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ARRI Alexa

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ARRI Alexa 35mm Digital Cinematography Camera with internal ProRes 422 recording to SxS media

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arri_alexa / ARRI-35MM-CAMERA

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Product Details

Overview
ARRI Alexa 35mm Digital Cinematography Camera with internal ProRes 422 recording to SxS media. ALEXA has been designed to function as both a motion picture camera and a broadcast camera. For TV production, the time and cost savings as well as the extraordinary simplicity of ALEXA workflows will transform budgets and schedules, while the cinematic image quality will stagger viewers. For features, the sheer variety of outputs, functions, lenses and accessories will enable filmmakers to realize their visions without ever feeling restricted by technology.

Whether your production is destined for the silver screen or the TV screen, ALEXA will empower you to tell your story in exactly the way you think it should be told, with pictures of breathtaking richness and detail.

ALEXA is unique in that it can simultaneously record Apple QuickTime/ProRes files, output uncompressed HD video or uncompressed ARRIRAW data. This output versatility makes it ideal for a myriad of productions and workflows from telenovellas to feature...
Summary
Camera Type: Large Sensor
CODEC: Apple ProRes 422 / 444, ARRIRAW
Form Factor: Shoulder Mount
HDMI Output: No
Lens/Mount: PL Mount
Maximum Video Resolution (recorded): 1920x1080
Recording Media: SxS Card
SDI Output: Yes
Sensor Resolution (Mega Pixels): 5.64MP
Sensor Size: S 35mm
Sensor Type: CMOS
Video Resolution: HD 1080
Weight: 5+kg
XLR Audio Input: Yes

About the ARRI Alexa

ALEXA has been designed to function as both a motion picture camera and a broadcast camera. For TV production, the time and cost savings as well as the extraordinary simplicity of ALEXA workflows will transform budgets and schedules, while the cinematic image quality will stagger viewers. For features, the sheer variety of outputs, functions, lenses and accessories will enable filmmakers to realize their visions without ever feeling restricted by technology.

Whether your production is destined for the silver screen or the TV screen, ALEXA will empower you to tell your story in exactly the way you think it should be told, with pictures of breathtaking richness and detail.

ALEXA is unique in that it can simultaneously record Apple QuickTime/ProRes files, output uncompressed HD video or uncompressed ARRIRAW data. This output versatility makes it ideal for a myriad of productions and workflows from telenovellas to feature films.

As the best recording media for the QuickTime/ProRes files, ARRI has chosen SxS cards because of their high data throughput. Two SxS cards fit into a module on the camera's left side for convenient on-board recording and are hot swapable.

Two outputs which can be configured to 3G or 1.5G HD-SDI deliver an uncompressed high definition video stream with various options such as recording in 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 and ITU Rec709 or Log C tone mapping and color matrixes.

The two recording links can alternatively be used to output the ARRIRAW T-link signal, which can be recorded by a number of certified third party on-board recorders. ARRIRAW is the only way to access the full potential of ALEXA's sensor which has color and dynamic range capabilities far beyond standard HD. ARRI's own ARRIRAW Image Converter (ARC) provides image reconstruction features for the Windows, LINUX and Mac OS platforms. As a result of long term corporate initiatives with key development partners within the ARRIRAW Partner Program, a number of post production tools can now natively work with ARRIRAW files.

These output formats are well established standards that integrate the cameras seamlessly into the existing HD infrastructure.

