Software Update Packet 7.0.2 (7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras

ALEXA
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras
R E L E A S E
Date: 30 January 2013
N O T E S
A. Introduction
Dear Customers,
We are happy to be able to tell you that Software Update Packet (SUP) 7.0.2 is now available for
download. This important SUP fixes two bugs that have so far prevented the use of the full
functionality of SUP 7.0. We took these issues very seriously and therefore had to run the software
through special testing. We really appreciate your patience over these last weeks.
Equally important, this release concerns all ALEXA cameras that were shipped starting January 2013.
From this time on, all new cameras are equipped with slightly modified electronics that require new control
software. The new control software was first included in an internal SUP 7.0.1, which is now superseded by
SUP 7.0.2. Please note that none of the new cameras can be downgraded to previous SUP versions.
Features Overview
ALEXA Software Update Packet (SUP) 7.x brings important new features, improvements to the image
quality, and optimizations to the user experience. ProRes 2K recording in the 16:9 and the 4:3 aspect ratio.
• ProRes 2K recording in the 16:9 and the 4:3 aspect ratio (including critical bug fixes)
• New and improved in-camera de-bayering (ADA-3 HW)
• New and improved in-camera high speed de-bayering (including critical bug fixes)
• Redesigned status display on EVF and MON OUT
• Simplified camera menus
• Clone monitor out option for REC OUT
• Low Contrast Curve (LCC) look file included as part of the SUP
• Added support for new Controlled Lens Motor CLM-4
• 3D sync now available on all ALEXA M without license key
The following pages provide a detailed description of new features and changes, a list of known issues and
instructions for upgrading. Please take some time to read through this document and familiarize yourself
with the update.
Update Recommendation
SUP 7.0.2 is an updated and enhanced version of SUP 7.0 and contains several critical bug fixes –
installation is therefore strongly recommended. The update is available for immediate download and
unrestricted use on the basic ALEXA, ALEXA Plus, ALEXA Plus 4:3, ALEXA M and ALEXA Studio.
Downgrading
All cameras that are delivered running SUP 7.0.1 or later cannot be downgraded to prior SUP releases.
Doing so will disable parts of the image processing and cause the camera to output no image. It is possible
to update back to SUP 7.0.2 using the regular upgrade procedure described at the end of this document.
OTHER ALEXA cameras, that were delivered running a SUP before 7.0.1 can still be downgraded. We do,
however, recommend to always update the cameras to the latest release version, as they generally include
more features and bug fixes or improvements to previous versions.
If you want to downgrade an ALEXA, but are not sure if it can be downgraded, please contact an ARRI
service center for assistance.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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Table of Contents
A. Introduction .................................................................................................................. 2
Features Overview ................................................................................................... 2
Update Recommendation ......................................................................................... 2
Downgrading ............................................................................................................ 2
B. New Features ................................................................................................................ 5
Equipment/Accessories Supported .......................................................................... 5
CLM-4 Support .................................................................................................... 5
General ..................................................................................................................... 5
Imaging ..................................................................................................................... 5
Sensor Readout Size for ProRes 2K Recording ................................................. 5
Image Processing/Look Files ................................................................................... 5
New Standard Speed Debayering Algorithm ....................................................... 5
New High Speed Debayering Algorithm .............................................................. 5
Low Contrast Curve ............................................................................................. 5
SxS Onboard Recording ........................................................................................... 5
ProRes 2K recording ........................................................................................... 5
Outputs ..................................................................................................................... 6
MON OUT clone .................................................................................................. 6
Inputs ........................................................................................................................ 6
Electronic Viewfinder and/or MON OUT ................................................................... 6
Status Display on EVF and MON OUT ............................................................... 6
ARRI 1.85 2K DCI Frame Line ............................................................................ 6
Metadata/Time Code ................................................................................................ 7
External Time Code ............................................................................................. 7
Lens Metadata ..................................................................................................... 7
Remote Control/3D ................................................................................................... 7
3D on ALEXA M .................................................................................................. 7
User Interface ........................................................................................................... 7
GUI Homescreen and Menus Updates ............................................................... 7
Accessories Behavior ............................................................................................... 7
Service/Manufacturing .............................................................................................. 7
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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C. Known Issues ............................................................................................................... 8
Accessories .............................................................................................................. 8
ALEXA M .................................................................................................................. 8
ALEXA Studio ........................................................................................................... 8
Audio ........................................................................................................................ 9
EVF/MON OUT ......................................................................................................... 9
EVF ......................................................................................................................... 10
Firmware update ..................................................................................................... 10
Frame grab ............................................................................................................. 10
Framelines .............................................................................................................. 10
High speed ............................................................................................................. 10
Imaging ................................................................................................................... 10
Metadata ................................................................................................................. 11
REC OUT/MON OUT ............................................................................................. 11
SD card ................................................................................................................... 11
Sync ........................................................................................................................ 12
Test signal .............................................................................................................. 13
Timecode ................................................................................................................ 13
Usability .................................................................................................................. 13
User setup .............................................................................................................. 15
Workflow ................................................................................................................. 15
D. Updating Instructions ................................................................................................ 16
Download and Registration Process ...................................................................... 16
How to get a Software Update Package ................................................................. 16
Camera Update Procedure via SD Card ................................................................ 16
Precautions ....................................................................................................... 16
Preparing the SD Card ...................................................................................... 16
Performing the Update ...................................................................................... 17
Camera Update Procedure using a Web Browser on your Computer .................... 17
How to connect ALEXA to a computer .............................................................. 17
Performing the Update ...................................................................................... 18
Updating an Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1 .............................................................. 18
Updating the V-Mount Top/Back Battery Adapter with a Computer ....................... 18
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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B. New Features
Equipment/Accessories Supported
CLM-4 Support
All ALEXA models with integrated motor drivers for ARRI Controlled Lens Motors will support the compact
and powerful CLM-4 in addition to CLM-2 and CLM-3. As for CLM-3, the motor torque is adjustable for
smoother operation of lens rings with more resistance.
