ARRI announced a major new recording feature for its ALEXA camera range, offering in-camera support for Avid’s widely adopted Avid DNxHD codec. The ability to record native Avid DNxHD as MXF files in camera gives users a simplified workflow for film and TV postproduction.
As a key benefit for cinematic productions, ALEXA cameras can also record ARRIRAW uncompressed 3K images that preserve the true 35mm ‘digital negative’ for mastering and archival purposes. Expanding ALEXA’s parallel recording capability to include native support for Avid DNxHD eliminates a transcoding step for the dailies generated by the Avid editing system and creates a more streamlined editorial workflow with seamless final conformance back to the archived ARRIRAW digital negative.
“The Avid editorial environment is an important cornerstone of the broadcast and motion picture postproduction industry, and ARRI is very pleased to be able to provide Avid DNxHD MFX file-based recording within the ALEXA camera for Avid-centric productions,” said Neil Fanthom, ARRI’s head of digital camera strategy. “This further confirms our commitment to add significant ongoing value to the ALEXA camera family, in this case by allowing customers to choose which workflow suits their own capture and postproduction requirements.”
“By providing native Avid DNxHD recording with the ALEXA camera, ARRI is allowing producers to use high quality ALEXA cameras and quickly and easily view dailies, and begin editorial, without the need to transcode or re-wrap footage,” explained Angus Mackay, pro video segment marketing manager at Avid. “Media Composer version 6 now offers the Avid DNxHD444 codec, which will permit customers to preserve the high color information in ALEXA footage while still having a low bit-rate codec suitable for editorial. This is great news for ARRI and Avid customers, who will benefit from the advantages in quality, speed and streamlined workflows.”
Currently in beta testing, the Avid DNxHD recording function for ALEXA will be distributed as a downloadable software upgrade in January. Avid DNxHD codec data rates of up to 145Mbit/s (8 bit) and 220MBit/s (10 bit) will be supported in the initial release.
Avid’s highest quality version of the codec, Avid DNxHD 444, which will record at 440Mbit/s at 10-bit depth, will be provided as an upgrade in the first quarter of 2012.