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Arri announces 4K Alexa

Arri announces 4K Alexa
David Wood
18 March 2015

Arri's popular Alexa camera has embraced the world of UHD with the launch of a new Alexa SXT (Super Xtended Technology) camera which offers ProRes 4K recording.

The launch follows the January release of Arri Rental's Alexa 65 large format camera.

Arri says that Alexa SXT will offer improved image quality, powerful color management and three fully independent HD-SDI outputs.

Owners of existing Alexa XT, XT Plus and XT Studio cameras will be able to upgrade to 4K with an SXR (Super Xtended Recording) module paid upgrade.

The first Alexa SXT cameras are planned for release around mid-2015.

The full range will comprise Alexa SXT EV, SXT Plus and SXT Studio models, replacing current Alexa XT cameras, although the Alexa Classic EV model will remain in the line-up.

Alexa XT cameras, with the exception Alexa XT M cameras, shipped between 1 January 2015 and the first shipment of SXT cameras will be eligible for a full SXT upgrade, free of charge.

For the time being Arri is keeping the price of the Alexa SXT under wraps.

The camera offers in-camera recording of ProRes 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) and ProRes 4K Cine (4096 x 2637 pixels), giving high end filmmakers the ability to work in 4K with one of the most popular high end cameras on the market.

Alexa SXT cameras keep the 3.4K Alev III sensor and add the electronics of Arri's Alexa 65 camera.

Like the XT, Alexa SXT cameras retain the Open Gate, 4:3 and 16:9 sensor modes, and can record in ArriRaw or ProRes.

The camera uses the advanced color management engine originally developed for the Amira.

Arri says: “Taking advantage of the wide native color gamut of the Alexa sensor, this new engine allows unprecedented control, which in the end means greater creative freedom for the filmmaker.

“A new type of look file, the ALF-2 (Arri Look File 2), contains an ASC CDL (Color Decision List) as well as a 3D LUT (Look-Up Table).

“The new colour management engine can easily match the look of current Alexa cameras, but also provides the basis for radically different looks.

“In addition, previewing of looks on set is improved, including the option to use the wide color gamut of Rec 2020 gamma, while dailies creation is made more efficient and final grading made faster.

“ALF-2 files and the tools that create them are compatible between Alexa SXT, Alexa Mini and Amira.”

Responding to the demands of on set crews, the Alexa SXT includes three independent HD-SDI outputs.

Arri says this allows, for instance, a Log C image to be used to show the director an image with live grading, a clean Rec 709 image to be fed to video village, and a Rec 709 image with status information overlays to be displayed on the camera's on-board monitor.

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