Explore the ARRI Hi-5 – fifth-generation intelligent hand unit


ARRI Hi-5: fifth-generation intelligent hand unit

  • Hi-performance: strong radio signal over long distances
  • Hi-versatility: swappable radio modules for different locations
  • Hi-speed: fast and efficient on-set ecosystem
  • Hi-tech: future-proof hardware and software architecture

Replacing ARRI’s previous top-end hand unit, the WCU-4, and representing a significant step forward, the new Hi-5 is central to the fifth-generation ecosystem of ARRI’s Electronic Control System (ECS). Together with a new radio system, new intelligent batteries, smart focus rings and an iOS app, the Hi-5 modernises on-set connectivity, simplifying complex tasks for film crews. Some of the new technologies incorporated into the design have patents pending.

Typically, the Hi-5 will be in the hands of a focus-puller or 1st AC, and ARRI has done everything possible to enhance their comfort and confidence. Proven ergonomics make the Hi-5 a pleasure to hold and operate, while the modern, stylish touchscreen interface, based on a camera GUI, will be instantly and intuitively familiar. Lens file management and software updates are faster and easier with the new ARRI ECS Sync App.

Most innovative of all are the swappable radio modules – a feature never before seen in a hand unit. With an often congested 2.4 GHz ISM band and differing frequency regulations in different countries, the ability to exchange radio modules is a huge advantage, allowing crews to choose the module that best suits each shooting location.

ARRI will release three radio modules in the 900 and 2400 MHz ranges, using direct sequence and frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology to cut through interference. Together, they cover a multitude of shooting situations with a significantly improved, robust and long-range radio link, while ensuring backwards compatibility with existing camera equipment. As technology evolves, even more modules can be added, making the Hi-5 a future-proof investment, able to accommodate future standards for on-set hardware communications.

Reliability of all features and functions was an overriding priority in the Hi-5’s design and construction, with particular attention paid to the ruggedized housing for operating in harsh environmental conditions. Sealed, dustproof and weatherproof, the hand unit feels unmistakably solid the moment it is picked up, and will keep you shooting even when the elements are against you.

Various design elements of the Hi-5 are oriented towards maximizing efficiency. Smart pre-marked focus rings now communicate directly with the Hi-5 hand unit, being instantly recognized and mapped to the lens focus scale. Batteries for the Hi-5 are ARRI products, based on the NP-L interface; they can be hot-swapped without powering the unit down, and their remaining capacity is always precisely displayed on the Hi-5 screen. Meanwhile, a new Tail Slate Mode prevents the user from stopping recording before capturing a tail slate on shots that need it.

Learn more about the ARRI Hi-5