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Marc Wielage

New Alexa 4K Camera Announced

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Arri has finally introduced a 4K version of their popular Alexa camera.

visual_section_04_alexa_lf.jpg

Note they are quoting the exact same specs for audio and timecode as the original Alexa cameras. And for sound, note the noise levels:

 

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 

 

Industry reports have it that Arri finally yielded to requests from users who needed to provide original programming to Netflix, Amazon, and other services that demand 4K (or better) material. 

 

Details here:

https://www.arri.com/largeformat/

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Well 4,5k debayer is not 4k resolution. They should have done a 6k camera... But as Arri lovers (Deakins) stated "there is no need for 4k".

I hope they will make another sound test with RAW recording wich is THE thing. Balckmagic Ursa Mini also does  Prores...

See you with the Mini version.

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They're doing the minimum necessary (still reusing their 10yr old sensor!) so that they will be "Netflix Approved" (110% guaranteed this will happen), so that they can prevent RED/Sony/Panasonic from eating into Arri's market share as #1 on the high end. 

 

The good news for anyone looking to buy a camera: Arri Alexa Classics will be dropping even further in price on eBay over the next year or two as the Alexa LF is rolled out! (the Arri Alexa Classics are already going for sub $10K)

I bet in another year or two we will see an Alexa LF but in a Mini (ish) sized form factor, but likely with lower frame rates (maybe even as low as 4K 30fps). Because people have a big need for being able to use their cameras on gimbals, and just in general a lower weight for rigging. (this will keep the current Arri Alexa Mini owners for a while longer, as the Alexa Mini will keep on serving as a B cam next to the Alexa LF. Yes, even on some Netflix show! As Netflix allows a small percentage of non-approved cameras to make the cut)

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5 hours ago, daniel said:

Will sony venice being taking any alexa lunch?

No, maybe just a few crackers here and there.  It’s mostly rental house business and alexa is what productions ask for and although there is depreciation, it’s not as fast nor as extreme as Sony cine depreciation (F23, F35, F65) which can all be had for a small fraction of their purchase price now.  If I were an owner operator and shot my own work, Venice would probably be my first choice.

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8 hours ago, daniel said:

Will sony venice being taking any alexa lunch?


It was a strong play for the #1 spot by Sony with Arri "out of the game" for many shoots (such as Netflix commissioned shows which demand 4K), but now the Alexa LF is announced I think that puts potential Venice purchasers in a tough spot to decide between them, As people would rather buy into the "industry standard" which is Arri Alexa cameras than try something new. 

This is really bad news for many RED owners too. Because for a while RED had tied up the small form factor (very important once gimbals became popular) and the high resolution markets. Thus RED was making in roads in places such as those Netflix shows. 

One of the reasons Arri had to respond with their Mini, was because of the demand for smaller cameras and Arri couldn't let RED steal their lunch. 
Now Arri has got a response for 4K as well. (of course RED still has the market sown up for when you need both small AND high resolution at once, but that is only a matter of time until the Alexa Mini LF gets released in another 18 months or so. And until then a show can seamlessly mix together an Arri LF with a bit of Mini on a gimbal, as even Netflix allows a small portion of the final edit to be from a non-4K source)

 

 

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I don't understand to bother waiting for some eventual release of a Mini if RED has the best option out there?

Every Alexa fan is now releaved to see 4k written on the Alexa even if it won't produce 4k resolution. Pixel count VS resolution with bayern pattern you loose about 30% of actual amount of pixels. So If you shoot "open gate" (what ever this means) 4,5k x 0,7 you will have about 3.15K resolution at the end.

 

The fact is that their "better pixel" (what ever this means) theory is hidden behind their failure to make a higher pixel count sensor.

 

I love the industry and how it sets standards... But you are right, there is a huge pressure from the industry to kill other camera brands.

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3 hours ago, Patrick Tresch said:

I don't understand to bother waiting for some eventual release of a Mini if RED has the best option out there?

 


Is it though? Many people prefer the color science of Arri over RED. Others prefer the reliability and workflow of Arri over RED. And RED doesn't have the highlight roll off that Arri Alexa cameras have. 

It is easy to understand the reasons why people pick RED, and it is also not hard to understand why others prefer Arri. 

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But Arri doesn't have better colors, workflow nor DR. 

