New ARRI Camera Companion App – Beta Version Now Available

ARRI has released a Beta version of their new Camera Companion App, which enables remote control of ARRI cameras. The app is compatible with iOS and MacOS devices, and you can now explore it for free by adhering to the Beta testing program.

It’s now been almost two months since ARRI unveiled their new S35 flagship model – the ALEXA 35 (hands-on interview here). Along with this new dynamic range king (make sure to check our recent Lab Test), the company announced the development of the ARRI Camera Companion app.

The German manufacturer has now opened up registration for the dedicated Beta testing program and also released a Tech Talk video, in which Sean Dooley – Product Marketing Manager at ARRI – provides an extensive overview of the app’s features and capabilities.

ARRI Camera Companion App: for iOS and MacOS

Along with the new ALEXA 35, the ARRI Camera Companion app also supports the ALEXA Mini LF, ALEXA Mini, and AMIRA cameras. However, as of now, it is only available for Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers equipped with M1 and M2 chips. Particularly, the use of a laptop or tablet keyboard should provide DITs with a faster way to input custom metadata.

Image credit: ARRI

The cool thing about the app is that you don’t necessarily need to have a camera with you to explore its features. Indeed, you can simply connect the application to a “mock” camera and start playing right away.

Image credit: ARRI

Almost all camera settings are adjustable with the tap of a finger, and even multiple cameras can be controlled at the same time. Accessible settings include codec, resolution, frame rate, Exposure Index, WB, ND filters, and more. Users can remotely start/stop recording via a lockable REC button, access custom user buttons, and even gain control over creative settings, such as ARRI Looks and the ALEXA 35’s new Texture feature.

Image credit: ARRI

A Playback Mode is also available for reviewing purposes, and grants access to Clip List and Metadata menus. Furthermore, it’s possible to take screen grabs of the camera’s feed. These get saved into the Files app of the iOS device, so they can be instantly shared on social media.

Fully-customizable interface

The interface of the new app is user-configurable to easily adapt to your workflow. The main UI consists of a series of tiles that can be rearranged and resized to your likings. Once you find a comfortable layout, you can save it as a preset.

Image credit: ARRI

Also, the interface cleverly adapts to the size of your device. For example, when using an iPhone to control two cameras, the smartphone displays the settings of camera A in portrait mode and those of camera B in landscape mode.

Image credit: ARRI

Another hidden gem is the ability to bring up the WebUI interface, which emulates the appearance of the menu structure on the camera’s viewfinder. In a way, this should be like having the camera at your fingertips.

Network capabilities and multi-camera scenarios

There are two ways to connect a camera to the Camera Companion app. The first option is to use the camera as a network host. In this case, the camera generates its own Wi-fi network, enabling direct connection with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Image credit: ARRI

However, for high-end productions and multi-camera shoots, ARRI recommends setting up a local network with a dedicated router, to which multiple cameras can then be connected as clients. This operation can also be done automatically by pointing each camera to a QR code displaying the network’s information. Then, by connecting the iOS or MacOS to the router, you gain access to all cameras simultaneously.

Image credit: ARRI

Price and availability

The Beta version of the ARRI Camera Companion app is now available for free. If you’d like to be part of the Beta testing program, you need to sign up from the dedicated page on ARRI’s website.

Moreover, the company is collecting feedback to further enhance the features and capabilities of the app. You can provide your own opinion by writing an email to [email protected].

Have you shot on the ALEXA 35 yet? What do you think of the design and features of the ARRI Camera Companion app? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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