General
No changes.
Imaging
Sensor Readout Size for ProRes 2K Recording
When the camera is switched from HD to 2K resolution in-camera recording, the size of the captured frame
changes slightly. This is necessary, so the debayering can work with an optimized downscale factor and
deliver the best possible 2K image quality.
• Recording ARRIRAW 16:9, HD-Video, ProRes HD and DNxHD uses
2880 x 1620 photosites with a frame size of 23.76 x 13.365 mm.
• ProRes 2K 16:9 uses 2868 x 1612 photosites (23.661 x 13.299 mm).
• ARRIRAW 4:3 uses 2880 x 2160 photosites (23.76 x 17,82 mm).
• ProRes 2K 4:3 uses 2868 x 2150 photosites (23.661 x 17,738 mm).
When recording ARRIRAW and ProRes 2K in parallel, it is important to note, that the ARRIRAW frame
holds a few more columns and lines of pixels. This is taken into account in the latest release of our
ARRIRAW SDK, where the user can select, which ARRIRAW frame size will be used to create a 2K image.
Image Processing/Look Files
New Standard Speed Debayering Algorithm
ADA-3 HW, a new and improved debayering and downscale algorithm is now available for all ALEXA
models. The new algorithm produces cleaner high contrast edges and crisp fine detail, which results in
sharper images. The camera uses ADA-3 HW for HD-SDI, ProRes and DNxHD output at up to 60 fps.
Note: The ARRIRAW Converter and ARRIRAW SDK, in addition provide ADA-3 SW, a more sophisticated
software version of the new algorithm.
New High Speed Debayering Algorithm
The high speed algorithm provides the same overall image characteristics as the regular speed algorithm.
It is active for HD-SDI monitoring and ProRes or DNxHD recording at 60 to 120 fps. The new version
improves the rendition of flat color fields and delivers a cleaner overall image.
Please note: In certain situations, saturated objects with little or no texture may exhibit a faint checkered
pattern in the red and blue color channel. This effect was clearly visible in the previous SUP and has now
been greatly reduced.
Low Contrast Curve
The LCC ARRI Look File is now distributed as part of the SUP and always available in the camera menu,
even after a factory reset.
SxS Onboard Recording
ProRes 2K recording
Recording 2K resolution to the camera storage module is only possible in one of the QuickTime ProRes
codecs. ProRes recording in HD and 2K resolution put very similar requirements on the recording media. A
64 GB SxS Pro card allows recording up to 60 fps in the 16:9 aspect ratio and up to 48 fps in the 4:3 aspect
ratio. It will hold approx. 19 minutes of ProRes 2K 4:3 and approx. 25 minutes in 16:9. ProRes 2K recording
is not available in high speed mode (60 to 120 fps).
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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Outputs
MON OUT clone
The REC OUT can optionally be set to show a cloned output from MON OUT. This is the forced behavior in
high speed mode since SUP 6.1 and can now optionally be activated for all other sensor and recording
resolution configurations in regular speed mode.
The "MON OUT clone" option can be found at MENU > Recording > REC OUT > HD-SDI format.
Sensor mode
SxS resolution
REC OUT options
4:3
2K
ARRIRAW (default)
MON OUT clone
–
16:9
2K
ARRIRAW
MON OUT clone (default)
–
16:9
HD
ARRIRAW
MON OUT clone
HD-Video (default)
Inputs
No changes.
Electronic Viewfinder and/or MON OUT
Status Display on EVF and MON OUT
The status display in the electronic viewfinder and the MON OUT image has been redesigned.
New icons indication the SxS recording resolution, screen grab, RET IN active, the settings/functions for
MON OUT, EVF and which output shows an image with applied look file are now grouped by function and
moved to both sides of the MON OUT image. The main status info remains in place.
In 16:9 sensor mode, the camera image is scaled to fit inside the status info border. In 4:3 sensor mode, a
few lines on top and bottom of the camera image are covered by translucent status info bars.
Please note: When activated, the electronic horizon, the LDS info or the reel and clip number extend into
the camera image in all sensor modes.
ARRI 1.85 2K DCI Frame Line
The maximum frame size of a 2K DCI-compliant image is 2048 x 1080 pixels. The frame size captured with
an ALEXA in 2K recording mode is 2048 x 1152 pixels with the sensor set to 16:9 and 2048 x 1536 pixels
with the sensor set to 4:3, which offers room for vertical repositioning and which enables cropping out 2K
material in any aspect ratio for digital cinema release from the camera footage.
