User Manual
ARRI ALEXA
For ALEXA Software
Update Packet 4.0
Printed on 29 June, 2011
All rights reserved.
This document is provided under a license agreement containing restrictions
on use and disclosure and is also protected by copyright law.
Due to continued product development this information may change without
notice. The information and intellectual property contained herein is
confidential between ARRI and the client and remains the exclusive property
of ARRI. If you find any problems in the documentation, please report them
to us in writing. ARRI does not warrant that this document is error-free.
Arnold & Richter Cine Technik
Tuerkenstr. 89
D-80799 Munich
Germany
mailto: service@arri.com
http://www.arri.com
Contents
1
Disclaimer
7
2
Scope
9
3
ALEXA Images
10
4
Introduction to ALEXA
12
4.1
5
6
7
8
About This Manual ................................................................... 14
Safety Instructions
15
5.1
Explanation of Warning Signs and Indications ........................ 15
5.2
General Safety Instructions...................................................... 15
5.3
Specific Safety Instructions...................................................... 16
General Precautions
18
6.1
Storage and Transport ............................................................. 18
6.2
Electromagnetic Interference ................................................... 18
6.3
Condensation ........................................................................... 18
Power Supply
20
7.1
Power Management ................................................................. 20
7.2
BAT Connector......................................................................... 21
7.3
Mains Unit NG 12/26 R ............................................................ 21
7.4
Cine-Style Batteries ................................................................. 21
7.5
Onboard Batteries .................................................................... 22
7.6
V-Lock Batteries....................................................................... 22
7.7
Gold Mount Batteries ............................................................... 24
7.8
Power Outputs ......................................................................... 25
7.8.1
12 V Accessories ..................................................................... 25
7.8.2
24 V Accessories ..................................................................... 25
Installation of The Camera
26
8.1
Minimum Equipment Recommended For Operation ............... 26
8.2
Tripod and Remote Heads ....................................................... 26
8.3
Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1 .................................................... 27
8.3.1
Viewfinder Cables .................................................................... 28
8.3.2
Viewfinder Mounting Bracket ................................................... 29
IV
Contents
9
8.4
Center Camera Handle CCH-1 ................................................ 31
8.5
Side Camera Handle SCH-1.................................................... 32
8.6
Bridge Plate BP-12................................................................... 33
8.7
Bridge Plate adapter BPA-1..................................................... 34
8.8
Wedge Adapter WA-1 + Quick-Release Plate ......................... 35
8.9
Leveling Block LB-1 ................................................................. 35
8.10
Shoulder Pad SP-3 .................................................................. 36
Connectors
37
9.1
BAT .......................................................................................... 39
9.2
REC OUT 1&2.......................................................................... 39
9.3
RET/SYNC IN .......................................................................... 39
9.4
MON OUT ................................................................................ 39
9.5
EXT .......................................................................................... 39
9.6
ETHERNET.............................................................................. 40
9.7
EVF .......................................................................................... 40
9.8
AUDIO IN ................................................................................. 40
9.9
RS ............................................................................................ 40
9.10
12 V .......................................................................................... 40
9.11
TC............................................................................................. 41
9.12
AUDIO OUT ............................................................................. 41
9.13
SD Card ................................................................................... 41
9.14
SxS Slots.................................................................................. 42
10 Optics
44
10.1
Lens Adapter PL Mount LA-PL-1 (no LDS).............................. 44
10.2
Lens Support............................................................................ 45
11 Camera Controls
47
11.1
Main Controls ........................................................................... 47
11.1.1
Display...................................................................................... 48
11.1.2
Screen Buttons......................................................................... 48
11.1.3
HOMESCREEN ....................................................................... 48
11.1.3.1 Lists and User Lists.................................................................. 51
11.1.3.2 FPS .......................................................................................... 53
11.1.3.3 AUDIO ...................................................................................... 55
11.1.3.4 SHUTTER ................................................................................ 58
11.1.3.5 EI .............................................................................................. 58
11.1.3.6 COLOR .................................................................................... 61
11.1.3.7 WB............................................................................................ 63
11.1.4
Function Buttons ...................................................................... 65
11.1.4.1 TC (Time Code) ....................................................................... 66
11.1.4.2 INFO......................................................................................... 68
11.1.4.3 USER ....................................................................................... 71
11.1.4.4 PLAY ........................................................................................ 73
11.1.5
Menu ........................................................................................ 76
11.1.5.1 Recording................................................................................. 76
11.1.5.2 Monitoring ................................................................................ 80
11.1.5.3 Project ...................................................................................... 85
11.1.5.4 System ..................................................................................... 87
11.1.5.5 Frame grabs............................................................................. 93
11.1.5.6 User Setups ............................................................................. 94
11.2
Operator controls ..................................................................... 95
11.3
EVF Controls............................................................................ 96
11.3.1
Viewfinder EVF menu .............................................................. 96
11.3.2
Viewfinder CAM menu ............................................................. 97
12 Operation of The Camera
98
12.1
Recording................................................................................. 98
12.1.1
Internal recording ..................................................................... 98
12.1.2
External recording .................................................................. 104
12.1.3
Parallel recording ................................................................... 106
12.2
Monitoring .............................................................................. 106
12.2.1
Framelines ............................................................................. 106
12.3
Using Time Code ................................................................... 109
12.4
Syncing the Sensors of Two Cameras................................... 110
12.5
Syncing the Settings of Two Cameras................................... 111
13 ALEXA Plus
114
13.1
General Description ............................................................... 114
13.2
Optics ..................................................................................... 115
13.2.1
Lens Adapter PL-Mount LA-PL-2 (with LDS) ......................... 116
13.3
Radio System......................................................................... 117
13.4
Wireless Remote System....................................................... 118
13.4.1
Lens Motors ........................................................................... 118
13.4.2
Hand Units ............................................................................. 120
VI
Contents
13.5
Lens Data Display LDD-FP .................................................... 121
13.6
Plus Camera Controls ............................................................ 122
14 RCU-4
128
Appendix
129
A.1
Appendix ................................................................................ 130
A.2
Camera Dimensions............................................................... 133
A.3
Connector Pin Outs................................................................ 137
A.4
False Color Display ................................................................ 142
A.5
Infos and Warnings ................................................................ 143
15 Index
149
About This Manual
1
7
Disclaimer
Before using the products described in this manual be sure to read and
understand all respective instruction.
The ARRI ALEXA is only available to commercial customers. The customer
grants by utilization that the ARRI ALEXA or other components of the system
are deployed for commercial use. Otherwise the customer has the obligation
to contact ARRI preceding the utilization.
While ARRI endeavors to enhance the quality, reliability and safety of their
products, customers agree and acknowledge that the possibility of defects
thereof cannot be eliminated entirely. To minimize risk of damage to property
or injury (including death) to persons arising from defects in the products,
customers must incorporate sufficient safety measures in their work with the
system and have to heed the stated canonic use.
ARRI or its subsidiaries do not assume any responsibility for incurred losses
due to improper handling or configuration of the camera or other system
components, due to sensor contamination, occurence of dead or defective
pixels, defective signal connections or incompatibilities with third party
recording devices.
ARRI assumes no responsibility for any errors that may appear in this
document. The information is subject to change without notice.
For product specification changes since this manual was published, refer to
the latest publications of ARRI data sheets or data books, etc., for the most
up-to-date specifications. Not all products and/or types are available in every
country. Please check with an ARRI sales representative for availability and
additional information.
Neither ARRI nor its subsidiaries assume any liability for infringement of
patents, copyrights or other intellectual property rights of third parties by or
arising from the use of ARRI products or any other liability arising from the
use of such products. No license, express, implied or otherwise, is granted
under any patents, copyrights or other intellectual property right of ARRI or
others.
ARRI or its subsidiaries expressly exclude any liability, warranty, demand or
other obligation for any claim, representation, or cause, or action, or
whatsoever, express or implied, whether in contract or tort, including
negligence, or incorporated in terms and conditions, whether by statue, law
or otherwise. In no event shall ARRI or its subsidiaries be liable for or have a
remedy for recovery of any special, direct, indirect, incidental, or
consequential damages, including, but not limited to lost profits, lost savings,
lost revenues or economic loss of any kind or for any claim by third party,
downtime, good-will, damage to or replacement of equipment or property,
any cost or recovering of any material or goods associated with the
assembly or use of our products, or any other damages or injury of the
persons and so on or under any other legal theory.
In the case one or all of the foregoing clauses are not allowed by applicable
law, the fullest extent permissible clauses by applicable law are validated.
ARRI is a registered trademark of Arnold & Richter Cine Technik GmbH &
Co Betriebs KG.
Note: This product and the accessories recommended by the manufacturer fulfill the
specifications of the European Directive 2004/108/EC (15th December 2004).
8
Disclaimer
The ALEXA viewfinder EVF-1 contains proprietary technology owned by
Fourth Dimension Displays Limited and licensed by ARRI.
This product contains licensed technology from Linotype.
Quicktime and Quicktime logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Apple Computer, Inc., used under license therefrom.
Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy), Apple ProRes 422 (Lt), Apple ProRes 422, Apple
ProRes 422(Hq), Apple ProRes 4444 and the ProRes logo are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., used under license
therefrom.
SxS and
are trademarks of SONY corporation.
This product meets CE regulations.
About This Manual
2
9
Scope
This instruction manual applies to the following hardware, software and
firmware versions:
ARRI ALEXA camera with ARRI EVF-1 electronic viewfinder
 Camera software update packet (SUP):
4.0
 EVF-1 software packet:
1.27
Document revision history
SUP
ID
drawing
release/
date
revision
2.1
K5.72550.0
2031-00-00-00-99
FG5445
29th Nov 2010
3.0
K5.72550.0
2031-00-00-00-99
K7741
11th Feb 2011
3.1
K5.72550.0
2031-00-00-00-99-B
K7776
04th Apr 2011
3.1
K5.72550.0
2031-00-00-00-99-C
K7781
07th Apr 2011
4.0
K5.72550.0
2031-00-00-00-99-C
K7817
05th Jul 2011
10
ALEXA Images
3
ALEXA Images
Figure 1: Camera right side
Figure 2: Camera left side
Figure 3: Camera top
About This Manual
11
Figure 4: Camera bottom
Figure 5: Camera front
Figure 6: Camera back
12
Introduction to ALEXA
4
Introduction to ALEXA
ALEXA is a 35 format film-style digital camera made by ARRI, the world
leader in professional cinematographic imaging. It combines leading edge
digital technology with film camera features that have been refined over
more than 90 years of ARRIs history. The result is a camera that allows
cinematographers with a film background to shoot digitally without the need
for a extensive training.
People who are used to shoot digitally will experience a camera like they
never did before, providing more powerful features than in any other camera
available today.
Handling
The camera is a true ARRI. It has a high-precision integrated housing with
an ergonomic design. It is rugged, reliable, flexible and sealed to make it
splash-proof. It also has mounting points for accessories, as ALEXA
integrates well with existing ARRI accessories. In addition, a new range of
accessories specifically designed for ALEXA is available.
Operation
ALEXA features a unique user interface, designed to make camera
operation easier than ever, while giving easy access to a large number of
controls.
There are three different control interfaces:
 The main user interface on the right side gives access to every
camera parameter through a graphical display and a button panel.
 The operator user interface on the left side for basic control,
adjustable to the operator's individual needs by supplying assignable
buttons in addition to function buttons.
 The viewfinder user interface for adjusting the most important image
parameters with buttons on the viewfinder and the interface graphics
overlayed to the viewfinder image.
Power management
The camera accepts any input voltage from 10.5-34 V DC. Different power
sources can be connected to the camera simultaneously. The camera's
power management ensures that the power source with the highest voltage
level is used. Power sources are hot-swappable to minimize the risk of
sudden power loss.
ALEV III sensor
The ALEV III sensor has a horizontal pixel count of 3.5K resulting in true 2K
resolution. It covers the full Super-35 format and it provides a latitude of 14
stops and a base sensitivity of 800 ASA.
About This Manual
13
The sensor temperature is kept stable by a Peltier element to ensure
optimum image quality under all operating conditions.
AIT - ARRI Imaging Technology
ARRI imaging technology ensures the most organic, film-like image quality of
any digital camera with natural color rendition and pleasing skin tones.
Thermal concept
The camera electronics are fully sealed to protect them from dirt and
moisture. Camera heat is transported via heat pipes to a radiator which is
cooled by a fan. The fan itself is very silent, so the camera noise level is
below 20 dB (A)* - this is the same as with ARRI sync-sound film cameras. If
the fan noise level starts to increase due to fan aging, the fan can be
swapped in a matter of minutes by a trained technician.
*at 24 fps and ambient temperature < 25°C
EVF-1 electronic viewfinder
ARRI is redefining electronic viewfinders with LED lighting, high resolution
and a viewing experience that comes as close to an optical viewfinder as
possible.
Internal recording
ALEXA can internally record Quicktime movie clips with Apple ProRes
codecs to Sony SxS-PRO cards. The cards deliver high data rates and are
very robust. ProRes can be natively edited in FinalCutPro, eliminating the
need to transcode. ProRes 422 (HQ) and ProRes 4444 deliver visually
lossless compressed images with a color depth of 10 bit for ProRes 422 and
12 bit for ProRes 4444.
Quicktime movie clips can be played back in the camera with output on REC
OUT, MON OUT and the electronic viewfinder.
Audio recording
Analog 2-channel audio can be recorded as 24 bit 48 kHz PCM in the
Quicktimes, as well as embedded to the HD-SDI signals.
14
Introduction to ALEXA
4.1
About This Manual
It is recommended that all users of the ALEXA camera read the manual front
to back prior to the first usage. The manual's structure also provides quick
access for reference to experienced users. All directions are given from an
operator's point of view.
 Images: give a quick overview of the camera.
 Safety instructions / general precautions: very important - do not skip
this part.
 Power supply: overview how the camera is supplied with power.
 Installation of the camera: information on camera mechanics.
 Connectors: what goes into the camera and what comes out.
 Optics: how to get a good image into the camera.
 Camera controls: how to set up the camera.
 Operation of the camera: gives examples and recommendations on
camera operation.
Explanation of Warning Signs and Indications
5
Safety Instructions
Any violation of these safety instructions or non-observance of personal care
could cause serious injuries (including death) to users and affiliates and
damage to the equipment or other objects.
5.1
Explanation of Warning Signs and
Indications
Indicates a possible risk of injury or damage to the equipment
Indicates the risk of electric shock or fire danger that could result in
injury or damage to the equipment.
Note: Indicates further information or information from other instruction manuals
5.2
General Safety Instructions
 Always follow these instructions to ensure against injury to yourself or
others and damage to the system or other objects.
 This safety information is in addition to the product specific operating
instructions in general and must be strictly observed for safety
reasons.
 Read and understand all safety and operating instructions before you
operate or install the system!
 Retain all safety and operating instructions for future reference.
 Heed all warnings on the system and in the safety and operating
instructions before you operate or install the system. Follow all
installation and operating instructions.
 Do not use accessories or attachments that are not recommended by
ARRI, as they may cause hazards and invalidate the warranty!
 Do not attempt to repair any part of the system! Repairs must only be
carried out by authorized ARRI Service Centers.
15
16
Safety Instructions
5.3
Specific Safety Instructions
 Do not remove any safety measures from the system!
 Do not operate the system in areas with humidity above operating
levels or expose it to water or moisture!
 Do not cover the fan openings at the camera back top and bottom!
 Do not subject the system to severe shocks!
 Do not place the system on an unstable trolley/hand truck, stand,
tripod, bracket, table or any other unstable support device! The
system may fall, causing serious personal injury and damage to the
system or other objects.
 Operate the system using only the type of power source indicated in
the manual! Unplug the power cable by gripping the power plug, not
the cable!
 Never insert objects of any kind into any part of the system if not
clearly qualified for the task in the manual, as objects may touch
dangerous voltage points or short out parts! This could cause fire or
electrical shock.
 Unplug the system from the power outlet before opening any part of
the system or before making any changes to the system, especially
the attaching or removing of cables!
 Do not use solvents to clean!
 Do not remove any stickers or paint marked screws!
 Always place a lens or a protective cap in the lens mount receptacle!
 Changing camera lenses should be done in a dry and dust-free
environment. If this is not possible, take extra care that no dust enters
the camera while the lens is off!
 When no lens is attached to the camera, immediately place the
protective on the lens mount to avoid contamination of the sensor
cover glass!
 After changing lenses, always perform a dust check to make sure no
dust has settled on the sensor cover glass!
 Clean optical lens surfaces only with a lens brush or a clean lens
cloth. in cases of solid dirt or grease, moisten a lens cloth with pure
alcohol. Discard contaminated lens cloth after use! Never attempt to
clean a lens brush with your fingers!
 NEVER USE CANS WITH COMPRESSED AIR OR GAS TO BLOW
OFF THE DUST! This can severely damage optical elements.
 If the sensor cover glass has been contaminated by solid dirt or
grease, special optical cleaning kits should be used for dirt removal
under very high care! If the contamination cannot be removed, the
camera should be taken to an ARRI service center for cleaning.
 THE USE OF METHANOL TO CLEAN OPTICAL SURFACES IS NOT
RECOMMENDED!
Specific Safety Instructions
 NEVER USE ACETONE TO CLEAN OPTICAL SURFACES!
 NEVER TRY TO REMOVE THE SENSOR COVER GLASS!
 DO NOT POINT THE CAMERA INTO DIRECT SUNLIGHT, VERY
BRIGHT LIGHT SOURCES, OR HIGH-ENERGY LIGHT SOURCES
(e.g. laser beams)! This may cause permanent damage to the camera
image sensor.
 DO NOT POINT THE VIEWFINDER INTO DIRECT SUNLIGHT,
VERY BRIGHT LIGHT SOURCES, OR HIGH-ENERGY LIGHT
SOURCES (e.g. laser beams)! This may cause permanent damage to
the viewfinder display and optical elements.
