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Arri Unveils Alexa 35

The 4K Super 35 camera features the company’s first new sensor in 12 years, a new color science, and an option called Arri Textures, a digital equivalent to selecting a film stock.

ASC Staff

The 4K Super 35 camera features the company's first new sensor in 12 years, a new color science, and an option called Arri Textures, a digital equivalent to selecting a film stock.

Arri has unveiled the Alexa 35, a 4K Super 35 camera that features the company’s first new sensor in 12 years and a new color science, Reveal.

The Alexa 35 builds on the evolution of the Alexa family, delivering 17 stops of dynamic range, better low-light performance and richer colors. A robust build, new accessories and a new mechanical-support system round out the platform. 

With its Super 35 4:3 native 4K sensor, the Alexa 35 can be used with an extensive array of lenses. Stray-light suppression in the camera and lens mounts ensures that the full contrast range and character of each lens are captured by the sensor.  

With low noise and sensitivity settings ranging from EI 160 to EI 6400, Alexa 35 is a “High ISO” camera. An optional Enhanced Sensitivity Mode can be applied to settings between EI 2560 and EI 6400, producing an even cleaner image in low light. 

Reveal Color Science is the collective name for a suite of new image-processing steps used by the Alexa 35 internally and also available through third-party postproduction tools for ArriRaw processing. It includes an improved Debayering algorithm for cleaner compositing, a new color engine for more accurate color reproduction, a new wide-gamut colorspace for faster grading, new LogC4 encoding to contain the increased dynamic range, and new LogC4 LUTs. 

Reveal is also backwards compatible. ArriRaw footage captured by Alexa LF and Mini LF cameras can be processed with Reveal, meaning the Alexa 35 and Arri’s large-format cameras can be combined on set and can also share LogC4 LUTs in post. 

Arri Textures is a new feature that allows cinematographers to fundamentally alter the way in which the camera records images. Until now, Alexa cameras have been preprogrammed with a default texture that determines the amount and character of grain in the image and the amount of contrast at different levels of detail (perceived by the viewer as sharpness). The Alexa 35 provides the option to choose from a menu of textures, much like selecting a film stock. 

Arri supplied 11 filmmakers around the world with an Alexa 35 and asked them to make a short film that told “a visually compelling story about an encounter.”

One team, director Rudi Schwab and cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, ASC, chose Arri Signature Primes and the K445 Default Arri Texture for their short, The Swing:

Director Jan Rasmus Voss and cinematographer Nikolaus Summerer chose Vantage Hawk X Anamorphic lenses and the C733 Nostalgic Arri Texture for their project, Nice:

Film crews will be intuitively familiar with the camera’s simple menu structure, support for 1TB and 2TB Codex Compact Drives, and MVF-2 viewfinder (now with HDR). Fast and easy operation is assured through a new left-side display, Advanced Color Match, prerecording capability and several usability improvements. The camera is capable of 19 recording formats, incorporating efficient in-camera down-sampling and anamorphic de-squeezing.

Mixed-reality and virtual productions will benefit from the camera’s ability to record lens metadata in all common standards and output real-time streaming metadata to Arri’s Live Link Metadata Plug-in for Unreal Engine. 

A new line of Alexa 35 accessories expands the camera’s capabilities and ensures maximum versatility on set. Closely integrated electronic accessories offer additional power outputs or extended audio features. A new set of mechanical-support items provides flexible options for any shooting situation, scaling quickly and easily from a small and lightweight setup to a full-blown production configuration. 

The Alexa 35 is supported by a full suite of online tools as well as free apps such as the iPhone/iPad Camera Companion App, Arri Reference Tool and ArriRaw HDE Transcoder. 

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