A 1.85:1 aspect ratio is a special case, because it is too tall to fill the full width of the digital cinema 2K
container. The 1.85:1 2K frame size is 1998 x 1080 pixels. There are two options to get to this format and
each way requires the DP to use a special frame line.
• Use the full captured image width, scale down the image to 1998 width and cut off a few lines on top
and bottom to get to 1080 height. This option requires using the "ARRI 1.85:1" frame line.
• Cut the 1998 x 1080 frame out of the 2048 x 1152 captured image. Because of the slightly tighter field
of view, this option requires using the "ARRI 1.85 2K DCI" frame line (only available for 2K recording).
For more information, please read the "ProRes 2K in Editorial White Paper", which can be downloaded
from our website at http://www.arri.de/alexa/downloads.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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Metadata/Time Code
External Time Code
The camera will no longer REGEN or JAM time code while it is recording, as this was suspected to have
caused single underexposed frames.
Lens Metadata
The lens metadata is now recorded/output as both raw lens encoder information and interpreted LDS
information. The interpreted lens data is delayed by 1 frame.
Remote Control/3D
3D on ALEXA M
3D sync features are now available without license key on all ALEXA M cameras.
User Interface
GUI Homescreen and Menus Updates
• Sensor mode (16:9 and 4:3), SxS/ProRes recording resolution and remaining recording time are now
indicated on the camera menu's home screen.
• The color settings "DCI P3" and "Film Matrix On" were removed.
• "Vari Flag" and "SDI Rec Flag" were removed as options and are now permanently enabled.
• The "Electronic level" option was renamed to "Electronic horizon".
• The "Tropical" sensor temperature setting was renamed to "High humidity".
• A progress bar now indicates the remaining time for switching between regular and high speed mode.
• The WNA-1 menu was removed.
• The RUN beeper indicates when the camera has reached speed.
• The Project menu was extended to show sensor mode (16:9 or 4:3), SxS resolution (2K or HD) in
addition to active codec, project frame rate, camera index, next reel count and production info.
• It is now possible to enter upper- and lower case characters for all user-created items (e.g. user setup).
• One additional USER button. Pressing the jog wheel opens the edit menu.
• New USER button options for:
o "MON OUT look" on/off
o "EVF look" on/off
o "Color Bars" on MON OUT and REC OUT
o "Grab GUI" to store a .png of the current menu screen (use operator side buttons 1-3)
o "Mirror shutter" to leave the shutter spinning or stop in VIEW or GATE position when stopping the
recording (ALEXA Studio only)
Accessories Behavior
No changes.
Service/Manufacturing
No changes.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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C. Known Issues
This is a list of known issues for this particular software update packet. For a listing of answers to
frequently asked questions please visit our website at www.arri.com/alexa/learn.
Accessories
• RS connectors output voltage
The RS connectors on the camera output the unregulated input voltage from the BAT connector. Since
ALEXA cameras accept an input voltage from 10.5 to 34 V DC, it is possible that an accessory that is
powered from an RS connector may not function as expected or even take damage.
• WCU-3 does not display camera warnings
On the WCU-3, camera warnings (i.e. battery warning, card full, etc.) are not displayed.
• WCU-3 lens calibration possibly unstable
We received unconfirmed reports that lens calibration and wireless functionality might be faulty in
certain situations. If this happens please send an email to digitalworkflow@arri.de providing as
detailed information as possible including a User setup file and camera log files.
• No power down countdown when RCU-4 is connected
Occasionally the camera does not show a power down countdown on its display but the message
"Turn off remote control?" on a connected RCU-4. Press and hold the camera´s power button until the
camera shuts down.
ALEXA M
• Missing camera head
If the camera menu shows asterisks in EI WB and other fields at boot time, there may be a problem
with the connection of camera body and head. However, the camera menu will not report "No M Head
detected" until after it is fully initialized.
• Duration of firmware update
Updating the firmware may take longer than for other camera models. Please let the update finish and
do not interrupt the process.
• EVF Image
Occasionally, an electronic viewfinder connected to the camera will loose the image. Disconnect and
reconnect the EVF to remedy this defect.
• EVF may not update using an ALEXA M
An EVF that was produced before the release of the ALEXA M or that is running a software version
prior to 1.34, will not update while connected an ALEXA M. Update the EVF via webpage or with
another ALEXA camera.
• Firmware update - camera head has to be connected when updating
If no camera head is connected to the camera body and a update is started the update will fail with the
message "APIC failed".
• RCU-4 only works with body ETH connector
The RCU-4 has to be connected to camera body Ethernet connector (rear). When connected to the
camera head, it will not work.
ALEXA Studio
• No ARRIGLOW while recording with deactivated mirror shutter
Turning OFF the mirror shutter will also deactivate the ARRIGLOW, as this could cause faulty
exposure of the sensor.