17
18
General Precautions
6
General Precautions
6.1
Storage and Transport
 To prevent damage to the optical filters and the sensor, a protective
cap must be on the lens mount receptacle while no lens is attached.
 All cables have to be unplugged from the camera when it is
transported or stored inside a camera case.
 Do not store the camera in places where it is subject to extreme
temperatures, direct sunlight, high humidity, severe vibration, or near
strong magnetic fields.
6.2
Electromagnetic Interference
ALEXA meets EC regulations by fulfilling the specifications of the European
Directive 2004/108/EC (15th December 2004).
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a
Class A digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are
designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference when
the equipment is operated in a commercial environment. This equipment
generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed
and used in accordance with the instruction manual, may cause harmful
interference to radio communications. Operation of this equipment in a
residential area is likely to cause harmful interference in which case the user
will be required to correct the interference at his own expense.
Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible
for compliance could void the user's authority to operate the equipment.
Complies with the canadian ICES-003 Class A specifications. Cet appareil
numérique de la Classe A est conformé à la norme NMB-003 du Canada.
This device complies with RSS 210 of Industry Canada. This Class A device
meets all the requirements of the Canadian interference-causing equipment
regulation. Cet appareil numérique de la Class A respecte toutes les
exigences du Réglement sur le matérial brouilleur du Canada.
6.3
Condensation
Condensation
19
When moving the camera from a cool to a warm location or when the
camera is used in a damp environment, condensation may form inside the
lens compartment, on the sensor cover glass, between sensor and its cover
glass, and on internal or external electrical connections.
 Operating the camera in these conditions may result in personal injury
or damage to the equipment!
Condensation on the optical components may have a visible effect on the
output images. To reduce the risk of condensation:
 Find a warmer storage location.
 Attach the ARRI air-drying cartridge (silica bottle) to the PL-Mount of
the camera during storage (NOT during transport!)
 If camera needs to be stored in a place that is considerably cooler
than the location where it will be used, consider keeping the camera
powered from a mains unit in addition to using the air-drying cartridge.
 In ambient temperatures above 30°C/86°F and/or humidity above
60%, always attach the air-drying cartridge to the PL-Mount of the
camera when not in use. This not only applies to storage, but also to
shooting breaks and situations when the camera remains without an
attached lens for an extended time.
 MAKE SURE THE SILICA BOTTLE IS SECURELY FASTENED.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SPILL SILICA INTO THE LENS
COMPARTMENT!
20
Power Supply
7
Power Supply
 Only use recommended power supply solutions.
 Manipulation of power supplies can result in severe damage to the
equipment and humans, including death.
ALEXA accepts an input voltage range from 10.5 to 34 V DC. The camera
can be powered through the BAT connector or can be quipped with battery
adapters accepting V-Lock or Gold Mount batteries.
The power supply should deliver an output of more than 90 W to power the
camera sufficiently. The power draw of the camera in basic configuration is
about 85 W.
A 12-15 V battery should have at least 6 A maximum output current.
Note: when powering accessories through the camera, the power draw of the camera
is increased by the amount of power drawn by the accessories.
7.1
Power Management
When using the BAT connector and one or more onboard battery adapters
simultaneously, the camera power management ensures that the power
source with the highest voltage level is used. When the voltage level of one
power source drops below the level of the other, or a power source is
disconnected from the camera, the power management automatically
switches to the other power source, avoiding shutdown of the system.
So as an example, one could use a 12 V onboard battery as backup for the
main 24 V battery, or power the camera from the 24 V battery while on a
tripod and use the 12 V battery for fast switching to handheld mode by just
unplugging the power cable.
When using two onboard battery adapters with batteries in parallel (one on
top and one on the back), they are treated as one source by the camera.
This allows combining small batteries with less load per item into one strong
power source.
BAT Connector
7.2
21
BAT Connector
The BAT connector of ALEXA is a Fischer 2-pin socket located on the
bottom back of the camera right side.
The socket accepts power cables KC-20S and KC-29S. The cables can
either be connected to the mains unit NG 12/26R or to 24V Cine-style
batteries with three-pin XLR outputs.
Figure 7: BAT connector
7.3
Mains Unit NG 12/26 R
Use of the mains unit is recommended for shooting in the studio and when
using electronic accessories with high power consumption.
 First check that the correct mains voltage is set on the mains unit
(fuse on back of unit).
 Connect the mains unit to AC mains power.
 Ensure that the camera power is turned off.
 Set the voltage switch on the mains unit to 26 V.
Plug the battery cable KC-20S or KC-29S (spiral cable) into the power
supply socket on the camera and into the 26 V socket on the mains unit.
Note: The NG 12/24 R was the original design that provided 12 & 24 volts output – it
was superseded by the NG 12/26 R, which outputs 12 & 26 volts. The NG 12/24 R
can easily be upgraded to NG 12/26 R specification at an ARRI service center.
7.4
Cine-Style Batteries
Any Cine-style battery with level of 24 V and a three-pin XLR out can be
used to power the camera through a KC-20S or a KC-29S.
Available from ARRI is the battery CINE VCLX/2 battery (280 Wh) with
charger.
22
Power Supply
To connect the battery to the camera:
 Ensure that the main switch on the camera is off.
 Plug the battery cable KC-20S or KC-29S (spiral cable) into the power
supply socket on the camera and the battery 28 V output socket.
Note: When the battery voltage drops below the warning level, the BAT1 level in the
camera display will start flashing. A white "i" will appear, signaling more information is
available on the INFO screen.
Note: For more information on setting the low battery warning level, see
Menu>System>Power (on page 88).
Charging the battery
 Connect the charger to AC mains power.
 Plug the charger cable into the charge input socket of the battery.
 Once charged, batteries may be kept on the charger until required.
Note: For more information on CINE VCLX/2 battery and charger, please check the
corresponding manual.
7.5
Onboard Batteries
The camera can be equipped with adapters for either V-Lock or Gold Mount
video-style batteries.
Four different adapters are available:
 BAB-G: Back-mount adapter Gold Mount batteries
 BAB-V: Back-mount adapter V-Lock batteries
 BAT-G: Top-mount adapter Gold Mount batteries
 BAT-V: Top-mount adapter V-Lock batteries
Note: Adapters must be installed by a trained technician!
7.6
V-Lock Batteries
V-Lock batteries are available from a number of manufacturers. Some of
these batteries are able to transmit information on their remaining capacity to
the camera. ALEXA displays the remaining capacity in percent on the
Homescreen of the camera display. For these batteries, the user does not
need to set the battery warning level due to the communication of camera
and battery. Currently, batteries by ID-X, Bebop or any battery using the TIprotocol for battery communication will have their capacity displayed as
percentage in the camera.
V-Lock Batteries
23
Attaching the battery to the adapter
 Place the battery with the V-shaped wedge into the adapter so that the
wedge sits right above its counterpart of the mount.
 Move the battery downwards until you hear a snap.
 Make sure it is connected correctly and sits tight.
Releasing the battery
 When facing the battery, press the button located on the mount on the
left side. Some batteries have an additional top-release mechanism.
 Move the battery upwards and remove it.
Figure 8: ALEXA with BAB-V and V-Mount battery
Note: Not all V-Lock batteries deliver enough power to supply the camera. We
recommend to not use any batteries with a capacity of less than 90 Wh to prevent
damage to the battery and unpredictable camera behavior. Any camera-battery
combination should be tested prior to use, especially when accessories are powered
through the camera.
24
Power Supply
7.7
Gold Mount Batteries
Gold Mount is the battery mounting system of Anton Bauer batteries. The
batteries transmit information on their remaining capacity to the camera.
ALEXA displays the remaining capacity in percent on the Homescreen of the
camera display. For Gold Mount batteries, the user does not need to set the
battery warning level due to the communication of camera and battery.
Attaching the battery to the adapter
 Place the battery with the three pins into the adapter so that the pins
sit in the corresponding holes of the mount.
 Move the battery to the right until you hear a snap.
 Make sure it is connected correctly and sits tight.
Releasing the battery
 When facing the battery, move the lever located on the left side of the
mount down.
 Move the battery left, then pull it towards you and remove it.
Figure 9: Camera with BAB-G and a Gold Mount battery
Note: Not all Gold Mount batteries deliver enough power to supply the camera. We
recommend to not use any batteries with a capacity of less than 90 Wh to prevent
Power Outputs
25
damage to the battery and unpredictable camera behavior. Any camera-battery
combination should be tested prior to use, especially when accessories are powered
through the camera.
7.8
Power Outputs
The camera has three power outputs for accessories, 2x 24 V and 1x 12 V.
Figure 10: 24 V outputs (RS) and 12 V output
7.8.1
12 V Accessories
The 12 V output is located on the right side of the camera and has a 2-pin
LEMO connector. It is limited to 12 V and can supply a device with a current
of up to 2.2 A, depending on the camera power supply.
7.8.2
24 V Accessories
Two RS outputs are located on the right side of the camera. They have a 3pin Fischer connector. They can supply two devices with a combined load of
up to 2.2 A (shared with the EXT connector power out), depending on the
camera power supply. When the camera is powered from a source with a
voltage below 24 V, they output 24 V. If the camera's power source is
supplying more than 24 V, this voltage level is also present on the RS
outputs.
Besides powering accessories, these sockets can also be used to send a
remote start+stop signal to the camera.
26
Installation of The Camera
8
Installation of The Camera
8.1
Minimum Equipment Recommended
For Operation
 ARRI ALEXA camera body including SxS module and Lens Adapter
PL mount without LDS (LA-PL-1)
 EVF-1 Electronic Viewfinder
 VMB-1 Viewfinder Mounting Bracket
 KC 150-S Viewfinder Cable short 0.35m/1.2ft
 CCH-1 Center Camera Handle
 BP-12 Bridge Plate with base plate, or BPA-1 with BP-5/BP-8 Bridge
Plate and base plate, or WA-1 Wedge Adapter and Quick Release HD
Baseplate
 SD card
 Compatible power supply
 Sony SxS-PRO card for recording
8.2
Tripod and Remote Heads
Tripod and remote heads used with ALEXA have to provide enough load
capacity to support the camera and attached accessories. The table to the
right shows the camera weight for different components.
Note: Check for the payload of remote heads and cranes.
In applications where the camera mount is subject to high forces (e.g. car or
helicopter mounts) the camera must be additionally secured with retaining
cords. All fastening screws must be tightened firmly with an appropriate
screwdriver (not with the commonly used coin!).
Camera weight
lbs
kg
ARRI ALEXA incl. SxS module, EVF-1, VMB-1,
CCH-1, KC-150S
16.85
7.65
ALEXA camera body including SxS module
13.79
6.26
Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1
1.65
0.75
Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-1
0.55
0.25
Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1
8.3
27
Viewfinder Cable short KC-150S
0.26
0.12
Center Camera Handle CCH-1
0.60
0.27
Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1
The EVF-1 employs an LCOS imaging device together with a temperature
stabilized LED light source to provide an accurate and bright view of the
sensor image under all operating conditions. The viewfinder is calibrated to
match the image of the camera's HD outputs.
The image area of the EVF-1 has a size of 1280x720 pixels. 32 additional
pixels each above and below the image provide two status bars for
displaying camera information. The EVF-1 can display the 10% surround
view area of the sensor to help the operator track unwanted elements before
they enter the recorded image area. Focus can be checked by temporarily
zooming into the image center with a magnification of 2.25x. The low-latency
interface of the EVF-1 has a delay of less than 1 frame.
28
Installation of The Camera
The viewfinder is connected to the camera with the mounting bracket VMB1.
Figure 11: Camera with EVF-1
Note: Do not point the viewfinder eyepiece at direct sunlight or bright light sources, as
this could damage the LCOS imaging device. If possible, cover the eyepiece when
not in use to prevent any damage.
8.3.1
Viewfinder Cables
The viewfinder cables are unidirectional with a male plug to connect to the
camera and a female plug to connect to the viewfinder.
Cables are available in the following lengths:
Model
Length
Purpose
(m / ft)
KC-150-S
0.35 / 1.2
For use of EVF-1 on camera left side in
handheld mode
KC-151-S
0.65 / 2.1
For use of EVF-1 on camera right side or
when using Viewfinder Extension Bracket
VEB-1
KC-152-S
2.00 / 6.6
Longest possible length for use with specialty
rigs
Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1
Figure 12: EVF cables: KC-150S (center), KC-151S (middle), KC-152S
(outer)
8.3.2
Viewfinder Mounting Bracket
The viewfinder mounting bracket VMB-1 is attached to the camera with two
3mm Allen screws at the very front of the camera top. The viewfinder is
attached to the mounting bracket by sliding the dove tail into the receptacle
of the mounting bracket and then closing the lever on the viewfinder.
The position of the viewfinder can be adjusted by loosening the levers of the
mounting bracket, adjusting the position as desired and closing the levers.
It can be flipped over by first unscrewing the cap at the end of the side
adjusting rod, then removing the rod itself and inserting it into its mount from
the other side. Then reattach the cap.
Note: Camera right operation is not possible with the standard EVF cable KC-150-S.
Instead, the longer cable KC-151-S is needed.
Figure 13: VMB-1 on camera
29
30
Installation of The Camera
The viewfinder extension bracket VEB-1 extends the mounting point of the
EVF further back. It can be attached to a tripod head for use with geared
heads or greater comfort when using fluid heads. The VEB-1 has a standard
attachment point for the ARRI eyepiece leveler EL-3. When using the VEB-1
with an eyepiece leveler, loosening the friction where the VEB-1 and the
VMB-1 are joined is critical as tiliting can the damage the friction setting.
Figure 14: EVF extension bracket
Figure 15: Camera with EVF-1 on extension and cable KC-151S
Center Camera Handle CCH-1
8.4
Center Camera Handle CCH-1
The Center Camera Handle CCH-1 is attached to the camera top with 3
screws, two at the front and one at the back. Make sure the screws are well
tightened with a 3mm Allen key.
Figure 16: Camera with CCH-1, side view
31
32
Installation of The Camera
The handle extension block HEB-2 mounts to the front end of the CCH-1 and
adds one more focus hook to the camera in a high position, so the tape
measure clears the matte box.
8.5
Side Camera Handle SCH-1
The SCH-1 is used in conjunction with a BAT-V or BAT-G battery top
mounting adapter, or with third-party onboard recorders. It is attached to the
camera with 3 screws, two at the front and one at the back. Make sure the
screws are tightened firmly with a 3 mm Allen key.
If a tall battery or a tall third-party onboard recorder is used, the adjustable
center grip of the SCH-1 can be replaced by the taller Adjustable Center Grip
Tall (ACG-2).
Bridge Plate BP-12
33
Figure 17: SCH-1
Figure 18: Camera with SCH-1, side view
8.6
Bridge Plate BP-12
The bridge plate BP-12 has been newly developed for ALEXA. It mounts
directly to the camera housing with two screws and ensures that iris rods,
matte boxes and follow focus units are positioned properly in regards to the
optical center of the camera, just like all other ARRI cameras.
34
Installation of The Camera
8.7
Bridge Plate adapter BPA-1
The bridge plate adapter BPA-1 can be used to attach a BP-3/BP-5/BP8/BP-9 to ALEXA. First attach the BPA-1 to the camera with the two screws.
Then attach the bridge plate to the adaptor with its two screws. Make sure
the screws are tightened firmly with a screwdriver.
Wedge Adapter WA-1 + Quick-Release Plate
8.8
Wedge Adapter WA-1 + Quick-Release
Plate
The WA-1 can be mounted at the same position as a bridge plate. It has a
dove tail that slides into the counter part of a quick-release plate, like the
ARRI QR-HD-1. The quick-release plate has a pin at its back, which fits into
the pin receptacle at the back of the camera base.
Figure 19: ARRI QR-HD-1
8.9
Leveling Block LB-1
The leveling block LB-1 attaches to the bottom of the ALEXA back foot. It
prevents the camera from resting on a back mounted battery when a bridge
plate is attached and the camera is placed on a flat surface.
It is mounted by inserting its top lid into the pin receptacle on the end of the
shoulder arc in the camera base. Twist the knob clockwise to tighten.
Figure 20: Leveling Block LB-1
35
36
Installation of The Camera
8.10
Shoulder Pad SP-3
The camera base has an integrated arch to fit to the operator's shoulder. For
extended handheld shoots, the newly designed shoulder pad SP-3 can be
attached to the base of the camera with velcro.
Note: The SP-3 can only be used with a BP-12 and 19 mm rods or with 15 mm rods
and a WA-1+quick-release base plate. When using the BPA-1 with a BP-5/BP-8, the
bridge plate has to be removed prior to attaching the SP-3.
Figure 21: SP-3 shoulder pad
Figure 22: SP-3 below camera
Shoulder Pad SP-3
9
37
Connectors
Camera back
Figure 23: Connectors at back
From top to bottom: MON OUT, RET/SYNC IN, EXT, REC OUT 1&2, BAT,
ETHERNET
Camera right
Figure 24: Connectors on right side
From left to right, top to bottom: 2x RS (24 V) out, AUDIO OUT, TC, 12V out,
AUDIO IN, SD CARD (camera bottom)
38
Connectors
Camera left
Figure 25: Camera left: SxS slots
Top to bottom: SxS slot 1, SxS slot 2
Camera front
Figure 26: Camera front connector
EVF connector
BAT
39
9.1
BAT
The BAT connector can be used to power the camera from an external
power source with cables KC-20S and KC-29S.
It is located on the camera back lower right.
9.2
REC OUT 1&2
The REC OUT consists of two BNC plugs capable of carrying 1920x1080
1.5G or 3G HD-SDI signals with frame rates from 23.976 to 60 fps according
to SMPTE standards 274M, 292M, 372M and 425M. The signal format can
be changed in the camera menu.
The connectors are located on the camera back mid right.
