ARRI is on a roll with the launch of yet another 4K camera, the Alexa SXT

by on March 21, 2015

Stephan Jukic – March 21, 2015

After very recently releasing its tiny Alexa Mini-4K compact 4K production camera and also releasing a unique and monstrously high resolution 6.5K professional video production camera a few months ago, video recording manufacturer Arri is at it again.

Their latest unveiling comes in the form of the new Alexa SXT, which stands for Super Xtended Technology, digital cinematography camera. The new device is more of an update to the company’s popular existing Alexa camera and offers in-camera recording of ProRes 4K for Ultra HD TV needs at a professional grade.

The Alexa SXT offers 4K UHD TV resolution shooting at 3840 x 2160 pixels and can also do ProRes 4K for the digital cinema Cinema Grade 4K specification of 4096 x 21637 pixels.

Glenn Kennel, CEO and president of ARRI recently spoke with Hollywood Reporter about his company’s latest video production machine and explained that the SXT incorporates the same 3.4K ALEV III sensor that has been used successfully by previous Alexa cameras. However, in this case, the sensor has given the SXT additional capabilities by utilizing some new hardware technology developed for ARRI Rental’s other recently developed camera the Alexa 65, which is an even more professional 6K version of this much lighter Alexa SXT.

Alexa 65 6K professional video production camera

The new ARRI Alexa SXT line of cameras will incorporate processing and color management technologies from the much more powerful Alexa 65 shown here

Kennel also explained that his company had the opportunity to take the innovative technology it had developed for the Alexa 65 and run with it by adding its parts into the Alexa SXT for some greatly improved performance. ARRI wanted to push their newest Alexa to its limits in terms of processing power and the hardware of the Alexa 65 allowed for that to be wonderfully possible.

Other updates to the new Alexa SXT include new color management abilities and three new independent HD-SDI outputs. These thus allow a videographer to use a Log C image to show a director on-set grading while a Rec 709 image can be shown on the camera’s onboard monitor with status information overlays and yet another Rec 709 image is sent elsewhere at the same time.

The ALEXA SXT isn’t going on sale quite yet however and will be first previewed next month at the NAB show with the first consumer market models only going on sale during the summer months of 2015.

The range of new Alexa SXTs will include the Alexa SXT EV, SXT PLUS and SXT Studio models of the main line. These will all be the replacements of the currently selling Alexa XT camera models. However, the Alexa Classic EV camera will remain in the lineup as the other XT models are replaced by these new SXT versions.

ARRI also announced that Alexa XT cameras bought by customers and shipped after January 1st but before the first shipments of the new SXT cameras will all be eligible for a free upgrade to their SXT counterparts.

Additionally, ARRI will also be offering an SXR (Super Xtended Recording) module upgrade to owners of its current Alexa XT, XT Plus and XT Studio cameras. This module is supposed to provide “all the features of the SXT cameras but without some of the future upgrade potential of a full SXT model in the hands.

The Super Xtended Technology system used in these latest Alexa cameras from ARRI was developed by Codex, with the same base technology as that used in the powerful, more expensive and professional 6K Alexa 65 camera.

At the NAB show next month, ARRI will also be displaying its Alexa Mini, which weighs in at just 5 pounds and is aimed at least partly at filmmakers who create video with the use of aerial drones.

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