Camera Type35 format film-style digital camera with an electronic viewfinder, a 16:9 active sensor area, integrated shoulder arch and receptacles for 15 mm lightweight rods
Sensor35 format ALEV III CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern color filter array.
Photosites16:9
2880 x 1620 used for ARRIRAW 16:9
2880 x 1620 down sampled to 1920 x 1080 for HD-SDI, ProRes HD 16:9 and DNxHD HD 16:9
2868 x 1612 down sampled to 2048 x 1152 for ProRes 2K 16:9
Operating ModesRegular or High Speed mode. High Speed mode requires license purchase. Switching takes approx. 20 seconds.
Frame Rates16:9
ARRIRAW 0.75 - 60 fps
ProRes HD 0.75 - 120 fps
ProRes 2K 0.75 - 60 fps
DNxHD HD 0.75 - 120 fps
All speeds adjustable with 1/1000 fps precision. To record above 60 fps, the camera needs to be switched to high speed mode.
Note: some limitations based on recording media or recording file settings apply.
ShutterElectronic rolling shutter, 5.0º - 358.0º up to 60 fps; 5.0° to 356° above 60 fps. Shutter angle adjustable with 1/10 degree precision.
Filters Permanent filters in front of the sensor: optical low pass, UV, IR
Exposure Latitude14+ stops for all sensitivity settings from EI 160 to EI 3200, as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC).
White Balance Presets for 3200 (tungsten), 4300 (fluorescent), 5600 (daylight) and 7000 (daylight cool). Automatic calculation or manual white balance for 2000 to 11000 Kelvin, adjustable in 100 K steps
Color CorrectionWhile white balance changes the red/blue hue of the image, color correction changes green/magenta. Adjustable range from -12 to +12 CC. 1 CC corresponds to 035 Kodak CC values or 1/8 Rosco values.
Sound LevelUnder 20 db(A) while recording ProRes 4444 16:9 HD @ 24 fps and ≤ +30° Celsius (≤ +86° Fahrenheit) with lens attached and fan mode set to 'Regular', measured 1 m/3 feet in front of the lens. Silent operation at higher temperatures possible with fan mode set to 'Rec low'.
Power InThree possible inputs: BAT connector, optional battery adapter back or optional battery adapter top. All inputs accept 10.5 to 34 V DC. Approx. 85 W power draw for camera and EVF-1 in typical use recording ProRes at 24 fps to an SxS PRO card at room temperature, without accessories. Initial power draw during power up is higher.
Power Out12 V connector: limited to 12 V, up to 2.2 A. RS, EXT and ETHERNET: input below 24 V is regulated up to 24 V; above 24 V: input voltage = output voltage. RS and EXT connectors combined are limited to 2.2 A. ETHERNET is limited to 1.2 A. Maximum power draw is also limited by the power source.
WeightLEXA body with SxS Module: 6.3 Kg/13.8 lbs.
ALEXA body with SxS Module, electronic viewfinder and handle: 7.7 Kg/16.9 lbs.
DimensionsLength: 332 mm/12.95”, width: 153 mm/6.02”, height: 158 mm/6.22”.
Environmental-20° C to +45° C (-4° F to +113° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing. Splash and dust proof through sealed electronics. System cooling through radiator/single fan.
Lens Mount54 mm stainless steel PL mount, Super 35 centered. 52.00 mm nominal flange focal depth.
ViewfinderLow latency (1 frame delay) electronic color viewfinder ARRI EVF-1 with 1280 x 784 F-LCOS micro display (image: 1280 x 720, status bars: 1280 x 32 above and 1280 x 32 below image) and ARRI LED illumination, both temperature controlled. Image can be flipped for use of viewfinder on camera left or right.
Viewfinder Mounting Bracket allows movement of viewfinder forward/backwards, left/right, up/down, 360 degree rotation and placement on camera left or right. EVF-1 controls: viewfinder and basic camera settings, ZOOM button (2.25x magnification 'pixel to pixel'), EXP button (false color exposure check) and jog wheel.
Assistive DisplaysFor EVF-1 and MON OUT: preset and custom frame lines, user rectangles, surround view, 180º image rotation, camera status, false color exposure check, peaking focus check, compare stored image with live image, RETURN IN video and optional anamorphic de-squeeze (license key required). For MON OUT additionally: Reel & clip number.
Control
Camera right: Main user interface with a 3” transflective 400 x 240 pixel LCD color screen, illuminated buttons, button lock and jog wheel. Camera left: Operator interface with illuminated buttons and button lock. Optional accessory Remote Control Unit RCU-4 for cabled remote control via camera ETHERNET connector. Optional accessory Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4 for wireless remote control (UMC-3A or UMC-4 required).
