ARRI Hi-5 SX single-axis wireless hand unit

ARRI has unveiled its new Hi-5 SX single-axis wireless hand unit. The Hi-5 SX can also be easily upgraded to higher functionality via optional software licenses.

It is weatherproof and exceptionally hard-wearing, and it brings ARRI dependability to the control of almost any lens on any camera, at an attractive price point.

Hi 5 SX

Key features

  • Cost-effective single-axis version of ARRI’s flagship Hi-5 hand unit
  • Third-party compatibility: “Any camera, any lens”
  • The most robust and sophisticated single-axis unit on the market
  • Upgradeable via software licenses to full Hi-5 functionality
  • Swappable radio modules for different setups and regions
Hi 5 Ecosystem

Sharing the Hi-5 form factor, the Hi-5 SX has a well-proven ergonomic design which is claimed to make it comfortable to hold and operate. There is large display that is easy to read, and a touchscreen interface that is based on a camera GUI.

Hi 5 SX RF 2400 left back table

ARRI offers swappable radio modules for the Hi-5 and Hi-5 SX, allowing crews to choose the most suitable module for any shooting location or to conform to different regional frequency regulations.

Upgradeability is at the core of the Hi-5 SX concept. Compatible with all existing Hi-5 licenses, such as the Cinefade, RED camera control, and Focusbug licenses, the unit can also be upgraded with two new software licenses that give users the freedom and flexibility to access the functions they need, when they need them. 

Hi-5 SX Plus License

The Hi-5 SX Plus License enables lens mapping, Custom Smart Ring creation, six additional user buttons, tail slate mode, and more.

Hi-5 SX All-Axis License

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The Hi-5 SX All-Axis License enables simultaneous use of the knob, slider, and force-pad for three-axis lens control, as well as complete display information, AUX axis, and full virtual T-stop and focal length features.

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Once both licenses are installed the Hi-5 SX becomes functionally indistinguishable from the Hi-5; the blue SX joystick toggle can even be swapped for black. Users of the Hi-5 SX with no additional licenses installed can choose between the knob, slider, or force-pad to control a single lens axis, whether focus, iris, or zoom. 

Custom Smart Rings

HI 5 Custom Smart Ring File Example

Custom Smart Rings are a very cool new feature coming to the Hi-5 and Hi-5 SX. These enable you to make any kind of ring you can imagine, either for focus or iris pulling. You can set any near and far limit, and any distance between any of the marks within that. You can even change between a linear and logarithmic scale between two sets of points on the same ring. You could even have a ring that starts at 1’, then 2’, then goes back to 1’ if you want.  

When you’ve designed the feeling of your ring, you can save a ring file, which can then be programmed into the chip on any Blank Smart Ring (which ARRI has shipped with every Hi-5 on the market). That means that you can use the same ring with any lens, or any Hi-5 or Hi-5 SX for that matter, and have exactly the same feeling. ACs who often rent a Hi-5 can just by a couple of their own rings, customize them, and use them with many different hand units in the same way. 

The Hi-5 also has a tool that will allow you to customize the graphics of the ring file, and create a vector that’s saved to a USB stick. You can customize the file any way you like, as long as you don’t change the position of the marks, and then print it on to a label to stick to the outside of the ring.

Who is it for?

Single Axis Focus

The Hi-5 SX allows 1st ACs to limit their initial investment in a hand unit and a single lens motor, while still giving them the peace of mind of pulling focus with the most sophisticated single-axis unit on the market, backed by the universally trusted ARRI brand. As their careers progress, they may choose to upgrade their Hi-5 SX, offering productions more functionality and increasing their earning potential. 

DIT Cart

For well-established 1st ACs who already own a three-axis hand unit and several lens motors, the Hi-5 SX lets them facilitate separate iris pulls operated by the cinematographer or DIT, using the most up-to-date technology. While for rental companies that have multiple hand units, the Hi-5 SX provides a cost-neutral way to sell off older three-axis units that are often sent out for single-axis tasks and replace them with brand-new, state-of-the-art units.

With a ruggedized housing that is sealed, dustproof, and weatherproof, the Hi-5 SX can be operated with complete reliability in harsh environmental conditions. ARRI-branded batteries based on the NP-L interface can be hot-swapped without powering the unit down, and their remaining capacity is indicated accurately on the display screen.

Pricing & Availability

The new Hi-5 SX will be available to order from July 1, 2024, and will begin shipping on October 1, 2024. It replaces the ARRI SXU-1 single-axis hand unit, which will be phased out. 

Pricing will be price of less than €5,960 for a Hi-5 SX basic set which will include a RF-EMIP radio module, two batteries, charger, neck strap and screen protector. The body-only Hi-5 SX price is €4,410.

They will announce full pricing including new Starter Set packages with lens motors before July 1st, when orders open.

License pricing will be released before July 1st, but the cost of the Hi-5 SX + both licenses will be “slightly more” than purchasing a Hi-5.

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