ARRI ALEXA Mini LF at NAB 2019

The ARRI ALEXA Mini LF is ARRI’s new large-format sensor compact camera. Announced a few weeks ago, this camera is the perfect B-camera, along with the ALEXA LF. It’s the first time the ALEXA Mini LF is shown in public, and here is our first look at ARRI’s new workhorse camera.

ARRI ALEXA Mini LF – Large Format – Small Camera

The new ARRI ALEXA Mini LF features the same large 25.54 x 36.70 mm sensor as the ALEXA LF. This ALEV 3 A2X sensor is a bit larger than “traditional” 24 x 36 full-frame sensors. In terms of specs, the maximum resolution available is 4.5K (4448 x 3096 ) at up to 40 frames per second. If you need higher frame rates, you can go up to 90 frames per second in 2K resolution. The camera can record internally in MXF/ARRIRAW or MXF/Apple ProRes onto Codex’s Compact Drives.

Part of ARRI cameras’ reputation is the “look” of the image. Colors are natural, skin tones are beautiful-looking, the highlights roll-off is smooth, and there is low noise in the footage. You can even use the Mini LF for High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) scenarios.

Also, ARRI cameras are built like tanks. The entire ALEXA Mini LF is spray- and dust-proof. The body is made of rugged carbon fiber, and you can use it within the wide temperature range of -20° C to +45° C (-4° F to +113° F).

Finally, the ALEXA Mini LF is relatively small and compact – it has the same dimensions as the ALEXA Mini, except for the media bay on the camera’s left side. The Mini LF weighs 2.6 kg (5.7 lbs), body and LPL lens mount only. The new MVF-2 viewfinder that goes with the Mini LF weighs 800 grams.

New ARRI MVF-2 viewfinder. Source: ARRI

ARRI MVF-2 Viewfinder

To go with the ALEXA Mini LF, ARRI has also released the MVF-2 viewfinder. The high-quality display and eyepiece lens heater (to avoid fog) are the same as the ALEXA LF’s EVF-2 viewfinder. Its design is similar to the AMIRA MVF-1 viewfinder, and the MVF-2 features a 4″ flip-out monitor display, as well as a built-in headphone connector. Best of both worlds for optimal focusing, DR and color decision on set.

Pricing and Availability

The ALEXA Mini LF should start shipping from mid-2019 on, and is available for pre-order. Various configurations and sets will be available:

  • Body only (brain) or with the LPL lens mount (and PL mount adapter).
  • A “Ready-to-shoot” set – available with either a V-Mount or Gold Mount battery plate. The kit includes the camera with lens mount, MVF-2 viewfinder, two 1TB SSDs, a complete shoulder rig with the battery plate, a bridge plate, and all necessary cables.

The good news is, the ALEXA Mini LF should be “Netflix approved” like the ALEXA LF but for half the price.

What do you think of this new large-format ARRI ALEXA Mini LF? Do you prefer the ALEXA Mini LF or the ALEXA Mini? Let us know in the comments down below!

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