The ARRI ALEXA Mini LF was one of the hottest items at NAB 2019. We spoke with ARRI’s Chase Hagen, where we break down all the features of the new full-frame ALEXA Mini LF, find out the fate of the current Mini and why ARRI is going with an all Codex workflow moving forward.
Built around a large-format 4K version of the original ALEXA sensor, the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF camera offers native 4K recording in three sensor modes, with ARRIRAW or ProRes recording in LF Open Gate, LF 16:9, or LF 2.39:1 modes. The ALEXA Mini LF combines large-format resolution with an optimal pixel size for excellent image quality producing vivid, nuanced images with natural skin tones and smooth bokeh. The ALEXA Mini LF is designed for use with ARRI’s LPL lens mount, available separately, which has been optimized for large-format capture and is compatible with all PL-mount lenses with the use of a separately available PL-to-LPL adapter. A wider diameter and shorter flange focal depth than the original ARRI PL mount enable LPL-mount lenses to be smaller and lighter than earlier large-format optics.
The ALEXA Mini LF is a hybrid of the ALEXA Mini and the ALEXA LF, as it retains the same LF sensor but has the form factor of the Mini. The new exterior has a left-side media bay with two rows of connectors on the back and a slot to insert 1TB Codex media. It also features six user buttons, three more than the Mini, to configure to your preference. It also features extra 12 and 24V power outputs and a black burst/tri-level input. The audio input connector is now 6-pin, so it doesn’t conflict with the 5-pin timecode port.
The Mini LF offers an array of recording format choices in MXF ARRIRAW and MXF ProRes, recording to 1TB Codex capture drives. With a base sensitivity of EI 800, 16-bit processing, and a dynamic range of 14-plus stops, your footage is effectively future-proofed for compatibility with HDR displays. Frame rates up to 90 fps produce smooth slow motion and enable capture for higher-clarity HFR (High Frame Rate) projects.
The wireless connectivity of the ALEXA SXT W is built into the ALEXA Mini LF, providing Wi-Fi and compatibility with ARRI ECS lens/camera control systems. An internal Large-Format Full-Spectrum Neutral Density (LF FSND) filter system features 0.6, 1.2, and 1.8 filters. Additional ALEXA Mini LF features include compatibility with existing ARRI Look files and workflow, clip playback in both MXF ARRIRAW or MXF ProRes, and 2-channel, 6-pin XLR audio input.
The ALEXA Mini LF will be available in July 2019.
For more on the ALEXA Mini LF be sure to visit www.ARRI.com/en/Camera-Systems/Cameras/ALEXA-Mini-LF