What can you do to improve perfection? ARRI has just announced what many have been waiting for, a large-format 4K version of the ALEXA, and it looks very impressive indeed.
The ARRI ALEXA is regarded as one of, if not the best film production camera in the world today. Its sublime picture qualities has won over DP’s all over the world. But there is one aspect to the ALEXA that has caused some dubious decisions to be made in some circles. Not because the camera is bad by any stretch, but because some productions that wish to distribute on platforms such as Netflix have been refused acceptance because it has been shot on a camera, such as the pre-existing ALEXA, that doesn’t meet its stringent 4K standard.
It’s this sort of limited thinking and officiousness that could make ones blood boil. However, ARRI, a company that is renowned for only releasing something when it is fully mature and ready, has now stepped up to the plate and has announced what the film making world has been anticipating and wanting for some time. A large-format 4K version of the ALEXA, called the ALEXA LF.
Larger than full frame
The sensor on the LF is apparently slightly larger than full-frame, producing an image of 4448x3096 resolution in the LF Open Gate mode up to 90fps. ARRI has stated that the pixel size on the new LF remains similar to current cameras, and it is capable of up to 150fps in the LF 2.39:1 mode in the ARRIRAW format. As per existing ALEXA cameras, alongside the afforementioned ARRIRAW, the LF can record to ProRes format too, but at lower framerates, topping out at 100fps in the 2.39:1 mode.
ARRI's press release is refreshingly to the point, but what is certain is that we are now going to be seeing a lot more of the 'large-format look' in cinemas from now on. No doubt this aesthetic will start to influence filmmakers on lower budgets, and we could see more full frame style cameras trickling down the camera ranges as people demand larger sensors.
To complement the new camera, the company has also announced a new range of 16 Signature prime lenses, ranging in focal length from 12mm through to 280mm. All of them capable of T1.8 wide open, which could provide focus pullers with some skill busting testing depending on how cruel the DP or director feels!
New LPL lenses from ARRI promise smaller and lighter construction
The new lenses have been designed with character in mind, with a focus on ‘organic’ qualities, which ARRI claims to help the picture become more emotionally engaging.
In addition the new lenses feature the LPL format, which it is claimed allows lenses to be lighter, smaller, and faster, than the traditional PL system, but is also backwards compatible with existing PL lenses using an adaptor.
For more information the official ARRI press release follows on the next page. More information can also be found on the official website.