Even though ARRI did not announce any new cameras at NAB 2016, the Germans have been on a roll recently with new firmware updates for their existing lineup, which is constantly growing. Recently, ARRI announced the details of the latest software update SUP 4.0 for their docu-style single operator camera the ARRI AMIRA. The firmware update mirrors a lot of the features of the latest firmware update for the ALEXA MINI, such as Super 16mm mode allowing cinematographers to utilise S16 lenses, however it also features Multicam mode, a feature exclusive to the AMIRA.
ARRI AMIRA SUP 4.0 Features
- Super 16 ProRes mode
- Multicam mode
- Support for CCP-1 Camera control Panel – this can be daisy-chained with the AMIRA viewfinder
- Selectable Viewfinder Zoom position – can be adjusted via the LCD buttons
- Extended SDI Metadata – SDI outputs are now embedded with standard ARRI metadata
- Longer Exposure Times
- Transvideo Monitor Improvements – including control of playback and record start/stop.
The new Super 16 mode will allow users to utilise their existing lineup of Super 16mm lenses in HD and record in Prores. However it is worth to note that users may see a lower quality image due to the smaller sensor area and also the optical performance of the lenses themselves, which were hardly designed for even HD. Documentary and sports events production will probably benefit the most from this mode, however for optimum image quality ARRI recommend users to use the normal Super 35 mode and lenses offering Super 35 sensor coverage to get the best out of their Amira.
Here are more details on the new Multicam mode in SUP 4.0 for the AMIRA
This new features is applicable to all AMIRA licenses and a very useful option for multi-camera shooting environments such as concerts and live events, as well as TV daytime drama and other fast-paced scripted productions.
Not available on the ALEXA Mini, the AMIRA Multicam is a simple and flexible interface that can be used with virtually any transmission system required. Users can use multiple AMIRA cameras and control them remotely via Sony RCP (Remote Control Panel). Operators can change settings such as Iris, ISO, White Balance, and other key parameters.
It is worth to note that only AMIRAs can be used in multi-cam arrays with this features, you can’t mix and match an Alexa MINI and an AMIRA for example or can combine AMIRA with other third-party cameras.
Multicam mode was first introduced with AMIRA SUP 3.0, however the latest update SUP 4.0 offers improvements and will continue to evolve in future firmware updates according to ARRI.
For more information on SUP 4.0 head over to ARRI.