At this years BSC Expo, we finally got to see the new Arri Alexa LF…. LF because it’s the large format version of the original Alexa.  Things have moved on quite a bit since the original Alexa was launched almost eight years ago now, and it’s no secret that Arri was hurting over the fact that the Alexa didn’t even reach the minimum 4K spec for original Netflix material.  Of course, you could’ve chosen to use the Alexa 65… but this cinematic monster is a rental product only which also requires some serious budget even before choosing lenses!

Extrashot got to talk about the new Alexa LF with Marc Shipman-Mueller, who is Product Manager Camera Systems for Arri,  and the big surprise wasn’t just that the camera records 4K, it’s that the sensor is even larger than full frame!  The new sensor is 36.7mm wide with 4448 x 3096 pixels.  We expressed our disappointment that this new sensor wasn’t closer to 6K to compensate for the Bayer pattern losses, but at 4.5K this actually results in a pixel density (and therefore the size of each photo site) which is pretty much the same as the original Alexa.  This means the light sensitivity and dynamic range is also similar to the existing Alexa, which is no bad thing as the look from these Arri sensors is still universally admired and clearly a design priority for Arri.

You don’t have to shoot with the full sensor… you can crop down to a 16:9 UHD (3840 x 2160), but at 31.68mm wide, this is still a larger format than an S35 sensor, so many of your existing S35 lenses are likely to vignette at anything wider than around 35mm.  The only other option with S35 sized lenses is to use an image expender or crop the picture in post.  To cope with the large full frame sensor the Alexa LF comes with a new lens mount (conveniently called the LPL mount) and a standard PL-to-LPL adaptor.

Along with this new lens mount, Arri also announced a new range of compatible. large format Signature Prime lenses ranging from 12mm to 280mm at T1.8 and all fitted with the LPL mount.

 

So with the ability to record ARRIRAW or ProRes and with much compatibility to the existing Arri accessories, this camera looks set to be a favourite new tool for cinematographers and gives us all another full frame option.

Specs:

Camera Type Large Format (LF) digital camera with electronic viewfinder EVF-1 and built-in radios for ARRI Wireless Remote System, ARRI Wireless Video System and WiFi
Compatibility All current ARRI ALEXA accessories,

LPL lenses and PL lenses with PL-to-LPL adapter

Sensor Mode

LF Open Gate

36.70 x 25.54 mm

4448 x 3096, ø 44.71 mm

ARRIRAW: 0.75 – 90 fps,

ProRes: 0.75 – up to 60 fps

Sensor Mode

LF 16:9

31.68 x 17.82 mm

3840 x 2160, ø 36.35 mm

ARRIRAW: 0.75 – 90 fps,

ProRes: 0.75 – 60 fps

Sensor Mode

LF 2.39:1

36.70 x 15.31 mm

4448 x 1856, ø 39.76 mm

ARRIRAW: 0.75 – 150 fps,

ProRes: 0.75 – up to 100 fps

Shutter Electronic rolling shutter, 5.0º – 358.0º
Internal ND Filter One of 8 available Large Format Full Spectrum Neutral Density (LF FSND) filters can be inserted manually in front of the sensor (ND 0.3 to ND 2.4)
Exposure

Latitude

14+ stops
Exposure Index EI 800
Sound Level Sound level ≤ 20 db(A) while recording LF Open Gate ProRes 4.5 K 4444 @ 30 fps and ≤ +30° Celsius (≤ +86° Fahrenheit), measured 1 m/3 feet in front of the lens
Power In 11.5 to 34 V DC
Power Out 4x RS (24 V), 1x 12V (12 V), 1x EXT (24 V), 1x ETH (24 V)
Weight

(body + LPL)

7.8 kg/17.2 lbs.
Dimensions

(body + LPL)

L 364 mm/14.33”

W 201 mm/7.91”

H 158 mm/6.22”

Operating

Temperature

-20° C to +45° C (-4° F to +113° F)
Lens Mount 62 mm LPL mount (LDS-1, LDS-2 & /i)
Flange Focal Depth 44 mm
Recording

Codecs

ARRIRAW (.ari)

QuickTime/ProRes (422, 422 HQ, 4444 & 4444 XQ)

Recording

Resolutions

4.5K (sensor modes LF Open Gate and LF 2.39:1)

UHD (sensor mode LF 16:9)

2K (in-camera downscale in sensor mode LF 16:9)

HD (in-camera downscale in sensor mode LF 16:9)

Supported Media SxS PRO+ 256 GB (ProRes)

SXR Capture Drives 1 TB (ARRIRAW or ProRes)

SXR Capture Drives 2 TB (ARRIRAW or ProRes)

Monitor Outputs MON OUT 1a, 1b and 2: SDI 6G UHD or SDI 1.5G HD up to 30 fps.

MON OUT 3: SDI 1.5 G HD up to 30 fps, also wireless video

Anamorphic de-squeeze for 1.25x, 1.3x, 1.5x, 2x lens squeeze ratios

Image Processing 16 bit linear in ALEXA Wide Gamut/Log C color space

Target output color spaces: Log C, Rec 709 or Rec 2020

Supports ARRI Look File (ALF-2) with CDL values and a 3D LUT

3D LUTs available for SDR, HDR PQ and HDR HLG

Playback ARRIRAW or ProRes
Audio 1x XLR 5 pin AUDIO IN for 2 channels, line level

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