Complementing the ALEXA range
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.
Strength and agility through state-of-the-art materials
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.
Versatile mounting and shooting options
The ALEXA Mini can be operated in a number of ways: 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. Light enough to be comfortably held at arm’s length in a hand rig, its compact size and extremely quiet operation also make it ideal for tight shooting conditions.
The symmetrical design permits filming in any orientation, including upside-down and in portrait mode, while multiple accessory points enable highly creative mounting solutions. In addition, the ALEXA 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.
Uncompromised image quality for specialized shots
The overwhelming advantage of the ALEXA Mini is that it marries such a compact and lightweight form factor with the same unparalleled image quality that has made the ARRI ALEXA system a gold standard for the industry. Combine the Mini with any other ALEXA camera and you will have perfectly matched images, even on anamorphic productions – thanks to the 4:3 sensor and automatic de‑squeeze function. Workflows will also be identical, with options to record ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder.
Uncompromised image quality for specialized shots
The overwhelming advantage of the ALEXA Mini is that it marries such a compact and lightweight form factor with the same unparalleled image quality that has made the ARRI ALEXA system a gold standard for the industry.
Combine the Mini with any other ALEXA camera and you will have perfectly matched images, even on anamorphic productions – thanks to the 4:3 sensor and automatic de‑squeeze function.
Workflows will also be identical, with options to record ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder.
Save time on set
With the ALEXA Mini, no extra time need be spent on set configuring third-party cameras previously required for specialized shots, or on wrangling the image files coming out of them. Multi-camera setups such as 360° plate shots will be made simpler and faster by the external Codex recorder, which can record image streams from up to four ALEXA Minis simultaneously. The camera’s maximum frame rate of 200 fps means it can also be used for stunning slow-motion cinematography, saving further time and money on set by doing away with the need for a separate high-speed camera.
Save time in post
In the past, productions combining small cameras from other manufacturers with an ARRI ALEXA shooting kit have encountered time-consuming difficulties in the grade, trying to match images from those cameras to ALEXA’s famously natural colorimetry and pleasing skin tones. With the ALEXA Mini these difficulties are eliminated because all images come from the same sensor and share the same color space. The ability to use CDLs and 3D LUTs in-camera for on-set color management will also reduce time and money spent in post.
CODEX Multicam Recorder, offering a combined total of up to 360 fps of uncompressed
ARRIRAW recording bandwidth from multiple ALEXA Mini cameras.
Integrated lens motor control and ND filters, perfect for gimbals and multicopters
The ALEXA Mini’s camera body has been designed with new-generation brushless gimbals, multicopters and other specialized rigs in mind. It is compact enough in the lens direction to allow the use of standard PL mount lenses even on lightweight and space-constrained rigs, such as gyro-stabilized aerial systems. The camera’s superb low-light performance makes it perfect for underwater work, and dedicated underwater housings are currently being developed by leading manufacturers.
Greater efficiency through integrated functions
An integrated lens motor controller allows new active lens motors to be connected directly to the titanium PL mount, so focus, iris and zoom settings can be controlled from ARRI hand units without an additional external box. Further operational settings can be made remotely when working with the ARRI WCU-4 hand unit.
The motorized and remotely-controllable internal ND filters permit rapid responses to changing light conditions, and help keep clutter around the camera to a minimum.
Cost-saving camera and lens metadata
Integrated ARRI Lens Data System (LDS) technology brings the added value of frame‑accurate metadata about focus, iris and zoom settings. With these lens settings and exact depth‑of‑field displayed live on wireless hand units, precise adjustments can be made during a shot. The data also allows lens mapping to pre‑marked focus rings and reduces the time and expense involved in achieving complex visual effects in post.
