Camera kits

The ARRI AMIRA - What you need to know..

Smaller, lighter, shorter and less expensive than the ARRI Alexa but most unmistakably an ARRI nonetheless - only with Canon EF and B4 Broadcast lens compatibility, enter the ARRI AMIRA.

Jon Fauer of the Film and Digital Times commented that the new ARRI Amira reminded him of the ARRI 16SR — the 16mm documentary camera that launched his career.

For me, ARRI’s new camera represents a change of direction to snap at the heels of the Canon C300 with it’s EOS mount and also for the C300 PL and lower cost Alexa productions with PL – then of course as a solution for documentary productions as well with using these lenses or indeed ARRI’s plans to also fit 2/3” Broadcast HD lenses.

In Jon’s words, the new ARRI Amira is reminiscent of the 16SR for the Alexa age. More info on ARRI’s website.  Fits comfortably on the shoulder, very versatile, comfortable and lightweight.  Most importantly, it is one of the only digital cameras that doesn’t require a cage, rig or a multitude of mods.

VMI have already submitted a firm order for 6 of these cameras to be delivered in early 2014, so watch this space!

ARRI Amiira Summary

The Amira is a "documentary-style" shoulder-mounted camera built around the same sensor as the Alexa and designed for single-operator use. The camera shoots in 1080p HD and 2K at up to 200 fps, claims the same 14-stop dynamic range as the Alexa, and includes pre-loaded looks based on 3D LUTs for in-camera colour grading.

Important changes to the Alexa are that it is significantly shorter and lighter than the Alexa and has a much smaller power draw as well.  Saying that though, it feels like a regular Sony full-size documentary camera and feels very robust with excellent build quality.

It records to a new recording medium – these are just like CF cards but more robust faster versions called “CF Fast cards”, which claim up to 600MB/second read/write speed.  They are also supposed to be cheaper than SxS Pro cards and capable to record 4444 Prores logC at a very impressive 200fps at 2K! (Up to 120GB per card capacity at present and 2 x slots available).

The Amira records Rec. 709 or Log C images in camera to SanDisk's new CFast 2.0 flash memory cards (read on for more on those) using ProRes 422, 422 (LT), 422 (HQ), or 4444 codecs — but not ARRIRAW. This is important, as it shows that the Amira is built for utility and speed in both production and post and won’t compete head-on with ALEXA.  ARRI said it will boot quickly with no set-up tasks or other delays to slow it down in run-and-gun environments and stressed that the Amira has a rugged construction that will be an asset under punishing field conditions.

And ARRI seems to be making sure shooters have options for managing their colour in camera, rather than relying on fiddling in post. In addition to the pre-loaded looks, DPs can load custom LUTs into the camera before the shoot, and 3D LUTs can even be modified during the shoot.

Also on board are motorized ND filters, zebra and false-colour displays, and an advanced peaking function for aiding quick focusing. Both a flip-out LCD monitor and an OLED eyepiece are included.

Prices are now confirmed is as yet undecided but likely to be circa £25K.

By the way, ARRI was a collaborator with SanDisk in the development of that new CFast 2.0 standard, which is being supported on the Alexa, as well, through a just-announced recording adapter for Alexa XT and XR cameras.

The cards, which have a pinless design to reduce the chances of damage on insertion or removal, will ship in 60 GB and 120 GB capacities, and support writing at up to 350 MB/sec — enough to record ProRes 4444 at up to 120 fps. ARRI said CFast 2.0 card recordings, like those on SxS Pro cards, are closed continuously, so if the card is accidentally ejected or power is lost during a recording, the file on the card is not corrupted. 

ARRI's latest Alexa software update (v9.0) enables the higher-speed ProRes recording as well as a ProRes Pre-Recording option that keeps the camera recording in a continuously buffering mode so that nature cinematographers don't miss their shot. Also new is DNxHD 444 support for all DNxHD-licensed cameras, a "self-healing metadata" feature to repair a prematurely closed file an allow the media to be reused, and support for Cooke /i lens data in Alexa Classic cameras with a PL-LDS mount.

Drive the AMIRA using the ARRI AMIRA Simulator




VMI are proud sponsors of:

The British Society of Cinematographers The Guild of Television Cameramen The Guild of British Camera Technicians International Federation of Cinematographers Plasa - Rental Guard Plasa member Cinematography Mailing List Xhire - Anri fraud network