Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Arri Alexa - a film style digital camcorder

The Arri Alexa is a film-style digital motion picture camera system made by Arri first introduced in April 2010. The camera marked Arri's first major transition into digital cinematography after smaller previous efforts such as the Arriflex D-20 and D-21. 

It features modularity, PL mount lenses, and a Super 35 sized CMOS sensor shooting up to 2880 x 2160 resolution.

Arri Alexa being used during the shoot of Transformers 3

Hands-on reports say the Alexa’s controls are similar to a film camera and include FPS, shutter, EI, and WB (white balance). Buttons control the functions and an LCD display shows all the camera settings at once.

Arri offers the following models in its Alexa range:

The first camera of the Alexa product family. Introduced in April of 2010.

Alexa Plus
The ALEXA Plus adds integrated wireless remote control, the ARRI Lens Data System (LDS), additional outputs, lens synchronization for 3D, and built-in position and motion sensors.

Alexa Plus 4:3
The ALEXA Plus adds integrated wireless remote control, the ARRI Lens Data System (LDS), additional outputs, lens synchronization for 3D, and built-in position and motion sensors and a 4:3 sensor making it ideal for anamorphic cinematography.

Alexa M
The Alexa M has its imaging and processing unit broken down in two parts to be small, compact and leightweight for 3D rigs and other uses where size is a concern.

Alexa Studio
The Alexa Studio features an optical viewfinder, mechanical shutter, and a 4:3 sensor making it ideal for anamorphic cinematography.

For full features of the above cameras check out the Alexa page on the Arri website.


The ARRI Alexa platform is aimed squarely at the RED ONE digital camera, itself already well established in the movie industry. RED digital cameras have been used by directors such as Steven Soderbergh, and on feature movies including Angels & Demons. ARRI has designed the Alexa for shooting feature movies, television dramas, and commercials.


Popular Film and TV series shot with Arri Alexa

Popular TV series Game of Thrones was shot with the Arri Alexa

2010: Upstairs, Downstairs, Anno 1790 (TV), Rosario

2011: Final Destination 5, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Hugo, Prom, Game of Thrones (TV), Melancholia, Fringe season 4 (TV), The Three Musketeers, Doctor Who (TV), Jack and Jill, How to make it in America (TV), Once Upon a Time(TV)

2012: The Avengers, Life of Pi. Bel-Ami, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Gravity, The Gangster Squad, Skyfall, World War Z, This is Forty, Rock of Ages, The Dictator

In Bollywood, Tigmanshu Dhulia directed Sahib, Biwi aur Gangster (2011) became the first Bollywood film to be shot on Arri Alexa.

Better than Film?
According to cinematographer Roger Deakins, the Alexa’s tonal range, color space and latitude exceed the capabilities of film. Also, in terms of speed, resolution and clarity of image, the Alexa produces a better image than film cameras. "[T]his camera has brought us to a point where digital is simply better”, says Deakins.


Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre modern noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD and Netflix through Vanguard Cinema (, and is currently
debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.


***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
version of David Lynch. " IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque

Max Pearson said...

Can I ask a question?

If the Arri Alexa is so good, would you recommend getting one for a studio that's going to shoot lots of stock footage, or would the quality be too high for most productions?

It could be a really good investment for the studio I work for, but on the other hand, we have to produce stock footage of a quality that everyone else will be able to blend into their productions.

custom stickers said...

I like Alexa because its specially designed to shoot feature films on large screen.

Anonymous said...

We have used Arri Alexa at our production studio and used it on loads of stock footage. We've never had any complaints or alike from any clients. Its seems to blend in well.

Videvo said...

What are the prices for this kind of equipment?

Would it be able to record in quality high enough to be used for stock video to sell on?

Shashank Sharma said...

Thanks for sharing this post for us, it is really interesting.
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