9.3
RET/SYNC IN
Via the RET connector a return signal from another image source can be fed
into the camera for displaying on EVF and/or MON OUT. The signal must be
a 1920x1080 422 1.5G single link according to SMPTE 274M and 292M.
It is located on the camera back mid right.
9.4
MON OUT
The MON OUT is a single BNC connector capable of carrying a 1920x1080
422 YCbCr 1.5G HD-SDI signal with frame rates of 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 or
30 fps according to SMPTE standards 274M and 292M. The signal format
can be changed in the camera menu.
It is located on the camera back upper right.
9.5
EXT
The EXT connector is a multi-pin accessory connector. It carries signals for
communication with various accessories and 24V power. The maximum
power output is 2.2A, shared with the RS outputs.
Cables are currently available for:
 Connecting a UMC-3 remote motor controller
(model UMC Connection Cable (0.80m/2.6ft) K-UMC3-ALEXA)
 Connecting two ALEXA cameras for synchronized operation
(model EXT to EXT Cable (2.00m/6.6ft) KC 155-S)
40
Connectors
The connector is located on the camera back mid right.
9.6
ETHERNET
Regular ethernet connectors neither deliver power nor the durability and
reliability required by ARRI, so ALEXA uses a 10-pin LEMO connector. A
special cable, available from ARRI (model KC-153-S), is required to connect
the Ethernet socket to a standard RJ-45 Ethernet socket.
The ethernet port can be used to operate two ALEXA cameras with synced
settings by connecting the cameras with cable KC 156-S, or to connect and
RCU-4 to the camera.
The ethernet connector can output 24 V with 1.2 A power.
It is located on the camera back lower right.
9.7
EVF
The EVF connector connects the camera to an EVF-1 electronic viewfinder.
The signals on this connector are proprietary and can only be used to drive
an EVF-1. This proprietary signal assures very low latency for the viewfinder
image.
It is located on the camera front lower left.
9.8
AUDIO IN
2-channel analog line level audio can be fed to the camera via the 5-pin XLR
connector located on the front right side of the camera.
The audio signal is A/D-converted to 24 bit 48 kHz PCM.
9.9
RS
The two RS connectors supply external accessories with at least 24 V power
and combined load of up to 2.2 A (shared with the EXT connector power
out). The sockets also accept an ARRI remote start/stop trigger button.
They are located on the camera right lower front.
9.10
12 V
The 12 V connector supplies an external accessory with 12 V power and up
to 2.2 A current.
It is located on the camera right lower front.
TC
41
9.11
TC
The TC connector is a 5pin LEMO socket. It accepts and distributes LTC
(Longitudinal Time Code) signals.
It can be used to
 Jam sync the camera time code to a Clockit, TC Slate or another
camera
 Transmit the camera's time code to a Clockit, TC Slate or another
camera
 Tune the camera crystal oscillator's frequency with an Ambient ACC
Clockit Controller
It is located on the camera right lower front.
9.12
AUDIO OUT
The AUDIO OUT is a 3.5mm TRS connector (headphone jack), which
outputs the audio fed to the 5-pin XLR connector with a maximum power of
2.5 dBm.
It is located on the camera right lower front.
Note: Do not connect a headphone to the camera during recording. Connecting a
headphone to the camera can cause a short audio signal interruption due to static
electricity.
9.13
SD Card
The SD card slot is located at the bottom on the camera right side middle.
Most SD or SDHC card with a capacity of up to 4 GB can be used. The card
must be pre-formatted with a FAT or FAT32 file system. The slot is protected
from dirt and rain by a slider door. Insert the SD card according to the
drawing on the camera housing.
Note: Always keep the slider door closed during operation to prevent dirt and
moisture from entering the camera.
42
Connectors
On the SD card, the folder structure presented in the following example
should be created by the user prior to first use of the card.
Figure 27: Folder structure required for SD card
The correct folder structure can be created by the camera. Go to
MENU>System>SD card>Prepare SD card. The camera will create all
missing folders.
Firmware update files are recognized by the camera anywhere within the
structure, but are still recommended to be placed in the Firmware folder.
9.14
SxS Slots
On the camera's left side are two SxS-PRO card slots. They are behind a
door that can be opened by pulling the top lid backwards. The door opens
towards the camera housing for permanent accessability even in tight
spaces or on special rigs. Make sure the door is always closed to prevent
moisture and dirt from entering the camera!
The cards are inserted with the card contacts first and the SxS labeled side
outwards. They have to be pushed inwards against a spring until they lock in
place. Make sure the cards are locked before closing the door, or the cards
could be damaged.
Note: Do not force the cards into the slots in the wrong direction. This could cause
damage to both card and camera!
To release a card, push it inwards until it is unlatched. The spring will push
the card outwards. Be careful that the card does not drop out of the slot!
Cards do not have to be mounted or unmounted. They can be ejected
whenever the camera is not writing to the cards. Even if cards are ejected
during record, they maintain their functionality with the last take intact,
except that the last second of the take is lost.
SxS Slots
43
Note: If a writing process is interrupted by power loss or card eject, remove the card
from the camera, copy all data from the card and format the card before using it
again.
A card select button is located between the card slots. By pushing it, the
currently active card can be toggled.
Each card has an LED that signals the card state to the user.
LED state
Card state
Off
No card present
Card is unreadable (e.g. wrong file system)
Card is inactive
Solid green
Card is selected and ready
Solid red
Card is accessed (read/write)
!DO NOT REMOVE CARD!
Only Sony SxS-PRO cards can be used with ALEXA. Sony SxS-One cards are not
supported.
44
Optics
10
Optics
ALEXA is equipped with an exchangeable lens mount.
Note: Lenses must cover an image circle of at least 30 mm diameter to eliminate the
risk of vignetting.
10.1
Lens Adapter PL Mount LA-PL-1 (no
LDS)
The lens adapter LA-PL-1 is the standard lens mount delivered with ALEXA.
It can be used to attach any modern PL-mount lens to the camera.
Attaching a lens to the camera
 Twist the bayonet ring anti-clockwise as far as it will go.
 Remove the protective lens cap.
 Insert the lens into the lens mount receptacle without catching it at the
edges. One of the four slots on the lens mount must fit over the index
pin in the lens mount receptacle.
 Choose a lens position that gives good readability of lens markings.
 Press the lens flat onto the lens mount receptacle.
 Twist the bayonet ring clockwise until the lens is attached.
 Make sure the lens is properly mounted.
Note: When no lens is attached to the camera, use the protective cap to avoid dust
entering the lens cavity.
Note: The sophisticated design principle of the camera’s optical module delivers
outstanding images with a cinematic look and feel, but also makes the imager
sensitive to contamination. Dust particles that have settled on the sensor cover glass
during a lens change may become visible as dark spots in the output image, similar
to lint leaving marks on exposed film. The degree of this effect depends on the
aperture of the lens.
Lens Support
45
Figure 28: PL mount LA-PL-1 with index pin
10.2
Lens Support
Heavy lenses may require additional lens support. This guarantees that the
flange focal depth is not influenced by the lens weight and reduces stress on
the lens mount.
To support a lens use 15mm studio or 19mm studio rods and a fitting lens
bridge. 15mm studio rods require a bridge-plate with 15mm studio rod
support (BP-3/BP-9 + BPA-1), while 19mm studio rods require a bridge-plate
with 19mm studio rod support (BP-12 or BP-5/BP-8 + BPA-1).
The lens bridge LS-10 for 15 mm studio rods is mounted to the rods by
pushing it on the rods from the front, while the lens bridge LS-9 for 19 mm
studio rods is mounted to the rods by pushing it on them from the top.
46
Optics
When the bridge is in the right position on the rods, it is fixed with the screw
or lever on its side. It is attached to the lens support ring with its center
screw. The lever on the back of the lens bridge fixes the height of the center
screw.
Figure 29: Camera with BP-12, 19mm studio rods and lens bridge
Main Controls
11
47
Camera Controls
The camera can be controlled through three different interfaces:
11.1
1
Main
controls
Located on the camera right side. Consist of a 3" LCD-screen
with screen buttons changing their behavior depending on
the screen content, a jogwheel to navigate through menus
and adjust parameters and a range of function buttons with
dedicated behavior.
2
Operator
controls
Located on the camera left side. Consist of three assignable
function buttons plus three function buttons for quick-andeasy operator interaction.
3
EVF
controls
Located on the electronic viewfinder. Allow adjustment of
viewfinder parameters and the most important image related
parameters.
Main Controls
The main controls can be used to set all camera parameters.
Figure 30: Main user interface
48
Camera Controls
11.1.1
Display
The LCD display on the right side has a size of 3" and a resolution of
400x240 pixels. The display is back illuminated and transflective which
results in exceptional contrast even in bright sunlight. The brightness of the
display can quickly be adjusted by simply turning the jogwheel when the
Homescreen is displayed.
A removable plastic shield protects the display from scratches and can
simply be removed by pulling it off the four pins on its corners that hold it in
place.
11.1.2
Screen Buttons
Six screen buttons are located above and below the display. They change
their behavior depending on the screen content. The function related to each
button in a screen is shown by a black label in the screen located below or
above the button. Buttons without a black label have no function in that
screen.
Operations that cannot be reversed and can result in the loss of data require
the simultaneous pressing of two buttons to prevent accidental use.
11.1.3
HOMESCREEN
Figure 31: Homescreen
The HOMESCREEN is the default screen of the camera. It shows the most
important camera parameters and gives quick access to changing them
through the screen buttons.
Screen content
Screen Buttons
FPS
Currently set frame rate of sensor, adjustable from
0.750-60.000 fps.
Main Controls
49
AUDIO
Shows current level of audio. If Audio is set to Off, the
audio input is switched off, no audio is embedded to
HD-SDI outputs, and no audio tracks are recorded on
the SxS-PRO cards. The same applies if audio is
disabled, which is the case if the sensor frame rate is
not equal to the project fps setting (=over- or
undercranking).
SHUTTER
Currently set shutter angle of sensor, adjustable from
5.0-358.0°. Shutter Angle and sensor fps determine
exposure time of the sensor in seconds by the
following equation: Angle/(360*Fps).
EI
Currently set exposure index rated in ASA. ALEXA
has a base sensitivity of 800 ASA, the camera rating
can be adjusted from 160-3200 ASA.
Note: ASA rating is identical to ISO rating.
Note: Exposure Index is not applied to ARRIRAW
signals.
COLOR
Opens color screen, where gamma and look settings
for SxS , REC OUT, MON OUT and EVF can be
changed .
WB
Camera white balance. This is the color temperature
of the light source the camera is currently adjusted
for. Can be adjusted from 2000-11000 Kelvin in steps
of 100K. In addition to the red/blue correction of the
white balance, ALEXA can also compensate for a
green/magenta tint. This value, called CC (after color
compensation), is shown as an exponent of the WB
value. Positive values are marked with a "+" and
negative values with a "-".
The camera can also perfom an automatic white
balance upon a button press.
Center Info Bar
TC
Displays current time code including source
(INT=internal or EXT=external source). Frames are
not displayed, instead the timebase of the time code
is shown in small digits.
camera is set to Ext sync: MASTER
camera is set to Ext sync: SLAVE
Settings sync is active
BAT 1
Voltage level power source present at BAT
connector, or percentage of remaining capacity of
attached battery if it transmits this information.
BAT 2
Voltage level of battery attached to onboard battery
adapter, or percentage of remaining capacity of
attached battery if it transmits this information.
REEL
Identifies current reel. Consists of camera index and
reel counter.
CLIP
Identifies current clip. Consists of Clip index and clip
50
Camera Controls
counter.
DUR
Duration of current clip during recording or length of
last recorded clip during standby. Shown as
h:mm:ss.
CARD section
Displays capacity information of SxS-PRO cards.
Capacity of currently active card in minutes.
Calculated for currently set framerate and codec.*
Green capacity bar showing remaining capacity in
percentage.
Grey if card slot is empty.
Red if card cannot be recorded. In this case, see
INFO screen for more details.
<
Marks the active card.
The camera is in standby and ready to record.
The camera is recording.
An error occured. Recording is not possible. Press
the INFO button for more info.
If nothing is shown, the camera works properly, but
no SxS-PRO card is present for recording.
* Note: The value that is shown is the minimum available recording time for the
currently set senor fps. Apple ProRes, the codec family used for image encoding in
ALEXA, is a variable bit rate codec, so the available recording time depends on the
image content. It can well be that the available recording time exceeds the value
displayed here.
Icons
Name
Icon
Description
General
Warning
Important information waiting on the
INFO screen.
General Error
An error occured. Check the INFO
screen for more info.
Temperature
Warning
Small sensor temperature offset.
Image quality might be affected
slightly.
Temperature
Error
Large sensor temperature offset.
Image quality might be affected
seriously.
Main Controls
51
Lock
Camera is locked.
SD Card
SD card present. Turns orange when
card is accessed.
Grab
Still frame is currently grabbed to the
SD card.
Tropical
mode
Sensor is in tropical mode (=40° C
sensor temperature).
Radio
WRS radio is active (ALEXA Plus only)
Note: A sensor temperature warning or error after bootup is normal until the sensor
has reached its preset temperature.
11.1.3.1
Lists and User Lists
The HOMESCREEN screen buttons FPS, SHUTTER, WB (White Balance)
and EI (Exposure Index) open screens with lists that contain preconfigured
values for the respective setting.
Except for EI, all lists are user lists where the user can store a selection of
his preferred settings for quick access.
52
Camera Controls
Select a list value
Figure 32: Sensor fps list
To select a list value, turn the jogwheel until the selection bar is on the
desired value and press the jogwheel.
Add a list value
If the list lacks the required setting, press the ADD screen button. This opens
a screen where the desired value can be set. Either use the jogwheel for
changing the value, or use the screen buttons for bigger adjustment steps.
When the desired value is set, press the jogwheel to add the value to the list.
Note: A maximum of 16 entries are supported by the list. After reaching this number
of entries, it is no longer possible to add entries without deleting others first.
Delete a list value
List values no longer required can be deleted by pressing the DELETE
screen button. This opens a screen where the values desired for deletion
can be selected with the jogwheel. To delete the selected value, press the
two lower outer screen buttons simultaneously.
Note: Every list contains standard values that cannot be deleted. These values are
grayed out in the DELETE screen.
Note: The EI list is static and cannot be changed by the user. It contains ASA values
from 160-3200 ASA in steps of 1/3 stop.
Main Controls
11.1.3.2
53
FPS
Pressing the FPS screen button opens the FPS list screen. It contains the
default frame rates 23.976, 24.000, 25.000, 29.970, 30.000, 48.000, 50.000,
59.940 and 60.000 fps.
Figure 33: Sensor fps list
Note: Access to this screen is disabled during record.
The maximum fps value that can be set is determined by the maximum
frame rate recordable by the SxS-PRO card in use. This value is influenced
by the codec set for recording, as well as the write speed of the card. While
the write speed is a constant factor, the codec and its data rate can change
the maximum frame rate the card can record at.
If the desired frame rate cannot be set because it is greyed out, changing the
SxS codec to one with a lower data rate can re-enable the high frame rates.
The lower screen buttons provide shortcuts to the screens of SxS CARDS
(MENU>Recording>SxS CARDS) and SxS INFO (INFO>SxS CARDS) and
SDI FPS. In the SDI FPS screen, both MON OUT and REC OUT frame rates
can be adjusted within the limits of their current format settings.
Setting sensor fps through REC OUT fps
If the sensor fps is linked to the REC OUT frame rate, a message appears
instead of the list. While this setting is active, sensor fps can only be
changed by changing the REC OUT frame rate.
54
Camera Controls
To change this setting, access the REC OUT menu screen
(MENU>Recording>REC OUT) and set "REC OUT fps sets sensor fps" to
"Off".
Figure 34: Fps screen with linked sensor fps
Setting correct frame rates for recording with external devices
It is very important to pay good attention to setting frame rates when
recording with external devices. Mistakes can result in dropped frames and
ruin the shot.
The sensor fps setting determines the amount of frames per second
generated by the sensor. This can be anywhere in the range between 0.750
and 60.000 frames per second. The images are then processed by the
camera electronics for the different output paths.
The REC OUT is the recording output path, whcih transmits images to an
external recorder that stores the images. Its frame rate can only be set to
standard speeds.
Ideally the REC OUT frame rate matches the sensor frame rate! If the REC
OUT frame rate is lower than the sensor frame rate, the images cannot be
output as fast as they are created by the sensor, resulting in dropped frames
which are irretrievably lost!
If the REC OUT frame rate is higher than the sensor frame rate, duplicate
frames are output on the REC OUT. For example, if the sensor is running at
10 fps and the REC OUT is set to 30 fps, every image is output 3 times,
resulting in two duplicate frames following every active frame. A standard
recorder would record these duplicate frames, which have to be removed in
post.
To prevent this, the camera can mark the duplicate frames with a Variflag. If
the recorder supports Variflag recording, it will discard the duplicate frames
and only record the active frames. This saves valuable storage space and
worktime. To activate the Variflag in the camera, go to
Menu>Recording>REC OUT>Variflag.
Main Controls
55
The MON OUT should match the sensor and the REC OUT frame rate. If the
sensor frame rate exceeds the available MON OUT frame rates, set the
MON OUT to half the sensor frame rate if possible. This minimizes to risk of
jittering image movements.
How to correctly set frame rates for recording with external devices:
 Decide which frame rate you want to set
 Go to MENU>Recording>REC OUT
 Set the REC OUT frame rate to the desired value. The HD-SDI format
should match the recorder's setting
 If the desired sensor frame rate is a standard speed, set "REC OUT
fps sets sensor fps" to "On". This way, the sensor always follows the
REC OUT frame rate, avoiding dropped or duplicate frames.
 When the REC OUT settings are done, press HOME.
