The first camera on the scene remains at the center of the family; it is the keystone of a modular and upgradeable system with exceptional image performance that is simple to operate, reliable in even the most extreme environments and versatile enough to cover a wide range of workflow and budget requirements. Whether your production is destined for the cinema or television, ALEXA will empower you to tell your story in exactly the way you think it should be told, with pictures of breathtaking richness and detail.
The original ALEXA comes with a 16:9 sensor and the original SxS Module that accepts two SxS PRO cards for recording in-camera ProRes or DNxHD. ARRIRAW recording is possible with an external recorder.
|Camera Type||35 format film-style digital camera with an electronic viewfinder, a 16:9 active sensor area, integrated shoulder arch and receptacles for 15 mm lightweight rods|
|Sensor||35 format ALEV III CMOS sensor with Dual Gain Architecture (DGA) and Bayer pattern color filter array.|
|Photosites||2880 x 1620 used for ARRIRAW
2880 x 1620 down sampled to 1920 x 1080 for HD-SDI, ProRes HD and DNxHD HD
2868 x 1612 down sampled to 2048 x 1152 for ProRes 2K
|Operating Modes||Regular or High Speed mode. High Speed mode requires license purchase. Switching takes approx. 40 seconds.|
|Frame Rates||0.75 – 120 fps
60 fps max when recording 2K ProRes or ProRes 4444.
40 fps max when recording ProRes 4444 onto 32 GB SxS PRO cards.
All speeds adjustable with 1/1000 fps precision. To record above 60 fps in any format, the camera needs to be switched to high speed mode (optional license).
|Shutter||Electronic rolling shutter, 5.0º - 358.0º up to 60 fps; 5.0° to 356° above 60 fps. Shutter angle adjustable with 1/10 degree precision.|
|Exposure Latitude||14 stops for all sensitivity settings from EI 160 to EI 3200, as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC).
For a graphic of how the exposure latitude shifts at different EIs, click here
Values behind the exposure index are the number of stops above and below 18% grey. These values are for Log C. Rec 709 and DCI P3 are the same except for 0.5 stops fewer in the low end at EI 160, 0.4 stops fewer in the low end at EI 200 and 0.2 stops fewer in the low end at EI 400.
|White Balance||Presets for 3200 (tungsten), 4300 (fluorescent), 5600 (daylight) and 7000 (daylight cool). Automatic calculation or manual white balance for 2000 to 11000 Kelvin, adjustable in 100 K steps|
|Color Correction||While white balance changes the red/blue hue of the image, color correction changes green/magenta. Adjustable range from -8 to +8 CC. 1 CC corresponds to 035 Kodak CC values or 1/8 Rosco values.|
|Sound Level||Under 20 db(A) while recording ProRes @ 24 fps and ≤ +30° Celsius (≤ +86° Fahrenheit) with lens attached and fan mode set to 'Regular', measured 1 m/3 feet in front of the lens. Silent operation at higher temperatures possible with fan mode set to 'Rec low'.|
|Power In||Three possible inputs: BAT connector, optional battery adapter back or optional battery adapter top. All inputs accepts 10.5 to 34 V DC on all inputs. Approx. 85 W power draw for camera and EVF-1 in typical use recording ProRes at 24 fps to an SxS PRO card, without accessories.|
|Power Out||12 V connector: limited to 12 V, up to 2.2 A. RS, EXT and ETHERNET: input below 24 V is regulated up to 24 V; above 24 V: input voltage = output voltage. RS and EXT connectors combined are limited to 2.2 A. ETHERNET is limited to 1.2 A. Maximum power draw is also limited by the power source.|
|Weight||ALEXA body with SxS Module: 6.3 Kg/13.8 lbs.
