Arri Announces the Alexa Mini - 4K, Lightweight, Compact, Probably Not Affordable

Making generous use carbon fiber throughout the 4K cube that will be released as the Arri Alexa Mini, Arri's newest camera takes a direct stab at RED's Dragon, as both feature incredibly similar specifications — even their 2.3 kilogram weight. Of course, Arri isn't new to the game; they know enough to bring some game with the Mini.

The Alexa Mini does something that solves the problems of many things RED owners complain about: it errs on the side of inclusion. Underneath, within, behind, and throughout the carbon fiber shell and solid titanium mounts sit electronics and features for which owners of other camera manufacturers would have to purchase add-ons. A built-in wireless radio allows for control via iOS device of recording features. Remote control of focus is made easier thanks to an in-mount, built-in motor control module that allows direct hookup of follow focus mechanisms for your cinema lenses (it doesn't hurt that Arri's follow focus remote looks pretty badass, not to mention extremely capable). The camera records directly to CFast 2.0 cards to record ProRes at frame rates of up to 200fps. It's hard to say what's best about all of these features, but the Alexa Mini's motorized and iOS-device-remote-controllable built-in ND filters are a nice touch that'll make any cinematographer simultaneously smile and sigh in relief.

Perfect for mounting to handheld rigs or small helicopter drones, the Alexa Mini positions itself as a camera to give Arri system users an easier option for post-production when smaller rigs are needed. Likewise, newer users in the game for RED-level cameras will enjoy the flexibility and built-in features of the Alexa Mini, which will keep its size and weight even smaller when the alternative addition of these accessories in other systems is considered.

Unfortunately, there's no word on pricing. But compact, full-frame, 4K, 200fps, and premium materials don't come cheap. Stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, Freefly Systems is back on Fstoppers with a behind-the-scenes video of Mindcastle's film, "The Balloonist," above, filmed with the Alexa Mini on a MōVI M15 and CineStar 8.

Connect multiple rigs to Arri's external recorder for up to a combined 360fps recording in more complex setups.
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12 Comments

Reese Avanessian's picture

Well, looks like I know where my vacation money will be going.

Adam Peariso's picture

At €32,000 it ain't cheap!

Lee Christiansen's picture

There is more to a good camera and picture than the number of dots it can produce. Arri produce some of the finest images around. It's why they are a premium choice for the best DoP's worldwide.

filmkennedy's picture

Compared to the prices of the other Alexas (XT, Plus, M, Amira, etc.) it's still a really good deal and cheaper then the rest of them. Like what Lee said, resolution isn't everything. I remember seeing Skyfall being projected in 4k and it still looked just as good as the Red films out there.

Bruno Inácio's picture
Harry lener's picture

Thanks Bruno

Palmer Woodrow's picture

Is this the same fake 4K that they're selling on their other cameras?

Adam Ottke's picture

From what I understand, that was because 4K was "enabled" via a software update to the Amira camera, which upsampled to 4K from its sensor (which is actually neat that they were able to do that for current owners of that camera). The Alexa Mini should be full, 100%, bona fide 4K, as the sensor is advertised as such. It would be a BAD marketing move to advertise it this way and only later say, "Oh, by the way, it's upsampled....it's not really a 4K sensor." So I don't think that's going to happen.

Stephen Strangways's picture

Arri's own website (http://www.arri.com/alexamini/) states Photo sites: 4K UHD: 3200x1800.
For Recording formats they list 4K UHD 3840x2160 which is Ultra HD, not DCI 4K cinema resolution.

So, yeah... it's a 3.2K sesnsor upsampled to fake 3.8K for UHD broadcast use.

Daniel Duesentrieb's picture

I found some interesting information on https://tech.ebu.ch/files/live/sites/tech/files/shared/tech/tech3335_s16...
Red Epic Dragon needs to run in 5k or 6k mode to reach an effective resolution comparable to the Arri 3200x1800 base resolution for UHD...

JoyW Aim's picture

Love it! Yes, probably not affordable, but I bet really awesome! I can easily get access to it by hiring camera equipment http://www.aimimage.com/category/kit-hire/ instead of buying them.

Stewart Addison's picture

Safe to say, we LOVE our Alexa Mini :-) www.pannyhire.co.uk/product/arri-alexa-mini-hire/
Our favourite camera out of the bunch of 35+ bodies!