ARRI ALEXA 35 Live – Multicam System

Between the dark and the daylight, when the presses are ready to roll, Marc Shipman-Mueller, ARRI Senior Product Manager, and John Gilbert, ARRI Product Manager Fiber Systems, appear on a video meeting with stop-the-press news.

Marc began, “ARRI is introducing a completely new camera system called the ALEXA 35 Live – Multicam System. It is for live production applications such as concerts, musical events, sports, esports, TV shows, fashion shows, scripted content, comedy specials, etc.

“ARRI is announcing a major commitment to the live entertainment sector, bringing together specialist cameras, stabilizers, lighting, and custom solutions. We put a lot of resources into this and we’re planning other products in the future and expanding the system.”

“Shooting with Super35 cinema cameras is a growing trend in live production. The ALEXA 35 Live – Multicam System delivers the unique cinematic ARRI look using ARRI’s top-of-the-line camera, the ALEXA 35, and a fully featured new fiber system with all the controls and interfaces expected in live production. These include 4K, HDR, SMPTE 2110 IP, and additional creative possibilities like ARRI Looks and ARRI Textures. The system can be seamlessly integrated into existing live production environments.

“The ALEXA 35 Live – Multicam System combines an ALEXA 35 Live Camera with a newly developed fiber system (LPS-1) and accessories.”

I interrupted, “Wait, wait. I see the LIVE logo on the camera right side below ALEXA 35. Is it a new type of camera? And what about existing owners who already have ALEXA 35 cameras?”


Marc continued, “The ALEXA 35 Live camera is exactly the same hardware as the ALEXA 35 and both connect easily to the LPS-1 fiber system. ALEXA 35 Live runs from 0.75 to 60 fps and records Apple ProRes, but not ARRIRAW. A regular ALEXA 35 goes to 120 fps, with ProRes and ARRIRAW. The Live camera has 4 sensor modes: 4K 16:9, 4K 2:1, 3.8K 16:9 and 2K 16:9 S16. ALEXA 35 has 8 sensor modes, all the way up to 4.6K 3:2 Open Gate.

“You can upgrade an ALEXA 35 Live to a fully festooned ALEXA 35 with an optional Cine license. You can also purchase a Multicam license, which is included in the Live camera, for existing ALEXA 35 cameras.”

“ARRI is seriously committing to the live entertainment sector with this system. Our goal is to bring ARRI’s cinematic look to live productions, with our Super35 4K sensor, HDR, REVEAL Color Science and support for all the controls and interfaces those in live production are used to.

“In live production, so-called system cameras have the fiber adapter and camera in one housing. They have lots of features, but they can’t work on their own. They don’t have internal recording. Then, you have dockable cameras with third party fiber adapters that attach in back. Those are more flexible, but usually do not have as many features.

“The new ALEXA 35 Live system does both: it is modular and dockable; you can use the camera on its own or connected and with the full feature set of a system camera.

I barged in again, over-caffeinated on Nespresso Napoli (on a scale of 1-10, it’s a 13). “But, why would you want to undock and untether?” Too late, I knew the answer. Duh.

John replied, “The Fiber Camera Adapter can be removed quickly and easily when the operator goes on a TRINITY or Steadicam, Spidercam, crane, drone, gimbal or handheld. You may want to record in-camera only or attach a wireless transmitter.”

How far can the SMPTE 311 cable run, with its hybrid fiber for video, audio, Ethernet, comms, and copper wire for power?

Marc: “The Live Production System (LPS-1) Fiber Camera Adapter (FCA) can send uncompressed 4K/60p 12G video as far away as 2km from the LPS-1 Fiber Base Station (FBS). 400W of power can be sent to the camera from 1km away.”

ALEXA 35 cameras have LPL mounts. What does the ALEXA 35 Live camera have?

Marc: “The ALEXA 35 Live comes standard with an ARRI PL Mount (Hirose). If you want to use an existing ALEXA 35, we recommend purchasing our PL Mount with Hirose connector. The Hirose is a broadcast industry standard for connecting ENG style lenses with servo and box lenses, like the popular Fujinon 25-1000.”

What are the key ingredients of the ALEXA 35 Live System?

  • The ALEXA 35 Live camera is the same as ALEXA 35 but with a reduced feature set and more affordable. It is only available as part of our Multicam (camera + fiber system) or Extension Sets (fiber system only for existing ALEXA 35 owners).
  • The Live Production System (LPS-1) Fiber Camera Adapter (FCA) attaches to the back of the camera using the Fiber Interface Plate FIP-1. No cables have to be plugged in except one Camera to FCA Ethernet Cable.
  • The LPS-1 Fiber Base Station (FBS) lives in a control room or OB van. It can output UHD and HD (progressive or interlaced) at the same time and has hot-swappable, redundant power supplies.
  • The Skaarhoj Remote Control Panel (RCP) connects to the FBS. It’s operated by a Shader, who “paints” the image and matches cameras.

And then there are helpful ARRI Multicam Accessories:

  • The Live Production Handle (LPH-1) balances camera and FCA.
  • The ARRI Touchdown Base Plate (TBP-1) and ARRI Touchdown Receiver Plate (TRP-1) comprise a new system to connect camera to tripod. It is self-aligning, easier to use and more secure than a traditional VCT-14.
  • The Monitor Yoke Support (MYS-1L) holds the 7-inch Camera Control Monitor (CCM-1)—same one introduced for ALEXA 35. A 10-inch monitor is in the works.
  • Tally Light Module (TLM-1) with camera ID, mounts using RIA-1 bracket and connects via LBUS to the camera.
  • The Large Lens Adapter (LLA-1) elegantly supports and connects B4 and PL box lenses (including the Fujinon Duvo HZK 25-1000mm) to the camera. It has a quick-release clamping mechanism for very fast setup. The lens connects to the camera with a Hirose to Box Lens Cable (available now) or with the LLA-1 Control Module (planned for Q3 2024).
  • A camRade rainCover OB/EFP protects camera, LLA-1 andBox Lens.

ARRI has been doing multicam since the days of AMIRA Live and AMIRA 1800. What’s different now?

Marc: “We are are addressing a wider market with the ALEXA 35 Live: broadcast studios with fixed multicam installations, OB van companies, production companies using mobile units, and rental houses who are specialized for or want to diversify into multicamera production.”

John: “Our research shows that the market for this type of live production using Super35 cameras is rapidly growing. There’s more and more interest in using high quality Super35 cameras to achieve beautiful images at a concert event, for example, because of the ALEXA 35’s high dynamic range, best skin tones and great performance at the very low light levels we see on stages going into total darkness. And the fantastic image quality also makes the performers look great, which they very much appreciate.”

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