 Go to MENU>MON OUT and set the frame rate to the same value as
REC OUT. If this is not possible because the REC OUT frame rate
exceeds the range of MON OUT frame rates, use half the frame rate
of the REC OUT.
 When the MON OUT settings are done, press HOME.
 If sensor is not set by REC OUT, press FPS and choose the desired
sensor fps value from the list. Then press the jogwheel.
 If the desired value is not available, press the ADD screen button to
set the desired value and add it to the list by pressing the jogwheel.
 All frame rate settings should be correct now.
11.1.3.3
AUDIO
Pressing the AUDIO screen button in the Home screen opens the Audio
screen. This screen shows the level on the two audio channels in the
camera. The audio levels are displayed from -45 dB FS to 0 dB FS.
Note: When audio is switched off or disabled, no meters are displayed, but a
message shows OFF or DISABLED. Audio is disabled by the camera when sensor
fps does not match project fps.
56
Camera Controls
Light blue markers show reference levels of -20, -18 and -9 dB FS.
Red markers at levels -1 and 0 dB FS warn of clipping. With a properly
levelled audio signal, the red markers should almost never be visible.
Figure 35: Audio screen
Gain can be applied to the audio channels by either turning the jogwheel to
set both channels, or with the associated screen buttons (CH 1/2/ +/-)
individually. The amount of gain applied by the camera is visible next to the
levels in light gray.
Pressing the OPTIONS screen button opens the audio options screen. It
contains a list of audio parameters to set.
Figure 36: Audio options screen
 Record: Sets audio recording On or Off. If audio recording is switched
off, no audio is recorded in the QuickTime clips, the HD-SDI contains
no audio, and the Audio out is muted, too.
 Channel 1 level: Manual allows the user to manually apply gain to the
input signal on channel 1 to reach a correct level. Unity matches a 4
dBu input signal to -20 dB FS. This setting leaves enough headroom
for recording and avoids audio clipping. With unity, audio levels can
not be adjusted by the user.
 Channel 2 level: Manual allows the user to manually apply gain to the
input signal on channel 2 to reach a correct level. Unity matches a 4
dBu input signal to -20 dB FS. This setting leaves enough headroom
for recording and avoids audio clipping. With unity, audio levels can
not be adjusted by the user.
 Channel 1 source: Choose whether left or right input signal shall be
routed to channel 1.
Main Controls
57
 Channel 2 source: Choose whether left or right input signal shall be
routed to channel 2.
 Soundroll (=Tape): Enter the name of the soundroll (also known as
Tape in the menus of some recorders) of an external audio recorder,
for easier sound alignment in post. The name is written to the FCP
XML file on the SxS-PRO cards.
Figure 37: Audio out screen
The AUDIO OUT opens a screen where the global volume for both Audio out
channels can be adjusted. The OPTIONS button in this screen loads a list of
Audio out options.
Figure 38: Audio out options
 Left out: Sets which channel is routed to the left output.
 Right out: Sets which channel is routed to the right output.
Note: This setting does not influence audio embedding in HD-SDI or recording in
QuickTime clips. It only affects the AUDIO OUT connector!
 Audio out level: Choose to determine the level of the audio out
channels manually, or set it fix to the maximum output.
Note: ALEXA automatically determines the internal signal run time and matches
audio and images so they are always in sync. When changing sensor fps or project
fps, it may take up to 2 seconds for the camera to resync image and audio signals.
58
Camera Controls
11.1.3.4
SHUTTER
Pressing the SHUTTER screen button in the HOMESCREEN opens the
SHUTTER list screen. The list contains default shutter angles 11.2°, 22.5°,
45.0°, 90.0°, 172.8°, 180.0°, 270.0° and 358.0°.
Note: Access to this screen is disabled during record.
Below the list, the actual exposure time at the currently set frame rate is
shown.
Note: Be aware that combination of long exposure times (small sensor frame rate
with large shutter angle) and high exposure indexes can lead to image artifacts!
Figure 39: Shutter list
The shutter angle can be set in a range from 5.0° to 358.0°.
11.1.3.5
EI
The Exposure Index is the applied sensitivity of the camera.
Note: The Exposure Index list has a fixed content, meaning that it cannot be changed
by the user.
Figure 40: Exposure Index screen
Main Controls
59
ALEXA has a basic sensitivity of 800 ASA. This means that the dynamic
range is almost evenly distributed above and below neutral grey with very
low noise in the dark parts of the image and a very clean and smooth
clipping behavior in the bright parts.
Due to its high dynamic range, the sensitivity can be set in a range from 1603200 ASA in steps of 1/3 stops while keeping a high image quality.
Applying the extreme ASA ratings will nonetheless have an influence on the
images. At low ASA ratings like 160 ASA, the dynamic range below neutral
grey increases, which will reduce noise even further. At the same time, the
dynamic range above neutral grey is slightly reduced. The clipping itself is
not influenced by this, but the shoulder of the gamma curve will get slightly
steeper, which will reduce the smoothness of the clipping.
At high ASA ratings like 1600 ASA, the images behave the opposite way.
Noise is increased, which makes it important to judge the dark parts of the
image, while the clipping behavior will be even smoother.
Figure 41: Exposure Indexes and latitude aboive and below neutral grey
60
Camera Controls
Figure 42: Graphical comparison of latitude at different exposure indexes
Main Controls
11.1.3.6
61
COLOR
By pressing the COLOR button all settings related to color management can
be accessed. The first screen gives an overview of the color settings of all
image paths of the camera. It shows the currently active gamma on EVF,
MON OUT, REC OUT and SxS. In addition, it shows whether a look is active
on any of these image paths, and which look is selected in the camera.
Figure 43: Color screen
Look files are a way for the user to influence the color appearance of the
camera. A look file alters the way the sensor image is converted to video
color space. Image paths that are set to LOG C cannot have a look applied
and are always recorded clean.
The currently selected look file can be applied to any of the image path by
pressing the correspnding screen button. If no look is selected, or if a path is
set to LOG C, it cannot have a look applied.
To select a look file, press the SET LOOK screen button and select a look
from the list. Confirm the selection by pressing the wheel.
Figure 44: List of look files on camera
62
Camera Controls
The looks are stored in the camera. Additional looks can be loaded from the
SD card. Press the ADD button to see look files stored on the SD card.
These look files must be stored on the SD card in a folder named 'LookFiles'.
The required folder structure on the SD card can be created under
MENU>System>SD card>Prepare SD card.
Look files on the camera that are not needed any more can be deleted by
pressing the DELETE button. Select the look and press the two lower screen
buttons labeled DELETE simultaneously to remove the look file from the
camera.
In the COLOR screen, pressing the GAMMA button opens a screen where
the Gamma of all 4 image paths (SxS, REC OUT, MON OUT, EVF) can be
adjusted centrally.
Gamma defines the contrast curve that is applied to the images. Three
different gamma settings are possible:
LOG C
Gamma according to Cineon specification. Images
are prepared for output to film material or DI-like
treatment. Images will appear flat on a standard
broadcast monitors, the use of external devices to
apply a LUT is a must to get visually pleasing images
on a monitor.
REC 709
Gamma according to ITU.R-BT709 standard. Images
are prepared for playback on standard broadcast
monitors.
DCI P3
The new option is suited for DCI P3 (also known as
SMPTE 431-2) compliant displays. This color space
is used for digital cinema purposes.
LOG C film
matrix
When set to "On", a matrix is applied to the image
paths set to LOG C, which makes the image appear
like an image coming from a film negative that has
been scanned with an ARRISCAN. This is meant for
a DI workflow that utilizes preview LUTs that were
generated for film scans.
Note: Due to technical limitations, it is not possible to set REC OUT to REC 709 and
SxS to DCI P3, and vice versa. When one of them is changed, the value of the other
image path is matched automatically by the camera.
Main Controls
63
LOG C is an intermediate color format and not designed as a display
standard. Thus color grading becomes an obligatory post production step
and for proper previewing, creation of dailies or editing proxies it is
necessary to use Look Up Tables. Matching preview LUTs can be generated
with the ARRI ALEXA LUT generator on www.arridigital.com.
11.1.3.7
WB
Pressing the WB screen button in the HOMESCREEN opens the WBlist
screen. The list presets are 3200K for Tungsten, 4300K for Fluorescent,
5600K for Daylight and 7000K for Daylight cool.
White Balance adjusts the color balance of the camera according to the
lighting in use. It can be adjusted in steps of 100K from 2000 to 11000K.
In addition to the white balance, which influences only the red-blue balance
of the image, the CC (color compensating) shift can also adjust the greenmagenta balance.
Any light source that does not have a continuous spectrum, like fluorescent
tubes, will have peaks in its spectrum that can not be corrected with the
traditional white balance. The CC shift can correct these peaks up to the
same amount of a full green or a full magenta gel. 1 step of CC SHIFT
translates to 035 Kodak CC values or 1/8 Rosco values.
Figure 45: White balance list
64
Camera Controls
White balance and color compensation should be adjusted only with the help
of appropriate equipment. This can either be a color meter or a vectorscope
together with a calibrated grey card.
The camera can also perform an automatic white balance. To do this, press
the AUTO WB screen button once. The EVF and MON OUT image show a
mask with a center cut-out. Place a well-lit grey card in the are of the mask
cut-out, and press the AUTO WB screen button again. The camera will
calculate a WB and CC value based on the color values in the image center.
If these values are out of range, or the image center is strongly under- or
over-exposed, the camera cannot calculate a WB value and will show an
error message.
The AUTO WB value is always stored as the first entry of the WB list. This
entry is overwritten every time an automatic white balance is performed. To
save an AUTO WB value, press ADD after the successfull calulation, and
press the wheel twice. The AUTO WB result will be saved as a user value in
the WB list.
User entries of the WB list can be assigned a new name to match either the
type of lighting used, or to match to a certain type of setup (e.g. INDOOR
DAY).
In the WB screen, press RENAME, then adjust the string as desired, and
confirm the changes by pressing DONE. The action can be aborted by
pressing BACK.
Figure 46: WB rename screen
Note: Default values cannot be renamed.
Main Controls
11.1.4
65
Function Buttons
The main controls feature the following function buttons:
ON/OFF
Press shortly to switch the camera on. To switch off
the camera, the button must be pressed for several
seconds. In the Homescreen, a countdown is
displayed. If the button is released before the
countdown has elapsed, the camera does not shut
down.
REC
Starts/stops internal recording to SxS-PRO cards.
LOCK
Press long to lock/unlock the user interface. Buttons
USER, REC, HOME, INFO and ON/OFF are not
affected by the lock.
GRAB
Grabs a still frame to an internal cache, from where
the image is written to the SD card. When storing the
image is finished, a new frame can be grabbed.
TC
Enters the screen for configuring Time code.
WRS
Available on ALEXA Plus only, it gives access to the
Plus camera functions.
PLAY
Activates playback on MON OUT and EVF. Opens
the play screen and loads the last active clip of the
SxS-PRO cards in pause.
INFO
Enters the Status Info screen, where you get
information on the system's state. Also available is
version info, where you get information on camera
hard- and firmware, storage info giving details about
SxS-PRO cards, and system info.
USER
Enters the user screen, where the three user buttons
of the operator controls, as well as the five screen
buttons of the user screen (Note: the top three
screen buttons of the user screen reflect the behavior
of the three user buttons that are part of the operator
controls) can be assigned with user defined
functions.
MENU
Starts the menu, where most camera settings can be
adjusted. Navigate inside the menu with the
jogwheel.
BACK
When navigating, this button brings you back to the
previous screen. When editing, this button reverts
your adjustment and quits edit mode.
HOME
Returns to the Homescreen from any other screen.
66
Camera Controls
11.1.4.1
TC (Time Code)
The TC screen shows the currently set TC. The currently active TC settings
are displayed below the TC values.
Figure 47: Timecode screen
Note: Individual frame values are not shown in the screen, even though they are
counted.
By pressing the OPTIONS screen button, the Time Code options list opens,
where TC settings can be changed.
 Source: Choose the TC source
Int TC
Internal TC counter
Ext LTC
TC is read from the LTC input. Only possible with
Mode set to Free Run, and the project fps must
match the sensor fps setting!
 Mode: Defines how the TC is counted
Rec Run
TC will only increment during record. The TC value is
increasing with every frame generated by the sensor
during record while counting with the set time base
(=project fps).
Free Run
TC is running free. If the source is set to Int TC, and
the sensor frame rate does not match the time base
of the TC, the value is incrementing with every new
frame generated by the sensor while counting with
the set time base (=project fps).
 Generator:
Main Controls
67
Regen
Rec Run TC is regenerated from the last valid TC
value.
With Ext LTC, it means that the camera is
continuously reading the TC signal at the LTC socket
as long as it is present. Only upon disconnection or
loss of signal, the camera continues counting on its
own. When the external signal reappears, the
camera uses the values of the external signal again.
With Int TC, the value is increased with each new
image generated by the sensor.
Jam sync
Only Ext LTC can be jam synced. This means that
the external TC source is connected to the camera,
then the camera reads the external TC count and
continues counting on its own. Due to a highly
precise crystal oscillator in ALEXA, the internal
counter will count accurately for 8 hours. After that
period, the camera has to be resynced to avoid any
TC offset.
The camera can be synced to TC signals whose time
base differs from the camera's project fps, as long as
both are integer (24, 25 and 30 fps) or non-integer
(23.976 and 29.97 fps) signals. It is not possible to
mix signals of these two groups.
Note: It is recommended to sync after every shooting break to avoid the risk of having
to resync during the shoot.
Note: The camera will keep its TC for about 10 minutes after disconnection from the
power source. If a power source is connected, the camera will remember its TC for
as long as the power source is connected, even if it is switched off.
 Userbit source: shows the source of the user bits.
Internal
User bits are set manually in the User Bit screen.
LTC in UB
When using Ext LTC as TC source, the user bits
are sampled from the external signal.
Press the SET TC screen button to adjust the TC counter (only with Int TC
as source). Reset it or match it to the system clock with the upper screen
buttons that appear during edit mode.
Note: The camera will force Time code to "Internal Rec Run Regenerate" if the
sensor fps does no match the project fps!
The PROJECT button is a quick link into the PROJECT menu screen, where
project fps can be adjusted. Project fps sets the time base of the time code.
Note: Non-integer TC time base settings 23.976 and 29.97 are currently always
counted as non-dropframe time code!
68
Camera Controls
USER BITS
Press the USER BITS screen button to access the USER BITS screen.
The content of the User binary group in the time code. Can contain 8 letters
of Hex values (0-9, A-F).
Press the SET UB screen button to adjust the User Bits values.
Figure 48: User bits screen
Note: If Vari flag in the REC OUT menu screen is set to "On", the last two digits
cannot be set, as they contain the Vari flag.
11.1.4.2
INFO
STATUS Info
The first INFO screen contains information on the current state of the
camera system. If the camera behaves normally, the message "System
state: Good" is displayed. Other messages can either contain a warning or
an error message.
When an SD card is present, a system log can be stored to the SD card by
pressing the lower mid screen button labeled SAVE TO SD. Patience is
required as it can take about a minute until the log is written to the SD card.
Note: Saving a system log is only necessary if the camera is showing unnormal
behavior. It can then be sent to the ARRI camera service for analysis. The log is not
human-readable and can only be analyzed by the ARRI camera service.
Main Controls
69
VERSION Info
Cam serial
no.
The serial number of the camera.
Cam ID
Translation of the camera serial number to Base36,
with an additional prefix for 3D applications.
Firmware
Version number of the currently installed camera
SUP (Software Update Packet).
EVF serial
number
The serial number of the viewfinder that is attached
to the camera.
EVF
firmware
Version number of the viewfinder's firmware.
Figure 49: VERSION info screen
SxS CARDS Info
Codec
Currently set codec for internal recording.
Status
Current status of SxS-PRO cards in slot 1 and 2.
Free
capacity
Free storage space of SxS-PRO cards in percent.
Write speed
Maximum write speed of the SxS-PRO cards.
Determined by camera during format.
Max. fps
current
Maximum frame rate of the SxS-PRO cards with
currently set codec.
70
Camera Controls
Card size
Total available storage space on SxS-PRO card
Figure 50: SxS CARDS info screen
SYSTEM Info
Date
Currently set date. Can be set in
MENU>SYSTEM>DATE/TIME.
Time
Currently set time. Can be set in
MENU>SYSTEM>DATE/TIME.
Fan speed
Speed of camera cooling fan in rotations per minute.
Sensor
temperature
Current temperature of image sensor. Target is 35°C
in standard mode, 40°C in tropical mode.
IP address
IP address of the camera's Ethernet port.
Operating
time
Shows the total operating time of the camera in
hours (since first installation of SUP 4.0)
Figure 51: SYSTEM info screen
FPS Info
Gives an overview of all frame rates in the camera.
Sensor fps
Frames per second generated by the sensor.
Project fps
Frames per second the Timecode is counting and
frame rate used for playback of QuickTime clips.
Main Controls
71
REC OUT
frame rate
The rate at which frames are output on the REC OUT
HD-SDI.
MON OUT
frame rate
The rate at which frames are output on the MON
OUT HD-SDI.
SxS CARD
1 max. fps
Maximum frames per second the SxS-PRO card in
card slot 1 can record with currently set SxS codec.
SxS CARD
2 max. fps
Maximum frames per second the SxS-PRO card in
card slot 2 can record with currently set SxS codec.
Figure 52: FPS Info screen
11.1.4.3
USER
By pressing the USER button the USER screen is loaded where the screen
buttons can be assigned with user defined functions.
The upper three screen buttons of the USER screen mirror the behavior of
the three assignable buttons on the camera left side (labeled 1, 2, 3). The
two outer lower screen buttons function as additional assignable buttons with
extended functionality.
By pressing the lower right EDIT screen button, the functions can be
assigned to the buttons.
Figure 53: User screen
72
Camera Controls
Assign functions to the buttons by using the jogwheel.