ALEXA body with SxS Module, electronic viewfinder and handle: 7.7 Kg/16.9 lbs.
|Dimensions||Length: 332 mm/12.95”, width: 153 mm/6.02”, height: 158 mm/6.22”.|
|Environmental||-20° C to +45° C (-4° F to +113° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing. Splash and dust proof through sealed electronics. System cooling through radiator/single fan.|
|Lens Mount||ARRI Exchangeable Lens Mount (ELM); ships with Lens Adapter PL Mount, 54 mm stainless steel PL mount, Super 35 centered. 52.00 mm nominal flange focal depth.|
|Viewfinder||Low latency (≤1 frame delay) electronic color viewfinder ARRI EVF-1 with 1280 x 784 F-LCOS micro display (image: 1280 x 720, status bars: 1280 x 32 above and 1280 x 32 below image) and ARRI LED illumination, both temperature controlled. Image can be flipped for use of viewfinder on camera left or right. Viewfinder Mounting Bracket allows movement of viewfinder forward/backwards, left/right, up/down, 360 degree rotation and placement on camera left or right. EVF-1 controls: viewfinder and basic camera settings, ZOOM button (2.25x pixel to pixel magnification), EXP button (false color exposure check) and jog wheel.|
|Assistive Displays||For EVF-1 and MON OUT: frame lines, surround view, camera status, false color exposure check, peaking focus check, compare stored image with live image, RETURN IN video and anamorphic de-squeeze. For MON OUT only: Reel & clip number.
For a graphic of which false colors indicate which exposure level, click here
|Control||Camera right: Main user interface with a 3” transflective 400 x 240 pixel LCD color screen, illuminated buttons, button lock and jog wheel. Camera left: Operator interface with illuminated buttons and button lock. Optional accessory RCU-4 for remote control via camera ETHERNET connector.|
|In-camera Recording||QuickTime/ProRes or MXF/DNxHD (1) recording onto one or two (Dual Recording) SxS PRO cards. All formats include embedded audio, timecode and metadata.|
|Recording Outputs||2x 1.5G or 3G REC OUT BNC connectors for ARRIRAW T-Link or HD-SDI video. Both with embedded audio, timecode, metadata and recording flag.
ARRIRAW: 2880 x 1620 (16:9), uncompressed, unencrypted 12 bit log without white balance or exposure index processing applied. Requires an ARRIRAW T-Link certified recorder.
HD-SDI video: uncompressed 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 4:4:4 RGB or 4:2:2 YCbCr at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, or 60 fps. Recording other speeds requires a recorder with Variflag support. Legal or extended range signal mapping.
|Monitor Output||1x MON OUT BNC connector for uncompressed 1.5 G HD-SDI video: 1920 x 1080 (16:9), 4:2:2 YCbCr; legal range HD video at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, or 30 fps. Embedded audio, time code, metadata and recording flag.|
|Image Processing||16 bit linear internal image processing. Target color spaces for ProRes, DNxHD, REC OUT and MON OUT: Log C and Rec 709. For Rec 709, a customized look can be applied during record and playback with ARRI Look Files. Optional horizontal image mirroring.|
|Synchronization||Master/Slave mode for precision sync of settings, sensor, processing, HD-SDI outputs and QuickTime/ProRes or MXF/DNxHD recording for 3D applications.|
|Playback||Playback of ProRes or DNxHD from SxS PRO cards visible on EVF-1, MON OUT and REC OUT. Playback audio available over headphone jack and embedded in the MON OUT and REC OUT signal.|
|Audio||1x XLR 5 pin AUDIO IN for 2 channel, line level, balanced audio. 24 bit/48 kHz A/D conversion. Uncompressed PCM audio recording to ARRIRAW, ProRes, DNxHD (1) and embedded in all HD-SDI outputs. Only available with same project/sensor speed at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. Max of 2.5 dBm output from AUDIO OUT headphones connector.|
|Connectors||2x slots for SxS PRO cards (SxS)
2x BNC recording out HD-SDI, 1.5G/3G (REC OUT 1 and REC OUT 2)
1x BNC monitoring out HD-SDI, 1.5G (MON OUT)
1x XLR 5-pin analog audio in (AUDIO IN)
1x BNC return video in HD-SDI, 1.5G (RET/SYNC IN)
1x LEMO 16-pin external accessory interface (EXT)
1x Fischer 2-pin 24 V power in (BAT)
2x Fischer 3-pin 24 V remote start and accessory power out (RS)
1x LEMO 2-pin 12 V accessory power out (12 V)
1x LEMO 5-pin timecode in/out (TC)
1x TRS 3.5 mm headphone mini stereo jack (AUDIO OUT)
1x custom LEMO 16-pin electronic viewfinder (EVF)
1x custom LEMO 10-pin Ethernet with 24 V power (ETHERNET)
BNC connectors designed for fast exchange without camera disassembly have been used for ALEXA since approximately mid 2012. Requires a special tool.
