Arri Launches the Alexa LF Large-Format Camera System

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Fri, 02/02/2018 - 13:30 -- Nick Dager

Arri today unveiled the Alexa LF camera, which is based on a large-format 4K version of the Alexa sensor. The new camera is part of a system that also includes, Arri Signature Prime lenses, LPL lens mount, and PL-to-LPL adapter. It is also compatible with existing lenses, accessories, and workflows.

Arri today unveiled the Alexa LF camera, which is based on a large-format 4K version of the Alexa sensor. Featuring a sensor slightly bigger than full frame, the Alexa LF records native 4K. Filmmakers can explore a large-format aesthetic while retaining the sensor’s natural colorimetry, pleasing skin tones and proven suitability for high dynamic range and WCG workflows. Versatile recording formats, including efficient ProRes and uncompressed, unencrypted ArriRaw up to 150 fps, provide total flexibility.

“The larger Alexa LF sensor has the same optimal pixel size as other Alexas, resulting in a 4448 x 3096 image,” said Marc Shipman-Mueller, Arri product manager for camera systems. “This doesn’t just add definition, it creates a whole new look—one that is truly immersive, with a three-dimensional feel. The various recording formats and sensor modes make this look available to all productions and satisfy any possible deliverable requirement.”

Accompanying the Alexa LF camera are 16 large-format Arri Signature Prime lenses, ranging from 12 mm to 280 mm and fitted with the Arri LPL mount. While the Signature Primes exemplify state-of-the-art optical precision, they render organic, emotionally engaging images, gently softening and texturizing the large format. A fast T-stop of T1.8 facilitates shallow depth of field and the smooth focus fall-off gives subjects heightened presence in the frame.

Thorsten Meywald, Arri product manager for optical systems said, “The Arri Signature Prime lenses are incredibly lightweight and robust, due to the magnesium lens barrels. They also feature LDS-2, Arri’s next-generation Lens Data System. What has impressed cinematographers most, however, is the look. Skin tones are rendered beautifully and kindly, while all the detail of landscapes can be captured. Our focus was on the emotional impact of images, creating unique and pleasing bokeh both in the foreground and background.”

“As always, we want to make sure that our customers get the best possible return on their investments in Arri equipment,” said Stephan Schenk, managing director of Arri Cine Technik and responsible for the business unit camera systems. “Providing compatibility with existing lenses, camera accessories, workflows, Arri Look Files, lens metadata, and software tools makes it easier for crews to work with Alexa LF on set and for rental houses to incorporate it into their inventories. We think the system sets a new standard for the future, but it also minimizes redundancies and leaves no one behind.”

The first Alexa LF cameras will be shipped at the end of March. The initial set of four Signature Prime lenses (35 mm, 47 mm, 75 mm, and 125 mm) will be shipped in early June. The remaining lenses will be available over the course of the year.