The ARRI Alexa Mini LF Camera or the ALEXA MiLF as many are calling it was just announced by ARRI today. As an Alexa Mini owner, I had some questions. And here’s what we know so far about this Large Format, Full Frame Beastmaster…
Weight. The Alexa Mini LF is 5.7 pounds compared to the original ARRI Mini which is 5.1 pounds so it’s still in the same range which is nice. And a lot of the accessories and rigs will work with the new camera.
Media Cards. The Mini LF is going to record on new Codex cards. These are a bit larger and more expensive than the Cfast cards that the original Alexa Mini records to. The 1TB card is about $2200 and the reader is $630. So definitely something to keep in mind. My sweet little CFast reader was only $16!
Buttons. Yes we are getting more buttons on the Alexa Mini LF. This is great for customizing your setup on the camera. You now have 6 user buttons, and a new lock button on the side. A welcome addition.
Built-in Mic! This is my favorite upgrade, the Alexa Mini LF camera now has a built in stereo mic! So you no longer need to attach a cable and an A-box or Beachtek DXA just to get scratch audio. This is huge, and will make setups much lighter.
ARRI Alexa Mini LF 4.5k Sensor
Sensor. One of the most important differentiators is of course– the sensor. The Alexa Mini LF sensor is the same sensor used in the big brother the Large Format Alexa LF. It’s Full frame! You can still use Super 35 lenses with the optional LPL to PL mount adapter.
Viewfinder. A new viewfinder is available to go with the new Alexa Mini LF. It’s been completely redesigned from the current viewfinders that ship with the Amira and original Alexa Mini. A nice upgrade is the screen size, now 4” from the older 3” and has a much higher quality display. It also has a headphone jack which is a welcome addition, BUT this new MVF-2 viewfinder can NOT be used with older cameras like the Amira or original Alexa Mini….boooo.
ARRI Alexa Mini LF New Viewfinder
Formats and frame rates. You’re getting full frame, and you’re getting true native 4k without upscaling. It’s one of the few ARRI cameras that does native 4k. The camera can record up to 4.5k in Open Gate. And currently looks like it’s maxing out at 40fps whereas the full size LF can do 60fps at 4.5k. Here’s a chart from ARRI that shows the max Frame rates.
Body. One other change from the original Mini, is the placement of some of the cables. The audio input is now on back of the camera, and the viewfinder input is now on the left side of the camera. These changes make a lot of sense, and are nice smaller usability upgrades I think operators and ACs will appreciate.
Cost. What’s all this jazz cost? Body only is currently looking like $58k. Original Alexa Mini body is around $48k now. The Full Alexa Mini LF kit with new viewfinder, Codex card, rig, is around $75k. It’s not cheap, but definitely a lot less than the Full Size Alexa LF that starts out at $100k for the body only.
Is the ARRI Alexa Mini LF camera for you?
Overall, I think this announcement is really positive for people lookin to get into the ARRI ecosystem. The original Alexa Mini bodies are likely to be a bit cheaper and easier to find on the used market. And to me the original Mini is still the camera to get as an owner operator. If you need that large format, full frame look or you’re producing big budget series for Netflix, the Alexa Mini LF is going to be a great option though.
Alright guys. We’ll be at NAB in a couple weeks to get you a first hand look at the Alexa Mini LF so be sure to subscribe if you’d like to check out those LIVE updates from NAB. Currently the camera is scheduled to launch in July 2019.
Check more about the Alexa Mini LF here on ARRI’s website: ARRI Alexa Mini LF