|SD Card||For importing and storing ARRI Look Files, camera set up files, frame line files and feature license keys. Stores captured stills from the REC OUT image path during Regular Speed (not High Speed) in ARRIRAW (.ari, 12 bit), TIFF (.tif, 16 bit), DPX (.dpx, 10 bit) or JPEG (.jpg, 8 bit) format. Stores log files. Also used for installing Software Update Packets (SUPs).|
|Upgrades||The Storage Interface Module (SxS Module or XR Module) can be exchanged for future storage modules. The Electronics Interface Module (basic and Plus version) can be exchanged for future control electronics. Exchangeable Lens Mount (ELM) allows other lenses beyond PL mount lenses to be used. Simple camera software updates via free of charge Software Update Packets (SUPs) and payable license keys – Anamorphic De-squeeze, High Speed and DNxHD (not available for SUP 8.0 at this time).|
|(1) DNxHD recording not possible with SUP 8.0. Possible in SUP 7.0 and will be back in SUP 9.0|
|Note: Technical data based on Software Update Packet (SUP) 8.0. All data subject to change without notice.|
ALEXA Classic Family Features
Exceptional Image Performance
All ALEXA cameras provide the best looking digital image with the least amount of fuss. They all have the same high end optical low pass filter, a custom made CMOS sensor and custom electronics and processing software. These components are carefully designed to produce images with the organic look and feel of film. The sensor provides an unequalled exposure latitude of 14 stops with special consideration given to highlight treatment. Creating a good looking roll-off in the highlights is probably one of the most difficult tasks for any sensor designer and we have spent enormous resources at insuring exceptional highlight handling. ALEXA's high sensitivity and its ability to hold up very well even when extremely under or overexposed make it very easy to work with. ALEXA’s color processing was developed by our own color scientists (who are the same people that have been working on the ARRILASER and ARRISCAN, so are intimately familiar with both film and digital color science) to render clean and natural colors, especially noticeable in ALEXAs great looking skin tones.
Efficient and Versatile Workflows
ALEXA represents the most efficient and versatile method to capture and then transport images, audio and metadata through the production process. This is achieved with a multitude of output options, support for the native codecs of the most popular non-linear editors, complete metadata and integrated color management. So disregarding if you want to shoot a low budget TV series or Martin Scorsese’s next big Hollywood feature, you can configure an ALEXA for the task at hand. This also make rentals happy, who can use the same product for many different customer demands.
Simple and Safe Operation
We know what it is like to try to change frame rate and shutter angle at 4:00 in the morning in the rain after a long night shoot. We know that a camera needs to be very simple to operate, and it needs to make sure that you get a good image, no matter what. With ALEXA we have developed a user interface that is easy to learn and quick to operate. And the same interface is used on all models of ALEXA, with the same menu, buttons, etc., so there is no learning curve when using another model ALEXA. The hardware of the camera is designed for the best and most ergonomic use on the set, including the built-in shoulder cut-out, large numbers of accessories like the low mode set or the Remote Control Unit RCU-4, down to little details like differently shaped extrusions (eyebrows) above some buttons so the operator can feel the button’s position even from the other side of the camera or shooting in low light.
ALEXA cameras are part of a long heritage of cameras from ARRI, and we are very familiar with the sometimes horrid conditions our cameras have to endure in the field. So ALEXAs are built rugged and reliable with a sealed electronics compartment, a unique cooling system and the most stable lens/sensor mount that German engineering could devise.
The camera’s electronics are housed in a sealed compartment in the center of the body. The heat generated by the sensor and the electronics is transported via heat pipes to a radiator located in a ventilation shaft at the back of the camera. A single, slow running silent fan cools the radiator. If need be, the fan can be easily exchanged. This system ensures effective, active cooling of the sensor and processing boards even in the hottest climates. At the same time it protects the electronics, thereby rendering the camera splash and dust proof.
