Jump to content
Nathaniel Bockley

The Amira is Heavy for 2020

Recommended Posts

I am completely enamoured by the quality and features of the Amira, and I am considering using it on some shoots, but I was wondering what people's experiences are filming with it?

It weights about 5.3kg+ with battery on it (not including lens), and I understand it is mainly used as a shoulder mounted rig, but I am 6'4", so I have never filmed from the shoulder because the angle is too high. My style is generally to use a tripod, then flick the camera off to get interesting handheld angles for b-roll. 

How much does is fatigue an issue for Amira shooters due to the weight? For very involved documentary style shoots I find that I tend to get less creative or ambitious with shots towards the end of the day when using heavy cameras. 

Or should I just hit the gym more often? 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've shot with the Amira on occasion since it's launch, and now own one myself. The Amira compared to other cameras rigged up is not that heavy that people might think. I own and FS7  also and when I rig that up with a similar shoulder pad, V-mount back, monitor etc it also gets quite heavy. I do strip the FS7 to it's bare essentials when I do need a lighter setup.

I would say that people that struggle with operation the Amira on the shoulder over longer periods of time are not balancing the camera correctly. You have to balance the shoulder pad and handle to balance on the shoulder. If you get that right it goes a long way. I come from an ENG background, so the Amira is not heavy at all compared to ENG style cameras. 

On the other hand, I do find when using heavy glass like the Canon CN7 17-120 etc, that the Amira in total gets quite heavy. 

I use an EasyRig a lot of the time handheld, as I like that way of shooting.

The Amira is heavy compared to other options or other rigs, but to me it's not been a "problem". The features, ease of use, ruggedness  and of course legendary image quality makes it worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Nathaniel Bockley said:

I am completely enamoured by the quality and features of the Amira, and I am considering using it on some shoots, but I was wondering what people's experiences are filming with it?

It weights about 5.3kg+ with battery on it (not including lens), and I understand it is mainly used as a shoulder mounted rig, but I am 6'4", so I have never filmed from the shoulder because the angle is too high. My style is generally to use a tripod, then flick the camera off to get interesting handheld angles for b-roll. 

How much does is fatigue an issue for Amira shooters due to the weight? For very involved documentary style shoots I find that I tend to get less creative or ambitious with shots towards the end of the day when using heavy cameras. 

Or should I just hit the gym more often? 🙂

I’ve owned one for the last 5 years. Yes it is heavy, but it balances really well for shoulder use. Super easy camera to use and you don’t have to add unnecessary crap to make it work. The images speak for themselves and it’s why I continue to use it to this day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nathaniel Bockley you might want to consider an Ergorig! An Amira with a big lens and batteries is definitely a lot heavier than most other equivalent cameras.

The last two times I used one fully rigged up I did one day without an Ergorig, and one day with... it made a huge difference!

Any questions about the Ergorig, just ask! I'm happy to try to help. And if you do decide to buy one, perhaps you'd be kind enough to consider using my Ambassador code in the "Notes/Referral Code” box on the checkout page: A73FKN3OLYTUEJ (thank you!).

As Martin says, Easyrig a good option too.. but quite different tools for different styles of working.

Screenshot 2020-06-26 at 16.12.49.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nezih The Ergorig is an interesting option I have yet to try out. Heard it takes a lot of the strain out.

If you're working off the shoulder most of the time I do not recommend the Easyrig as it restricts more for that. The Easyrig really works best when you're shooting from the hip and switching camera angles a lot for different B-roll type of stuff. Not really great for running around verite style docu, as the movement in your hips translates very pronounced to the shot without a Serene arm or Stabil arm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it kind of depends on what you’re used to.  I’ve been shooting with “heavy” ENG cameras since the 90’s and an Amira, weight wise,  isn’t that different for me from my VariCam’s and F55, when I use one.  More or less just another day at the office.

Two suggestions/recommendations: 

Shooting from the hip, there is the Hip Shot, which is a belt with a flip-out platform for fully supporting the weight of the camera and the SteadyGum that is basically a monopod that’s attached to a bandolero style shoulder sling that helps support the camera on your shoulder and from the hip.

i have an ErgoRig, but it has a lot of drawbacks for me, one of the biggie’s being that it raises the camera up to an uncomfortably high position on my shoulder, requiring me to constantly look up into the VF and raise my arms, which quickly adds fatigue and stress to your shoulders.  If you shoot with suspended grips, this isn’t as much of an issue, but I don’t.  I still say the ER is mostly for “set” shooting and not Doc/ENG style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Matthew Allard ACS said:

 Yes it is heavy, but it balances really well for shoulder use. 

What about for a tall dude such as myself? getting the camera to chest height is better for me than the shoulder because I'm always pointing the camera down at someone.  As we know, when the angle is high it puts the subject in the diminutive position, which isn't what I always want. This is why I tend to always run with a tripod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Run&Gun said:

I have an ErgoRig, but it has a lot of drawbacks for me, one of the biggie’s being that it raises the camera up to an uncomfortably high position on my shoulder, requiring me to constantly look up into the VF and raise my arms, which quickly adds fatigue and stress to your shoulders.  If you shoot with suspended grips, this isn’t as much of an issue, but I don’t.  I still say the ER is mostly for “set” shooting and not Doc/ENG style.

