ARRI ALEXA LF 4.6K Camera: Larger Format, Lighter Design

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

With a smaller form factor that doesn’t compromise sensor size, the ARRI ALEXA LF gives us a lighter footprint, and 4.5K from edge to edge.

“The larger Alexa LF sensor has the same optical pixel size as other Alexas, resulting in a 4448×3096 image,” said Marc Shipman-Mueller, ARRI’s product manager for camera systems, in a prepared statement. “This doesn’t just add definition, it creates a whole new look — one that is truly immersive, with a three-dimensional feel.”

Designed to fit in between the large format 6.5K image of the ALEXA 65 and the lighter ALEXA SXT W, the LF camera design borrows from both camera architectures to achieve something that ARRI says creates a “whole new immersive look.”

Upscaling their existing ALEXA sensor technology, ARRI has boosted its real estate to 36.70×25.54mm, which is slightly larger than their full frame SXT image sensor. In Open Gate mode, the ALEXA LF sensor will be able to capture a native resolution of 4448×3096, plus just a hair under 4K for 16:9 widescreen. The LF sensor will also be able to shoot 2.39:1 at 4448×1856, plus smaller resolutions of ProRes 2K (2048×1152) or ProRes HD (1920×1080).

Capable of capturing more than 14 stops of dynamic range, the ALEXA LF also comes with eight FSND filters. The filters are manually inserted and offer an exposure latitude ranging from ND 0.3-2.4.  For higher frame rates, the ALEXA LF can capture up to 150fps, when shooting in 2.39-1 mode in ARRIRaw. In Open Gate Mode, the camera will top out at 90fps while shooting Raw. For ProRes, users will need to shoot at either 16:9 or open gate, and if using SxS Pro+ cards, should be able to get up to 60 fps high frame rate.

The system also includes a new lens mount called LPL, which promises a wider diameter and shorter flange focal length. This new design can support smaller, more lightweight lenses, which can be beneficial when shooting out in the field for documentaries.  ARRI plans to not only retrofit other models in their line to house the LPL mount, but to make the mounting technology available for third party licensing. There’s also plans for a PL to LPL mount adapter for Super 35mm applications.

Other features include:

  • Large Format 4K ALEVIII Sensor (from the ALEXA family)
  • Compatible with Full-Frame Lenses, incl. New ARRI Signature Primes at T1.8 (mostly)
  • Sensor is slightly bigger than 35mm full-frame
  • Familiar ALEXA SXT family body design
  • 4K ProRes recording options
  • ARRIRAW at 150fps
  • SxS or SXR Capture Drives depending on configuration
  • Netflix/Amazon and other UHD/4K deliverables compliant
  • New LPL mount for large format lenses
  • Compatible with S35 lenses
  • Wi-Fi enabled with ARRI  5GHz Wireless Video System

Cost for the ARRI ALEXA LF, including SxS Card mounts and Viewfinder will be just under $93,000 USD (€74,000) . With the full set of LF FSND Filters and a 2TB SXR Capture drive it tops out at around $121K (97,200€). ARRI expects to ship in March, 2018. Learn more: https://www.arri.com/largeformat

Hat Tip – 4KS

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About James DeRuvo 604 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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