ARRI Announces the 4K Super 35 ALEXA SXT Cameras Ahead of NAB 2015

Hot off the Press: ARRI is expanding the ALEXA family once again and launching a new Alexa SXT (Super Xtended Technology) digital cinema camera featuring in-camera ProRes 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) and ProRes True 4K Cine (4096 x 2637 pixels) recording.

The SXT lineup is the successor to the very popular ALEXA XT line-up. This announcement comes in less than a month after the ALEXA Mini unveiling at the BVE 2015 exhibition in London.

The full ALEXA SXT range will comprise of the following models:

  • ALEXA SXT EV,

  • ALEXA SXT Plus

  • ALEXA SXT Studio

The SXT models are replacing the current ALEXA XT cameras. The ALEXA Classic EV model will remain in the line-up and ALEXA XT cameras (except ALEXA XT M) shipped between 1st Jan. 2015 and the first shipment of SXT cameras will be eligible for a full SXT upgrade, free of charge. The ALEXA SXT cameras are expected to start shipping mid-2015.

The Alexa SXT incorporates the same 3.4K ALEV III sensor of previous Alexas, but gives the camera model additional capabilities by taking advantage of the advanced electronics and hardware circuitry developed for the flagship Alexa 65.

According to FDTimes, Codex collaborated again with ARRI to develop the recording and workflow system for the ALEXA SXT. Working together they developed the latest high-performance, integrated recording system, capable of handling ARRIRAW and other formats, as well as on-set and near-set data management.

The ALEXA SXT cameras will feature an updated Codex recording “engine,” similar to the system built into the ALEXA 65. It uses the latest SXR Capture Drives, which offer an astounding data rate of 20GB/s.

ALEXA SXT cameras have a new, internal media bay, developed by Codex, that accepts the latest SXR Capture Drives. The great news is that adaptors will be available to enable one to use the existing XR Capture Drives, as well as popular SxS cards and CFast 2.0 cards.

New additions to the SXT include new colour management capabilities as well as 3 x independent HD-SDI outputs on the side allowing for a Log C image to be used to show the director an image with on-set grading, a clean Rec 709 image feed to video village, and a Rec 709 image with status information overlays to be displayed on the camera's on-board monitor.

The Alexa SXT are due to be showcased next month at NAB 2015 in Las Vegas with the first SXT cameras planned for release mid year.

Alexa SXT Features Highlights

Easy ProRes 4K recording
With in-camera recording of ProRes 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) and ProRes 4K Cine (4096 x 2637 pixels), ALEXA SXT cameras are the ideal choice for productions that need 4K UHD TV or 4K DCI cinema deliverables, so filmmakers can continue using the ARRI ALEXA platform they know and love.

Improved image quality
ALEXA SXT cameras keep the acclaimed 3.4K ALEV III sensor of previous ALEXAs and add the state-of-the-art electronics of ARRI's groundbreaking ALEXA 65 camera. These high-performance electronics combine the latest generation of FPGA processors with a lightning-fast internal backplane and form the basis of a completely overhauled image processing chain, advanced pixel correction and optional noise reduction. This results in a further improvement in overall image quality. Like their XT predecessors, ALEXA SXT cameras retain the unique and popular Open Gate, 4:3 and 16:9 sensor modes, which can be recorded in ARRIRAW or ProRes.

 

New Looks and smoother workflow
The creation of new, powerful and unique looks has been made possible by utilizing the advanced color management engine originally developed for the ARRI AMIRA. Taking advantage of the extremely wide native color gamut of the ALEXA sensor, this new engine allows unprecedented control, which in the end means greater creative freedom for the filmmaker. In addition, previewing of looks on-set is improved, including the option to use the wide color gamut of Rec 2020 gamma, while dailies creation is made more efficient and final grading made faster.

A new type of look file, the ALF-2 (ARRI Look File 2), contains an ASC CDL (American Society of Cinematographers Color Decision List) as well as a 3D LUT (look-up table). ALF-2 files can be created with a new ARRI Look Tool, which can also import standard 3D LUTs. ALF-2 files and the tools that create them are compatible between ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini and AMIRA. Once loaded into the camera, CDL parameters and/or 3D LUTs can be applied to any of the three HD-SDI outputs or the viewfinder. For those who need faster workflows, CDL parameters and/or 3D LUTs can also be applied directly to the ProRes recording.

The new color management engine can easily match the look of current ALEXA cameras, but also provides the basis for radically different looks.

