ARRI has once again expanded the filmmaking landscape with the new Hi-5 Hand Control Unit, and we here at B&H Photo are happy to announce it. This is ARRI’s 5th-generation hand control unit, and an exciting leap forward in functionality. While it may look like a simple controller for a wireless lens control system, don’t be fooled―the Hi-5 is a sophisticated filmmaking tool designed to be robust enough to work in the field, and flexible enough to handle many a situation that has defeated other wireless control systems in the past. The Hi-5 is available by itself as the Hand Unit, as well as in a variety of kits, including the Hand Unit Body Kit, the Hand Unit Basic Kit without Batteries, and the Hand Unit Basic Kit with Batteries.
What Can the Hi-5 Do?
It would almost make more sense to say what can’t it do; well, it can’t make coffee. But pair it with a digital cinema camera and the Hi-5 becomes your control center for shooting with your camera. The Hi-5 works as a multi-axis lens-control unit with a high-contrast touch control screen suitable for use outside, and it has a powerful wireless system that can cut through most interference. It also supports swappable radio modules that allow you to use this one unit in a variety of regions as well as different radio environments. If that isn’t enough, the ARRI Hi-5 offers full camera control from the handset, and not just for ARRI cameras; available accessories allow you to interface with cameras from manufacturers other than ARRI. Available smart focus rings mount on the Hi-5 and are pre-marked for a variety of ARRI lenses. Additionally, you can use the Hi-5 to map those lens rings to your specific lenses, for fast lens swaps while retaining your focus marks. As is standard with ARRI products, the Hi-5 is designed for years of use, with superior rain, temperature, and dust protection.
The Ecosystem Is Key
It isn’t just about the physical hardware. The Hi-5 is software based, which allows it to be adapted easily to your camera, shooting environment, and situation, minimizing the amount of support gear you have to carry. With the Hi-5 you can access the ARRI ECS Sync app, which allows you to store and download lens files in the cloud, so you can access them from almost anywhere, when you need them. You can also save all the information and settings stored in your Hi-5 as a log file and send it to ARRI service if needed. The Hi-5 supports LBUS devices and can be hardwired to an ARRI camera if desired; it can also connect to and control ARRI’s stabilized heads, reducing the amount of gear you need to carry.
Ready for Today and Yesterday
Remember those swappable radio modules? These allow you to have not only the latest in wireless transmission technology that can cut through interference and allow you to work at different radio frequencies, but for those with legacy gear, ARRI hasn’t forgotten about the investment you’ve made in earlier technology that is still viable. So ARRI has built a backward-compatible radio module that lets you connect with ARRI’s white-coded radio (EMIP) modules such as the ALEXA Mini and cforce mini RF. With up to 14 channels, this module lets you take advantage of the Hi-5’s advanced feature set, using your older gear. Other available radio modules support strong protection from RF interference and feature 100 channels to choose from, as well as frequency hopping in either the 900 or 2400 MHz range.
Free Your Camera
Versatile and robust, the Hi-5 is a powerful tool built to withstand harsh filmmaking environments, whether indoors, outdoors, in inclement weather, or soaring temperatures, and even a noisy RF environment locally, or when shooting in foreign countries.
Are you looking forward to working with the ARRI Hi-5? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.