Working with ProRes/DNxHD
The ALEXA was the first digital motion picture camera on the market offering in-camera recording of Apple QuickTime/ProRes files onto SxS PRO cards, providing the full range of codecs from ProRes 422 (Proxy) to ProRes 4444 XQ. With Software Update Package (SUP) 6.0, we added in-camera Avid DNxHD MXF recording, and made ALEXA an extremely flexible camera system for applications in both feature film and broadcast production environments.
Followed by the introduction of the XR recording module in 2013 and the ALEXA XT Series more recording options became available. As of now you can choose between XR Capture drives (240GB), CFast 2.0 (60 and 120GB) or SxS PRO cards (32 and 64GB). SUP 9.0 added DNxHD 444 recording to the supported formats list, SUP 10 added ProRes 4444 XQ.
Recording clips in ProRes or DNxHD format covers a wide range of applications. On the top end of the codecs, recording to DNxHD 444 or Prores 4444 XQ can preserve the full sensor quantization in 12 bit logarithmic encoding, with the same range of colors available in ARRIAW. Images recorded in a 4:4:4 codec are almost indistinguishable from uncompressed HD material. This makes internal recording attractive even for feature film productions for the big screen.
Recording in any of the high end 4:2:2 codecs provides perfect source material for all TV applications. The ability to shoot sync sound up to 120 fps without degrading the image quality makes ALEXA the best multi purpose camera for any job whether the production is a documentary, a TV add or a high-end TV drama.
Recording in a lower quality 4:2:2 codec delivers easy to handle proxy material, for example when on an ALEXA Classic, the master material is shot in parallel, in ARRIRAW.