• Slave Camera does not show shutter angle
For a perfect working Sync setup you have to use Setting and Sensor Sync. If you only use Sensor
Sync the Slave shows a different shutter angle value than the Master as long as only one of them has
its mirror running - The value being greater or smaller depends on which of the two mirrors is spinning.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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• Voltage Low Battery Warning
ALEXA Studio may show a warning "Voltage level too low for mirror shutter" if the camera is set to >
30 fps and an on-board battery is used. When using the mirror shutter at higher frame rates an
external 24V battery should be used.
Audio
• Adjusting input or output level gives distorted audio
When adjusting audio input level a "clicking" noise can be heard on audio outputs. Adjustment of audio
levels therefore is disabled during recording. Please bear this in mind when recording audio on
external devices.
• DNxHD audio is up to 3 frames ahead of video
When the camera is recording MXF/DNxHD clips, audio is recorded up to 3 frames ahead of video,
depending on the project frame rate and codec.
• No audio playback in highspeed mode
When playing back a clip recorded with audio in highspeed audio playback is not available.
EVF/MON OUT
• False color causes purple status bars
Using false color in 4:3 sensor mode with surround view turned on/anamorphic desqueeze off causes
the status info to have a purple background on the EVF and MON OUT.
• False color display and look files
The adjustments to color or the tone map curve in ARRI look files may cause "wrong" exposure
indications in the false color display, when the look files is activated on the MON OUT.
• LDS and CLIP + REEL info overlays obscure image when not using surround view
When Surround view is turned off, the background of LDS INFO and REEL/CLIP are solid black and
cover parts of the recorded area. Do not use these overlays or leave surround view turned on to see
the full recorded frame.
• No anamorphic desqueeze with surround view in 4:3 mode
Turning on surround in 4:3 sensor mode disables anamorphic desqueeze for MON OUT/EVF.
• No surround view with anamorphic desqueeze in 4:3 mode
Activating anamorphic desqueeze in 4:3 sensor mode will deactivate the surround view on EVF/MON
OUT.
• Return in image partially obscured by status info
When activating RET IN, the image is not scaled to fit inside the status info bars. Left, right, top and
bottom are partially obscured on MON OUT. On EVF only left and right are covered. Use Status info
off to view the complete RET IN image.
• Semi-transparent overlays obscure playback image
When playing back 16:9 HD or 4:3 clips while in 4:3 mode, the image is partly obscured by semitransparent status info overlays.
• Some recorders will not record the MON OUT feed
When the REC OUT is set to ARRIRAW, an external recorder that interprets the ALEXA metadata in
the HD-SDI header may refuse to record HD video from the MON OUT as the meta data indicates that
the signal is ARRIRAW.
• Status info on active RETURN IN
The camera shows its own status info (FPS, SHUTTER etc.) when RET IN is activated. These camera
parameters are not related to the RET IN signal.
• Thin reddish line at top of EVF/MON OUT
A thin reddish line can be observed at the top of the EVF-1/MON OUT image with Surround View on.
This is not in the active image area, only at the very top edge of surround view.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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EVF
• Changing FPS causes image to be disturbed
Changing the FPS may momentarily exhibit a flickering image in the EVF.
• Smooth mode
When activating smooth mode the image in the EVF will get slightly darker. This has no effect on
recorded material.
• Updating old EVF software
An EVF that still runs on software V1.31 or earlier may not update together with a standard SUP via
SD-card. In this case, it is possible to connect to the camera via Ethernet and use the web-interface
for updating to V1.34 or later.
Firmware update
• Do not ignore "Update failed" messages
In rare cases an "Update failed" message may appear on a dark red screen. You MUST retry to
update the camera if this occurs. Please note that INFO > VERSION may indicate a successful update
although some components of the camera may still have an older firmware version. If in doubt about
update success please contact ARRI Service.
Frame grab
• ARRIRAW frame grab metadata
ARRIRAW frames stored to an SD-card with the frame grab function may contain invalid lens
metadata from LDS lenses.
• No ARRIRAW frame grabs from SxS playback
When playing back a ProRes or DNxHD clip from an SxS card, REC OUT needs to be set to HD Video
to be able to grab frames from the playback. If the REC OUT is set to ARRIRAW, pressing grab will
store a live image instead.
• Frame grabs may take long
Depending on the file format, frame grabs may take very long. It is recommended to use fast SD cards
to minimize the required time.
Framelines
• Framelines are resized according to SxS recording resolution
When SxS recording resolution (under MENU > Recording > SxS Cards > SxS resolution) is set to 2K
framelines will be resized. This is also true when SxS recording is actually turned off
High speed
• Debayering Artifacts
When shooting highly saturated colors, high speed debayering, in some cases, may exhibit a faint
checkerboard pattern in the red and blue channel.
• No frame grabs in highspeed mode
The camera cannot create frame grabs in high speed mode.
• Limitation of file formats with 2K SxS recording resolution.
When the camera is set to 2K SxS recording solution and REC OUT is set to show a MON OUT clone,
the camera cannot do frame grabs.
Imaging
• Do not change EI while recording
Changing the EI setting during a recording may cause momentary image artifacts.
• Do not change white balance while recording
Changing the white balance setting during a recording may cause momentary image artifacts.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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• Extreme Overexposure
An area that is overexposed more than eight stops above clipping can appear darker than its
surroundings.