Future-proof technology with 4K UHD, HDR and HFR recording
Unsurpassed overall image quality
Like the ARRI AMIRA, the ALEXA Mini can record 4K UHD ProRes images, facilitating real-time 4K UHD output and simple pipelines for high-resolution deliverables. More important than this, however, is the fact that the Mini and all other ARRI cameras with the ALEV III sensor offer unrivalled overall image quality by focusing not just on spatial resolution, but also on other image quality parameters such as dynamic range.
Better pixels, not just more
ARRI’s approach is unique in that it does not prioritize one element of image quality over any other. To achieve the highest overall image quality, ARRI uses bigger and better pixels on the sensor, rather than smaller pixels in larger numbers. The result is that ALEXA captures a wider dynamic range, truer colors, lower noise and more natural skin tones than other cameras, whether the chosen output is HD, 2K, 4K UHD or one of the native resolution outputs like uncompressed ARRIRAW 2.8K or ProRes 3.2K. This approach is vindicated by the huge numbers of professional filmmakers who choose ALEXA after extensive real‑world comparative testing.
Safe for future industry standards
Images from the ALEXA Mini are uniquely suited to next‑generation HDR (High Dynamic Range) displays, which are likely to play a role in defining future format standards. In addition, the ALEXA Mini’s camera speeds of 0.75 – 200 fps allow it to be used not just for slow‑motion shots, but also for HFR (High Frame Rate) acquisition, which might constitute another strand of future standards. ARRI’s holistic approach to image quality makes ALEXA the most future-proof camera system available today, and the safest investment for tomorrow.
Accessories for ALEXA Mini
One of the ALEXA Mini’s design principles is to reduce weight by avoiding unnecessary items in and around the camera. The main design concept is for the sensor carrier in the center of the camera to act as a hub, to which are attached the camera body, the lens mount and all accessories. In order to extend that concept, a versatile cage has been created to provide an external support structure with multiple components that can be used and combined flexibly. Due to the symmetrical design of the ALEXA Mini, accessory plates can be positioned on the top as well as the bottom of the camera – in fact the sensor image can be flipped and the camera can easily be used upside-down.
Mini Accessory Plates MAP-1 and MAP-2
The cornerstones of the cage are the two accessory plates MAP-1 and MAP-2. MAP-1 is a lightweight and minimalistic plate that provides centered 1/4-20” and 3/8-16” mounting points. MAP-2 is a larger accessory plate with more mounting points and 15 mm LWS rod support that allows the rods to run through the plate.
ALEXA Mini Viewfinder
ALEXA Mini can be equipped with a revolutionary multi-viewfinder that makes life incredibly easy for single-operator users, combining a high resolution OLED eyepiece with a fold-away LCD monitor. ALEXA Mini labeled MVF-1 (AMIRA EVF) and 75cm viewfinder cable with connector for ALEXA Mini EVF port.
Mini Viewfinder Bracket MVB-1
The MVB-1 contains all necessary rods and brackets to mount an MVF-1 viewfinder to the camera via MAP-2. MVB-1 combines dual 15 mm LWS rods, a sliding bracket and a cross-pipe mount to create a sturdy viewfinder mount that allows the viewfinder to be moved in all directions.
Rod Mounting Bracket RMB-3
The RMB-3 is the Swiss Army knife of the ALEXA Mini cage and can be used very flexibly in a variety of ways. RMB-3 can be used on MAP-1 and MAP-2 to hold a single 19 mm or 15 mm LWS rod (with reduction insert) and can be mounted to various interface options on the top or sides of the MAP-1 and MAP-2 plates. RMB-3 can also be used in combination with MAP-1, the viewfinder cross-pipe mount and the CCH-2 or CTH-1 handles to create a lightweight top plate with viewfinder and top handle support.
Mini Side Bracket MSB-1
A cage side bracket that features 1/4-20” and 3/8-16” accessory threads and an ARRI standard rosette, the MSB-1 can be mounted to the side of any MAP-1 / MAP-2 configuration. The rosette interface of the MSB-1 is placed asymmetrically so that it can be mounted with the rosette close to the top or close to the bottom, providing flexible options when attaching handles or handle extensions.
