ARRI announced that its new Alexa SXT (Super Xtended Technology) cameras are scheduled for release around mid-2015. The new generation of Alexa cameras will offer ProRes 4K recording, improved image quality, powerful color 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 ideal for productions that need 4K UHD TV or 4K DCI cinema deliverables.
Alexa SXT cameras keep the 3.4K ALEV III sensor of previous Alexas and add the electronics of ARRI’s Alexa 65 camera. Like their XT predecessors, Alexa SXT cameras retain the unique Open Gate, 4:3 and 16:9 sensor modes, which can be recorded in ARRIRAW or ProRes.
The camera also incorporates the advanced color management engine originally developed for the ARRI Amira camera to give cinematographers control over the look of the images.
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 color 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.
In response to user requests, 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.
The full range of Alexa SXT cameras will include 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 Jan. 1, 2015 and the first shipment of SXT cameras will be eligible for a full SXT upgrade, free of charge.
ARRI will also 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.