• Long exposure times reduce image quality
ALEXA allows setting the exposure time higher than 1 second (i.e. 358° shutter at 0.75fps = 1.33
seconds exposure). Doing so will increase noise and cause individual pixels to light up. To achieve
optimum image quality at slow frame rates, the exposure time should not exceed 1/20th (40ms) of a
second.
• Pin hole effect
In scenes with high contrast and sharpness, a small focused highlight (like a pin hole) that activates
only a small region of about 2x2 pixels on the sensor, will be reproduced as a colored highlight. If the
highlight moves slowly, it will change its color from cyan to magenta and white. This is a limitation of
the dynamic defect pixel correction.
Metadata
• ARRI META Extract v1.6.5 is not compatible with SUP 7.0
Metadata cannot be extracted from SUP 7.0.2 footage using ARRI META Extract prior to version 2.0.
• Cameras do not identify properly in metadata
Camera models do not identify properly in the various metadata outputs.
• Shutter angle and EVF smooth mode
Using the EVF in smooth mode may cause incorrect shutter angle values in the metadata.
• Wrong iris lens metadata for Variable Primes
When a VP is attached the dynamic lens metadata will only show "Near Close" for any iris value other
than "Close".
REC OUT/MON OUT
• HD-SDI outputs deliver a vertical phase offset
The REC OUT and MON OUT HD-SDI timing is not exactly in sync. A vertical offset of >0 lines can be
measured. Activate "REC OUT fps sets sensor fps" to get a synchronized output.
• Cannot switch to clean REC OUT when deactivating SxS in ProRes 2K mode
Setting the ProRes recording resolution to 2K limits the options for REC OUT to ARRIRAW or MON
OUT clone. When SxS recording is deactivated in this configuration, the REC OUT limitation remains
in effect. Switch the ProRes recording resolution back to HD to avoid this behavior.
SD card
• TestImages Directory on SD card
When formatting or preparing an SD card in the ALEXA a directory ARRI\ALEXA\TestImages is
created. This is meant for future use.
SxS recording/playback
• "AlogV5 RX CRC Error" during playback in high speed mode
Playback of clips in Highspeed mode could trigger an "AlogV5 RX CRC Error". The clip itself is fine.
Camera must be rebooted to clear this error.
• 2K 16:9 SxS playback not showing full image
When playing back 16:9 ProRes 2K material from an SxS card, the playback image is slightly
cropped/smaller. The recorded footage, however, shows the same framing as indicated in the live
EFV/MON OUT image.
• 4:3 playback image smaller than live view
When the camera is set to 4:3 sensor mode, the playback image from an SxS card is slightly smaller
than the live image.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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• Certain clips cannot be played back in some recording modes
Clips recorded in 16:9 2K cannot be played back in 4:3 mode and clips recorded in 4:3 mode cannot
be played back in 16:9 mode (this includes highspeed mode).
• Image error after switching codecs
When the camera is switched from ProRes to DNxHD recording, the playback of recorded clips may
temporarily show image errors. The clips are recorded without image error. If unsure, play back the
clip outside the camera.
• "Wrong file system"
SxS cards that have been recorded with SUP6.0 or higher will show an error message "Wrong file
system" when inserted into a camera running SUP5.x or below and cannot be played back in camera.
The material is fine and will not cause any problems further down the production pipeline.
• Changing EI very fast while recording may lead to a system error
When changing EI during recording very fast the recording may stop with an "Unexpected stop
recording 107". The camera has to be rebooted.
• "Card#: files not consistent!"
Please reboot the camera if this error is shown in the info screen. If the warning disappears, further
recording on this card will be fine. If the warning persists, backup up this card and format it before
further usage
• DNxHD White Balance CC metadata column is missing in Avid Media Composer Bin
White balance CC values metadata column is missing in Avid Media Composer when linking file with
ARRI AMA plugin.
• In Dual recording very rarely one card might not record
Trying to record after such an occurrence will issue a "### Dual recording failed. Check cards!". The
cards need to be copied and formatted before they can be reused for Dual recording.
• "Cards 1&2: Write error - Reboot!" with dual recording
In rare occasions a "Cards 1&2: Write error - Reboot!" message can be shown. The cards need to be
copied and formatted before they can be reused for Dual recording.
• Not possible to record to SxS after setting SxS recording to ON
When SxS recording has been set to OFF and ON again sometimes it is not possible to record (no
green STBY indication). Eject and re-insert the SxS card to solve this issue.
• Reel count past number 999
Once the reel counter reached 999, the next card will be initialized with an invalid reel number and
prevent the camera from recording. You have to manually reset the reel counter to 001.
Sync
• Cannot sync cameras with different sensor modes
It is not possible to synchronize a camera in sensor mode 16:9 with a camera in sensor mode 4:3.
• Different focus ring classes may cause problems
3D lens sync with non-LDS lenses requires lenses of the same focus ring class.
• Focus settings may not match
Lens-sync does not work reliably and can cause the lens pair to have a different focus setting.
• No warning if no SxS card present in one of two synced cameras
When recording to SxS on two synced cameras make sure you use cards of same size in both
cameras.