To further improve the legendary stability of the ARRI lens mount, ALEXA is equipped with a novel lens and sensor mount design. The stainless steel lens mount is attached to a stainless steel distance barrel, which itself is attached to the sensor mount, which also holds the sensor board. The whole unit is then attached to the camera body. By creating a fixed link between lens and sensor (all the orange parts in the second drawing), a super stable flange focal depth is ensured - even if strong mechanical influences are applied to the lens mount, such as when a heavy zoom lens is not properly supported. Using stainless steel ensures minimum material expansion or contraction during temperature changes.
Open, future-proof architecture
We have worked closely with a number of innovative companies such as Apple, Avid, FUJINON, ZEISS and others to integrate their technologies. Thus ALEXA is compatible with many existing industry standards and with lenses, accessories and post production tools that are already well established all over the world, including Apple’s ProRes, Avid’s DNxHD, the HD-SDI standard, Gold or V-mount on-board batteries, the cmotion lens control system and both 12 and 24V accessory power outputs. The result is a future-proof system based on an open architecture; the result is simply the most complete and powerful digital production system ever built.
To protect our customers’ investment in ALEXA, four major components are specifically designed to allow an easy upgrade and to add new features in order to extend its useful life. First, taking into account the rapid rate of change in storage technologies, the in-camera recording module is removable, featuring an SxS Module for ALEXA Classic cameras (which can be exchanged for an XR Module) or an XR Module for ALEXA XT cameras. Second, the camera control electronics, which comprise the whole right side of the camera, can be removed and replaced with an upgraded electronics with advanced features (like the Plus upgrade). Third, the Exchangeable Lens Mount (ELM) system allows the use of PL or Panavision lenses, further expanding creative options. And finally, the camera’s software is designed in such a way that it can be quickly and easily upgraded with our free Software Upgrade Packets to provide new and exiting features like ProRes 2K or ProRes 4:3 in-camera recording.
ALEXA Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1
This viewfinder was specifically designed to meet the needs of professional camera operators by offering an extremely low latency image display, high image quality, accurate color reproduction and a number of features inherited from our optical viewfinders, including a peripheral viewing area (surround view).
It is critical to the camera operator that the action in the viewfinder can be seen almost at the same time as the action in front of the camera. The extremely fast image display of the EVF-1 has been made possible through the creation of a proprietary high speed connection between the viewfinder and the camera, as well as a shared image processing architecture that maximizes the processing power of both camera and viewfinder. The ALEXA EVF-1 is unique with its image delay of under one frame.
A stable, accurate and high quality image is important for the camera operator. The EVF-1 image exhibits high resolution, high contrast, low distortion and an evenly illuminated viewing area. All this has been made possible through a state-of-the-art F-LCOS (Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal On Silicon) micro display with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, a high screen refresh rate and an ARRI optical design that employs the highest quality coated glass optics. Reliable contrast and color reproduction at all temperatures are assured through a careful thermal stabilization of both the FLCOS display and the ARRI custom LED light engine.
The EVF-1 has not only been developed to provide the best possible image, but is also specifically designed to fit the ergonomic needs of the operator. Even when using a matte box on a short prime lens, the compact dimensions of the finder guarantee that the eyepiece can be adjusted to a comfortable position for shoulder operation. The small, self-contained unit is easily mounted in different positions: on the side for handheld, or further back through a telescoping extension for use with a geared head.
Straightforward operation is assured through a plethora of assistive displays in the viewfinder (and on the MON OUT as well), including: frame lines, surround view, camera status, false color exposure check, peaking focus check, compare stored image with live image, RETURN IN video and optional anamorphic de-squeeze (license key required on some ALEXA Classic cameras). A number of ergonomically placed buttons allow access to frequently used functions such as zoom and exposure assist. The viewfinder’s settings, as well as basic camera settings, can be changed by the operator directly on the EVF-1.
Showing their heritage, ALEXA and the EVF-1 have been designed to provide some features that previously have only been available through optical viewfinders. Most important for the operator is the fact that the camera’s sensor is slightly oversized to provide an extra area around the primary image in the viewfinder. This allows lighting stands, microphones, etc. to be spotted before ruining the shot. Additionally, the size of the image in the EVF-1 has been chosen to equal that of the image in the ARRIFLEX 235’s optical viewfinder.