Figure 54: Edit User Button assignment
For user buttons 1-3, which are also available on the camera left side, the
following functions can be assigned:
Name
description
None
button has no function
MON OUT surround
toggles surround view of the MON OUT image
on/off
MON OUT gamma
toggles gamma of the MON OUT between
REC 709 and log C (only with recording
gamma set to log C)
MON OUT frame lines
toggles frame lines of the MON OUT image
on/off
MON OUT status info
toggles status info of the MON OUT image
on/off
Mon out false color
toggles false color display on MON OUT on/off
MON OUT peaking
toggles peaking on MON OUT on/off
Frame lines color
toggles color of frame lines image on/off
EVF surround
toggles surround view of the EVF image on/off
EVF gamma
toggles gamma of the EVF image between
REC 709 and log C (only with recording
gamma set to log C)
EVF frame lines
toggles frame lines of the EVF image on/off
EVF status info
toggles status info of the EVF image on/off
EVF zoom
toggles the zoom function of the EVF
EVF false color
toggles false color display on EVF on/off
EVF peaking
toggles peaking on EVF on/off
Grab still frame
grabs a still frame to the SD card
Return in active
toggles RET IN signal active ond EVF and
MON OUT according to user settings
Toggle SxS
toggles the currently active SxS card
Main Controls
73
Check last clip
play last 5 seconds of last clip, then return to
live image
Circle clip
set a clip to Circle clip during recording
User buttons 4 and 5 have partially different functions
11.1.4.4
Name
description
None
button has no function
MON OUT surround
toggles surround view of the MON OUT image
on/off
MON OUT gamma
toggles gamma of the MON OUT between
REC 709 and log C (only with recording
gamma set to log C)
MON OUT frame lines
toggles frame lines of the MON OUT image
on/off
MON OUT status info
toggles status info of the MON OUT image
on/off
MON OUT false color
toggles false color display on MON OUT on/off
MON OUT peaking
toggles peaking on MON OUT on/off
Return in active
toggles RET IN signal active ond EVF and
MON OUT according to user settings
Frame lines color
toggles color of frame lines image on/off
Toggle SxS
toggles the currently active SxS card
Format Card 1
quick link to the menu screen where SxS card
1 can be formatted
Format Card 2
quick link to the menu screen where SxS card
2 can be formatted
PLAY
Clips that have been recorded to the SxS cards can be played back by the
camera on EVF, MON OUT and REC OUT.
Note: The REC OUT signal cannot be used for playback when it is set to ARRIRAW.
74
Camera Controls
Pressing the PLAY button opens the play screen and loads the last clip in
pause. Pressing the wheel plays the clip back. pressing the wheel again
brings the clip back into pause.
Figure 55: Play screen
In the play screen the playback actions can be controlled.
STEPSIZE
Toggles the scrub stepsize between 1 frame and 1
second.
CIRCLE
CLIP
Mark the clip as circle clip. This will set the <GOOD>
tag in the FCP XML to YES. Press again to unmark it.
LIVE
Switches to the live sensor image as long a the button
is pressed.
Note: When surround view is active, the image angle changes slightly when switching
between live and playback image because the playback image does not contain the
surround view.
The jogwheel can be used to scrub through the paused clip. The scrub
stepsize is shown in the lower mid of the screen.
Additionally, important clip information is visible. The clip name is shown in
the top line of the blue center bar. Below it is a progress bar showing the
current position in the clip. The current duration is shown below the progress
bar at the left, and the total duration at the right. The center shows the
playback Time code.
Note: Do not eject a card during playback.
Main Controls
75
To stop playback and return to the live image, press HOME or BACK. If you
press REC, playback is stopped, recording is started and the Home screen
is loaded.
OPTIONS
The OPTIONS screen button opens a list of general playback options.
Figure 56: Play options screen
 Clip end action: Determines what happens when the end of a clip is
reached. Options are Pause and Loop.
 Show frame lines: Sets frame lines to On or Off during playback.
Center mark is always switched off during playback.
 Status info on MON OUT: Sets status info overlays on MON OUT on
or off during playback.
CLIPLIST
The CLIPLIST screen button loads a list of all clips on the SxS card, where a
different clip can be selected for playback. Additional clip info is shown at the
bottom of the screen.
Figure 57: Cliplist screen
76
Camera Controls
11.1.5
Menu
The menu contains parameters for the basic camera setup. It has a tree
structure and the current path in the menu is displayed in the top section of
every screen.
To access a new menu level, select the group with the jogwheel and press
the jogwheel. This will open the next level.
To go one level back up, press BACK. A parameter has its value displayed
at the right part of the screen. Select it with the jogwheel and press the
jogwheel to edit it.
Cancel an edit action by pressing BACK, confirm the setting by clicking the
jogwheel.
Figure 58: MENU
11.1.5.1
Recording
Provides access to SxS CARDS and REC OUT parameters.
Figure 59: MENU>RECORDING
Main Controls
77
SxS CARDS
ALEXA can internally record to Sony SxS-PRO cards. The card slots are
located on the camera's left side.
SxS recording
Switches SxS recording on or off. With SxS
recording off, power consumption is reduced
by 15 W. Switching SxS recording on takes
approximately 15 seconds to reboot the
hardware.
Codec
Set the codec to be used for internal recording
to SxS cards. Choose from the full range of
Apple ProResTM codecs.
Dual recording
Record parallely to two SxS-Pro cards. Both
cards must be of the same size and must not
differ in structure or content.
Quick format SxS
CARD 1/2
Opens a screen where the SxS-PRO card can
be formatted. This action is fast, as it only
erases the file allocation table.
Erase SxS CARD 1/2
Opens a screen where the SxS-PRO card can
be erased. This action takes longer than the
quick format, but ensures that all data of the
card is erased, and can also result in higher
card write speeds.
Note: Formatting and erasing is only enabled if the write protection of the card is
switched off. The write protection cannot be switched off while the card is mounted in
the camera!
Note: Formatting or erasing an SxS-PRO card removes all data irreversibly from the
card. Be careful not to format any SxS-PRO cards with data before they have been
backed up!
When cards without a valid file system are inserted into the camera, a
screen will appear that asks for card formatting. It is recommended to
directly format the card and not to postpone this action.
78
Camera Controls
Apple ProResTM codecs
The following table gives an overview of the range of ProRes codecs. All
these codecs are supported by ALEXA.
Name
Color
coding
Data rate
@ 30 fps
Recording time on
32 GB SxS-Pro @
30 fps***
max.
frame
rate**
ProRes
422
(Proxy)
YCbCr
45 Mb/s
1 h 23 min
60 fps
ProRes
422 (LT)
YCbCr
102 Mb/s
37 min
60 fps
ProRes
422
YCbCr
147 Mb/s
25 min
60 fps
ProRes
422 (HQ)
YCbCr
220 Mb/s
17 min
60 fps
ProRes
4444*
RGB*
330
Mb/s*
11 min
40 fps
*Without alpha channel (444 only)
**The maximum frame rate is also limited my the write speed of the SxSPRO card in use, which might reduce the maximum frame rate below the
values given in the table.
***Apple ProResTM is a VBR (variable bit rate) codec. This means that the
actually available recording time depends on the image content. The number
given in the table is the MINUMUM available recording time for a 32 GB
card. When image content is easily compressable without loss of image
quality, the available recording time can exceed the number given in the
table.
Also note that the available recording time is given for a 32 GB SxS-PRO
card at 30 fps. A lower sensor fps will increase the available recording time,
while a higher sensor fps will decrease it.
REC OUT
Figure 60: MENU>REC OUT
Main Controls
79
The camera has two HD-SDI outputs that carry the camera image to be
recorded with external recording devices.
Note: Only use double shielded HD-SDI cables for recording to ensure error free data
transmission!
Frame rate
Select the rate at which images are transmitted
per second.
HD-SDI format
Select the format that is used to transmit
images. See following table for format details.
Scan format
Defines how images are transmitted.
 p: Progessive. Images are transmitted line
by line from left to right, starting at the topleft pixel.
 psf : Progressive segmented. Images are
first split into fields, which are then
transmitted line by line from left to right.
Note: Frame rates over 30 fps are only
available in progressive scan. This complies
with SMPTE standards.
Output range
Defines which bit range of the full 10 bit (01023) is used to transmit image data.
 Legal: Uses values 64-940 for RGB and Y
signals, and values 64-960 for CbCr
signals. This complies with the SMPTE
274M 8.7.
 Extended: uses values 5-1019, which
results in about 10% more steps. Complies
with SMPTE 274M 8.12 (called
undershoot/overshoot).
Note: Check which mode your recorder
supports. If you set the camera to extended,
but your recorder only supports legal, you will
end up with clipped images!
REC OUT fps sets
sensor fps
If set to "On", the sensor will always follow the
REC OUT frame rate setting. This ensures no
frames are dropped on the output.
SDI remote
When set to "On", the REC OUT and MON
OUT will carry a flag in their data stream to
signal an external recorder if the camera is
currently recording internally. When SxS
recording is switched off, the REC button will
only trigger the sending of this flag.
Vari flag
When set to "On", the Vari flag marks duplicate
images in the HD-SDI stream. A recorder that
supports the Vari flag can detect these frames
and discard them. This makes sure that no
duplicate frames are recorded if the HD-SDI is
set to a higher frame rate than the sensor.
80
Camera Controls
HD-SDI formats and corresponding frame rates
Format
Links
Used
Image
Raster
Sampling
Structure
Color
Mode
Possible
Frame Rates
(fps)
422
1.5G SL
1
1920x108
0
4:2:2
YCbCr
23.976, 24,
25, 29.97, 30
422
1.5G DL
2
1920x108
0
4:2:2
YCbCr
48, 50, 59.94,
60
422
3G SL
1
1920x108
0
4:2:2
YCbCr
48, 50, 59.94,
60
444
1.5G DL
2
1920x108
0
4:4:4
RGB
23.976, 24,
25, 29.97, 30
ARRIRA
W
1.5G
DL**
2
2880x162
0
Bayer
Bayer
23.976, 24,
25, 29.97, 30
**Note: The RAW sensor image is transmitted wrapped as 1920x1080 RGBA. This
signal can only be recorded with Arriraw T-Link certified recorders.
High-speed recording with ALEXA over HD-SDI
Unlike the ARRIFLEX D-21, which used a proprietary mode for high-speed
recording, ALEXA complies with SMPTE standard 372M in terms of image
transmission.
This means that images are split into fields, and every field is transmitted
over one link. The second field of every image is transmitted over the other
link, so that every link carries an interlaced signal in field integration mode.
The recorder realigns the images correctly into a progressive sequence.
11.1.5.2
Monitoring
The Monitoring section defines setup of EVF-1 electronic viewfinder and
MON OUT. These outputs are meant for monitoring, not for recording of
images.
The frame lines setup applies to both MON OUT and EVF-1. Frame lines
can of course be switched on or off individually for MON OUT and EVF-1.
Main Controls
81
Figure 61: MENU>MONITORING
RET IN path sets on which of the monitoring image paths the signal present
at the RET IN connector is visible when return in is activated via user button.
Electronic level sensitivity is only available on ALEXA Plus and allows the
change the response of the Electronic level overlay for both EVF and MON
OUT.
Electronic Viewfinder
Brightness
Select the brightness of the EVF.
Rotate image
When mounting the EVF to the right side of the
camera, the image can be flipped so it appears
correctly in the viewfinder. Affects only the EVF
image, MON OUT and recording images are not
rotated!
Smooth mode
With smooth mode set, the EVF image shutters less
when panning. Note that smooth mode is only
possible with shutter angles of 180.0 or less.
Surround view
The ALEV III sensor has 10% additional pixels
outside the recorded image for a better monitoring
experience. The user can decide whether he wants to
see these 10% in the viewfinder or not. By switching
surround view on, objects that are not wanted in the
image, such as microphone booms, can be seen by
the operator before they enter the image.
Frame lines &
status info
Links to a screen where frame lines, surround mask,
center mark and status info overlays can be switched
on or off in the EVF.
Peaking
Opens a screen where peaking in the EVF can be
switched on or off, and the strength of peaking can be
set.
82
Camera Controls
Anamorphic
desqueeze
Only shown if a license for anamorphic desqueeze is
active in the camera. The desqueeze can correct the
image for 1.3x and 2.0x lenses. With 2.0x lenses, the
user can choose from seeing the full sensor image
(2.0x), or only the relevant image area (2.0xmag)
while left and right image parts outside the 2.39
aspect area are cropped.
Zoom position
The part of the image which is magnified when
pressing the ZOOM button on the viewfinder can be
set to the center of the sensor image, or a vertically
upwards shifted area (Eye level). The Eye level
setting allows focus check on a person's eyes.
Figure 62: MENU>MONITORING>EVF
Frame lines & status info screen
Frame lines
Frame lines are a reference for framing that typically
consist of an image frame, a center mark and an
aspect ratio reference. See the appendix for more
information on the ALEXA frame line format.
Surround mask
If surround view is set to "On", it must be separated
from the recorded image area to allow proper
framing. Users can choose from different mask
levels, or a black or colored line for separation.
Center mark
A center mark, either a cross or a dot can be added
to the image to help the framing.
Status info
At the upper and lower edge of the EVF, right outside
the active image area, additional status info can be
displayed. The upper area contains camera image
parameters, the lower area contains camera status
infos.
Electronic level
Overlay showing the horizontal levelling of the
camera. Only available on ALEXA Plus.
LDS info
Overlay showing LDS lens info. Available only on
ALEXA Plus.
Main Controls
83
MON OUT
The MON OUT is a 422 1.5G single link HD-SDI output. The output range is
fixed to legal range.
Frame rate
The MON OUT frame rate can be set to 23.976, 24,
25, 29.97 or 30 fps. The frame rate should, if
possible, match the sensor frame rate to avoid frame
drops or duplicate frames on the output, which would
result in jittering images when image content is
moving.
Scan format
Defines how images are transmitted.
 p: Progessive. Images are transmitted line by line
from left to right, starting at the top-left pixel.
 psf: Progressive segmented. Images are first split
into fields, which are then transmitted line by line
from left to right.
Surround view
The ALEV III sensor has 10% additional pixels
outside the recorded image for a better monitoring
experience. The user can decide whether he wants to
see these 10% in the MON OUT or not. By switching
surround view on, objects that are not wanted in the
image, such as microphone booms, can be seen by
the operator before they enter the image.
Frame lines &
status info
Links to a screen where frame lines, surround mask,
center mark and status info overlays can be switched
on or off in the MON OUT.
Peaking
Opens a screen where peaking in the MON OUT can
be switched on or off, and the strength of peaking can
be set.
False color
Activates the false color display on the MON OUT.
The false color display is a visual exposure help that
uses color coding to emphasize significant luminance
values.
Anamorphic
desqueeze
Only shown if a license for anamorphic desqueeze is
active in the camera. The desqueeze can correct the
image for 1.3x and 2.0x lenses. With 2.0x lenses, the
user can choose from seeing the full sensor image
(2.0x), or only the relevant image area (2.0xmag)
while left and right image parts outside the 2.39
aspect area are cropped.
Figure 63: MENU>MONITORING>MON OUT
84
Camera Controls
Note: Only use double shielded HD-SDI cables for monitoring to ensure error free
data transmission!
Frame lines & status info screen
Frame lines
Frame lines are a reference for framing that typically
consist of an image frame, a center mark and an
aspect ratio reference. See the appendix for more
information on the ALEXA frame line format.
Surround mask
If surround view is set to "On", it must be separated
from the recorded image area to allow proper
framing. Users can choose from different mask
levels, or a black or colored line for separation.
Center mark
A center mark, either a cross or a dot can be added
to the image to help the framing.
Status info
At the upper and lower edge of the EVF, right outside
the active image area, additional status info can be
displayed. The upper area contains camera image
parameters, the lower area contains camera status
infos.
Electronic level
Overlay showing the horizontal levelling of the
camera. Only available on ALEXA Plus.
LDS info
Overlay showing LDS lens info. Available only on
ALEXA Plus.
Frame Lines
Figure 64: MENU>MONITORING>FRAMELINES
Frame lines are an image overlay that can be applied to either the EVF
image, the MON OUT image, or both.
ALEXA frame lines are stored as XML files containing definitions what the
frame lines look like.
Main Controls
85
The camera contains default frame lines for 1.33:1, 1.66;1 1.78:1, 1.85:1,
2.39:1, 2.39 1.3x anamorphic and 2.39 2.0x anamorphic aspect ratios.
Additional frame lines can be loaded from the SD card.
To load more frame lines, press the ADD screen button in the Frame lines
data base screen. This opens a list of all frame line files located on the SD
card, which can then be copied to the camera. The camera supports up to
16 frame line templates.
Frame line 1
Select the main frame line template.
Frame line 2
Choose a second frame line, if desired.
User rectangles
Opens a screen where two user rectangle overlays
can be adjusted.
Color
In the frame lines definition file, lines can either be
given a fixed color, or they can have the color
specified as "User". If "User" is chosen for a line, the
setting chosen in this menu section is applied to the
line.
Intensity
Sets the intensity of the frame lines. The higher the
number, the brighter the frame lines appear.
User rectangles screen
User rectangles
Display up to two additional rectangles that can be
adjusted manually.
Set rect 1
Set the shape of rectangle 1. Activate it through User
rectangles.
Set rect 2
Set the shape of rectangle 2. Activate it through User
rectangles.
Note: Default frame lines have "User" specified as color for all content.
11.1.5.3
Project
Project fps
Sets the timebase of the time code, which determines
how many frames the time code counts per second.
Also sets the frame rate of Quicktime clips recorded
to SxS-PRO cards during playback.
Camera index
Identifies camera unit in clips. Influences clip names
on SxS-PRO cards.
Next reel count
Counter assigned to the next new card used for
recording. Automatically increased by the camera.
