Testing the ARRI AMIRA in the real world - Part I

Written by Mark McCarthy

Sparky Film/RedShark publicationsAmira Diaries

A documentary camera with the same image quality as an ARRI ALEXA? Here's what it's like to live with one. Part 1 of a series of video diaries.

We (Sparky Film) have always worked with pretty good quality cameras as image quality is very important to us. We make a point of trying as many different shapes and sizes of camera as we can, from the Panasonic GH4, to a Sony F5, for example. We've wanted to try the ARRI AMIRA, ever since it was first announced. It's not cheap, but then it does share the same sensor as its big brother, the ALEXA; so the prospect of using a camera with that legendary quality is beyond exciting for us.

We nipped over to ARRI's London HQ, where we were treated like royalty, and came away with a thorough working knowledge of the camera. We've taken it out for the first time today.

We headed out of London for the morning to the coastal town of Leigh-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary. It's summer in the UK, so as you'd expect, the sky was uniformly grey, giving us a pretty dismal light to shoot with.

Over the next few weeks we're going to share our experience of working in the field with the AMIRA, on a number of different types of assignment. We will talk about how we find the camera to use operationally, how the footage looks and what it's like to work with. We wanted to do this because although the camera is well known by name, there aren't many accounts of what it's like in daily use.

This first piece is literally the first time we had hands-on experience with the camera outside ARRI's offices, so we decided to shot and record the images with the camera's built-in picture profile presets, as opposed to shooting in C-LOG, which we will try later.

There's a lot to talk about. There's that extraordinary sensor, not to mention using it to shoot at 200 frames per second.


 See the other installments in the series here:

 Testing the ARRI AMIRA in the real world - Part II

Testing the ARRI AMIRA in the real world - Part III

Tags: Production


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