In-camera RecordingQuickTime/ProRes or MXF/DNxHD recording onto one or two (Dual Recording) SxS PRO or SxS PRO+ cards. All formats include embedded audio, timecode and metadata.
Recording Outputs2x 1.5G or 3G REC OUT BNC connectors for ARRIRAW T-Link or HD-SDI video. Both with embedded audio, timecode, metadata and recording flag.
ARRIRAW: 2880 x 1620 (16:9), uncompressed, unencrypted 12 bit log without white balance or exposure index processing applied. Requires an ARRIRAW T-Link certified recorder.
HD-SDI video: uncompressed 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 4:4:4 RGB or 4:2:2 YCbCr at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, or 60 fps. Recording other speeds requires a recorder with Variflag support. Legal or extended range signal mapping.
Monitor Output 1x MON OUT BNC connector for uncompressed 1.5 G HD-SDI video: 1920 x 1080 (16:9), 4:2:2 YCbCr; legal range HD video at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, or 30 fps. Embedded audio, time code, metadata and recording flag.
Image Processing16 bit linear internal image processing in full ALEXA native color space. Target output color spaces for ProRes, DNxHD, REC OUT and MON OUT: Log C or Rec 709. For Rec 709, a customized look can be applied during record and playback with ARRI Look Files. Optional horizontal image mirroring.
SynchronizationMaster/Slave mode for precision sync of settings, sensor, processing, HD-SDI outputs and QuickTime/ProRes or MXF/DNxHD recording for 3D applications. PHASE user button for shifting camera phase to move phase artifacts out of frame, i.e. when shooting a CRT monitor or rear screen projector (works in Rec Run TC mode).
PlaybackPlayback of ProRes or DNxHD from SxS PRO or SxS PRO+ cards visible on EVF-1, MON OUT and REC OUT. Playback audio available over headphone jack and embedded in the MON OUT and REC OUT signal.
Audio1x XLR 5 pin AUDIO IN for 2 channel, line level, balanced audio. 24 bit/48 kHz A/D conversion. Uncompressed PCM audio recording to ARRIRAW, ProRes, DNxHD and embedded in all HD-SDI outputs. Only available with same project/sensor speed at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. Max of 2.5 dBm output from AUDIO OUT headphones connector.
Connectors2x slots for SxS PRO cards (SxS)
2x BNC recording out HD-SDI, 1.5G/3G (REC OUT 1 and REC OUT 2)
1x BNC monitoring out HD-SDI, 1.5G (MON OUT)
1x XLR 5-pin analog audio in (AUDIO IN)
1x BNC return video in HD-SDI, 1.5G (RET/SYNC IN)
1x LEMO 16-pin external accessory interface (EXT)
1x Fischer 2-pin 24 V power in (BAT)
2x Fischer 3-pin 24 V remote start and accessory power out (RS)
1x LEMO 2-pin 12 V accessory power out (12 V)
1x LEMO 5-pin timecode in/out (TC)
1x TRS 3.5 mm headphone mini stereo jack (AUDIO OUT)
1x custom LEMO 16-pin electronic viewfinder (EVF)
1x custom LEMO 10-pin Ethernet with 24 V power (ETHERNET)
BNC connectors designed for fast exchange without camera disassembly have been used for ALEXA since approximately mid 2012. These connectors require a special tool.
SD CardFor importing and storing ARRI Look Files, camera set up files, frame line files, feature license keys and user pixel masks. Stores captured stills from the REC OUT image path in ARRIRAW (.ari, 12 bit), TIFF (.tif, 16 bit), DPX (.dpx, 10 bit) or JPEG (.jpg, 8 bit) format (1). Stores log files. Also used for installing Software Update Packets (SUPs).
UpgradesThe Storage Interface Module (SxS Module) can be exchanged for future storage modules (i.e. XR Module). The Electronics Interface Module can be exchanged for future control electronics (i.e. Plus upgrade). Exchangeable Lens Mount (ELM) allows other lenses beyond PL mount lenses to be used. Simple camera software updates via free-of-charge Software Update Packets (SUPs) and payable license keys – Anamorphic De-squeeze, High Speed and DNxHD.
Software Tools (apps) ARRIRAW Converter (ARC)
ARRI Look Creator (ALC)
ARRI Meta Extract
Software Tools (online) ALEXA Camera Simulator
ALEXA Frame Line Composer (AFC)
LUT Generator
ALEXA Pocket Guide WebApp
(1) When REC OUT is set to 'ARRIRAW', frame grabs are only possible in the .ari format. Frame grabs are not possible during High Speed, 16:9 2K or when the option 'REC OUT = MON OUT Clone' is chosen.
Note:Technical data based on Software Update Packet SUP 10.0.1 (ALEXA Classic).
All data subject to change without notice.

