In a somewhat surprising move, ARRI has unveiled a new HD/2k camera at IBC 2013 called the AMIRA. The camera shoots up to 200fps and delivers the quality of an ALEXA by using the same sensor but in a much smaller package designed for the single operator. ARRI has pegged this as a ‘documentary camera’ and it appears therefore to feature everything you would need right out of the box including things like XLR inputs for audio (including AES digital) and an OLED viewfinder that also doubles as a screen when the eyepiece is flipped to the side. The AMIRA shoots to the newly unveiled CFast 2.0 format which is essentially Compact Flash 2.0 and Sandisk unveiled the first cards for that format alongside the AMIRA. The camera also features built-in ND filters for easy exposure control.
The current prototype will be displayed with a PL mount but a B4 mount and Canon EF mount are also planned!
As you would expect from a camera designed for documentary work, audio is given a big chunk of features and the LCD on the side panel of the camera is solely dedicated to audio. 4-tracks can be recorded and mixed and there also appears to be some sort of wireless monitoring built into the camera using Bluetooth. I’d expect an iOS app at some point to allow communication and the camera’s documentation also mentions wireless annotation of audio tracks as well.
AMIRA records Rec 709 or Log C images using ProRes LT, 422, 422HQ or 444 codecs and also includes a selection of pre-loaded LUTs that can be applied in-camera to achieve the look you want right into the file you record. No doubt the fact that this is only a 2k camera when the whole world is releasing 4k cameras is going to cause a lot of internet chatter. The fact is though that TV is a very very long way off 4K delivery so a camera designed for TV production does still make some sense to remain 2k and shoot to a cheaper medium such as CF card (though don’t expect CF3 to be as cheap as CF initially!). The only problem is that this is essentially a similarly specced camera to the Sony F5 and F55 but without any option to also record 4K if you wanted to.