ARRI has released the latest software update for its ALEXA camera system. The ALEXA Software Update Packet (SUP) 3.0 provides a number of new features and improvements, based on detailed consultation with the many film and television professionals now working with ALEXA in the field.
ALEXA is a 35 format film-style digital camera system designed for the motion picture and broadcast markets, consisting of three cameras and an extensive range of primes, zooms, accessories and recording systems.
Some of the most important new features of the ALEXA software update include:
• In-camera playback of QuickTime clips from on-board SxS PRO cards
Takes can be played back on the camera viewfinder or via different camera outputs, enabling an instant image check. Frame lines as well as information about each clip can optionally be seen in the viewfinder or superimposed on the image output.
• In-camera audio recording
Audio can be recorded at various frame rates and embedded into the image output, providing a useful guide track that significantly streamlines the audio workflow.
• A new, smooth viewfinder display mode
The optional smooth mode, for any frame rate up to 30 fps and any shutter angle up to 180 degrees, eliminates shuttering in the viewfinder image, making camera operation easier for shots involving fast pans or fast action within the frame.
• Single frame grabs
Still images for continuity, lighting or grading references, as well as many other uses, can now be grabbed and stored on the camera’s SD card at any time during standby, recording or playback. Images can be stored as jpg, tif or dpx files.
• EI 3200
ALEXA’s sensitivity has been extended to EI 3200 for low light situations. The new line up of exposure indices is: EI 160; EI 200; EI 400; EI 800; EI 1600; EI 3200.
• Improved color processing
The color processing engine of ALEXA has been significantly enhanced, providing higher color saturation in highlights as well as improved skin tones under tungsten light. Two new gamma options have been added: Log C (film matrix on) delivers a signal similar to negative film scanned on an ARRISCAN, and DCI P3 is the color space used for digital cinema projectors.
• False color exposure check
The false color exposure check changes the image to black-and-white, and uses color to indicate specific signal levels such as clipping, skin tones and 18% medium grey.
• Additional frame line options
It is now possible to superimpose two frame lines, two user rectangles, a center mark and a surround view mask over the viewfinder and output images, all at the same time. This is especially useful for productions with deliverables of different aspect ratios.
• HD-SDI 3G Single Link
This allows a 4:2:2 signal at 48, 50, 59.94 or 60 fps to be sent over just one BNC cable for situations where minimizing cables would be beneficial. A further advantage of SUP 3.0 when it comes to HD-SDI outputs is the ability to include a Variflag signal.
All new ALEXAs will have SUP 3.0 installed, and all existing cameras can be upgraded. For more information, visit www.arri.com.