Best Overall Image Quality
A great looking image consists of many parts: the absence of artifacts, high dynamic range, sharp and natural rendering, high sensitivity, low noise and natural color reproduction. All ALEXA cameras provide the best overall image quality with the least amount of fuss.

To render images with a film-like, organic look, all components of the ALEXA imaging chain are proprietary high performance custom designs: the optical low pass filter, the CMOS sensor, the electronics hardware imaging engine and the image processing software. 

The ALEXA sensor provides high dynamic range images through an unequalled exposure latitude of more than 14 stops (as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart) with special consideration given to highlight treatment. Creating a good looking roll-off in the highlights is probably one of the most difficult tasks for any sensor designer and we have spent enormous resources at insuring exceptional highlight handling. ALEXA's wide exposure latitude translates into a 'thick' digital negative; there is more detail information in the highlights and in the dark areas than any of the current display technologies can disclose. This means tremendous flexibility when color grading and makes ALEXA images future-proof for high dynamic range (HDR) display technologies.

Because of ALEXA's great overall image quality, its images can be easily up or down-sampled for spectacular HD, 2K, UHD or 4K deliverables.

ALEXA's high sensitivity and its ability to retain definition even when extremely under or overexposed make it very easy to work with. ALEXA's unique color processing was developed by the same ARRI color scientists that have been working on the ARRILASER and ARRISCAN; thus they are intimately familiar with both film and digital color science. ALEXA renders natural colors, great looking skin tones and shows great color separation while also showing a fantastic ability to resolve mixed color temperature sources.

Efficient and Versatile Workflows
ALEXA represents the most efficient and versatile method to capture and then transport images, audio and metadata through the production process. This is achieved with a multitude of in-camera recording options, support for the native codecs of the most popular non-linear editors, complete rich metadata, integrated color management and a pre-recording option. So, disregarding if you want to shoot a low budget TV series or Martin Scorsese's next big Hollywood feature, you can configure an ALEXA for the task at hand. This is also great for rentals, who can use the same product for many different customer demands.

Simple and Safe Operation
We know what it is like to try to change frame rate and shutter angle 12.11.14 in the morning in the rain after a long night shoot. We know that a camera needs to be very simple to operate, and everything about its design must ensure that you get a good image, no matter what. The ALEXA user interface has been specifically developed to be easy to learn and quick to operate. The same interface is used on all ALEXAs, with the same menu, buttons, etc., so there is no learning curve when using another model ALEXA. The hardware of the camera is designed for the best and most ergonomic use on the set, including the built-in shoulder cut-out, large number of accessories like the Low Mode Support LMS-3, the Remote Control Unit RCU-4 or the Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4, down to little details like differently shaped extrusions (eyebrows) above some buttons so the operator can feel the button's position even from the other side of the camera or when shooting in low light.

ALEXA cameras are part of a long heritage of cameras from ARRI, and we are very familiar with the sometimes horrid conditions our cameras have to endure in the field. So ALEXAs are built rugged and reliable with a sealed electronics compartment, a unique cooling system and the most stable lens/sensor mount that German engineering could devise.

The camera's electronics are housed in a sealed compartment in the center of the body. The heat generated by the sensor and the electronics is transported via heat pipes to a radiator located in a ventilation shaft at the back of the camera. A single, slow running silent fan cools the radiator. If need be, the fan can be easily exchanged. This system ensures effective, active cooling of the sensor and processing boards even in the hottest climates. At the same time it protects the electronics, thereby rendering the camera splash and dust proof.

To further improve the legendary stability of the ARRI lens mount, ALEXA is equipped with a novel lens and sensor mount design. The stainless steel lens mount is attached to a stainless steel distance barrel, which itself is attached to the sensor mount, which also holds the sensor board. The whole unit is then attached to the camera body. By creating a fixed link between lens and sensor (all the orange parts in the second drawing), a super stable flange focal depth is ensured - even if strong mechanical influences are applied to the lens mount, such as when a heavy zoom lens is not properly supported. Using stainless steel ensures minimum material expansion or contraction during temperature changes.

Open, future-proof architectureThe ALEXA system is based on an open architecture, with many industry-standard interfaces and compatibility with third party products. This provides more choice to the filmmaker and ensures that best-of-class components can be used. To protect customers’ investment in ALEXA, a plethora of affordable hardware and software upgrades have been promised and delivered, continually expanding the feature set.

Four major components are specifically designed to allow an easy upgrade and to add new features in order to extend its useful life. 

  • First, taking into account the rapid rate of change in storage technologies, the in-camera recording module on the left side of the camera is removable, featuring an SxS Module for ALEXA Classic cameras (which can be upgraded to an XR Module) or an XR Module for ALEXA XT cameras.
  • Second, the camera control electronics on the right side can be replaced with an upgrade such as the Plus panel, for wireless camera and lens remote control.
  • Third, the Exchangeable Lens Mount (ELM) allows the use of PL, PL LDS or Panavision lenses, further extending creative options.
  • And finally, ALEXA's processors are based on FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), a technology that permits the camera's feature set to be completely re-programmed. Thus ALEXAs can be quickly and easily upgraded with our free-of-charge Software Upgrade Packets (SUPs) and licenses available for purchase. Past SUPs have added exciting features like ProRes 2K, ProRes 4:3, pre-recording, self-healing metadata, compatibility with new gear (like the WCU-4, the Ultra Wide Zoom UWZ 9.5 - 18 or SxS PRO+ cards) and advances in image quality like greatly improved debayering algorithms. Licenses are available to upgrade ALEXAs with high speed, anamorphic de-squeeze or the Avid DNxHD codecs.This great compatibility coupled with ALEXA's hardware and software modularity allowed us to keep ALEXA cameras relevant, which translates into a long and reliable product cycle.

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