ARRI may be mostly known for making cameras, however they do make a mean bunch of pro accessories not just for their cameras, but also for cameras like the Sony FS7, Panasonic Varicam LT, RED Epic/Weapon and even mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7s II through their ARRI PCA range. Earlier today ARRI announced some really cool new accessories. The legendary German manufacturer are expanding their range of ECS (Electronic Control System) accessories, to include 4 x new Master Grip handgrips, which offer unprecedented fingertip control of ARRI and third-party cameras and lenses when shooting handheld. The primary function of traditional cine-style handgrips is to firmly stabilize a camera on the operator’s shoulder. Documentary camera setups include a servo zoom with the handle, allowing certain lens and camera functions to be controlled.
In today’s industry, the previously separate worlds of cine and documentary equipment have merged. In addition, small cameras like the ALEXA Mini have a reduced user interface and require external camera controls. This has created demand for solid, cine-style camera handgrips with documentary-style controls.
In response, ARRI has developed the Master Grips, the latest addition to its ECS (Electronic Control System) range. Combining effective camera stabilization with comprehensive lens and camera control, they are available in four versions: right-side and left-side grips, with either a rocker for super-smooth zooming or a thumb wheel for iris or focus adjustments.
Lightweight and built to ARRI’s unsurpassed quality standards, the Master Grips are aimed at ALEXA, AMIRA and third-party camera users who want flexible and responsive fingertip control while shooting handheld.
ARRI ECS Master Grips Features and Highlights
- Well-proven design – the Master Grips follow a proven ergonomic design and carry the ARRIFLEX handgrips DNA at their core. The hand grips feature controls that are easy to reach and yet protected from accidental triggering, they allow for prolonged handheld operating without any discomfort or strain. Constructed around a lightweight magnesium cast housing, the Master Grips are solid, rugged and reliable – able to withstand sustained use in harsh shooting environments.
- Versatile controls – The Master Grips provide full control of focus, iris and zoom settings on cine lenses, including adjustable motor speed, zoom response and motor limits. They also offer a comfortable way to control the integrated servo motors of ENG and EF lenses (from ALEXA Mini/AMIRA SUP 5.0 – initially only iris support for EF lenses). Mounted on tripod pan arms or studio pedestal heads, the Master Grips can be used as focus and zoom demands for multi-camera setups, such as when using the AMIRA in Multicam mode. Camera control functionality includes user button access and REC start/stop for ARRI and third-party cameras, with the latter requiring the LCUBE CUB-1 accessory, updated with CUB-1 SUP 2.0.
- Easy to use – With an intuitive user interface, the Master Grips are easy to set up either via the integrated touchscreen or physical buttons. The controls are fully configurable and a status readout boosts user confidence, with the multilingual display allowing menus and status to be read in English, Chinese, Spanish or German.
ARRI will also make available some vital ECS Master Grip Accessories, those include:
- LCUBE CUB-2 – A miniature signal converter that integrates the 12 pin Hirose ENG protocol into the LBUS ecosystem. It provides two options for iris control: auto-iris from the camera or manual iris from a Master Grip.
- Handgrip extensions – Available in three lengths (80 mm / 160 mm / 240 mm) and featuring a lightweight 15 mm tube design, these extensions include a solid steel ARRI rosette and cable clips.
- Pan arm adapters – Clamp adapters of various sizes, allowing ARRI Master Grips to be used on all common pan arms, including Sachtler, O’Connor and Vinten.
- Rod mounting adapter for AMIRA – The new Rod Mounting Bracket RMB-4 attaches to the top-right of the AMIRA body and holds a standard 15 mm or 19 mm rod. It provides a solid mount for lens motors while retaining free back-and-forth movement of the sliding shoulder pad, viewfinder and handle for optimized shoulder balance.
- Master Grip case and cables – The sturdy, compact and purpose-designed case can safely hold a set of two Master Grips, three motors, handgrip extensions, LCUBE converters and cables. A new set of cables, in dedicated lengths and with angled connectors, provides optimized cabling solutions for the Master Grips.