Arri has launched the Alexa 35, a 4K Super 35 camera which features the first new sensor in 12 years from Arri. It is the smallest fully-featured Arri production camera.
Arri only recently discontinued the manufacture of the Arri Mini and the Arri Alexa 35 complements the continued Arri Mini LF. The new camera incorporates Reveal Color Science to supports the sensor’s image quality, and it introduces a new feature, Arri Textures. There is also has a complete new mechanical support system.
The Alexa 35 measures at 17 stops of dynamic range (exposure latitude), more than any other digital cinema camera. It has 1.5 stops more in the highlights and one stop more in the shadows than previous Alexa cameras, while retaining the naturalistic film-like highlight roll-off. Stray-light suppression in the camera and lens mounts ensures that the full contrast range and character of each lens are captured by the sensor.
With low noise and sensitivity settings ranging from EI 160 to EI 6400, Alexa 35 is a High ISO camera. An optional Enhanced Sensitivity Mode can be applied to settings between EI 2560 and EI 6400, producing a cleaner image in low light.
Reveal Color Science is the collective name for a suite of new image processing steps used by Alexa 35 internally and also available through third-party postproduction tools for Arri raw processing. It includes an improved debayering algorithm for cleaner compositing, a new colour engine for more accurate colour reproduction, a new wide gamut colour space for faster grading, new LogC4 encoding to contain the increased dynamic range, and new LogC4 LUTs (Look Up Tables) for improved colour fidelity.
Arri raw footage captured by Alexa LF and Mini LF cameras can also be processed with Reveal Color Science.
The Super 35 4:3 native 4K sensor, allows the Alexa 35 to be used with many existing lenses—modern and vintage, anamorphic and spherical, Super 35 and large format.
Arri Textures is a new feature that allows cinematographers to alter the way in which the camera records images. Up until now, Alexa cameras have been pre-programmed with a default texture that determines the amount and character of grain in the image, and the amount of contrast at different levels of detail, perceived by the viewer as sharpness. The Alexa 35 provides the option to choose from a menu of Arri Textures, much like selecting a film stock.
The Alexa 35 is the smallest fully-featured Arri production camera, including the features and processing power of a larger Alexa into a Mini-sized body. There is support for 1TB and 2TB Codex Compact Drives and MVF-2 viewfinder, now with HDR. There’s a new left-side display, Advanced Color Match, pre-recording capability, and other improvements such as additional user buttons.
There are 19 recording formats, incorporating in-camera down-sampling and anamorphic de-squeezing, allowing productions to optimize data rate, resolution, and other parameters. Mixed reality and virtual productions will benefit from the camera’s ability to record lens metadata in all common standards and output real-time streaming metadata to Arri’s Live Link Metadata Plug-in for Unreal Engine.
Accessories include closely integrated electronic accessories offering additional power outputs or extended audio features. A new set of mechanical support items provides flexible options for any shooting situation, scaling from a small and lightweight setup to a full-blown production configuration.
Alexa 35 is supported by Arri’s full suite of online tools, as well as standalone apps like the iPhone/iPad Camera Companion App, Arri Reference Tool, and Arriraw HDE Transcoder.
In a world where almost all recently launched digital cinema cameras are Large Format (to get that ‘cinematic’ shallow depth of focus) perhaps the most interesting strategic aspect of the Arri Alexa 35 launch is Arri’s belief in the continued demand for Super 35. Arri will claim to have the best of both worlds with this new line-up and with Arri’s continued popularity and engagement with the market, this camera is very likely to have an immediate appeal and adoption.
To learn more about ALEXA 35, visit www.arri.com/alexa35
Share this story