Camera assistants and focus pullers beware -- with the new Hi-5 handheld unit, which is at the heart of ARRI's fifth-generation Electronic Control System (ECS), ARRI is replacing the WCU-4 after nine years on the market and implementing several innovations in the process. One innovation in wireless camera and lens control, for example, is the interchangeable radio modules that allow the system to adapt to the conditions of different shooting locations. Three radio modules in the 900 and 2400 MHz bandwidths appear, using direct sequence and frequency hopping to suppress interference. Together, they cover a wide range of shooting situations with what ARRI says is a significantly improved, robust, long-range radio link. In the process, they are also said to be backward compatible with existing cameras, motor controllers and the cforce mini RF lens motor.
The Hi-5's touch-enabled display is based on the ALEXA Mini LF's graphical user interface. Lens data management and software updates are said to be faster and easier than before with the new ARRI ECS Sync app. Further, smart, pre-marked focus rings now communicate directly with the Hi-5 handheld unit -- they are instantly recognized and mapped to the lens focus scale.
The batteries for the Hi-5 are ARRI products based on the NP-L interface. They can be hot-swapped because the Hi-5 provides uninterrupted power. Their remaining capacity is precisely indicated on the Hi-5 display.
Also new is a tailgate mode that prevents a recording in progress from being stopped prematurely before a tailgate has been recorded.
The dustproof and weatherproof Hi-5 handheld unit is introduced in detail in the following video: