The ARRI ALEXA Mini is one of the most versatile cameras on the market. We’re going to break down the ARRI ALEXA Mini by looking at its size, specs, price and best use cases. We’ll also look at how some filmmakers have used the ARRI ALEXA Mini for gimbal and drone shots. By the end, you’ll probably want to go out and buy an ALEXA Mini for yourself – but if you’re anything like me you might be better off renting instead. But before we jump into our examples, let’s define the ALEXA Mini.


What is the ARRI ALEXA Mini?

The ARRI ALEXA Mini is the smallest digital camera in the ARRI ALEXA family. The ALEXA Mini is often used on large-scale productions as a second or third camera because its small size is perfect for gimbal/drone shots.

What Are Some Films That Used the ARRI ALEXA Mini?

  • Us
  • Joker
  • Honey Boy
  • Rocketman
  • Blade Runner: 2049
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

Arri Alexa Mini Tutorial

Meet the ARRI ALEXA Mini camera

The ARRI ALEXA Mini isn’t an easy camera to use – which should be evident by its encyclopedic-like list of system specs. But if you’re serious about using an ALEXA Mini, you should know the various facets of its mechanisms. Perhaps it would be helpful to see these mechanisms rather than just read about them. 

This video covers every part of the ARRI ALEXA Mini’s exterior design.

ARRI Mini External Features 

And this video shows how to use the ARRI ALEXA Mini’s software and system menus.

ARRI Mini Menus & ARRI Alexa Mini Tutorial

If you’ve used an ARRI camera before, you probably won’t have much trouble using the ARRI ALEXA Mini. But be warned: there’s a steep learning curve to this level of industry tech. 

ARRI Alexa Mini Camera LF and Examples

ARRI ALEXA Mini LF (Large Format)

In 2019, ARRI released the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF – a camera the size of an ALEXA Mini but with the large format camera sensor of an ALEXA LF. In many ways, the ALEXA Mini LF is the best of both worlds for today's best cinematographers. Don’t take my word for it – Roger Deakins explains why he loved using the ALEXA Mini LF to shoot 1917.

Breaking Down the 1917 One-Shot  •  Subscribe on YouTube

“You know what’s really nice about cameras? As I get older they get smaller and lighter.” — Roger Deakins.

Roger Deakins’ cinematography has enamored audiences for decades. It’s amazing to think that there’s still room to innovate; and with smaller and lighter cameras, Deakins will probably find that room and make it look like something we’ve never seen before. 

Deakins isn’t the only DP who loves the ARRI Alexa Mini though – many of the best DPs in Hollywood and abroad are turning to the Alexa Mini as their camera of choice. Jakob Ihre won the Emmy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Chernobyl. Listen to him explain why he loved using the Alexa Mini below.

ARRI Interview: Jakob Ihre FSF on Chernobyl

“We chose the ALEXA Mini because we wanted to be flexible and to work fast.” — Jakob Ihre. 

The cinematography of Chernobyl certainly proves that you don’t need the biggest camera to shoot something that looks incredible. Director Yulene Olaizola and DP Sofia Oggioni used the Alexa Mini to shoot a film in the middle of the jungle. Watch their incredible journey below.

ARRI Interview: Yulene Olaizola and Sofia Oggioni of Tragic Jungle

“It’s not easy to walk through branches with a big, big, big camera… it [the Alexa Mini] will withstand the environment.” - Sofia Oggioni

Want to see the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF in action? Check out this awesome video from Potato Jet in which he breaks down some examples of the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF and its best use cases.

ARRI ALEXA Mini LF  •  Why Hollywood LOVES This Camera

I think most directors and cinematographers would agree that the ARRI ALEXA Mini and the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF are some of the best cameras in their price range. They offer unique capabilities and features — such as insanely impressive dynamic range and unrivaled picture clarity — all in a small box.

Camera ARRI Alexa Mini Price

Why use an ARRI ALEXA Mini?

So why do filmmakers love the ARRI ALEXA Mini? Well, it makes their job a lot easier. Say you need an action shot for a car chase, helicopter landing, etc.,  you can do it much easier with a camera that’s small like the ALEXA Mini.

Why? Because it’s a lot lighter, which means it’s going to work better with gimbals and aerial cinematography than heavier cameras would. Check out this next video to see the ALEXA Mini used with a drone.

Camera ARRI ALEXA Mini Drone Showcase

I think one of the biggest reasons filmmakers love the ALEXA Mini is because it opens a whole new world of possibilities. Think about it: how cool is it that we’ve gotten to the point where a 5-pound camera can shoot stunning footage in high-res dynamic range with insane color detail? I’d say that’s pretty cool.