• Sync ALEXAs with and without mirror shutter
It is not possible to use Sensor sync in a setup where an ALEXA Studio with a running mirror shutter is
connected to an ALEXA without mirror shutter.
• Licensed features
To be able to use features that require a license key, all cameras in a master/slave setup need to have
the licenses installed.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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• Loading and unloading HS mode in Sync Setup
When using two cameras in a master/slave setup, wait until both cameras are fully booted before
loading/unloading HS mode.
• Slave recording stops with delay
With 2 cameras in a master/slave setup, the slave SxS recording will stop with a few frames delay,
causing non-matching clip-lengths. Syncing up the clips by time code will ensure matching
master/slave footage.
• Using different ALEXA camera models
Under certain circumstances, using settings sync with two (or more) different ALEXA models may not
work reliably. When available it is recommended to sync only matching ALEXA models.
• Adjusting the HD out phase may result in asynchronous HD outputs
"Send HD sync trigger" brings the HD output of connected cameras back into sync.
• EXT Sync does not work below 1 fps
The sensors of two cameras cannot be synchronized with an EXT sync cable below 1 fps.
Test signal
•Enabling test tone
Test tone can only be enabled if Audio recording is active (AUDIO > RECORD = ON) and the
SENSOR FPS matches the PROJECT FPS.
•Loading time
After the camera is re-started, turning on the test signal (color bars) may take a few seconds. Once
the test signal has been loaded, it can be turned on and off without the delay.
Timecode
• Do not use REC RUN TC if recording to external recorders
Using REC RUN TC in combination with external recorders may result in frames with identical
timecode but plausible image information.
• Jam Sync shown in INT TC mode
Even though jam synching is not possible in INT TC mode, Generator, Jam Sync is shown as an
option in the menu. This has no influence on the camera functions.
• LTC out on TC connector may differ from actual timecode
TC connector will only output a correct timecode during Free Run and when sensor speed equals
project speed. Also in SxS playback TC connector does not provide playback timecode.
• Rec Run TC lost after power loss
If camera is running Rec run TC and camera power is lost during recording, the camera powers up
with a TC different to when power was lost
• Time Code INT FREERUN reset to 00:00:00
With asynchronous recording, i.e. "Project frame rate" NOT EQUAL to "Sensor fps" and time code set
to INT FREERUN, the time code will be reset to 00:00:00 after reboot.
• EXT LTC needs re-jamming after reboot when using "Rec Out fps set sensor fps" option
Do not use the "Rec Out fps set sensor fps" option when using external timecode or re-jam after every
reboot.
Usability
• ARRI UDM-1 not fully supported
The ARRI Ultrasonic Distance Measure UDM-1 can be powered via the EXT connector cable, but
communication between ALEXA and UDM-1 is not implemented yet.
• AUTO WB can be executed when test signal is on
Although test signal is present on MON OUT/REC OUT automatic white balance is executed on the
image as seen in the EVF (camera live image).
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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• Compare - no anamorphic desqueeze
The anamorphic de-squeeze function can only be applied to the live camera image. It is not possible
to load an anamorphic frame grab and display/compare it as de-squeezed image.
• Do not change settings during loading of SxS module
When turning on the SxS module, wait until the loading has finished before changing any settings.
Settings changed during the loading process of the SxS module might not get applied correctly.
• Do not use "REC OUT fps sets sensor fps" and MON OUT Clone
Activating "REC OUT fps sets sensor fps", followed by "HD-SDI format: MON OUT clone" will disable
control over the sensor fps. This could happen, for example, when the SxS recording resolution is set
to 2K and REC OUT is set to MON OUT clone.
• Entering high speed mode from sensor mode 4:3
When entering highspeed mode from sensor mode 4:3 the information under MENU > Project shows
SxS resolution: 2K (2048x1152). This is wrong, as SxS resolution is always set to HD in highspeed
mode. The correct recording resolution is, in this case, only shown under MENU > Recording > SxS
Cards > SxS resolution.
• Identical file names
When two frame grabs with the same file name are loaded subsequently, the first frame grab will not
be replaced by the second file (MENU > FRAME GRABS > COMPARE GRAB 2 LIVE IMAGE >
COMPARE). Repower the camera to clear the internal frame store.
• Momentary EVF artifacts when activating RET IN
Switching between live view and return in video causes a glitch in the EVF image. Please note: If the
RET IN signal has a different fps than the camera speed, the EVF will show a stuttering image.
• Sensor FPS not restored when entering/exiting high speed
Sensor FPS in standard/high speed mode is not restored as expected when entering/exiting high
speed mode. The desired sensor FPS should always be double-checked by the user.
• SENSOR MODE 4:3 defaults to ProRes
If the high speed codec is set to DNxHD, the camera will switch to regular speed with ProRes codec
when changing to 4:3 sensor mode. Always double-check you are using the desired codec when
changing regular/high speed and sensor mode!
• Activating RETURN IN may momentarily freeze monitoring
Activating RETURN IN may lead to a momentary image freeze on the viewfinder or MON OUT. This
occurs for the inactive image path (MENU > MONITORING > RET IN PATH). Turning the option on
and off may also cause a black flash in the image.
• SxS slot LEDs go GREEN as soon as recording is stopped
Do not remove the active card until the REC LED stops blinking red and shows steady green.
