By George Leon

On Tuesday April 6, I was invited to the DGA theater complex  in Hollywood for the ARRI pre-NAB Showcase featuring the newest addition to their digital camera line, the anticipated ALEXA. Following their motto "it's not just another digital camera, it's an ARRI",  Volk Banehmann, CEO of ARRI USA presented the camera to an sold-out audience,  emphasizing the technological advances integrated into the camera and gave warm thanks to the audience after announcing he is steeping down as CEO of ARRI USA and CSC and passing the torch to Glen Kennel who holds the post of Chief Technology Officer.

  James Mather, Volk Bahnemann, Jon Fauer, ASC

 As a highlight of the evening Fujinon also announced the introduction of two news lenses made specially for the ALEXA camera, the Arri-Fujinon Alura Zooms, a 18-80 T2.6 and a 45-250 T2.6. The evening went along with a presentation of the ALEXA specs and several video clips shot in different lighting conditions demonstrating ALEXA's  picture perfect quality and extended latitude range. 

David Darby, ASC, Bill Bennett, ASC and Chauncy Cummings,
FotoKem. Bill used the ALEXA camera and ARRI
lenses to shot a comparison test in an actual Honda TV spot
shoot.The clip was shot  downtown Los Angeles and it was of
superb quality and excellent color reproduction.

ALEXA's Super 35 format CMOS Bayer sensor exhibits a cinematic, shallow depth of field with a base sensitivity of EI 800, low noise and an unsurpassed dynamic range of 13.5 stops and allows the use of all 35mm PL mount lenses. The sensor's 3.5K pixel count delivers an optimum in image sharpness, sensitivity and latitude for HD (1920 X 1080) and 2K DI workflows.

 The ALEXA camera with the 45-50 T 2.6 ARRI Fujinon Alura lens

 The camera touted as " the most advanced digital camera system with the highest dynamic range and sensitivy on the market" can simultaneously record Apple QuickTime/ProRes files, output uncompressed HD video and uncompressed ARRIRAW data onto on-board SxS memory cards.  Also,  ALEXA  internal recorder encodes ProRes 422 (HQ) or ProRes 444 images, along with audio, metadata and Final Cut Pro (FCP) XML files. These files load directly into FCP for editing, coloring and finishing work. 

 An advantage to other systems is ALEXA' s easy upgrade to the module that holds the memory cards, which  is removable and  the camera electronics module which comprise the whole right side of the camera and  can also be removed and replaced by upgraded electronics with advanced features. 

 The public milling around around the ALEXA and
discussing it's features

 Although the camera weights 15 lbs. with bracket and
viewfinder - excluding the lens, it felt balanced and
comfortable on my shoulder.

Chuck Lee, Fujinon Inc, Technology Manager

Bill Russel, ARRI V.P Camera Products.

 Nancy Schreiber ASC, George Leon SOC, Douglas Knapp, SOC

Alexa 3D rig

 For more information about ALEXA,  read these past postings in FILMCASTLive! or experience the camera and other ARRI products at the NABShow in Las Vegas or visit the ARRI website.

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