Bridge Plate Adapter BPA-4
The BPA-4 is a spacer plate that mounts to MAP-2 in order to interface with standard cine-style bridge plates such as the BP-8 or BP-9. The combination of MAP-2, BPA-4, BP-8 and a dovetail base plate provides 19 mm cine-style long lens support and allows even large zoom lenses to be used with the ALEXA Mini.
Compact Shoulder Pad CSP-1
The CSP-1 shoulder pad clamps onto 15 mm LWS rods either in front of or behind the base plate, to achieve the best possible balance on the shoulder. With CSP-1 attached, the camera rig can be safely put down on a flat surface.
Battery Adapter Plate BAP-1
The battery plate allows industry-standard battery mounts such as V-mount and Gold Mount to be fitted to 15 mm LWS rods. The battery plate can be offset in order to clear the rear memory card slots or to optimize balance.
Battery Adapter Plate BAP-2
Battery adapter plate that is part of the cage and attaches to the side of the camera. The plate provides IDX and AB compatible mounting points for battery adapters like the Bebob V-Mount adapter. BAP-2 requires either a MAP-1 or MAP-2 to be mounted to the top and the bottom of the camera and attaches to the same interface as MSB-1. BAP-2 replicates the interface so that MSB-1 can be mounted on top.
Bebob V-Mount Battery Adapter for ALEXA Mini
Battery adapter for V-Lock batteries with fixed cable and straight connector to the camera. The adapter has two 2-pin lemo sockets to power accessories which serve unregulated battery power. The adapter is made out of black anodized aluminum, very rugged and provides a very tight seating of the battery. The battery adapter requires either BAP-1 or BAP-2 or another battery adapter with IDX mounting points. The battery adapter will be provided by Bebob exclusively for ARRI.
Short adapter cable that connects to the EXT connector of the ALEXA Mini and provides a 3-pin RS connector.
|Camera type||35 format film-style digital camera with lightweight and compact carbon body, 4:3/16:9 switchable active sensor area, support for ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder, built-in remote control capabilities via ARRI Electronic Control System and Wi-Fi, support for cforce motors, built-in motorized ND filters, interchangable lens mounts and ARRI Lens Data System|
|Dimensions||Length: 185 mm/7.3″
Width: 125 mm/4.9″
Height: 140 mm/5.5″
(camera body with PL lens mount)
|Weight||~ 2.3 kg/5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount)|
|Sensor||35 mm format ARRI ALEV III CMOS with Bayer pattern color filter array|
(with surround view)
|16:9HD: 2880×1620 (3168×1772)
2K: 2868×1612 (3154×1764)
3.2K: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)
4K UHD: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)
2K: 2867×2150 (3168×2160) *
|Shutter||Electronic shutter, 5.0° to 356.0°|
|Exposure latitude||14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200
as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)
|Exposure index||EI 800 base sensitivity|
|Filters||Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1|
|Lens mounts||Titanium PL mount with L-Bus connector and LDSEF mount
PL mount with Hirose connector and LDS
B4 mount with Hirose connector
|Recording media||CFast 2.0 memory cards|
|Recording formats||HD 1920x10802K Cine 16:9 2048×1152
2K Cine 4:3 2048×1536 *
4K UHD 3840×2160
ARRIRAW 2.8K 16:9 2880×1620 *
ARRIRAW 2.8K 4:3 2880×2160 *
|Recording codec||ProRes 4444XQ, 4444, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW *|
|Recording frame rates||
** available with future SUP
|Color output||Rec 709, custom look or Log C|
|Look control||Import of custom 3D LUT, ASC CDL parameter (slope, offset, power, saturation)|
|Adjustable image parameters||Knee, gamma, saturation, black gamma, saturation by hue|
|Focus and exposure control||Peaking, zebra, false color|
|White balance||Manual and auto white balance|
|Sound level||< 20 dB(A) at standard frame rates|
|Environmental||-20° C to +50° C (-4° F to +122° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing
Splash and dust-proof through sealed electronics
