ARRI announced the release of Software Update Packet (SUP) 5.0 for the Alexa. This latest software update incorporates a range of improvements to the functionality of ARRI Alexa cameras, but perhaps the most eagerly anticipated new feature is an option to purchase a high-speed mode that permits shooting at up to 120 fps.
Following the anamorphic desqueeze license, high-speed mode is the second Alexa software upgrade to be made available as a license. While SUP 5.0 – with its other improvements – is a free update for Alexa customers, the high-speed mode it enables is an entirely new feature and can only be activated through the purchase of a license key at the Alexa license shop. Each license key is coded to a particular camera and can be selectively enabled or disabled, allowing rental facilities control over which cameras are sent out with high-speed mode.
High-speed mode allows Alexa cameras to capture slow-motion images using Apple ProRes codecs (up to 422 HQ 16:9) and Sony 64 GB SxS PRO cards. By using the same Super 35 sensor area as regular speed, high-speed mode maintains the same depth of field and angle of view for all lenses, along with Alexa’s wide exposure latitude, high sensitivity, natural colorimetry and organic, film-like image quality.
Recording such high data rates requires the use of Sony’s new SxS PRO 64 GB cards. Even without the high-speed license, the SxS PRO 64 GB cards allow recording of ProRes 4444 at 60 fps (with SUP 5.0).