Influences clip names on SxS cards.
Production info
Redirects to a screen where the user can enter info
metadata regarding the production.
86
Camera Controls
Note: The user should set the value of reel counter to 001 before a shoot begins.
Figure 65: MENU>PROJECT
Production Info
The production info screen contains fields to enter info metadata regarding
the production. The user can enter the names of the director,
cinematographer, location and production. Furthermore, two fields allow
entering undefined data the user would like to add.
Director
Enter the name of the director
Cinematographer
Enter the name of the cinematographer
Location
Enter the name of the location
Production
Enter the name of the production
User Info 1
Enter other info
User Info 2
Enter other info
Main Controls
87
Figure 66: Production info screen
Figure 67: Production info edit screen
11.1.5.4
System
Contains groups of system settings.
Figure 68: MENU>SYSTEM
Sensor
Sensor
temperature
When shooting in tropical conditions with high
temperature and humidity, the sensor temperature
can be changed to "Tropical". This will avoid
condensation on the sensor coverglass.
88
Camera Controls
Power
BAT1 (Plug)
warning
The level at which a power warning is exhibited for
the power source connected to the BAT plug. Can be
adjusted to match the used battery type. Default
value is 21.0 V.
BAT2
(Onboard)
warning
The level at which a power warning is exhibited for
the onboard battery. Can be adjusted to match the
used battery type. Default value is 12.0 V.
Note: At a level 10% below the set warning level, a battery error is emitted. This
means that the power source is treated as insufficient to power the camera and
recording is prohibited.
Figure 69: MENU>SYSTEM>POWER
Smart batteries that transmit their remaining load to the camera emit a
warning at 10% remaining capacity and an error at 5% remaining capacity.
Currently batteries by ID-X, Bebop, Anton Bauer and any battery using the
TI-protocol support this feature.
Display + Beeper
Main Controls
89
Display
brightness
Set the brightness of the camera right side LCD
display. The brightness can also be adjusted when
the Homescreen is active by turning the jogwheel.
Button
brightness
Set the brightness of the button illumination.
Run beeper
mode
Set whether the run beeper shall beep at start or stop
of recording, at both or not at all.
Figure 70: MENU>SYSTEM>DISPLAY
Time + Date
Time
Shows the currently set time (read-only)
Date
Shows the currently set date (read-only)
Set time + date
Opens a screen whre time and date can be set
Time zone
Set time zone to match your current location
DST
Set daylight savings time
Set time + date
Figure 71: MENU>SYSTEM>CLOCK/DATE
90
Camera Controls
Use the lower screen buttons to navigate between the elements in the
screen and to finish your setting.
Figure 72: Set time + date screen
External Sync
Eye index
The first letter of the Camera ID can be changed
between L and R for stereoscopic productions to
identify left and right eye camera. Influences naming
of clips on SxS cards.
Sensor sync
The sensors of 2 ALEXA cameras can be synced.
See Sensor sync (on page 110) for more info.
 Off: The camera is in non-synced mode for regular
use.
 EXT master: The camera sends signals to an EXT
SLAVE camera via the EXT connector containing
sync clock and TC signals.
 EXT slave: The camera listens on the EXT
connector to signals from an EXT MASTER
camera containing sync clock and TC signals.
HD out phase
The phase of the HD out can be adjusted in the range
of -30 to +30 HD clocks (1 HD clock = 13.4 ns). This
can be necessary for 3D applications with external
recorders that require the slave signal to arrive after
the master signal. Shift the phase backwards (+) on a
slave camera or frontwards (-) on a master camera to
achieve this behavior.
Send HD sync
trigger
When using two cameras in sensor sync mode
without settings sync, the EXT MASTER camera
must send a trigger to the EXT SLAVE camera to
ensure the HD outputs of the cameras are synced.
Press the jogwheel to send the trigger.
Settings sync
ALEXA cameras can be operated in synced settings
mode, where two cameras sync their settings via
Ethernet. See Settings sync (on page 111) for more
info.
Main Controls
91
Figure 73: MENU>SYSTEM>EXT SYNC
Fan
Fan mode
Set the fan mode to Regular for locations with ambient
temperatures up to 30°C (86°F). If the ambient temperature
gets higher, set it to Rec low.
Licensed Features
Shows currently installed licenses for licensed features. New licenses
located on the SD card can be installed.
Figure 74: List of installed licenses
Note: Only licenses for the camera in use will appear in the SD card license list.
Licenses no longer needed can be deleted from the camera to prevent the
use of the feature. The license can be reinstalled at a later point in time.
Firmware
The camera firmware can be updated to enable new camera features. To
update the camera firmware, store a SUP (Software Update Packet) file on
the SD card and follow the instructions given with the SUP.
92
Camera Controls
Select update
file
If an SD card containing update files is inserted in the
camera, you can select an update file from the list
and perform an update. Start the update procedure
by pressing the two lower outer screen buttons
simultaneously.
Current version
Release code of currently installed firmware
Note: DO NOT INTERRUPT THE UPDATE ONCE IT HAS STARTED. MAKE SURE
THE CAMERA POWER SUPPLY WILL REMAIN SUFFICIENT FOR THE
DURATION OF THE UPDATE (APP. 15 MINUTES).
Note: On rare occasions, the update process can fail. If the update procedure fails,
try it again until you succeed.
Note: If SxS recording is switched off, switch it back on again before performing a
firmware update.
Figure 75: MENU>SYSTEM>FIRMWARE
Main Controls
11.1.5.5
93
Frame grabs
By pressing the GRAB button, or by assigning the function "Grab still frame"
to one of the user buttons 1-3, a still image from the sensor can be stored on
the SD card.
The images inherit the setting of the REC OUT. If it is set to ARRIRAW,
frame grabs are currently not posible. For all other formats, users can
choose from .jpg, .tif or .dpx file formats in this screen.
Grabbing an image can take up to 45 seconds, depending on the chosen file
format. During this time, no further images can be grabbed.
Compare Grab 2 Live image
An image grabbed with the camera to the SD card can be reloaded to the
camera and displayed on the EVF and MON OUT.
Note: Currently only JPEG images can be used for the compare function.
Load a grab by pressing the LOAD GRAB screen button. A list of all grabs
on the SD card will appear. Select a grab and load it. When loading the
image has finished, press the COMPARE screen button to activate the
image on the selected image paths.
Figure 76: Compare screen
The OPTIONS button gives access to additional settings.
94
Camera Controls
Compare mode
Interleave creates an interlaced image from the live image
and the loaded image. Toggle only displays the laoded
image.
Active on EVF
Sets the compare function on the EVF on or off.
Active on MON
Sets the compare function on the MON OUT on or off.
Note: The image quality on the MON OUT in interleave mode depends strongly on
the connected display device. Displays with a resolution different from full HD
(1920x1080) may show flickering images or other artifacts. This is not caused by the
camera, but the display's electronics.
11.1.5.6
User Setups
In this section the user can store the current setup to the SD card or load
previously stored setups from the SD card. An SD card must be present in
the camera to perform these operations. Only complete camera setups can
be stored or loaded!
Save current
setup
A setup containing the current camera settings is
stored to the SD card. File is named with time and
date stamp.
Load setup
Loads a list with all setups located on the SD card.
Select a setup and load it. Check that the project
settings of this setup realy match those of your
current project.
Factory reset
Resets the camera to factory defaults. Confirm
factory reset by pushing the two lower outer screen
buttons simultaneously when the request appears.
Figure 77: MENU>SETUPS
Note: Before loading or saving a setup, make sure an SD card is present. When
saving a setup, the write protection of the SD card must be switched off.
Operator controls
95
Note: User setups cannot be used across firmware updates. Always create new
setup files after a firmware update, and discard the old ones.
11.2
Operator controls
The operator controls are located on the camera left side and consist of
three function buttons plus three assignable buttons.
1
User button 1.
Can be assigned with functions through the USER
button on the main UI.
2
User button 2.
Can be assigned with functions through the USER
button on the main UI.
3
User button 3.
Can be assigned with functions through the USER
button on the main UI.
REC
Starts and stops internal recording. LED tally goes
red during record.
PLAY
Short press loads last clip. Short press again to
toggle between play and pause. Press for 2 seconds
to stop playback.
LOCK
Long pressing of the button locks the main and the
operator controls. LED indicates if lock is active. Long
pressing again deactivates the locking.
Figure 78: Operator UI
96
Camera Controls
11.3
EVF Controls
The EVF controls are located on the electronic viewfinder. They consist of a
number of function buttons and a jogwheel.
CAM
Opens the viewfinder CAM menu
EVF
Opens the viewfinder EVF menu.
ZOOM
Zooms into the image with a 2.25x magnification for
focus checking. This results in matching one sensor
pixel to one viewfinder pixel. Zoom button toggles
zoom on and off. Active zoom is indicated by an
orange frame around the image.
EXP
Toggles false color display on and off.
The EVF buttons are locked whith the camera UI by pressing the LOCK
button on the camera left or right side until the lock timer has elapsed. On
the right side the timer is shown as a countdown on the display. The locked
controls are visualized by a lock icon. On the left side the locked controls are
visualized by a blue LED next to the LOCK button.
11.3.1
Viewfinder EVF menu
Pushing the EVF button opens a menu in the viewfinder display to set the
viewfinder parameters. Select the setting to be changed with the jogwheel,
press the wheel and set it to the desired value. Press again to confirm. To
quit the menu, press the EVF button.
Brightness
Select the brightness of the EVF. A level of 5 is
recommended for normal circumstances.
Rotate image
When mounting the EVF on the camera right side,
the image can be flipped so it appears upright in
the viewfinder. Affects only the EVF image, MON
OUT and REC OUT are not affected!
Smooth mode
With smooth mode set, the EVF image shutters
less when panning. Note that smooth mode is only
possible with shutter angles of 180.0 or less.
EVF Controls
11.3.2
97
Surround view
The ALEV III sensor has 10% additional pixels
outside the recorded image for a better monitoring
experience. The user can decide whether he
wants to see these 10% in the viewfinder or not.
By switching surround view on, objects that are
not wanted in the image, such as microphone
booms, can be seen by the operator before they
enter the image.
Surround mask
If surround view is set to "On", it must be
separated from the recorded image area to allow
proper framing. Users can choose from different
mask levels, or a black oir colored line for
separation.
Status info
At the upper and lower edge of the EVF, right
outside the active image area, additional status
info can be displayed. The upper area contains
camera image parameters, the lower area
contains camera status infos.
Framelines
Frame lines are a reference for framing that
typically consist of an image frame, a center cross
and an aspect ratio reference. See the appendix
for more information on the ALEXA frame line
format.
Select framelines 1
Choose the main frame lines template from those
stored in the camera.
Select framelines 2
Choose the secondary frame lines template from
those stored in the camera.
Center mark
A center mark, either a cross or a dot can be
added to the image to help the framing.
User rectangles
Display up to two additional recangles that can be
set in the EVF.
Edit user rectangles
Adjust the user rectangles visually.
Framelines color
Change the color of the frame lines.
Framelines intensity
Change the brightness of the frame lines.
Viewfinder CAM menu
Pressing the CAM button on the viewfinder opens the cam menu in the
viewfinder display. The settings displayed in the top bar section of the
viewfinder can be adjusted.
FPS
Sensor fps. Settings of the FPS list can be loaded.
SHUTTER
Shutter angle. Settings of the Shutter list can be
loaded.
EI
Exposure index. Settings from EI 160 to EI 3200
can be loaded, in steps of 1/3 stop.
WB
White Balance. Settings from WB list can be
loaded.
98
Operation of The Camera
The values that can be chosen mirror the content of the respective lists in
the main UI. Select the setting to be changed with the jogwheel, press the
jogwheel to open the list. Select a list value and press the jogwheel again.
To quit the menu, press the CAM button.
12
Operation of The Camera
This chapter describes what has to be done overall to perform a certain task.
It contains the necessary hardware setup and camera configuration to
perform the task.
12.1
Recording
12.1.1
Internal recording
This chapter contains in formation and recommendations for recording with
SxS-PRO cards. The user is of course free to modify the recommended
worksteps to his needs.
Note: ARRI cannot be held responsible for the loss of any data in conjunction with
internal recording!
ALEXA can internally record on Sony SXS-PRO cards. These cards have an
ExpressCard34 form factor and are currently available with 8, 16 or 32 GB
storage space.
Card file format
SxS cards have to be formatted in the camera before they can be used for
recording. ALEXA uses an UDF file system. This file system is read-only for
computers, which means data can be copied from the card to another
device, but the data cannot be manipulated on the card itself.
Card preparation
The typical usage cycle of a card is: Format - Record - Copy - Backup Verification - Format
Format
Before recording, cards have to be formatted in the
camera. The camera always performs a blank format,
which means that the cards contain no meta data and
are not assigned a reel number prior to recording the
first clip. The camera auto-detects cards with a
wrong file system and asks the user to format the
card. ALEXA uses an UDF file system. This file
system is read-only for computer systems, which
minimizes the risk of data corruption.
Recording
99
Record
When pressing the REC button, the camera starts to
write a clip to the card. With the first clip, the card is a
assigned a reel number. More information on file
naming later in this chapter.
Copy
After recording to the card is finished, either because
it is full, or for any other reason, the data should be
copied to another device to minimize the risk of data
loss. Also, the data should be verified after copying
through checksums to ensure that no error has
occured during the copy process.
Backup
The data should actually be copied to two physically
separate destinations, with the first copy being the
"working copy", and the second copy being the
"Backup". These two copy processes can be done in
parallel, as long as the result are two independent
devices containing the verified data.
Format
Only when the data has been copied and verified to
two independent devices, the card should be
formatted to remove all data from it. It is also
recommended that the card is formatted by the
person that has verified the copy and backup, so that
the camera crew only receives empty cards. This
fuctions as a security check, so that the crew is
alerted if they receive a card with valid data on it,
which might not have been copied and backed up.
The card can be formatted with any file system, as it
has to be reformatted by the camera anyway.
Codec
The Apple ProRes codec family consists of 5 different codecs:
Name
Color
coding
Data rate
@ 30 fps
Recording time on
32 GB SxS-Pro @
30 fps***
max.
frame
rate**
ProRes
422 (Proxy)
YCbCr
45 Mb/s
1 h 23 min
60 fps
ProRes
422 (LT)
YCbCr
102 Mb/s
37 min
60 fps
ProRes
422
YCbCr
147 Mb/s
25 min
60 fps
ProRes
422 (HQ)
YCbCr
220 Mb/s
17 min
60 fps
ProRes
4444*
RGB*
330 Mb/s*
11 min
40 fps
*Without alpha channel (444 only)
100
Operation of The Camera
**The maximum frame rate is also limited my the write speed of the SxSPRO card in use, which might reduce the maximum frame rate below the
values given in the table.
***Apple ProResTM is a VBR (variable bit rate) codec. This means that the
actually available recording time depends on the image content. The number
given in the table is the MINUMUM available recording time for a 32 GB
SxS-PRO card. When image content is easily compressable without loss of
image quality, the available recording time can exceed the number given in
the table.
Also note that the available recording time is given for a 32 GB SxS-PRO
card at 30 fps. A lower sensor fps will increase the available recording time,
while a higher sensor fps will decrease it.
Selecting the codec that fits best for the shoot is a crucial task. Choosing a
codec with a high data rate, such as ProRes 4444, delivers the highest
image quality, but at the same time lowers the available recording time on an
SxS card.
ProRes
422 (Proxy)
On-set monitoring and proxy editing while the master
is captured with an external device.
ProRes
422 (LT)
Same as above when higher image quality is desired.
ProRes
422
Basic television application, if images do not require
adjustments in post production.
ProRes
422 (HQ)
High quality TV applications requiring color
correction.
ProRes
4444
Cinema applications requiring color correction and
pulling mattes.
If possible, the full workflow pipeline with the preferred codec should be
tested before a shoot.
Recording
101
Card file format
SxS cards have to be formatted in the camera before they can be used for
recording. ALEXA uses an UDF file system. This file system is read-only for
computers, which means data can be copied from the card to another
device, but the data cannot be manipulated on the card itself.
CARD file structure
SxS cards are named ARRI UDF after they are formatted in the camera until
the first clip is record. Clips are stored in a folder named exactly like the
card. In addition to the clips, an XML file named like the card and the folder
extended by _FCP (example: A001R1JL_FCP.xml) is created by the
camera. The XML file is according to the FinalCutPro XML specification. If
the XML file is opened in FinalCutPro directly from the card, all clips are
imported as one bin into FCP. If the clips are copied from the card to another
destination, the file paths in the XML file have to be adjusted to match the
new file location.
Figure 79: Screenshot of ALEXA SxS card under Mac OS X
File naming scheme
ALEXA automatically names files as they are created on the SxS card. While
it is possible to change the file names later on a computer, it is not
recommended, as the ALEXA naming scheme has been developed to
minimize the risk of duplicate file names.
The file name consists of 6 parts:
 Camera Index: One character, A-Z. User assignable, should match
the camera unit.
102
Operation of The Camera
 Reel Counter: 3 characters, 001-999. Auto-assigned to each card,
increased by one for each new card. The user can change the counter
to be given to the next card. This should only be done on special
occasions, like after changing the camera body in the middle of a
shoot.
 Clip Index: One character, fixed to C. Main use is to separate the reel
counter from the clip counter. If more than 999 clips are recorded to
one card (not likely to happen), it changes to D.
 Date: Current date, in order YYYYMMDD, as set in
Menu>System/Time/Date
 Camera ID: Consists of a 1 letter prefix, user adustable between R
and L, and the camera serial number encoded in 3 letters Base36 (09, A-Z).
The date is separated by underscores at the start and the end.
The reel counter shall be set to 001 at the start of a shoot. The camera will
then automatically increase the reel counter whenever a card is recorded for
the first time after formatting. If a previously recorded card is used again
(comparable to a short end of a film roll), this card will keep its reel count and
the camera will remember how far it has counted. If the reel counter has to
be changed by the user, it can be done via Menu>Project>Next reel count.