I can't remember if we discussed this before. Have you tried removing the inner pad from the shoulder area (not the one the camera sits on, but the one that goes between the Ergorig and your shoulder. This should allow it to get a little lower.

partially agree with you... but I have also used it with a Panasonic ENG camera and it was pretty happy with it. I've modified mine in a few ways actually...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Nezih said:

I can't remember if we discussed this before. Have you tried removing the inner pad from the shoulder area (not the one the camera sits on, but the one that goes between the Ergorig and your shoulder. This should allow it to get a little lower.

partially agree with you... but I have also used it with a Panasonic ENG camera and it was pretty happy with it. I've modified mine in a few ways actually...

We did.  I've run it all the way down until it physically bottoms out/stops in the back(I'm kinda short).  I needed a slight upward angle in the front to help counteract the camera acting front heavy on it(still not perfect).

I'm glad it worked for you with yours.  My VariCam is a LOT happier on my shoulder than on the ErgoRig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Groovy light Nez...    Amira isn't too bad .. but I remember the first time hiring an Alexa.. went to the rental and basically could hardly lift the damn camera .. and I was going to be doing alot of hand held .. !!.. changed to an Amira within 3 minutes ..   but what joy of an fx9 with a tiny 55mm Sony stills lens ..and mini V mount batts .. thats how it should be ..  a better image at ¼ the weight ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using the Amira for a few years now and I have to say, every time I attach the Canon 17-120 and a Bebob 190 battery, my lower back aches in advance. 😄 Yes, it is a heavy setup, way heavier than any ENG camcorder or a FS7, even when properly balanced. Three hours shooting from the shoulder can be very hard on you.

However, if I have the possibility to put on an EF mount and a 24-70, it becomes very manageable. So if your shoot allows it, it's very useful to strip the weight down to a minimum.

Yes, the minimum is still heavier than other cameras, but other cameras can't take a beating quite as good as the Amira can. Or any ARRI for that matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Martin Håndlykken said:

@Julien Indeed! The Amira especially is extremely robust and a ton of features. Best camera I've ever owned and probably used.

 

I second that. Before the Amira I owned an F55 which I never really liked. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a little bit hefty, but there's so little extra gack you have to add to it (compared to rigging other cameras) that the total weight isn't as bad as it sounds on a spec sheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Matthew Allard ACS I've shot some on the F55 and considered buying that as well. Decent camera that is really popular in reality/documentary/ENG settings here in Norway and in Europe from what I gather. Solid camera, but to me the Amira is the superior camera. Much easier to work with and a myriad of features that makes it more capable. Of course there are things the F55 do better too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you guys cope with 4K requests .. I hardly shoot anything HD anymore .. delivery is HD of course but they always want to shoot 4K ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The Amira's sensor is 3200x1800.  It can do an internal uprez.  So not true UHD, but is able to spit out an UHD file IF you have the UHD license.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Run&Gun said:

 The Amira's sensor is 3200x1800.  It can do an internal uprez.  So not true UHD, but is able to spit out an UHD file IF you have the UHD license.

Right .. I thought there was some internal up rez.. you have ever had a client say no to the up Rez file ..Im sure its fine but production dont often know the techie stuff.. they just go by the numbers .. 

Edited by Robin Probyn
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you only have to watch Steve Yedlin's talk on resolution to realise that Arri's 'fewer, better pixels' approach is more important than a resolution number on the page (but I know how clients can be!) I've not had a problem with it yet, equally the world is always changing - I think as long as you're not shooting for Netflix or for display on an IMAX screen you'll be fine.

Anecdotally, the upscaled UHD to my eye is 'sharper' and appears more resolute than a lot of cameras with 4K pixel counts I've used in the past. 

To address your original weight question, it does get heavy over time but I don't find it massively more heavy than something like a fully rigged up FS7 or C300 MKII package, and it has the advantage of having a more controllable centre of gravity as you're not adding loads of gack to it as you would with the other two cameras. Equally, since buying one I've had to hit the gym a little more, worth it for that sweet Arri image quality IMO!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Arri Amira and Alexa Minis upres to UHD is very good, but you can also get very good upres in post. Usually I shoot 3.2K to save on media space and easier to work with. Usually delivery is in 1080p anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm considering doing that for projects where space is at a premium, or I'm not delivering footage direct to client. I usually shoot 3.2k for a 2k deliverable for all the low budget narrative stuff I shoot for that reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Martin Håndlykken said:

The Arri Amira and Alexa Minis upres to UHD is very good, but you can also get very good upres in post. Usually I shoot 3.2K to save on media space and easier to work with. Usually delivery is in 1080p anyway.

ARRI UHD looks better than most native 4K sensor cameras. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own an Amira as well and of course it depends. If I have a small crew, an assistant or at least someone to help me carry my stuff around, the Amira is a wonderful camera to use. Also if you don't change locations constantly and if you are working in a sort of planned manner. Or if you are like really really strong 🙂

But I find myself shooting on my own a lot recently and I think for that type of work, where you are alone, trying to follow your subject and don't want to be a hindrance, the Amira is too heavy and too big. I also own an ergorig and use an easyrig from time to time, but that is another piece of gear I need to bring. Plus you will have to carry a bunch of big batteries to get you through the day plus a beefy tripod. And to me, it really happens that on a long day I don't have enough energy left to get the shots I wanted to. Of course an Amira with a nice lens, mattebox and what not is not that much heavier than fully rigged other cameras, but a barebones C300 with a stills lens is really light...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...