We all kinda knew this was bound to happen at some point sooner or later. Well, it happened sooner than expected to some – ARRI just announced the ALEXA MINI LF and expanded their large format camera family by putting the full-frame+ sensor from the ALEXA LF in the ALEXA MINI body. Recording options include “Netflix compliant” 4.5K ARRIRAW and ProRes; pricing is currently set to start at €48,000 for the body with shipping slated for sometime in July 2019.
The ALEXA Mini LF body is very similar in design to the Mini, which is a bit taller; but nonetheless the new ALEXA Mini LF shares a similar footprint, and rugged design with its Alexa Mini brethren. The design itself is a work of art with insane attention to detail paid to every curve, crevice and indentation.
Everything feels built-for purpose, and as all ARRI cameras, the ALEXA Mini LF is no different – it has been built to withstand abuse on set, and features that familiar “bulletproof” carbon fibre design made to accomodate the extra electronics, processing, cooling and new recording media required for the 4.5K ARRIRAW and ProRes functionality.
Images by ARRI
As expected, when it comes to maximum frame rates the ALEXA Mini LF can do less than the bigger ALEXA LF, but then again, the ALEXA LF was never built to be used as an owner-operator camera, rather one to be managed by crews on big features and productions. The Alexa Mini LF on the other hand, much like the unlikely hero product the Mini became – will be without a doubt a hot seller in the high-end owner-op/DP circles, thanks to a much more manageable size, weight, price without major sacrifices in functionality.
Images by ARRI
ALEXA Mini LF Summary
4K Netflix compliant
ALEXA LF ALEV III (A2X) CMOS “Full-Frame+” sensor (36.70 x 25.54 mm)
LPL Mount (PL to LPL mount adapter, optional accessory)
New Viewfinder MVF-2
New recoding media – Codex Compact Drive
4.5K ARRIRAW and ProRes (.MXF container)
Sensor modes, Resolutions, Max Frame Rates:
LF Open Gate
4.5K ARRIRAW (4448 x 3096) at 40fps
4.5K ProRes (4448 x 3096) at 40fps
ARRIRAW & ProRes UHD (3840 x 2160) at 60fps
2K/HD ProRes at 90fps
4.5K ARRIRAW and ProRes (4448 x 1856) at 60fps
6 Assignable user buttons, with Lock button
Additional WiFi antenna on camera left side above media bay
2 x built-in mics for scratch audio
12v and 24v regulated outputs
6-pin LEMO for external Audio input
2.6 Kg/5.7 lbs for the camera body with LPL lens mount
800 g/1.7 lbs for the MVF-2 viewfinder
Power Draw – slightly higher than Alexa Mini
voltage input range from 11 V to 34 V
can be powered via 14.4V & 24V batteries
€48,000 – Alexa Mini LF body – includes ARRIRAW license
€49,900 – ALEXA Mini LF & Lens Mount Set
€5,880 – ARRI MVF-2 Viewfinder
€62,900 – ALEXA Mini LF Ready to Shoot Set (Gold of V-mount)
Availability: Ships in July 2019
ARRI Alexa Mini LF Showreel:
Being a large format camera, the Alexa Mini LF has an LPL mount, same as on the Alexa LF, and is optimized for large-format lenses such as the ARRI Signature Primes, ARRI Rental DNA LF and 65 format optics, and third-party LPL lenses.
The PL-to-LPL adapter, which attaches securely to the LPL lens mount without tools, offers backwards compatibility with all PL mount lenses, be they Super 35 or full frame. LDS-2 or /i lens metadata is accessible via the LPL mount, and LDS-1 or /i via the PL-to-LPL adapter.
The Alexa Mini LF records onto new Codex Compact Drives and both ARRIRAW and ProRes are recorded in the MXF wrapper, signalling ARRI’s moving away from using Quicktime in their ProRes files, which moving forward on all their future cameras will be recorded in the MXF wrapper.
The ALEXA Mini LF gets a new viewfinder also – MVF-2, which will also be used on future ARRI cameras, has a beautiful OLED display with the familiar flip-out design and can be mounted on either side of the camera and even used remotely up to 10 meters with an additional cable and act as a wired remote control.
Sharing a similar power draw (around 65W) as the Alexa Mini, as well as a similar body design makes the new Alexa Mini LF compatible with a wide range of already existing ARRI PCA and electronic accessories such as the WCU-4 and OCU-1.
Images by ARRI
Alexa Mini LF Specifications:
Large Format ARRI ALEV III (A2X) CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern color filter
Sensor Size: 36.70 x 25.54 mm / 1.444 x 1.005″ (⌀ 44.71 mm / 1.760″)
Photosite Pitch: 8.25 μm
Max. Frame rates (resolution varies): 90fps
Sensor Active Image Areas:
LF Open Gate ProRes 4.5K: 4448 x 3096
LF Open Gate ARRIRAW 4.5K: 4448 x 3096
LF 16:9 ProRes HD: 3840 x 2160
LF 16:9 ProRes 2K: 3840 x 2160
LF 16:9 ProRes UHD: 3840 x 2160
LF 16:9 ARRIRAW UHD: 3840 x 2160
LF 2.39:1 ProRes 4.5K: 4448 x 1856
LF 2.39:1 ARRIRAW 4.5K: 4448 x 1856
Dynamic range: 14+ stops
Adjustable from EI 160-3200 in 1/3 stops
EI 800 base sensitivity
Electronic shutter, 5.0°- 356° or 1s – 1/8000s
MXF/Apple ProRes 4444 XQ
MXF/Apple ProRes 4444
MXF/Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Codex Compact Drives (1TB)
EVF: Multi Viewfinder MVF-2 with 4″ flip-out monitor (OLED)