But the ALEXA Mini isn’t the only small form-factor camera to offer these benefits — many of the best video cameras are able to shoot in HDR with crisp detail. 

Ultimately, the decision to use the ARRI ALEXA Mini comes down to two things: its difficulty of use and hefty price tag. If those two things aren’t an issue for you, by all means go and shoot your next project with an ALEXA Mini — I’m sure it will look amazing!


ARRI ALEXA Mini cost and specs

Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room – the ARRI ALEXA Mini is an expensive camera; beginning at $36,000. The ARRI ALEXA Mini is also a difficult camera to get your hands on, especially for purchase — but there are great equipment rental options if you know where to look.

If you’re thinking about an ARRI ALEXA Mini rental or purchase, you should double… or triple check the camera’s specs. Here’s a full list of the ARRI ALEXA Mini technical specifications:

Model – ALEXA Mini

ARRI Alexa Mini Sensor Type: Super 35 format ARRI ALEV III CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern color filter array.

ARRI Alexa Mini Sensor Maximum Resolution and Size: 3424 x 2202, 28.25 x 18.17 mm / 1.112 x 0.715" ⌀ 33.59 mm / 1.322."

ARRI Alexa Mini Sensor Frame Rates: 0.75 - 200 fps.

Weight: ∼2.3 kg / ∼5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount).

Photosite Pitch: 8.25 μm.

Sensor Active Image Area (photosites): S16 HD: 1600 x 900, HD: 2880 x 1620, 2K: 2868 x 1612, 3.2K: 3200 x 1800, 4K UHD: 3200 x 1800, 4:3 2.8K: 2880 x 2160, 2.39:1 2K Ana.: 2560 x 2145, HD Ana.: 1920 x 2160, ARRIRAW 16:9 2.8K: 2880 x 1620, Open Gate 3.4K: 3424 x 2202.

Sensor Active Image Area (dimensions): S16 HD: 13.20 x 7.43 mm / 0.520 x 0.292", HD: 23.76 x 13.37 mm / 0.935 x 0.526", 2K: 23.66 x 13.30 mm / 0.932 x 0.524", 3.2K: 26.40 x 14.85 mm / 1.039 x 0.585", 4K UHD: 26.40 x 14.85 mm / 1.039 x 0.585", 4:3 2.8K: 23.76 x 17.82 mm / 0.935 x 0.702", 2.39:1 2K Ana.: 21.12 x 17.70 mm / 0.831 x 0.697", HD Ana.: 15.84 x 17.82 mm / 0.624 x 0.702", ARRIRAW 16:9 2.8K: 23.76 x 13.37 mm / 0.935 x 0.526", Open Gate 3.4K: 28.25 x 18.17 mm / 1.112 x 0.715", Recording File Container Size (pixel), S16, HD: 1920 x 1080, HD: 1920 x 1080, 2K: 2048 x 1152, 3.2K: 3200 x 1800, 4K UHD: 3840 x 2160, 4:3 2.8K: 2944 x 2160, 2.39:1 2K Ana.: 2048 x 858, HD, Ana.: 1920 x 1080, ARRIRAW 16:9 2.8K: 2880 x 1620, Open Gate 3.4K: 3424 x 2202.

Recording File Image Content (pixel): ProRes S16 HD: 1920 x 1080, ProRes HD: 1920 x 1080, ProRes 2K: 2048 x 1152, ProRes 3.2K: 3200 x 1800, ProRes 4K UHD: 3840 x 2160, ProRes 4:3 2.8K: 2880 x 2160, ProRes HD, Anamorphic: 1920 x 1080, ProRes 2.39:1 2K Anamorphic: 2048 x 858, ARRIRAW 16:9 2.8K: 2880 x 1620, ARRIRAW Open Gate 3.4K: 3424 x 2202, ARRIRAW 4:3 2.8K (OG 3.4K): 3424 x 2202, ARRIRAW 2.39:1 2K Ana. (OG 3.4K): 3424 x 2202, ARRIRAW 16:9 HD Ana. (OG 3.4K): 3424 x 2202.

Exposure Latitude: 14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200 as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1).

Exposure Index: Adjustable from EI 160-3200 in 1/3 stops EI 800 base sensitivity.

ShutterElectronic shutter, 5.0°- 356° or 1s - 1/8000s.

Recording Formats: MXF/ARRIRAW, Apple ProRes 4444 XQ, Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 HQ, Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 LT. 

Recording Media: CFast 2.0 Cards.