• Camera cannot instantly start recording after system boot
When a camera is booted up, it briefly shows an error warning until the sensor reaches the proper
temperature level. This warning disappears almost immediately, but until it does, it is not possible to
start recording.
• Web remote - submitting LDA data may result in an HTTP error 404 "Bad request"
ALEXA web remote is a beta implementation only.
• Web remote LDA
The LDA page of the ALEXA web remote is non-functional for any ALEXA without motor connectors.
• Web remote still in beta
The ALEXA web remote currently is a beta implementation with limited functionality.
• Changing user setup and REC OUT settings in short succession
In very rare cases after loading a User setup or doing a Factory reset and immediately changing REC
OUT settings, an error "RecTuple not existing: 1 1 6" may occur. The camera then has to be rebooted.
• White Balance CC correction insufficient for some ND filters
When using non-ideal ND filters the available range of CC correction might not be sufficient for a
neutral image. This has to be corrected in postproduction.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
Page 14 of 18
User setup
• Additional configuration files
User setups do not contain, or reference to look files, lens data archive files or custom frame lines.
Recalling a user setup therefore does not reactivate any of these additional files, even if an SD card
containing these files has been inserted into the camera. This has to be done manually after loading
the user setup.
• Custom look files
Loading a user setup will not re-assign custom look files to any output. The look file needs to be
activated and assigned manually. If a factory reset was performed, the look file also needs to be
loaded back into the camera before it can be activated.
• Custom look not cleared when User setup loaded that does not contain a look
Always double-check that no unwanted look is applied when working with User setups.
• Custom userbit settings
A user setup will not restore custom userbit settings but defaults to 00:00:00:00. If userbits are set, the
entries have to be re-entered manually after loading a user setup.
• Internal ARRI LCC look file
Loading a user setup will not re-assign the internal LCC curve to any outputs. The LCC curve needs to
be activated and assigned manually.
Workflow
• Final Cut Pro Consolidate Error in Media Manager
FCP 7 does not correctly recognize ALEXA QuickTime clips without audio. These clips are not marked
as file type 'MooV' in the file structure. The ALEXA UDF file system does not allow changing the file
type.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
Page 15 of 18
D. Updating Instructions
Download and Registration Process
You have to register your ALEXA camera by serial number to access the Software Update Packets (SUP)
in the ALEXA Downloads Section on the ARRI website. A SUP can be installed on the camera either by
using an SD card directly on the camera (described in detail below) or from a computer via the ALEXA
Ethernet Cable (K2.72021.0).
Please note that SUP 7.0.2 is for all ALEXA cameras: ALEXA, ALEXA Plus, ALEXA Plus 4:3, ALEXA M
and ALEXA Studio.
How to get a Software Update Package
• If you have not registered yet, go to the ALEXA downloads page at http://www.arri.com/alexa/downloads
and scroll to the 'ALEXA Software Update Packet x.x' section (where ‘x.x’ is the version number of the
desired Software Update Packet). Click 'Please -> register to get an account.' The ALEXA customer
registration page will be opened.
• Fill in the relevant data and make sure to put in the serial number(s) of your camera(s) in the format of
K1.71000.0-2xxx, K1.71100.0-4xxx, K1.71200.0-6xxx, etc. Don't forget to agree to the registration terms
at the end of the page.
• When you hit the 'create account' button the system will send you an acknowledgement email with a link
for the activation of your account. After following the link a welcome mail is sent to you containing the
login credentials. Please login at http://www.arri.com/login/login.html and navigate to the download
section again.
• Upon access of the software package download you will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions of
this download. If you agree to these terms the download link is released.
Camera Update Procedure via SD Card
Using the SD card for updating is the easiest method. It updates the ALEXA camera as well as the
Electronic Viewfinder (EVF-1) as long as the viewfinder is connected to the camera.
Precautions
• Make sure the power supply of the camera is stable. The best way to achieve this is by using a mains
power supply attached to the battery socket. We strongly recommend against updating an ALEXA that is
powered through a battery.
Preparing the SD Card
• Have a FAT16 or FAT32 formatted SD-Card ready.
• Cards larger than 4 GB are not supported. If you have a larger SD card, you need to create one partition
with max. 4GB so it will be compatible with ALEXA.
• Go to MENU > SYSTEM > SD CARD and choose
- ‘Prepare SD card’ to create the ALEXA folder structure on the SD card, and keep the existing data.
- ‘Format + prepare SD card’ to DELETE ALL DATA on the SD card before creating the ALEXA folders.
• Take the update package
‘Alexa50_firmware_x.x_zzzzz.pkg’ file and copy it into
the ‘Firmware’ folder on the SD card.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
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Performing the Update
• Turn the camera on.
• Perform a factory reset in MENU > USER SETUPS > FACTORY RESET.
• Insert the SD card into the SD card slot of the camera. The slot is located below the display on the bottom
of the camera, covered by a slider. The direction how the SD card has to be inserted is shown on the
camera housing.
• A card icon will show up in the notification area of the camera display. If not, the card is not recognized by
the camera.
• Go to MENU > SYSTEM > FIRMWARE.
