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NAB 2012: Arri launches Alexa Plus 4×3

14 April 2012
NAB 2012: Arri launches Alexa Plus 4x3

Arri is to bring out a fifth version of its Alexa digital cinema camera, this time sporting a full 35mm sensor with 4×3 aspect ratio, writes Adrian Pennington. Arri has also partnered with Zeiss to develop and market a new series of anamorphic lenses. The Arri Alexa Plus 4×3 will be presented at NAB on Monday when pricing and availability will be revealed. The model will be slightly more expensive than the existing Alexa Plus, which features a 16×9 sensor, according to Arri’s Business Develpoment Manager, Milan Krsljanin. "The market was requesting an Alexa with a 4×3 aspect ratio, exactly the same as 35mm 4 perf film or open gate,” said Krsljanin. “Alexa Plus 4×3 will contain the same chip as that in the Alexa Studio but in a lighter model for handheld and shoulder work (the Alexa Studio has an optical viewfinder and rotating mirror shutter while the new camera has a lighter electronic viewfinder). It will work as a B camera alongside the Alexa Studio or as an A camera in its own right on lower budget productions.” The camera manufacturer will also reveal a collaboration with Zeiss on a new series of anamorphic lenses and will show a concept model at NAB. In addition, it will introduce a ProRes 2K codec to the Alexa line just after NAB giving productions the ability to record images for editing in Final Cut Pro, alongside the existing ability to edit in Avid using the DNxHD codec. “Alexa is now a camera with two codecs – DNxHD and ProRes and no camera to my knowledge has two codecs inside,” said Krsljanin. “We also have two flavours (of codec) – one for 16×9 and one for 4×3 aspect ratio. That is great news because Alexa owners can move between jobs needing 2K resolution and those requiring HD with ease. The choice of option is unmatched.” The company will unveil tests that are claimed to enhance the quality of images taken from Arri RAW files and upscaled to 4K, an enhancement which will be in a future release of the Alexa’s software. “There are complaints in the industry about all the new camera models and recording formats being brought to market,” said Krsljanin. “Owners of cameras are concerned that they cannot amortise their investment and crave for a period of stability. They are hoping Arri and its tradition of producing product with long life cycles can help. "With the Alexa you have a camera which is built to last and remains at the cutting edge with new software upgrades and modules. If you look at the original Alexa and the Alexa with version 6.0 software today and the amount of new features and functionality, you could really say that these are two different cameras.”
 Arri’s Alexa M (pictured) will begin shipping after NAB with orders already taken in the UK among key rental houses such as Top Teks. C6737


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