ALEXA SUP 10.0 preview

Following the successful introduction of SUP 9.0 in 2013, which brought new features like DNxHD 444, CFast 2.0 card support, ProRes 4444 at 120 fps and ProRes pre-recording, ARRI released SUP 9.1 in March 2014 for DNxHD 444 at 96 fps (XR Capture Drives) and 90 fps (CFast 2.0 cards). 


  • 180° image rotation - for UWZ 9.5-18 - for upside-down Steadicam 
  • REC OUT = clean MON OUT - a clean Log C output for High Speed mode, ProRes 2K, 4:3 and Open Gate 
  • Fast switch between Regular/High Speed modes
  • Open Gate for ALEXA XT M

After careful analysis of hundreds of requests and discussions with cinematographers, assistants, DITs and rental houses, a number of new features have been selected for SUP 10.0 that will provide the biggest benefits for productions. Here are just a few of the planned improvements, due to be released -- free of charge -- during the third quarter of 2014.



This feature has two immediate beneficiaries: the ARRI Ultra Wide Zoom UWZ 9.5-18 and Steadicam operators. The revolutionary optical technology built into the UWZ delivers outstanding image quality even at extremely wide focal lengths, but the captured image is rotated by 180°. With SUP 10.0, all ALEXA models can rotate the image so it looks right-side up in the viewfinder and on REC OUT and MON OUT. In addition, a metadata '180° rotation' flag is being set. The recorded image is still upside-down, but that can be easily changed in almost all post software. In some, such as the ARRIRAW Converter ARC, the change is automatic, based on the metadata flag. When playing back images with the rotation flag set, the ALEXA will automatically display the image properly.


Steadicam operators who want to quickly grab a low perspective can now turn on the 180° image rotation and flip the Steadicam upside-down without having to mount the camera in low mode. This saves time, one of the most valuable commodities on the set.


When shooting in 16:9 at regular speed, ALEXAs provide two independent video outputs. One is usually routed as a Rec 709 signal with superimposed frame lines and camera status to the on-board monitor, while the other is fed as a clean Log C signal to the DIT for coloring, allowing a preview of the cinematographer's visual intentions. However, in various system modes introduced over recent years (High Speed, ProRes 2K, 4:3 and Open Gate), this second HD-SDI output has been sacrificed to free up processing power in the camera and the REC OUT becomes a MON OUT clone. Since this is not ideal, ARRI is working on ways to provide an independent, clean Log C output on REC OUT.


Switching from Regular Speed (0.75-60 fps) to High Speed mode (60-120 fps) takes about 40 seconds, which can seem an eternity in high-pressure situations. To spare the nerves of camera assistants the world over, the switching procedure is being optimized in SUP 10.0 to a more reasonable time frame.


Open Gate mode, i.e. recording all available photo sites on the ALEXA sensor, has been available since SUP 9.0 for ALEXA XT, ALEXA XT Plus and ALEXA XT Studio cameras. With SUP 10.0 this feature is being extended to the ALEXA XT M, as requested by numerous aerial cinematographers.