|Viewfinder||Multi Viewfinder MVF-1 (OLED and LCD ) with flip-out LCD screen
and military-grade connector to camera
|Control interface||Soft buttons and OSD on SDI output,
integration of Transvideo StarliteHD touch interface *
|ARRI lens motor control||Built-in radio interface for ARRI lens controlL-Bus motor output for daisy-chainable cforce lens control motors|
|Wi-Fi remote control||Built-in Wi-Fi interface and web-based remote control from phones,
tablets and laptops
|Custom control||Optional GPIO interface for integration with custom control interfaces|
|Power input||Lemo 8-pin, 10.5-34 V DC|
|Video outputs||2x HD-SDI out 1.5G and 3G: uncompressed HD video with embedded audio
and metadata, SDI-6G interface to external CODEX recorder *
|Inputs||SDI-Genlock (optional activation through ARRI Service),
timecode (in and output)
|Other interfaces||USB 2.0 (for usersets, looks etc.)Ethernet
EXT accessory interface w. RS pin
Software Update Package 2.6 (SUP) now available!
We highly recommend installing this free-of-charge update at your earliest convenience to further enhance stability and reliability of the ALEXA Mini.
Frequently asked questions
We expect the camera to be used by everybody who relies on ALEXA as a main camera but struggles with the form factor and weight for certain applications. Crews working on ALEXA-based productions will use the ALEXA Mini in tight environments, on cranes or special rigs, or as a handheld camera. Other users will include individuals working with gimbals and multicopters, or underwater, who want to take their craft to the next level and open up new opportunities on higher-end productions.
Prices for the ALEXA Mini start at EUR 32,500 – body only, without lens mount or viewfinder. ARRIRAW and 4:3 capabilities will be available as license upgrades for EUR 2,950 each, following a software update later in 2015. The complete list of prices will be available through local ARRI partners when we start to accept orders in March.
The button interface on the camera, together with an on-screen display on the SDI output, can be used to change operational parameters like fps, EI, NDs and white balance, so no viewfinder is needed and the camera can be operated just with an on-board monitor. With Transvideo we are working on an integration of the StarliteHD that will allow us to use the StarliteHD’s touch functionality to control the camera; we expect this to work very well as a quick and easy remote option or when the camera is operated on rigs where the button interface is not easily accessible.
The camera also supports control via built-in Wi-Fi, through a web application that works on a wide variety of web browsers and a broad range of iOS or Android devices like laptops, tablets and phones.
For operators who prefer physical buttons and rotary encoders we will provide a small control unit that attaches to the viewfinder connector and allows quick setup and framing without having to carry a viewfinder or monitor. The panel can also be connected in-between the camera and the viewfinder to allow for a right-side assistant control interface in addition to the viewfinder, not only for the ALEXA Mini but also for the AMIRA.
Last but not least, our WCU-4 wireless hand unit can be used to control the camera. The integration not only allows the control of up to three cforce lens motors directly attached to the L-Bus interface on the lightweight titanium lens mount – it also provides reliable remote control of all basic operational parameters of the camera, making the combination of ALEXA Mini, WCU-4 and cforce motors the ideal on-set configuration.
At release the camera will be able to record all the typical ARRI ProRes flavors, up to ProRes 4444 XQ in 16:9 HD, 2K Cine, 3.2K and 4K UHD. 4:3 with anamorphic de-squeeze as well as internal ARRIRAW recording to CFast 2.0 cards up to 30 fps and support for external recorders will become available through upgrades during 2015.
The ALEXA Mini will record in-camera ProRes 4444 4K UHD up to 60 fps to CFast 2.0 cards, based on the same ALEV III sensor that is used in ALEXA and AMIRA.