It's just another way of working that people don't want to bother to learn. 

 

(It's really not rocket science) 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Tom Visser said:

No, maybe just a few crackers here and there.  It’s mostly rental house business and alexa is what productions ask for and although there is depreciation, it’s not as fast nor as extreme as Sony cine depreciation (F23, F35, F65) which can all be had for a small fraction of their purchase price now.  If I were an owner operator and shot my own work, Venice would probably be my first choice.

Yeah, it is mostly about the rental companies and what hardware they want to risk the finance on. I think the 'Full Frame' look is here to stay though and a Venice is half the price of the Alexa LF. Perhaps Sony are not so ambitious about Venice in the EU and US markets but figure on doing good business closer to home? On paper it looks a pretty neat camera. In EU everyone seems to get cheap offers on Alexa rentals not sure if this has exported east though. 

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14 hours ago, Patrick Tresch said:

But Arri doesn't have better colors, workflow nor DR. 


Can you at least agree that some of these are subjective? 

A workflow that works for one person, might not work for another. 
One person might rate overall DR as most important, another might focus on the highlight roll off instead. 
The colors one person like, another might not. 

And these are just a few of the differences we might discuss of Arri vs RED, we could go on and on about other factors people will consider. 

In the end, both are very good camera brands (thus I pass no judgement on if a person goes with one or the other), and the differences between them is in the end (in the overall grand scheme of things in the universe) are just debating issues around the margins which can get pretty subjective and go either way. 

It is like some people here debating Schoeps or DPA or a Neumann microphone, they're all very fine microphones, and in the end we can find ourselves splitting hairs (in the grand scheme of things) and assessing them sometimes on quite subjective bases. And if one person prefers one over the other, no big deal. 

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:


Can you at least agree that some of these are subjective? 

A workflow that works for one person, might not work for another. 
One person might rate overall DR as most important, another might focus on the highlight roll off instead. 
The colors one person like, another might not. 

And these are just a few of the differences we might discuss of Arri vs RED, we could go on and on about other factors people will consider. 

In the end, both are very good camera brands (thus I pass no judgement on if a person goes with one or the other), and the differences between them is in the end (in the overall grand scheme of things in the universe) are just debating issues around the margins which can get pretty subjective and go either way. 

It is like some people here debating Schoeps or DPA or a Neumann microphone, they're all very fine microphones, and in the end we can find ourselves splitting hairs (in the grand scheme of things) and assessing them sometimes on quite subjective bases. And if one person prefers one over the other, no big deal. 

lenses more like microphones, cameras more like recorders - especially as you're buying into a system with a camera or recorder.

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I overheard that the new Alexa has two of the old Alexa chips turned on their sides, and stuck side by side!!!!! sb

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Kinda... that is the simplistic explanation. 
Of course they didn't literally put two sensors next to each other!
Rather they just cut out a bigger sensor from the wafer. 


This does however mean on a per pixel basis this new camera will perform exactly the same as all their previous cameras, which is an appealing factor for many people. As it is something they know well and trust. 
 

Also it means a relatively straightforward approach for Arri to jump onto the "4K bandwagon" (somewhere they've been sorely lacking, aside from the rental only Alexa 65), without Arri needing to first develop and test out their own brand new S35 4K sensor (which I'm sure they're doing! But this will give them a bit more breathing room, to have time to 110% perfect their new sensor before they launch it onto the market). 

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11 hours ago, IronFilm said:


Can you at least agree that some of these are subjective? 

A workflow that works for one person, might not work for another. 
One person might rate overall DR as most important, another might focus on the highlight roll off instead. 
The colors one person like, another might not. 

And these are just a few of the differences we might discuss of Arri vs RED, we could go on and on about other factors people will consider. 

In the end, both are very good camera brands (thus I pass no judgement on if a person goes with one or the other), and the differences between them is in the end (in the overall grand scheme of things in the universe) are just debating issues around the margins which can get pretty subjective and go either way. 

It is like some people here debating Schoeps or DPA or a Neumann microphone, they're all very fine microphones, and in the end we can find ourselves splitting hairs (in the grand scheme of things) and assessing them sometimes on quite subjective bases. And if one person prefers one over the other, no big deal. 

 

I fully agree. Spotted on.

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