ARRI Alexa 4.0 Software Update

ARRI Alexas are everywhere here in Europe, shooting features, television specials and commercials. A busy camera assistant, who prefers to remain anonymous, had this to say about Alexa’s ubiquity, “It’s the green button and it beeps when you start. It behaves like familiar friends–Arriflex film cameras.”

You can now upgrade your Alexa to software version 4.0. A full description is now online. 

I’m convinced that anamorphic is the next big thing (again), and the most significant new feature for many is anamorphic de-squeezing. It’s available with the purchase of a license key–the first of Alexa-on-demand add-ons. 2x or 1.3x squeezed anamorphic lenses can now be unsqueezed electronically in the viewfinder or on a monitor.


ARRI Look files

The software update enables custom ARRI Look Files to be applied on all ALEXA outputs.  For example, a Low Contrast Curve (LCC) Look File can be used if you don’t want Log C but would like more dynamic range in a gradable video image. Applications for creating ARRI Look Files are in the works.

AUDIO Playback from SxS Pro Cards

ALEXA’s on-board SxS PRO cards can now playing back the the embedded audio through monitors, recorder, and as an analog audio signal through the headphone jack.

Auto white balance

I think Oli Laperal was first to ask for this, and now it’s here: Auto White Balance can automatically determine the red/blue white balance and green/magenta CC values.

‘Rec Low’ fan mode for silent operation in extremely hot environments

Welcome news in the New York heat wave this week. ALEXA now runs silent at ambient temperatures of up to +30 °C with the fan set to ‘Regular’ mode. When it’s even hotter on set, “Rec Low” mode runs the fan fast during standby to pre-cool the camera, but slowly and silently during recording.

Peaking focus check in EVF-1 

For the camera operator: a new peaking function makes it easier to check focus by highlighting everything that is in focus, either in the viewfinder or on a monitor.

Master/Slave lens motor control–3D lens sync

When two ALEXA Plus cameras are connected in Master/Slave mode, the motors of the slave camera will follow the motors of the master camera. 3D lens sync ensures that in a Master/Slave setup, the focus, zoom and iris on the slave camera lens precisely follows the lens on the master camera.

Lens Data System (LDS) info display in EVF-1 and on MON OUT

Lens Data System (LDS) information can now be displayed in the ALEXA Plus viewfinder or on the monitor, detailing the lens being used and its settings. Non-LDS lenses can be displayed if the lens profile has been added to the Lens Data Archive.

Virtual Horizon

allows a virtual horizon to be displayed on the monitor or in the viewfinder.

Software Upgrade 4.0 Summary

  • Custom looks through ARRI Look Files
  • Audio playback from SxS PRO cards
  • Auto white balance
  • Anamorphic de-squeeze in EVF-1 and on MON OUT (paid license feature)
  • Peaking focus check in EVF-1 and MON OUT
  • False color exposure check for Log C images
  • EVF ZOOM target position
  • Compare stored image from SD card with live image
  • RETURN IN video
  • Operating time counter
  • SD card formatting in camera
  • EVF ZOOM and EXP buttons are now latching
  • SxS recording can be turned off
  • More silent operation at higher ambient temperatures
  • ‘Rec Low’ fan mode for silent operation in extremely hot environments
  • V-mount battery adapter update

For ALEXA Plus:

  • Master/Slave lens motor control
  • 3D lens sync
  • Lens Data System (LDS) info display in EVF-1 and on MON OUT
  • Lens Data Archive (LDA)
  • Electronic level in EVF and MON OUT


Leave a Comment

2 Responses:

  1. E.L. says:

    ahemmm….the “run” (record) button on the Alexa is red, not green. It’d be great if Arri changed it in the new cameras with a familiar green “run” button, though..

  2. Jon Fauer says:

    Ahem….good catch! Red right return.