be controlled remotely too.

ARRI will start accepting pre-orders for the Alexa Mini in March, with shipping expected in March. Pricing is expected to be between $30,000 and $40,000, depending on options and accessories.

ARRI has a comprehensive backgrounder on the new camera on its website.