The Alexa Mini has grown in popularity since it’s release in 2015, I would hedge my bets that it is now the camera of choice for most productions. That is if you measured it on a subjective scale, at least 70% of my jobs now are Alexa Mini.
Many 1st ACs like to program the User Buttons on the side of the camera to match commonly used camera features. This is great but it’s often left as an afterthought and done last minute. This leads to labelling on the camera that ends up looking like this:
I don’t like it, I think it’s messy. I always strive for super neat labelling, printed text where possible and colour coding to make your brain think less and work instinctively. So it got me thinking, there must be a better way to do this. Thankfully there is:
I made up this label that can be printed and stuck onto the side of the camera. The dimensions of each box are sized up to align centred with each user button on the camera as well as being an adequate size for reading. I find that most of the time the DP/Operator likes the user buttons to correspond to ‘ND Increase’ and ‘ND Decrease’, toggling through the Internal ND Filters. The other hot toggle is ‘SDI Exposure Check’, also known as False Colour or FC, so I set that up on the 3rd User Button. I also colour coded the NDs to Yellow and False Colour to Blue, that way at a glance you can easily identify with what you are pressing.
I understand that not everyone likes their camera setup the same, so here is the Photoshop File for you to adjust and tweak to your hearts content:
Just encase you aren’t 100% competent with how to use Photoshop, here is a quick video tutorial of how to edit the PSD File to make your own custom Alexa Mini User Button Labels:
Once I’ve exported my label as a JPEG I create a Blank A4 Photoshop document and laid out the labels as so:Then I printed this on some A4 Adhesive Paper, I got mine with a matte finish. You should be able to source some at your local office supplies store. Then I unleashed it into my guillotine and cut them all up precisely with straight edges.
Now I’ve got a neat little supply tucked away in my kit to use from job to job, there are so many there I’ll probably give some away, otherwise the camera may be redundant and outdated by the time my supplies diminish!
I hope you’ve found this resource useful, if you like it, please let me know below in the comments section!