With the ALEXA XT cameras (Extended Technology) ARRI is refreshing the ALEXA line-up with new features inspired by feedback from professional users. The ALEXA XT, ALEXA XT M, ALEXA XT Plus and ALEXA XT Studio cameras will replace all previous models except for the original ALEXA. Owners of existing ALEXA cameras will be able to purchase individual upgrades that deliver some of the key features of the ALEXA XT cameras.
The ALEXA XT cameras were introduced at a series of international launch events earlier this year, starting with an open house at the ARRI Inc. offices in Burbank on 22 February. This was followed by Micro Salon in Paris, where the camera was even shown to French Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti, and subsequent events in London, Beijing, Mumbai, Berlin, Munich and Milan. The ALEXA XT concept was well received at all events and will soon be in use on productions worldwide.
FASTER, LIGHTER, MORE AFFORDABLE ARRIRAW
All ALEXA XT cameras come with the new XR Module (Extended Recording), a side panel that was co-developed with Codex and that replaces the previous SxS Module. The XR Module allows in-camera ARRIRAW recording up to 120 fps onto exceptionally fast and rugged 512 GB XR Capture Drives. This not only makes for a smaller, lighter and more affordable camera package, it also simplifies setup and operation. The result is an even faster and more reliable way to record ARRIRAW, ALEXA's highest quality image output. Once removed from the camera, the XR Capture Drive offers a number of different paths into post, using the proven Codex workflow.
IMPROVED ProRes / DNxHD RECORDING
In addition to ARRIRAW it is also possible to capture ProRes or DNxHD to an XR Capture Drive for significantly longer recording times, as well as ProRes 4444 recording at 120 fps. ProRes 4444 at 24 fps can be recorded for a total time of 107 minutes. With an SxS Adapter it is possible to record ProRes or DNxHD to a single SxS PRO card, thus protecting the inventory of existing cards.
TIME AND WEIGHT-SAVING INTERNAL ND FILTERS
The In-camera Filter Module IFM-1 allows ALEXA XT cameras to be rated at the base sensitivity of EI 800 without the need for external Neutral Density (ND) filters, even in bright sunlight. Filtering behind the lens rather than in front saves time and reduces weight, reflections and complexity. The FSND (Full Spectrum Neutral Density) filters used with the IFM-1 are based on high-tech manufacturing methods that assure a unique feature: neutral color balance at all of the eight available densities, from ND 0.3 to ND 2.4.
TRUE ANAMORPHIC WITH A 4:3 SENSOR
For the most effective use of anamorphic lenses, each ALEXA XT model is equipped with a 4:3 sensor, the same size and shape as a Super 35 mm film frame. This is crucial for delivering the unique and cinematic widescreen look that can trace its origins back to the CinemaScope films of the 1950s. An anamorphic de-squeeze license is included with all ALEXA XT cameras, as is a high speed license for filming at up to 120 fps. The 4:3 sensor is also useful for non-anamorphic productions as it permits significant reframing of the image in post.
VFX EFFICIENCY THROUGH LENS METADATA
Lens metadata is invaluable for efficient working on the set and a speedy VFX post workflow, which is why all ALEXA XT models are equipped with an LDS lens mount. The ARRI Lens Data System (LDS) reads the lens settings and writes them into metadata in every ALEXA recording format. Some 41 ARRI lens models have LDS built-in, compatibility with the Cooke /i system is in the works, and for all other lenses it is possible to gather metadata by using an ARRI lens motor and storing the lens table inside the camera with the Lens Data Archive.
COMFORTABLE, FLEXIBLE VIEWFINDER
To provide maximum comfort for the operator, the new Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3 has a much stronger design, partially achieved through the use of two 15 mm lightweight rods. These rods also facilitate rapid changes in camera support, since accessories such as lens motors or follow focus units can be hung from the rods rather than cluttering up the base plate.
SUPER SILENT FAN
ALEXA cameras are already among the quietest digital cameras, but an even quieter fan has become available and ARRI has incorporated this new fan into the ALEXA XT models, providing an extra safety margin in very quiet or hot environments.
A short selection of the amazingly diverse range of productions that have been using ALEXA cameras all over the world.