Recording Frame Rates: ProRes HD: 0.75 - 200 fps, ProRes S16 HD: 0.75 - 200 fps, ProRes 2K: 0.75 - 200 fps, ProRes 3.2K: 0.75 - 60 fps, ProRes UHD: 0.75 - 60 fps, ProRes 4:3 2.8K: 0.75 - 50 fps, ProRes 2:39:1 2K Ana.: 0.75 - 120 fps, ProRes HD Ana.: 0.75 - 120 fps, MFX/ARRIRAW 16:9 2.8K: 0.75 - 48 fps, MFX/ARRIRAW 3.4K Open Gate: 0.75 - 30 fps.

Recording Modes: Standard real-time recording, Pre-recording, Intervalometer, Stop Motion.

Viewfinder Type: Multi Viewfinder MVF-1 with 3,2" flip-out monitor, Camera Control Panel (CCP-1) with option to daisy-chain MVF-1.

Viewfinder Technology: OLED viewfinder display, LCD fold out monitor, Viewfinder Resolution (pixel) 1280 x 720.

Viewfinder Diopter: Adjustable from -5 to +5 diopters.

Color Output: Rec 709, Rec 2020, Log C, Custom Look (ARRI Look File ALF-2).

Look Control: Import of custom 3D LUT, ASC CDL parameters (slope, offset, power, saturation), Knee, gamma, saturation, black gamma, saturation by hue, Support of ARRI Look Library.

White Balance: Manual and auto white balance, adjustable from 2000K to 11000K in 10K steps, Color correction adjustable range from -16 to +16 CC, 1 CC corresponds to 035 Kodak CC values or 1/8 Rosco values.

Filters: Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1. Fixed optical low pass, UV, IR filter

Image Outputs: 1x proprietary signal output for MVF-1 viewfinder, 2x SDI Out: 1,5G (SMPTE ST292-1), 3G (SMPTE ST425-1, ST425-3), 6G & DL 6G (SMPTE ST2081-10, ST2081-11) uncompressed video with embedded audio and metadata.

Lens Squeeze Factors: 1.00, 1.30, 2.00.

Exposure and Focus ToolsFalse Color, Zebra, Zoom, Waveform, Aperture and Color Peaking.

Audio Input: 1x LEMO 5pin balanced stereo line in (Line input max. level +24dBu correlating to 0dBFS).

Audio Output: SDI (embedded), Audio Recording, 2 channel linear PCM, 24 bit 48 kHz.

Remote Control Options: Web-based remote control from phones, tablets and laptops via WiFi & Ethernet Camera Access Protocol via Ethernet & WiFi, GPIO interface for integration with custom control interfaces, WCU-4 hand-unit with control over lens motors and operational parameters via built-in white radio.

Interfaces: 1x LEMO 5pin LTC Timecode In/Out, 1x LEMO 10pin Ethernet for remote control and service, 1x BNC Sync In (optional activation through ARRI Service), 1x LEMO 7pin EXT multi purpose accessory interface w. RS pin and unregulated power output (outputs battery voltage), 1x LEMO 4pin LBUS (on lens mount) for lens motors, daisy chainable 1x USB 2.0 (for user setups, look files etc).

Wireless Interfaces: Built-in WiFi module (IEEE 802.11b/g), Built-in White Radio for ARRI lens and camera remote control.

Lens Mounts: Titanium PL lens mount with LBUS connector, LPL lens mount with LBUS connector, PL lens mount with Hirose connector, EF lens mount, B4 lens mount with Hirose connector, Leitz Cine Wetzlar M lens mount.

Flange Focal Depth: PL mount: 52 mm, LPL mount: 44 mm

Power Input, 1x LEMO 8pin (10.5-34 V DC).

Power Consumption: min. 43W, max. 84W (Camera body with MVF-1).

Power Outputs 1x LEMO 7pin EXT unregulated power output (outputs battery voltage) with max. 1.1 A.

Measurements: (HxWxL) 140 x 125 x 185 mm / 5.5 x 4.9 x 7.3" (camera body with PL lens mount).

Operating Temperature: -20° C to +45° C / -4° F to +113° F @ 95% relative humidity max, non condensing, splash and dust proof through sealed electronics.

Storage Temperature: -30° C to +70° C / -22° F to +158° F.

Sound Level: < 20 dB(A) at 24fps.

Software Licenses: ALEXA Mini 4:3 License Key, ALEXA Mini ARRIRAW License Key, ARRI Look Library License Key.


Best ARRI Camera Stabilizers

If you’re serious about using an ARRI ALEXA Mini, you’re going to need a stabilizer. In this next article, we break down a few of the best ARRI camera stabilizers money can buy — and boy, oh boy, do they take a lot of money to buy. 

Up Next: ARRI Stabilizers →
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  • Chris Heckmann is a Professor of Media & Communication at Roger Williams University and graduate of UCLA’s Cinema & Media Studies Master of Arts program. When he’s not writing or teaching, he’s probably playing video games (or thinking about the next great Boston sports trade).

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