ARRI Alexa XR and XT


Alexa XR Module Upgrade

ARRI has announced today that existing Alexa cameras can soon be upgraded with internal ARRIRAW.

ARRI and Codex worked together to develop a new XR Module (Xtended Recording) side cover for ARRIRAW uncompressed recording right where your SxS PRO card previously went.

Any of the five current Alexas can be upgraded: Alexa, Alexa Plus, Alexa Plus 4:3, Alexa Studio, Alexa M.

When you take Alexa to an authorized ARRI service center, the camera will get new processing hardware to allow for the increased image data and a new camera-left side cover. It adds a mere 8 mm to the width of the camera when compared with the current dual-slot SxS PRO card cover.

The new Alexa XR side cover opens to reveal a single slot that accepts a 512 GB XR Capture Drive. ARRI will sell these XR drives exclusively.

So equipped, Alexas can record ARRIRAW  up to 120 fps. One XR Capture Drive will record 55 minutes of ARRIRAW at 24 fps and 11 minutes at 120 fps. Alternatively, it will record 2:12 hours of ProRes 4444 at 24 fps. DNxHD for Avid will be available at a later date.

You format the XR Capture Drive either for ARRIRAW or for ProRes. SxS PRO cards have not been forgotten. An adapter with a single slot accommodates an SxS PRO card. (SxS-1 and SxS PRO+ cards are not compatible with Alexa.)
The hardware is made by ARRI, in close cooperation with Codex. Software and capture drives come from Codex. The drives are special industrial-strength solid state memory. The engineers tell us that  they have confirmed an 860 Megabyte per second data rate on the XR drives. That is 6,880 Megabits per second—6.7 Gigabits per second. These could be the fastest drives on the market.

Alexa XT

If you don’t have an Alexa, or want to buy a new one, ARRI is enhancing the Alexa camera line with new Alexa XT (Xtended Technology) models.
The only camera remaining from the original line will be the original entry-level Alexa (16:9 sensor).

There will be four new XT Cameras: Alexa XT, Alexa Plus XT, Alexa Studio XT, Alexa M XT.

  • They all have the XR module and new processing hardware  built-in.
  • They all have a 4:3 sensor (2880 x 2160 for anamorphic 2x).
  • They will have a new in-camera filter system called IFM (In-camera Filter Module). A line of high-quality ARRI IRND filters will be introduced. They work like the Clairmont in-camera filter system; a difference is that the magnets are on the filter frames, not in the camera.

The cameras will all be equipped with LDS contacts at 12 and 3 o’clock positions in the PL lens mount. The mount itself is lighter.
A new cooling fan runs even quieter than the current one. There’s a new VMB-3 viewfinder bracket that is more stable and uses two 15 mm rods as part of the design. These are in the same position as the lightweight rods, just above the lens instead of below, and ideal for attaching lens motors and other accessories.

The new cameras include an anamorphic de-squeeze and 120 fps high speed license.

Read more about it in the February 2013 Issue 52 of FDTimes beginning this Friday.


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