Coming Soon to Cinemechanics: ARRI Hi-5 Hand Unit

We’re excited to announce that soon in rentals we’ll be offering the Arri Hi-5 Hand Unit, the next-gen followup to Arri’s WCU-4, which has been extremely popular with ACs since its release. Let’s take a look at some of the new features that the Hi-5 brings to the table, and what makes it cutting-edge in wireless lens and camera control technology.

Interchangeable Radio Modules

The first new feature that users will probably notice is the addition of interchangeable radio modules. Unlike previous generations, which had a single, integrated radio antenna, the Hi-5 features swappable modules so you can switch between different radio technologies depending on your situation.

At release, Arri is offering three modules:

RF-EMIP operates in the 2.4Ghz spectrum and connects seamlessly with previous generations of Arri products, such as Arri cameras, cforce Mini motors, the UMC-4, and SXU-1. 

RF-2400 also operates in the 2.4Ghz range, but features frequency-hopping technology that automatically switches frequencies to combat interference.

RF-900 features a much larger antenna and operates at 900Mhz for long range high-penetration signal, and also uses frequency-hopping.

Smart Focus Rings

Like the WCU-4, the Hi-5 comes with a set of pre-marked focus rings, but what’s special about the new ones is they feature an embedded chip that tells the Hi-5 exactly which ring is currently mounted and automatically maps your lens data to the ring’s markings.

Hot-Swap Batteries

Before, whenever you had to swap batteries it came with the known sacrifice of disconnecting the hand unit for a moment, which is sometimes not a major problem, but other times could be a real setback. The Hi-5, though, will remain powered for more than 20 seconds without battery, so you can swap without ever losing connection.

Unparalleled Durability

The Hi-5 is fully sealed for maximum resistance against moisture and dust, and is constructed with high-grade materials that can reliably withstand temps as low as -4℉ and as high as 122℉.

Wrapping Up

As for frame rate, it’s important to consider that a higher frame rate will mean more data - as in, 1 minute of 4K video at 24fps is going to be significantly less data than 1 minute of 4K video at 96fps. If your shoot is going to be high-speed intensive, make sure not to forget about this.

We could go on for quite a while about the long list of other exciting features, such as a smartphone app for wirelessly uploading lens data, FocusBug CineRT integration (also available at CineMechanics), the three programmable user function buttons, and more. So make sure to keep an eye out for when they become available and schedule a time to come in and get hands-on time with the Hi-5. In the meantime, you can check out Arri’s recent episode of Tech Talk below for a more in-depth look.