Today, Arri announced their new ALEXA XT (Xtended Technology) cameras, featuring in-camera recording of ARRIRAW up to 120fps. The SxS card module on the side of the ALEXA cameras is being replaced by an XR (Xtended Recording) recording module, which accepts new high performance Codex XR Capture Drive media. The ALEXA XT, ALEXA XT M, ALEXA XT Plus and ALEXA XT Studio will replace all of the current ALEXA camera models, with the exception of the original base ALEXA model for legacy clients. Current ALEXA owners will be able to purchase upgrades for their cameras to most of the XT line capability.
The new XR Module will allow recording of ARRIRAW up to 120fps in 16:9 and up to 96fps in 4:3 on the ALEXA cameras with the larger sensor. The Codex Capture Drives can be configured to record ARRIRAW, ProRes or DNxHD. At 512GB, when recording at 24fps, the Codex memory can hold 55 minutes of ARRIRAW, 2.1 hours of ProRes 4444, or about 3 hours of ProRes 422HQ or DNxHD 220. There will also be an adapter for the XR Module to allow the use of standard SxS cards to capture ProRes and DNxHD, just as on the current ALEXAs. The XR Module physically expands the camera body a mere 8mm.
Codex Capture Drives can be downloaded using the Codex Vault, Codex Capture Drive Transfer Station or the Codex Capture Drive Dock. The Codex Vault is a complete portable data station with its own touch screen interface for data cloning, dailies and deliverables creation and even LTO-5 backup generation. The Codex Capture Drive Transfer Station is a dual dock that connects to a Mac Pro over a high speed SAS interface for cloning, archiving and dailies creation. The Codex Capture Drive Dock allows fast copying of the ARRIRAW data from a Capture Drive onto a computer over USB 3.0, along with transcoding for dailies. Codex devices can be used as simple data storage and transfer devices, or take advantage of the Codex Virtual File System (VFS) to manage all data and create any output necessary within the Codex system.
The entire line of ALEXA cameras is being revamped with the XT models. With the exception of the legacy base model ALEXA, the new cameras will all include the XR Recording Module, a full 4:3 sensor (2880×2160), LDS lens data pins at both 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions, a quieter cooling fan, and improved viewfinder bracketry that includes lightweight 15mm rods above the lens. There is also an In-Camera Filter Module, which uses magnets to place the new ARRI IRND filters behind the lens, directly in front of the camera’s sensor. With the added capabilities of the ALEXA XT cameras, the anamorphic de-squeeze and 120fps high speed licenses will now be included.
You can also read more about the new ALEXA XT models on Jon Fauer’s Film & Digital Times.