Note that this is only recommended for special occasions.
Example
A typical file name could look like this:
A004C010_20100610_R1JL.mov
What it tells the user is that this clip was the tenth clip recorded on the fourth
card used. It was recorded on the 10th of June 2010, and the camera had
the Base 36 serial number 1JL, which translates into the decimal serial
number 2001 (Plenty of Base 36 to decimal converters can be found on the
Internet, for example here: http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/unitsconverter/numbers/calculator/decimal-to-base-36/
http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/unitsconverter/numbers/calculator/decimal-to-base-36/).
Additional recommendations
To ensure correct card handling and reduce the risk of data loss, ARRI
recommends the following procedure for card and data handling:
 Pre-format cards. Format all available cards in the camera before the
shoot starts. This reduces downtime during production caused by the
need to format. Cards do not receive a reel counter before the first clip
is recorded to them, so there is no need to record the cards in a
certain order. Formatting a 32 GB card usually takes less than 10
seconds.
Recording
103
 Limit card recording time. Codecs with lower data rates like ProRes
422 (Proxy) can be recorded for quite a duration onto SxS cards with
high capacities. Users should consider limiting the recording time per
card to a maximum of 30 minutes of material as it is easier to handle
and reduces the impact on the production in case of a problem.
 Immediately copy the data after a card change. The data should be in
a single instance for the shortest time possible.
 Switch on write protection when a card has been recorded and is sent
to the copy instance.
 Switch off write protection when data has been copied and backed up,
then format the card.
Metadata
Metadata is stored in the index.xml file as well as the quicktime file header.
Most important for the post production workflow is the tape name, as it will
be one of the main image identifiers in an EDL. Even though tape name is
not quite a good name for nonlinear media, it is used due to post production
naming conventions. Alternatively, reel name is used sometimes.
The tape name of ALEXA files is limited to 8 letters to match the CMX 3600
EDL standard. It consists of the Camera Index, reel counter and the Camera
ID.
The tape name of the clip from the previous example would then be:
A004R1JL.
Even if the user forgets to assign different camera indices to two cameras on
one shoot, the Camera ID guarantees unique tape names.
Currently one time code track is recorded in the Quicktime file.
Dual recording
Dual recording allows to record in parallel to two SxS-Pro cards to create an
instant backup at the time of recording. To enable dual recording, go to
MENU>Recording>SxS CARDS and set "Dual recording" to "On".
Take care of the following points to ensure successfull dual recording:
 SxS-Pro cards must be of identical size
 For a new reel, both cards must be formatted
 Cards must have an identical file structure
The best way to ensure this is to follow the rules for regular recording, but
with sets of two cards. After recording, one card can be used for the backup
process, and the other card for the copy process.
104
Operation of The Camera
12.1.2
External recording
Uncompressed HD and unprocessed ARRIRAW data is available via the
REC OUT for recording with external devices.
The preferred output format also depends on the application. As a rule of
thumb, the following guideline can be used:
 422 1.5G: Television applications that only require color correction,
high-speed capture above 30 fps
 444 1.5G: High-quality television applications that require color
correction and pulling mattes, cinema applications
 ARRIRAW: High-quality cinema applications for multi-format
distribution
422 1.5G YCbCr
422 is a color sub-sampled format, meaning that the camera-native RGB
image is transformed to YCbCr color space. Y represenst luminance, while
Cb and Cr are color difference signals. These are sampled with only half the
horizontal resolution, as the human eye is less sensitive to color resolution
than to luminance resolution. As a result, bandwidth is saved in transmission
while receiving good visual results.
For frame rates up to 30 fps, 422 1.5G is transmitted over 1 HD-SDI cable.
REC OUT "A" and "B" carry the identical signal independently. Frame rates
higher than 30 fps require 2 cables, and the image signal is carried by REC
OUT "A" and "B" combined.
422 3G YCbCr
3G is an improved HD-SDI format that can transmit signals over 1 cable
which previously required two cables. It transports the same signal as 422
1.5G YCbCr dual link, but over one cable with a higher clock rate. REC OUT
"A" and "B" carry the identical signal independently.
444 1.5G RGB
444 is still in the RGB color space, and each color has its full reolution. This
is important when pulling chroma keys, as these rely on color resolution.
444 1.5G is transmitted over 2 HD-SDI cables, where each of both links
carries a part of the image data. It is important to
 connect REC OUT "A" of the camera with REC IN "A" and REC OUT
"B" of the camera with REC IN "B" of the recorder
 use cables of equivalent lengths for link A and B
Recording
105
ARRIRAW 1.5G DL
ARRIRAW is the name of raw data from ARRI cameras. Raw data is the
sensor image data before it is converted to RGB images. As ALEXA has a
single sensor with a Bayer pattern color filter array, this means that every
pixel only has information of one color channel.
With normal HD images, the missing color channel information is calculated
from the adjacent pixels in the camera.
For raw data, this calculation is delayed until after the recording to save
bandwidth and creative options, as many decisions on how to convert the
images can be made in post.
ALEXA ARRIRAW specs:
 Bayer pattern color coding
 12 bit log luminance coding
 No white balance applied
 No exposure index applied
 Full sensor resolution (2880x1620)
ARRIRAW is transmitted to the recorder via the ARRIRAW T-Link by using a
standard HD-SDI dual link connection with a proprietary coding. An
ARRIRAW T-Link certified recorder must be used for recording. These are
available from a number of manufacturers like Codex, Keisuko Giken or
S.Two.
For more information, go to www.arri.de/arriraw
Note: Only use double shielded HD-SDI cables on all HD-SDI outputs to ensure error
free data transmission!
Triggering record on an external recorder
When "SxS recording" is set to Off, the REC button triggers only the SDI rec
flag. If the recorder understands this flag, it will automatically start to record.
Note: With the SDI rec flag, sucessfull recording cannot be guaranteed, as there is no
feedback from the recorder to the camera.
106
Operation of The Camera
12.1.3
Parallel recording
Recording to both SxS-PRO cards and external devics at the same time
requires additional attention from the user. First, it has to be determined
what function the two sets of data have. For example, the internal recording
could be used for on-set review and proxy editing, while the external device
captures the master data. Or the internal recording is used for TV utilization
and the external recorder captures ARRIRAW for cinematic use.
Remote controlling the external recorder
By activating the "SDI remote" in the REC OUT menu screen, it is possible
to control external recorders if they support this feature. When SxS recording
is set to On, this is only possible while recording to an SxS-PRO card.
Note: There is no feedback channel providing information to the camera if the
external recording is active - make sure to check the external recorder directly!
Timecode on external recorders
To guarantee the same Timecode for images that are parallely record
internally and exterally, set the external recorder so that it uses the TC
embedded in the HD-SDI stream coming from the camera.
12.2
Monitoring
The electronic viewfinder and the MON OUT can be used for monitoring
purposes. They can both display the surround view area, an extra 10% of
image outside the recorded area to track any unwanted objects before they
enter the image.
To help the framing, both EVF-1 and MON OUT can overlay frame lines to
the image. These frame lines are an electronic version of the ground glass of
analog cameras.
12.2.1
Framelines
Frame lines are stored as XML files. A standard set of frame lines is stored
in each camera. In addition, the user can create personal frame lines
matching his preferences.
Once the idea behind the frame lines system is understood, personal frame
lines can be created with little effort.
Description
The different sections in the file are:
 camera: describes the camera that the frame lines file is made for. As
the ALEXA camera system will consist of several cameras in the
future, this is necessary to differentiate between the camera types.
Monitoring
107
 line: all frame lines and the center cross in the active image area
consist of single lines. The line orientation is defined by three
attributes (left and right and bottom or top for horizontal lines, top and
bottom and left or right for vertical lines), where two attributes define
the start and end point, and the third defines the distance from the
parallel image edge.
 Distances for start, end and position are relative to the width or the
height of the image and have a precision of 5.
 To create a centered frame line with a center cross as in the example,
a total of 6 lines is necessary.
 To calculate the position of a line for a given aspect ratio, use the
following formulas:
− horizontal lines for aspect ratios >1.78 (e.g. 1.85): [1(1.78/Aspect)]/2=distance from bottom or top
− vertical lines for aspect ratios <1.78 (e.g. 1.33): [1(Aspect/1.78)]/2=distance from left or right
108
Operation of The Camera
XML example
The best way to understand the frame lines system is by looking at an
example. The following example describes a frame lines file for a 2.35
centered aspect ratio inside the cameras 1.78 recorded image.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!-- NOTES:
All widths are in pixels.
All colors can be one of: black, white, or user.
If you select user, the color can be changed through
the user interface.
You can add as many lines as you like. Lines are
defined by giving 3 distances from the border.
So if you specify top, left and right it will
be a horizontal line with the given distance
from left, right and from the top.
The values are in the range [0, 1], where:
0 is at the edge
1 is on the opposite edge
So specifing 0.4 from left is the same as 0.6 from right.
-->
<framelines>
<!-- The description of the camera, this will
only be used for selecting the correct files.
So the user can only select glasses for his
camera/current setup. -->
<camera>
<type>Alexa EV</type>
<sensor>3K</sensor>
<aspect>1.78</aspect>
<hres>2880</hres>
<vres>1620</vres>
</camera>
<!--user color line at top and bottom of 2.35 aspect-->
<line>
<left>0</left>
<top>0.12174</top>
<right>0</right>
<width>4</width>
<color>user</color>
</line>
<line>
<left>0</left>
<bottom>0.12174</bottom>
<right>0</right>
<width>4</width>
<color>user</color>
</line>
<!-- Center cross horizontal lines, user color -->
<line>
<left>0.46355</left>
<top>0.5</top>
<right>0.50868</right>
<width>4</width>
<color>user</color>
</line>
<line>
<left>0.50868</left>
<top>0.5</top>
<right>0.46335</right>
<width>4</width>
<color>user</color>
</line>
<!-- Center cross vertical lines, user color -->
<line>
<left>0.5</left>
Using Time Code
109
<top>0.43519</top>
<bottom>0.51543</bottom>
<width>4</width>
<color>user</color>
</line>
<line>
<left>0.5</left>
<top>0.51543</top>
<bottom>0.43519</bottom>
<width>4</width>
<color>user</color>
</line>
</framelines>
12.3
Using Time Code
The purpose of Time code is to ensure that each image stored on one
medium has a unique value through which it can be identified. By doing this
in combination with correct reel naming, which is toi ensure that each
storage medium used in a production has a unique name, each image
acquired in a production can be identified uniquely.
There are many different ways how Timecode can be used in a production.
The 2 most common ways are presented as examples.
External TC, Time of day
 Use: This format is often used on multi-camera productions with syncsound. The cameras are running on a sync-sound speed, which is
also the project frame rate. if done correctly, sound and image time
code should match and allow an easy alignment in post.
 Setup: The sound department acts as the Time code master, and
generates a Timecode which uses the Time of day as a value, and the
time base is the project frame rate. 24 hours of time will translate into
24 hours of Time code.
This Time code is fed to the camera via the LTC in. The camera must
be set to Ext LTC Free Run, and the project fps setting must match
both the sensor frame rate and the time base of the external TC signal.
Then the camera can either use Jam sync mode, in which it samples
the TC value once and then continues counting based on its own highprecision crystal clock, and the TC signal can be disconnected from the
camera after jamming. This mode ensures stable time code with an
offset of less than 1 frame for 8 hours, after which the camera has to be
re-jammed. Or the camera can be set to Regenerate mode, where the
camera uses the TC value of the external TC signal. This ensures
correct CT for an infinite duration, but the TC signal must remain
connected to the camera.
 Variations: If the shooting starts close to midnight, the TC might be
started with an offset to prevent a rollover at midnight.
110
Operation of The Camera
 Restrictions: Only possible if the camera is running at sync-sound
speed. If the camera is over- or under-cranking, the TC frame rate will
no longer match the sensor frame rate, so that TC values would either
be duplicate or dropped. Due to this reason, the camera will
automatically switch to Int TC Regen, when the sensor frame rate is
changed.
Internal TC, Rec Run
 Use: Single camera productions, either MOS or where a classical
slate is used for alignment of image and sound. Guarantees
continuous time code for each storage medium. Works alos with overand under-cranking.
 Setup: The camera is set to Int TC Rec Run Regen. TC is only
increased during record by 1 frame for each image generated by the
sensor. The TC counts with the project fps set on the camera as time
base. Normally, the TC hour value is increased by 1 hour for each
new reel, usiong only hours 01-20 for reel 1-20, and then restarting at
hour 01 for reel 21.
 Variations: Might be used on a production normally using external TC
for high-speed scenes, then returning to Ext TC for regular scenes
later.
 Restrictions: None.
12.4
Syncing the Sensors of Two Cameras
For 3D applications or shoots where it is necessary to synchronize the
sensors of two cameras so that images are exposed at the exact same time,
it its possible to sync two ALEXAs through their EXT connectors via cable.
Note: Syncing two sensors is possible in an fps range from 1.000 to 60.000 fps
Syncing the Settings of Two Cameras
First, the cameras have to be connected with an EXT cable (type: KC 155S). After this, the sensor sync mode has to be activated. This is done in
MENU>SYSTEM>EXT SYNC>Sensor sync. One camera has to be set as
EXT master, and the other camera as EXT slave.
The master triggers the slave camera so that images are created at the
same moment of time with an accuracy of 10s. After connecting both
cameras and activating the correct sensor sync modes, this takes about five
seconds. If any error occurs, the camera issues a warning.
Image integration between master and slave camera has a locked offset of
less than 10s. This means that in the worst case, exposure differs by 4.3%
(@ 60fps frame rate and 5.0° shutter angle). With a regular exposure time
(24fps, 172.8°), the maximum difference is 0.05%.
Synchronizing Image Output
The output of images both on the REC OUT and the MON OUT can be
synchronized, too. To achieve this, the user must send a trigger from the
master camera to the slave camera after sensor sync is established.
This is done by selecting "Send HD sync trigger" in the EXT SYNC menu
screen. When pressing the jogwheel, the trigger is sent. The slave camera
will then no longer display the warning "HD outs not synced. Trigger now!".
If the two camera's settings are synced over Ethernet, the trigger is
automatically sent.
When the outputs are synced, jitter between the two camera's HD outputs is
less than 500ns. The HD output of a camera can be pre- or delayed by 30
HD clocks (1 HD clock= 13.46ns), allowing for a total shift of 60 HD clocks
(808ns total) between cameras, if desired.
Timecode
Timecode is also transmitted from the master to the slave via the EXT cable.
When a camera has been set to slave, it automatically uses the TC values
transmitted via the EXT cable. The TC screen will show "EXT TC from
master camera" as TC source, and all options are disabled.
12.5
Syncing the Settings of Two Cameras
It is possible to operate two ALEXAs with synchronized settings.
Camera connection
Connect two ALEXAs with the ALEXA Ethernet/Ethernet Cable KC 156-S, or
with the ALEXA Ethernet/RJ-45 Cable KC 153-S over an Ethernet hub.
Camera setup
Go to MENU>SYSTEM>EXT SYNC, and set "Settings sync" to "ETH
master" on one camera. Set the other camera to "ETH slave".
111
112
Operation of The Camera
The cameras will automatically negotiate IP addresses. After about 5
seconds, connections are established.
The master camera will initially distribute its settings to the slave camera.
Once this is done, settings can also be changed on the slave camera, and
the change will take effect on both cameras. This is useful if the master
camera's controls are not accessible.
If a camera is set to ETH master or ETH slave, but is not connected to
another camera, a warning is emitted on the STATUS Info screen.
Synced settings
This is a list of all settings that are affected by the sync:
WB>White Balance + CC Tint
EI> Exposure Index
FPS> Sensor FPS
SHUTTER> Shutter Angle
COLOR>Gamma>SxS
COLOR>Gamma>REC OUT
COLOR>Gamma>MON OUT
COLOR>Gamma>REC OUT
COLOR>Gamma>EVF
COLOR>Gamma>LOG C film matrix
MENU>Recording>SxS>SxS Recording
MENU>Recording>SxS>SxS Codec
MENU>Recording>SxS>Dual recording
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>Frame rate
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>HD-SDI format
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>Scan format
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>Output range
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>REC OUT fps sets sensor fps
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>SDI remote
MENU>Recording>REC OUT>Vari flag
MENU>Monitoring>EVF>Status info
MENU>Monitoring>EVF>Surround view
Syncing the Settings of Two Cameras
MENU>Monitoring>EVF>Surround mask
MENU>Monitoring>EVF>Framelines
MENU>Monitoring>EVF>Anamorphic desqueeze*
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Frame rate
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Scan format
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Status info
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Surround view
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Surround mask
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Framelines
MENU>Monitoring>MON OUT>Anamorphic desqueeze*
MENU>Project>Project fps
In addition, the slave camera takes over the Camera ID of the master
camera, so file names are identical except for the Camera ID prefix. It is
important to give the master and the slave camera different Camera ID
prefixes to prevent duplicate file names.
*Note: Valid license for anamorphic desqueeze must be installed on both cameras.
113
114
ALEXA Plus
13
ALEXA Plus
The ALEXA Plus has an additional set of features compared to the regular
ALEXA.
 Level sensor
The level sensor determines the camera's tilt and roll
 CLM ports
Three ports for connecting controlled lens motors. Currently supported
motor types are CLM-2 and CLM-3.
 Radio module
Connects wirelessly to hand units for controlling CLMs.
 LDS
ARRI's Lens Data System is supported for reading lens data and
calculating depth of field.
 Additional connectors
An additional MON OUT supplies a second monitor with a monitoring
signal.
Two LCS ports for connecting a WCU-3, a WHA-3 or a ZMU-3
Any ALEXA can be upgraded to an ALEXA Plus by installing the
Plusmodule.