ARRIRAW recording is planned as a software license for EUR 2,950 and will be available later in 2015. It will enable internal recording of uncompressed ARRIRAW to CFast 2.0 cards at frame rates up to 30 fps. Not only is ARRI collaborating with CODEX to ensure that the ARRIRAW workflow remains streamlined and straightforward, but also CODEX will offer a new external recorder that can record max. 120 fps of uncompressed 2.8K ARRIRAW per camera, up to a combined max. total of 360 fps from up to four ALEXA Minis.
The camera will support shooting at 200 fps in HD and 2K Cine up to ProRes 4444. With the external CODEX recorder the camera will be able to record up to 120 fps uncompressed ARRIRAW 2.8K.
The sensor of the ALEXA Mini is the same ALEV III sensor as used in other ALEXA models and in the AMIRA. It offers the same frame rates as the AMIRA sensor but also supports a 4:3 recording mode, like ALEXA.
At regular speeds the power draw of the camera is below 50 W and increases to around 70 W depending on environmental conditions, codec and frame rate.
The camera has a stereo symmetric line-level input. It uses a Lemo connector due to the size and does not supply Phantom power.
The camera is purchased body-only and the lens mount of choice must be bought separately. Other optional extras include the MVF-1 viewfinder, LCD control panel, base plate adapters, cage, cforce lens motors and WCU-4 hand unit.
The weight of the camera is around 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) including lens mount and built-in motorized ND filters.
ARRI will continue to offer the ALEXA XT M as it may still be preferable over the Mini to some users due to the higher ARRIRAW frame rates, or in situations (e.g. aerial shoots) when the capacity of the Mini’s internal CFast 2.0 cards is too limiting.
The ALEXA Mini’s design is focused on a compact and lightweight form factor, which is in many respects a compromise compared to our main unit cameras. Our goal for the ALEXA Mini was to provide a very flexible companion camera that will work well alongside our bigger cameras and complement them. The ALEXA XT still has many advantages over the ALEXA Mini and remains the preferred choice for a main unit camera in our view.
The AMIRA is optimized in ergonomics and functionality for single operators or small crews working on all kinds of documentary-style productions. The ALEXA Mini is ideal for applications where size, weight and flexible rigging are crucial, but other functions like audio recording are less important.
We are currently working hard to get the ALEXA Mini released and out the door. As of yet we have not tested whether or not Open Gate will be possible; we intend to look into this as soon as possible, but for now we have no announcement about Open Gate plans for the ALEXA Mini.
Video streaming directly from the ALEXA Mini is not going to be possible as it would require a H.264 encoder chip, which does not fit in the camera.
The ALEXA Mini does not have any dedicated power outputs. However, the camera provides unregulated battery power from the Ext connector, which is switched on and off with the camera.
There is no current plan to support MPEG-2 MXF recording with the ALEXA Mini.
ARRI will offer a battery plate that can be mounted onto 15 mm rods and that supports different battery adapters. It will also be possible to put Velcro on the camera body to hold a V-lock or AB-plate.
The ALEXA Mini is actually built around an isolated cooling channel, so dust and humidity never come into contact with the sensor or electronics.
The camera comes with a pre-calibrated 4:3 sensor, so customers can enable 4:3 mode themselves by installing the appropriate software upgrade and license.
The file system on the CFast 2.0 cards will stay the same as for ProRes and you will be able to mix ProRes and ARRIRAW on the same card. ARRIRAW will be recorded to MXF files that are supported by the ARRIRAW toolkit; there will also be a tool that can unpack the MXF into individual files. Naturally CODEX will support the MXF files, so ARRIRAW recording with the Mini will fit seamlessly into existing CODEX workflows using ALEXA XT.
The ALEXA Mini is built around a cooling channel and has larger fans that can turn slower, so it is very quiet. At standard frame rates the noise level is below 20 dB/A.
The camera has a 5 pin Lemo plug at the front, which provides two symmetric line-in pairs and a common ground.