As of today, ARRI has officially unveiled its new ALEXA 35. We had already mused about the 17 stops announced in advance - and now we can also announce the full technical specifications.
New ALEV 4 CMOS sensor with high dynamic range
The exciting centerpiece of the new camera is the all-new ALEV 4 CMOS sensor, ARRI&s first to accommodate true 4K resolution on an S35 sensor surface - enabling it to meet Netflix&s required 4K production standards with a Super35 camera. According to ARRI&s own (and in the past rather conservatively measured) data, the new sensor can image a dynamic range of around 17 f-stops. If these values are confirmed, the Alexa 35 will be a new reference for cine cameras - and will also outperform all of ARRI&s own S35 camera models by 2.5 f-stops.
Despite the significantly higher dynamic range, the new photodiodes are only about half the size of the ALEV 3 sensor and have an edge length of 6,075µm. This translates to a total resolution of 4,608 x 3,164 sensels with a 28mm wide usable sensor area.
Recording is either uncompressed in ARRIRAW or compressed in Apple ProRes 4444 (XQ) and 422 HQ on an SSD removable cartridge (Codex Compact Drive), currently available in 1TB or 2TB. Only with the 2TB drive can the maximum ARRIRAW data rates of the ALEX35 be recorded at the moment. Audio is always recorded with up to four channels in Linear PCM (24 bit, 48 kHz).
Up to 4,096 horizontal pixels the new sensor can be read out with max 120 fps, at full sensor width (4,608 pixels) a maximum of 75 fps (in ARRIRAW) or 60 fps (in ProRes) is currently possible. The following table provides an overview of all formats:
For anamorphic recording, the following squeeze factors are supported: 1.00, 1.25, 1.30, 1.33, 1.50, 1.65, 1.80, 1.85, 2.00.
Reveal Color Science
With the new sensor, ARRI is also launching a new Color Science: based on the new ARRI Wide Gamut AWG4 with LogC4. It promises even more subtle and accurate color reproduction, lifelike reproduction of all skin tones, and significantly improved saturated colors (e.g., stoplights or neon signs) for the cine future.
The AWG4 is slightly larger than the REC2020, but covers fewer "virtual colors" than the ACES APO. The smaller gaps thus cover the visible color space more effectively. Corresponding LUTs from AWG4/LogC4 to various other color spaces have been supplied by ARRI from the beginning.
The ALEXA 35 also introduces a type of image profile in the form of so-called textures. Different contrast and sharpness presets can be selected or defined to control the reproduction of details. Arri speaks in reference to the different grain of analog film material here of a choice of "digital film material".
Connections and Power
For external image output and preview, there are two SDI outputs (2x 12G SDI (BNC) 422 1.5G HD, 422 3G HD, 444 3G HD, 422 6G UHD, 422 12G UHD, 444 12G UHD) and two VF custom CoaXPress connectors for MVF-2 viewfinders on the Alexa 35 - which, by the way, is smaller and lighter at 2.9 kg compared to the older Alexa. False Color, Zoom, Aperture and Color Peaking are available as adjustment aids.
The remaining interfaces cover the following connections:
1x LBUS (LEMO 4-pin) for optical motors (daisy chainable)
1x SERIAL (LEMO 4-pin) for distance measurement tools
1x TC (LEMO 5-pin) for time code in/out
1x ETH (LEMO 10-pin) for remote control and service
1x SYNC IN (BNC) for genlock synchronization
1x RET IN (BNC, switchable to SDI 2)
1x USB-C for user setups, look files etc.
1x Rear Interface (18-pin Pogo)
1x Top Interface (5-pin Pogo)
1x AUDIO (LEMO 6-pin) for Balanced Stereo Line-In
(With the Audio Extension Module AEM-1 there are additionally 3x XLR connectors (MIC/Line, +48 V, AES)
1x 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack (via MVF-2)
In addition, the Alexa 35 has two built-in microphones, but they are only for "scratch audio". Furthermore, Wifi hardware (IEEE 802.11b/g) is already built in.