Saturday, 23 February, 2013

The new Arri Alexa XT

The new Arri Alexa XT introduces built-in ArriRAW recording and an upgrade for existing Alexa owners.

On Arri's web site, there is a link on the new Alexa XT cameras.

The AlexaXT showing the XR module in-camera
and a XR 'magazine'

AlexaXT is a new range of cameras that provide ArriRAW recording within the camera itself. Using new magazines co-developed with Codex. 512 GB in one magazine, which can record about 55 mins ArriRAW. Download is with a new reader which has USB3 and one still will need to use the VFS software to get data off these magazines.

Existing Alexa owners can have their cameras upgraded to the AlexaXT with this XR module which replaces the ProRes card module. So if the camera could record ProRes, it will now be able to record ArriRAW. If you still wish to record ProRes, you need an adapter that permits using SxS cards.

The XR module with the XR adapter for SxS (top right)
and the XR module for ArriRAW (bottom right)

Existing Alexa owners who have invested in Codex ArriRAW recorders, will have a dilemma. Continuing with the Codex recorder, will not fetch any additional rent once the XT Alexas become common. And definitely after existing Alexas without Codex recorders upgrade to the Alexa XT.

Existing Alexa owners who have Gemini444 recorders are in a safer position. Their Alexa can do ProRes or Gemini ArriRAW depending on the production's budget. And they've had a lower expenditure to buy the Gemini which costed nearly half or less compared to the Codex Recorder.

The new Alexa XT or existing Alexas with the XT upgrade also provide high fps shooting as standard and not a priced option as earlier. 

These upgrades coming so soon after the release of the Alexa Studio will mean that anyone investing in any high-end digital movie camera will need to recover their investment in as short a period as possible since manufacturers will introduce newer cameras and recorders in as less as one to two years.

But for users it is a boon as they get access to better means of creating moving images at shorter intervals. Just like the F5 and F55 are an upgrade to the F65 at a lower price… but that's another story.

The complete description of features from Arri's web site...
  • Refresh of ALEXA camera family
  • XR Module for faster, more affordable ARRIRAW
    • In-camera ARRIRAW up to 120 fps
    • In-camera ProRes or DNxHD up to 120 fps*
    • Fast 512 GB XR Capture Drives
    • Proven, efficient Codex on-set or near-set workflows
  • Less weight and easier working with internal NDs
    • In-camera Filter Module IFM-1
    • Internal filtration reduces reflections, weight and hassle
    • New high-tech filters based on white-water optical glass
    • Neutral color balance at all densities through absorptive IRND coating
    • Accurate infrared cut off
    • High image sharpness through precision polishing
    • High contrast through anti-reflective multi-coating
    • Available in 8 densities from ND 0.3 to ND 2.4
  • True anamorphic with a 4:3 sensor
    • 4:3 sensor on all XT models
    • Anamorphic de-squeeze license included
  • High speed license included
  • Lens metadata for efficient VFX
    • LDS PL Mount on all XT models
  • Comfortable, flexible new viewfinder mounting
    • Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3
    • Strong and rigid construction
    • 15 mm lightweight rods hold viewfinder mount
    • Rods can take lens motors, matte boxes, follow focus etc.
    • Special hard, low friction anodizing on all moving parts
    • Built-in bubble level
    • New Viewfinder Extension Bracket VEB-3 (separate accessory)
    • New, sturdy VEB-3 design
    • Viewfinder rests on camera through VEB-3 fold out arm
  • Super silent XT Fan
  • XT-spec upgrades for existing ALEXAs
    • Separately available upgrades include: the XR Module, In-camera Filter Module IFM-1, Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3, Viewfinder Extension Bracket VEB-3, XT Fan and the anamorphic de-squeeze and high speed licenses.
Some more links...