There’s a new software upgrade for the ARRI Amira camera, that will allow it to record ProRes UHD files (broadcast 4K). ARRI tell us that the upgrade should be available for purchase by the end of the year.
It’s true to say that despite the adoption of 4K/UHD video recording, the same format in broadcasting is still some time off. In saying that, early-adopters of the 4K/UHD format have found its versatility significantly better than 1080p. Having the ability to zoom in on an object/subject without resolution loss during editing, gives directors and editors way more options when it comes to composition or framing their subjects.
Most cinema cameras are now delivering 4K/UHD recording formats, so it’s time that ARRI updated the Amira camera – even if it comes with a cost to users.
The purchasable upgrade for Amira will offer the ability to record all ProRes codecs in UHD 3840 x 2160 resolution (so not full 4K) directly onto the in-camera CFast 2.0 cards, at up to 60 fps (via an upscale filter).
The upgrade will be available via a new software license (and a sensor calibration for existing Amiras). ARRI have said the upgrade is a response to user feedback, collected through a number of ‘quizzes’ given to customers by resellers.
According to ARRI, the Alexa/Amira sensor has proven it’s able to deliver 4K image quality, by its ability to retain quality when up-scaling for IMAX. Which was done for the IMAX release of Hollywood feature films such as Gravity, Maleficent and Iron Man 3. The company believes, that both the Alexa and Amira cameras are future-proof.
The Amira’s UHD output uses the same 1.2x up-sample filter that the Alexa’s ‘Open Gate mode’ does, the filter is applied in real-time whilst recording with the camera.
Markus Duerr, ARRI’s Product Manager, says, “Feedback about AMIRA from all over the world has been overwhelmingly positive and it is clear that the camera is already a great success, being used on an amazing variety of challenging productions. Already acclaimed for its phenomenal image quality, ease of use and versatility, the new ProRes UHD output will take these benefits even further, adding value for customers in areas like China, where 4K is a major focus of industry attention.”
Wildlife cinematographer and Emmy nominee Rolf Steinmann, is currently using his Amira on a movie for the Disney Nature channel. He comments, “For cameramen like me who own their gear, the UHD upgrade is a great way to stay future-proof. From now on when there’s pressure from the production side to deliver UHD, I can continue to work with AMIRA and won’t have to compromise on image quality or on the camera’s robustness and reliability.”
Excerpts from Press Release