 

Super flexible on-set monitoring
To further streamline on-set workflows and deliver what has been asked for by crews all over the globe, ALEXA SXT cameras include three fully independent HD-SDI outputs. This allows, for instance, a Log C image to be used to show the director a pristine image with live grading, a clean Rec 709 image to be fed to video village, and a Rec 709 image with status information overlays to be displayed on the camera's on-board monitor.

 

Future-proof technology
ALEXA SXT cameras are designed to keep up with the growing needs of changing production methods: their powerful electronics offer significant potential for future hardware and software upgrades, illustrating ARRI's continuing commitment to the future-proof technology concept behind the ALEXA system.

From ARRI:

ARRI’s new ALEXA SXT (Super Xtended Technology) cameras represent the next exciting step in the continuing evolution of the ALEXA family. Retaining the rock-solid foundation on which ALEXA is built, ALEXA SXT cameras additionally offer ProRes 4K recording, improved image quality, powerful colour management and three fully independent HD-SDI outputs. 


With in-camera recording of ProRes 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) and ProRes 4K Cine (4096 x 2637 pixels), ALEXA SXT cameras are the ideal choice for productions that need 4K UHD TV or 4K DCI cinema deliverables, so filmmakers can continue using the ARRI ALEXA platform they know and love.

ALEXA SXT cameras keep the acclaimed 3.4K ALEV III sensor of previous ALEXAs and add the state-of-the-art electronics of ARRI's ground-breaking ALEXA 65 camera. These high-performance electronics combine the latest generation of FPGA processors with a lightning-fast internal backplane and form the basis of a completely overhauled image processing chain, advanced pixel correction and optional noise reduction. This results in a further improvement in overall image quality. Like their XT predecessors, ALEXA SXT cameras retain the unique and popular Open Gate, 4:3 and 16:9 sensor modes, which can be recorded in ARRIRAW or ProRes.

The creation of new, powerful and unique looks has been made possible by utilizing the advanced color management engine originally developed for the ARRI AMIRA camera. Taking advantage of the extremely wide native color gamut of the ALEXA sensor, this new engine allows unprecedented control, which in the end means greater creative freedom for the filmmaker. A new type of look file, the ALF-2 (ARRI Look File 2), contains an ASC CDL (Color Decision List) as well as a 3D LUT (Look-Up Table). The new color management engine can easily match the look of current ALEXA cameras, but also provides the basis for radically different looks. In addition, previewing of looks on set is improved, including the option to use the wide colour gamut of Rec 2020 gamma, while dailies creation is made more efficient and final grading made faster. ALF-2 files and the tools that create them are compatible between ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini and AMIRA.

To further streamline on-set workflows and deliver what has been asked for by crews all over the globe, ALEXA SXT cameras include three fully independent HD-SDI outputs. This allows, for instance, a Log C image to be used to show the director a pristine image with live grading, a clean Rec 709 image to be fed to video village, and a Rec 709 image with status information overlays to be displayed on the camera's on-board monitor.

ALEXA SXT cameras are designed to keep up with the growing needs of changing production methods: their powerful electronics offer significant potential for future hardware and software upgrades, illustrating ARRI’s continuing commitment to the future-proof technology concept behind the ALEXA system.

The first ALEXA SXT cameras are planned for release around mid-2015; the full range will comprise ALEXA SXT EV, SXT Plus and SXT Studio models, replacing current ALEXA XT cameras (though the ALEXA Classic EV model will remain in the line-up). ALEXA XT cameras (except ALEXA XT M cameras) shipped between 1st Jan. 2015 and the first shipment of SXT cameras will be eligible for a full SXT upgrade, free of charge.

Concurrent with the ALEXA SXT release ARRI will offer an SXR (Super Xtended Recording) Module upgrade to owners of existing ALEXA XT, XT Plus and XT Studio cameras. The SXR Module upgrade delivers all the features of the SXT cameras, although it might not offer all the future upgrade potential.

The fundamental advantage of the ARRI ALEXA system is its unique combination of the highest overall image quality with the most efficient workflows on set and in post. Based on extensive market feedback, the ALEXA SXT line of cameras further improves upon those qualities, raising the widely-accepted gold standard set by ALEXA still higher.

Visit our ALEXA SXT product page for more details at http://www.visuals.co.uk/arri-alexa-sxt.html

To place your order and discuss all your ARRI requirements, give us a call at 0208 977 1222.