• The FIRMWARE screen shows you which packet is currently installed (Current version: xxx).
• Press the jog wheel to select the update file. The list shows you all firmware files that are available on the
SD card.
• Choose the desired packet and press the two lower outer screen buttons simultaneously to start the
update.
• Caution: Do not remove the SD card while the packet is being copied to the camera!
• When the ‘copying files’ message disappears the SD card can be safely removed.
• The update process may take 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the actual software packet. Wait until the
update process has finished. This is indicated by a green screen informing you that the update process is
completed.
• If the update process fails, which will be indicated by a red screen, please restart the camera and repeat
the update procedure.
• After the update, turn the camera off by holding down the power button for a few seconds.
• Turn the camera back on. The software is now updated and you can use the camera.
Please note that User Setup files cannot be used across software packet updates, i.e. a User Setup file
created with SUP 6.x is not compatible with SUP 7.x.
Please note that when updating from software package 1.0 to any later package, the camera’s display
shows ‘Success’ for APIC, CMC, and ACOM at the end of the update process. The camera must then be
rebooted manually even though the screen still says ‘Update in progress – do not power off the camera!’
This is done by pressing the ON/OFF button until the camera switches off, then pressing the button again.
This is not necessary anymore when updating from SUP 2.0 or later versions.
Camera Update Procedure using a Web Browser on your Computer
How to connect ALEXA to a computer
• Turn the camera on.
• Connect the Ethernet port of the computer to the camera with the ALEXA Ethernet/RJ-45 Cable
KC 153-S (3.00m/9.8ft, order number K2.72021.0).
• Configure the computer’s network interface to which the camera is connected with the following settings:
IP address: 169.254.1.2 (static IP)
Subnet mask: 255.255.0.0
• Open a web browser
• If you are using a Macintosh or a computer with Apple’s Bonjour protocol installed enter the following URL
into the address bar:
http://alexaXXXX.local/update.cgi, where XXXX is the four-digit serial number of your camera (e.g. for
ALEXA 7123: http://alexa7123.local/update.cgi).
• If you are using a computer without Bonjour support please use the camera’s IP address to connect, e.g.:
http://192.168.xxx.xxx/update.cgi, where xxx.xxx is the two last groups of your camera“s actual IP
address. You can determine ALEXA’s IP address by going to INFO > SYSTEM.
• If the network settings are configured correctly you will be presented the update page of the camera.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
Page 17 of 18
Performing the Update
• Download the Software Update Package to your computer.
• Perform a factory reset in MENU > USER SETUPS > FACTORY RESET.
• In the ‘Camera Update’ section select the Software Update Package by clicking the ‘browse’ button and
selecting the path to the downloaded SUP on your computer.
• Click the 'Update Camera’ button in the ‘Camera Update’ section.
• The file will be uploaded to the camera which takes about a minute. The browser will switch to the
‘Update Log’ page showing the update log of the three main boards. This page can be updated by
refreshing the page. At the same time the update screen with the progress bars appears on the camera
display.
• The update process may take 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the actual software packet. Wait until the
update process has finished. This is indicated by a green screen informing you that the update process is
completed.
• If the update process fails, which will be indicated by a red screen, please restart the camera and repeat
the update procedure.
• After the update, turn the camera off and on again. The software is now updated and you can use the
camera.
Updating an Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1
In case an ALEXA electronic viewfinder EVF-1 has not been updated with the camera, it is possible to
update the EVF-1 separately by using a computer. Please note that the EVF-1 will be updated to match the
SUP package that is installed on the camera.
• Connect the Ethernet port of the computer as described above in ‘How to connect ALEXA to a computer’.
• Connect the EVF-1 to the camera.
• Open a web browser on the computer and open the update web page of the camera (see above).
• Click the 'Update EVF' button in the ‘EVF Update’ section.
• You can watch the progress of the update on the screen.
• When the update is done, the last line on the screen reads ‘successfully updated Evf’. The update is now
finished even though the web browser continues to refresh the page. This is normal. The viewfinder is up
to date.
• Depending on its software version the camera will state a ‘software error – reboot camera’ on the camera
display. This is normal. Please reboot the camera.
Updating the V-Mount Top/Back Battery Adapter with a Computer
This procedure requires the ALEXA to be connected to a computer and SUP 4.0 or later. To update the
firmware of the V-mount battery adapters please perform the following steps:
• Connect the Ethernet port of the computer as described above in ‘How to connect ALEXA to a computer’.
• Attach a charged V-Mount battery to the mount.
• Open a web browser on the computer and open the update web page of the camera (see above).
• Click the 'Update VMOUNT' button in the ‘V-Mount Update’ section.
• The update will take approximately three minutes. You can watch the progress of the update on the
screen.
• If you get an error, you might have an old style V-mount battery adapter, which cannot be updated.
• When the update is done, the last line on the screen reads ‘successfully updated V-Mount Adapter’ and
the V-mount battery adapter’s firmware is up to date.
• If your V-mount battery adapter cannot be updated, please contact ARRI Service
http://www.arri.com/service.
Software Update Packet 7.0.2
(7.0.2:22601) for all ALEXA cameras – Release Notes
Page 18 of 18