Intro to the ARRI RIA-1

New from ARRI: an all-in-one receiver, transmitter, motor controller, and more.


Basically, the RIA-1 is a sort of hub that ties together all the various electronic focus accessories that a 1st A.C. uses. This includes things like focus motors, distance measuring devices, and wireless control units. Plus, the RIA uses ARRI’s new swappable radio modules, which opens up several new configuration possibilities, which we’ll get into momentarily.

How It’s Used

There are a multitude of use-cases for the RIA, so we’ll start with the simplest, which is connecting it to lens motors, which you can control with one of ARRI’s wireless handsets like the Hi-5 (which we've written about here!). This can be done on any camera, regardless of brand. For added wireless control, ACs can connect the RIA both to the motors and to the camera, which enables a host of camera control functions so that the camera department can work as efficiently as possible. Going a step further, it can also be connected at the same time to a distance measuring device like the CineRT Focusbug, eliminating the need for a separate device like the L-Cube and keeping your build nice and tidy. This configuration turns your camera setup into an integrated ecosystem of electronic accessories, all working together to help you capture the perfect shot.

Example configuration from ARRI, featuring the Alexa 35


Like ARRI’s new wireless hand unit, the Hi-5, the RIA features the same set of swappable radio modules. In most contexts, users will be using the standard RF-EMIP module, which is the same kind of radio used on ARRI’s cameras internally, as well as their other radio-operated accessories. However, in certain kinds of environments like stadiums or concert venues where users could encounter a lot of RF interference, there are the RF-2400MHz and RF-900MHz modules which both use frequency-hopping technology so that your radio connection can fight through the RF clutter.

Other RIA-1 Setups

The RIA-1 is not just for ACs, it also has uses for DPs, operators, and DITs. For example, in contexts where the iris or zoom controls need to be operated by someone who isn’t physically manning the camera, or you don’t want the focus puller to have to control multiple axes at once, a second RIA could let you use an OCU-1 from the monitor station. Additionally, it could be paired with ARRI’s new zoom controller, the ZMU-4, which uses the same swappable radio modules as the Hi-5 and RIA so it can be used fully wirelessly.

More Resources

For a more in-depth look at the RIA-1, check out this ARRI Tech Talk where Sean walks you through its features step by step. And as always, if you're looking to get hands-on with the RIA or ARRI's other electronic accessories, give us a call and come check it out for yourself at CineMechanics!