A new add on for the Arri Alexa digital cinema camera will turn it into a live studio or OB camera, giving broadcasters the option of a more cinematic, shallow-depth-of-field, higher dynamic range look to their live productions. Alexa and Alexa Plus users will have to fit the Alexa Fibre Remote option (a box costing €10,000) and a software upgrade. It also requires: a Telecast Fiber Systems’ CopperHead SMPTE 311M fibre interface, which includes a camera unit, base station, power adapter and remote control panel; plus a camera monitor. But new buyers will also be able to save themselves about €20,000 if they don’t need the Alexa’s SxS recording module, viewfinder and Arriraw capability (all of which can be added later), so a live fibre-equipped Alexa will cost no more than a conventional studio or OB camera (€40,000 plus CopperHead and monitor). The additions will allow users live control of most camera parameters (iris, white balance, black level, gamma, black gamma, knee, gain, detail and shutter) from the broadcast control panel, and were developed following requests from broadcasters shooting primetime music shows who wanted to have a more filmic look. Arri’s Director of Business Development, Milan Krsljanin, expects it to appeal to other high-profile productions, such as chat shows that want to attract the biggest Hollywood stars and make them look as good as they do on the big screen. “This is not a camera for sports. It’s for programmes that want to reach new heights in terms of quality and the look,” said Krsljanin. For the full movie-style production, the Alexa would be used with PL-mount lenses, but it can also be fitted with or B4 broadcast lenses by using an adapter. However, you would lose two stops in this case, but as the Alexa already offers more than two stops better sensitivity than a typical 2/3-inch camera this shouldn’t matter for many productions. The Alexa can offers both progressive and interlaced modes, up to 1080/60 (3Gbps). However, this higher sensitivity and dynamic range could be the key attraction for many productions, and was why four fibre-equipped Alexas were used alongside conventional cameras in Paris to shoot a Coldplay concert last month, to capture the full range of lighting effects without any burnout on the performer’s faces. – David Foxwww.arri.de
A new add on for the Arri Alexa digital cinema camera will turn it into a live studio or OB camera, giving broadcasters the option of a more cinematic, shallow-depth-of-field, higher dynamic range look to their live productions.