Note: The Plus module must be installed by an authorized ARRI service center.
13.1
General Description
The ALEXA Plus has an extended electronic side cover that offers the
following additional functions over the standard ALEXA:
 Built-in radio modem for wireless remote control of lens and camera.
 Motor drivers for up to three CLM-2 or CLM-3 motors.
 Two LCS bus interfaces for connecting WCU-3, WHA-3 and ZMU-3
hand units
 LDD (Lens Data Display) interface (currently not supported)
 Lens Adapter PL Mount LA-PL-2 with LDS support
 Control of LDS, radio, and lens motors through the camera user
interface.
 A third RS socket.
 A second MON OUT connector.
Optics 115
 An additional function button labeled WRS. It gives access to the
WRS screen, from where all camera setting related to the Plus
camera features can be handled.
Figure 80: CLM sockets
Figure 81: ALEXA Plus connectors
13.2
Optics
116
ALEXA Plus
13.2.1
Lens Adapter PL-Mount LA-PL-2 (with LDS)
The lens mount of the ALEXA Plus supports the ARRI Lens Data System.
The LDS lens must be mounted in the 12 o'clock or 3 o'clock position to
enable the LDS functions. Take great care not to harm any elements of the
LDS contacts on either lens or camera when attaching or deattaching a lens
or lens port cover.
Besides the LDS feature, the same rules as with the LA-PL-1 LA-PL-1 apply.
Figure 82: Lens adapter PL-Mount LA-PL-2 (with LDS)
Radio System
13.3
117
Radio System
A radio unit is incorporated into the ALEXA Plus module. This enables
wireless communication of lens control and lens data information as well as
remote control of basic camera functions.
Yellow radio
The ALEXA Plus can be equipped with yellow radio. This radio system has
also been in use with ARRI film cameras, so it is an interesting option for
rentals that already own equipment with yellow radio. Yellow radio can be
identified by a yellow ring at the antenna mount pont.
Note: Only a limited supply of yellow radio units is still available. Yellow radio is no
longer produced and approaches will no longer be available once all existing units
are sold.
Channel
Frequency
1,3,5,6
2.406 - 2.435 GHz (Low band)
0,2,4,6,8
2.444 - 2.472 GHz (High band)
Note: only odd numbered channels are legally permitted in France!
118
ALEXA Plus
White radio
White radio is the standard radio system for the ALEXA Plus. It has 8
available channels. White radio can be identified by a white ring at the
antenna mount point.
Channel
Frequency
0
2.410 GHZ
1
2.415 GHZ
2
2.430 GHZ
3
2.435 GHZ
4
2.450 GHZ
5
2.455 GHZ
6
2.470 GHZ
7
2.475 GHZ
Within one radio network of camera and hand units white radio and yellow
radio cannot be mixed. In general, it is possible to use both systems in
different radio networks in parallel.
Up to three hand units can be connected to one camera in parallel to form a
radio network.
Note: When a camera is set to "Sensor sync: EXT slave", its radio module
automatically switches itself off, and the camera receives CLM control commands
from the Master camera via the EXT cable.
13.4
Wireless Remote System
13.4.1
Lens Motors
CLM-2 and CLM-3 motors can be used with the ALEXA PLUS. CLM-1
motors are not supported. CLM-2 and CLM-3 motors can be used in a mixed
setup.
Note: Use only one lens motor per lens axis.
Lens motors should be connected, according to their position on the lens, to
the IRIS, FOCUS and ZOOM sockets on the camera's right side.
Wireless Remote System
Motor calibration
After connecting a lens motor to the camera and the lens axis, it must be
calibrated. Every time a lens motor has been deattached from the lens, it
must be recalibrated after reattachment. When CLM-2 or CLM-3 motors are
used, the camera will ask the user to calibrate the lens motors after booting
the camera. As a lens change or a change of the motor position during
power down would invalidate the calibration, the high motor torque of the
CLM-3 could damage the lens when driving with high force against the limit
of a lens axis. If the user is sure that no changes where made to the lens
and motor setup, he can skip this step.
Motor direction
The direction of the CLM-2 and CLM-3 motors can be changed in the
camera settings.
Motor torque
For CLM-3 motors, the motor torque can be adjusted in the camera settings.
Note: Make sure the motor torque level matches the current lens to avoid lens
damage.
3D lens sync
When two ALEXA Plus cameras are set Sensor sync EXT master and EXT
slave, the slave camera will switch off its radio module and receive motor
control commands from the master camera via the EXT connection.
Note: The matching of the master and slave cameras lens ring positions depends on
the mechanical accuracy and matching of the lenses. make sure the lenses in use
are matched as good as possible.
119
120
ALEXA Plus
13.4.2
Hand Units
For detailed unformation of the hand units, please refer to the device's own
manuals.
Wireless Compact Unit WCU-3
The WCU-3 is a compact hand unit featuring a radio system to connect to
the camera wirelessly. It has two LCS ports for connecting the device to the
camera via cable and to attach a ZMU-3. A wheel and a slider can be used
to control focus and iris axes. Zoom axis can be controlled by attaching a
ZMU-3 at an LCS port.
The WCU-3 also has a display where it shows current fps, shutter angle,
exposure index and white balance of the camera.
Wireless Main Unit WMU-3
The WMU-3 is a radio system for wireless connection to the camera. Both
WFU-3 and WZU-3 can be attached to the WMU-3.
Wireless Focus Unit WFU-3
The WFU-3 has a knob and a slider that can be used to control focus and
iris axes. It connects to the camera through a WMU-3 or a WHA-3.
Wireless Zoom Unit WZU-3
The WZU-3 controls the zoom axis. It connects to the camera through a
WMU-3 or a WHA-3.
Wired Hand Adapter WHA-3
The WHA-3 allows both WFU-3 and WZU-3 to connect to the camera via
cable.
Lens Data Display LDD-FP
Zoom Main Unit ZMU-3
The ZMU-3 controls the the zoom axis. It can be connected to the camera
via cable to an LCS port, or via cable through an LCS port of an WCU-3, or
wirelessly by using a WZE-3.
Wireless Zoom Extension WZE-3
The WZE-3 is a radio system that enables direct wireless connection of a
ZMU-3 and a camera.
Hand Unit Priorization
Different priority levels are assigned to the hand unit devices to ensure only
one device has control over a motor at a time.
A device's knob that is assigned to an axis has a higher priority than a
device's slider assigned to the same axis. When steering items of the same
type are assigned to the same axis, the one connected via WRS has highest
priority, second highest priority has a device cable on the upper LCS port,
the lower LCS port has the lowest priority. Of two radio devices with the
same steering items assigned to the same axis, the one that connects to the
camera first gains control.
Cabled devices can gain control of an axis at the time of connection.
Wireless devices must be rebooted if an axis has become idle before they
can gain control.
An exception to the rule are devices on the zoom axis. Here the cabled
devices have the highest priority, with LCS port 1 having priority over LCS
port 2.
13.5
Lens Data Display LDD-FP
The Lens Data Display for Focus Pullers LDD-FP is currently not supported.
121
122
ALEXA Plus
13.6
Plus Camera Controls
The ALEXA PLUS has an additional function button labeled WRS. It gives
access to the WRS screen, from where all camera settings related to the
Plus camera features can be handled.
The WRS screen gives an overview of radio status, camera level, LDS
status, and CLM status. The screen buttons lead to screens containing more
detailed info on these topics and where settings can be changed.
Figure 83: WRS screen
RADIO
Shows the currently set radio channel, the number of connected hand units
and the staus of the radio system. Pressing the screen button opens a
screen where radio can be set on or off and the channel number can be set.
When radio is switched on, a small icon appears in the camera homescreen.
Figure 84: WRS radio screen
CAM LEVEL
Shows the tilt and roll of the camera in degrees as measured by the
camera's position sensor. This sensor can be reset if it appears to have an
offset. Press the CAM LEVEL screen button to access the reset screen. By
pressing the two lower outer screen buttons simultaneously, the sensor is
reset.
Note: The sensor can only be reset while both axis are within a threshold of +/-10
Plus Camera Controls
degrees around 0.
Figure 85: Motion sensor reset screen
LENS DATA
Shows the type of LDS lens connected and the LDS status. The LENS
DATA screen button leads to the LDS screen, where lens info like lens type,
current focal length, iris, focus distance and close and far point of depth of
field are shown.
The OPTIONS screen button opens the LDS options screen, where the LDS
unit can be switched between imperial and metric, and the circle of confusion
for correct calculation of depth of field can be set.
Note: After connecting a new LDS lens, turn all lens rings slowly until all lens axes
have transmitted their current positions.
Figure 86: LDS info screen
LDA
When a non-LDS lens is connected, the user can achieve LDS functionality
by using the Lens Data Archive. In the LDS screen, a button labelled LDA
appears except when a LDS lens is connected.
123
124
ALEXA Plus
The LDA consists of a user list and a main archive list. The user list should
only contain the lenses currently used to achieve quick access to the desired
lens tables. The main archive contains a set of lens tables for ARRI/Zeiss
Highspeed, Master Primes and Ultra Primes and can be extended with
additional lens tables for any PL-Mount lens.
Figure 87: User LDA
Note: Custom lens tables may have to be created manually beforehand.
Pressing the LDA button opens the User LDA. Select a lens table and press
the wheel. After calibrating the lens motors, the LDS functionality can be
used.
To add a lens table from the main archive, access the User LDA screen and
press the ADD button. This opens the Main LDA list. From the main archive,
first select a lens type, the a lens model and then a lens class. The lens
class can be found on the lens barrell below the infinity symbol of the focus
scale. Then select to add the lens table to the user list (Press ADD), use it
without adding (USE), or both (ADD+USE).
Figure 88: Main LDA screen
To delete a lens table from the user archive, access the user list and press
the DELETE button. Select the lens table to delete and press the two buttons
labelled DELETE simultaneously. Repeat this procedure to delete further
lens tables.
Plus Camera Controls
Custom lens tables can be added to the main archive via the SD card. Place
the lens table on the SD card in a folder named "LDA". Insert the SD card
into the camera. Go to the main archive list and press ADD. Select the
desired lens table and press the wheel. The lens table will be located in the
main archive as lens type "Custom".
To delete a custom lens table from the camera, go the the main archive list
and press DELETE. Select the lens table and press the two buttons labelled
DELETE simultaneously. Repeat this procedure to delete further custom
lens tables.
Lenses can also be equipped with the lens data mount LDM. The mount
contains a chip with the lens table stored inside, so the lens transmits its
data to the camera as soon as it is connected. For information on current
ring positions, these lenses must be used in combination with controlled lens
motors.
CLM screens
The screens for IRIS, FOCUS and ZOOM controlled lens motors all have the
same layout. They show the motor type, motor direction and motor torque.
Note: For CLM-2 motors the torque value is greyed out as torque is only active for
CLM-3 motors. It can nonetheless be changed in case a CLM-3 motor might be used
but is currently not at hand.
In addition, a lens motor calibration can be triggered, either for all lens
motors, or only for the one featured in the particular screen.
Note: When starting a motor calibration, make sure each motor's cog wheel is
connected properly to the lens. Pay extra attention that no one is close to the motors
or holding them. Catching a finger, cloth or anything else on the motor's cog wheel
can cause sever body harm as well as damage to the system.
IRIS CLM
Figure 89: Iris CLM screen
125
126
ALEXA Plus
Shows status, direction and torque of the CLM connected to the IRIS socket.
Press the IRIS CLM screen button to access the iris CLM screen. This
screen shows the type of motor connected to the IRIS socket, its direction
and torque. Direction and torque can be changed by the screen buttons
below and above the value. The upper left screen button calibrates only the
iris motor.
Pressing the lower left screen button starts calibration of all connected lens
motors.
ZOOM CLM
Figure 90: Zoom CLM screen
Shows status, direction and torque of the CLM connected to the ZOOM
socket.
Press the ZOOM CLM screen button to access the zoom CLM screen. This
screen shows the type of motor connected to the ZOOM socket, its direction
and torque. Direction and torque can be changed by the screen buttons
below and above the value. The upper left screen button calibrates only the
zoom motor.
Pressing the lower left screen button starts calibration of all connected lens
motors.
FOCUS CLM
Figure 91: Focus CLM screen
Plus Camera Controls
Shows status, direction and torque of the CLM connected to the FOCUS
socket.
Press the FOCUS CLM screen button to access the focus CLM screen. This
screen shows the type of motor connected to the FOCUS socket, its
direction and torque. Direction and torque can be changed by the screen
buttons below and above the value. The upper left screen button calibrates
only the focus motor.
Pressing the lower left screen button starts calibration of all connected lens
motors.
3D Lens Sync
When two cameras are connected and their sensors are synced with via the
EXT connectors, the slave camera will receive its motor commands from the
master camera. Its radio module switches automatically off. Calibration of
lens motors must happen individually for each camera.
127
128
RCU-4
14
RCU-4
Figure 92: RCU-4 remote control unit
The camera can be remote controlled with an RCU-4. This device mirrors
the controls on the camera's right side. It is connected to the camera's
Ethernet port. Power is supplied via the Ethernet cable.
To power the RCU-4, press the power button after connecting the device to
a camera.
During boot-up, the RCU-4 compares its firmware version with the camera
firmware version. If it detects a difference, it will update itself to match the
camera's firmware version. When the update is completed, the RCU-4 will
shut down automatically.
The power button of the RCU-4 only affects the RCU-4. It is not possible to
power or to shut down the camera with the RCU-4. When the camera is
powered down, the RCU-4 shuts down automatically as it loses its power
supply.
The LOCK button of the RCU-4 locks only the RCU-4. It does not affect the
camera lock.
For more info, please refer to the RCU-4 user manual.
Appendix
In this appendix
Appendix
130
Camera Dimensions
133
Connector Pin Outs
137
False Color Display
142
Infos and Warnings
143
A.1
Appendix
Image Sensor
Type
ALEV III CMOS sensor
Sensor frame rates
0.750 - 60.000 fps
Shutter angle
5.0° - 358.0°
Total active pixels
(incl. surround view)
3112 x 1782
Pixels of recorded
image
2880 x 1620
Aperture of recorded
image
23.76 x 13.365 mm
Image aperture (incl.
surround view)
25.674 x 14.701 mm
Pixel pitch
8.25 m
Aspect ratio
1.78:1 (16:9)
Filters
optical low pass, UV, IR
Color filters
RGB primary colors
Lens
Lens mount
Exchangeable lens mount, with PL mount LAPL-1 installed
Flange focal depth
52.00 mm nominal
Image processing
White balance
2000 - 11000 Kelvin
CC Shift
-8 to +8 (translates to full magenta/ full green
gel correction)
EI rating
160-3200 ASA
Recorded image
resolution
1920 x 1080 pixels (downscaled from 2880 x
1620)
Viewfinder
Type
ARRI EVF-1
Technology
LCOS imaging device
Resolution
1280 x 784 pixels
Power
Power supply
DC 11-34V
Power management
Active ORing between BAT connector and
onboard battery adapters
Power consumption
ca. 85W w/o accessories
Power outputs
2 x RS (24V), 1x 12V
Recording
Recording media
Sony SxS-PRO cards
Recording
compression codec
Apple ProRes 422/4444 codec family
Frame rates
0.75-60 fps
Image Outputs
Recording output
2x REC OUT configurable as:
2x 422 1.5G SL YCbCr @ frame rates:
23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps
or
1x 444 1.5G DL RGB @ frame rates:
23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps
or
1x 422 1.5G DL YCbCr @ frame rates:
48, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps
or
2x 422 3G SL YCbCr @ frame rates:
48, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps
or
1x ARRIRAW 1.5G DL @ frame rates:
23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps
Monitoring outputs
EVF out: proprietary signal for EVF-1 with
delay <1 frame
1x MON OUT:
1x 422 1.5G @ frame rates:
23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps
Timecode
Type
TC clock generator with crystal oscillator
TC input
LTC in
TC outputs
LTC out
HD-SDI LTC/VITC out
Dimensions and
weight
Length x Width x
Height (body)
332 x 153 x 158 mm
12.95" x 6.02" x 6.22"
Camera body weight
6.26 kg / 13.79 lb
Camera setup weight
(incl. EVF-1, VMB-1,
CCH-1)
7.65 kg / 16.85 lb
Others
SD card
most SD cards with FAT/FAT32 up to 4 GB
Sound level
under 20 dB(A) @ 24 fps and ambient
temperature < 25° C / 77° F
Environmental
-20° C to +45° C @ 95% relative humidity max,
non condensing
ALEXA Plus
Length x Width x
Height (body)
332 x 175 x 158 mm
12.95" x 6.89" x 6.22"
Camera body weight
7.0 kg / 15.4 lb
Camera setup weight
(incl. EVF-1, VMB-1,
CCH-1)
8.4 kg / 18.5 lb
Lens mount
Exchangeable lens mount, with PL mount LAPL-2 installed
A.2
Camera Dimensions
All measurements are given in mm.
ALEXA
Figure 93: ALEXA left
Figure 94: ALEXA top
Figure 95: ALEXA bottom
Figure 96: ALEXA front and back
ALEXA Plus
Figure 97: ALEXA Plus left
Figure 98: ALEXA Plus top
Figure 99: ALEXA Plus bottom
Figure 100: ALEXA Plus front and back
A.3
Connector Pin Outs
Note: The drawings of the connectors are not to scale.
BAT
1
GND
2
+24V
3
BAT-COM
RS
1
GND
2
24V-AUX
3
R/S
12V
1
GND
2
12V-AUX
TC
1
GND
2
LTC IN
3
ASCII
4
TUNE OUT
5
LTC OUT
EXT
1
RS422-TXD(+)
2
RS232-TXD
3
CAN1-L
4
CAN1-H
5
CAN2-L
6
CAN2-H
7
24V-AUX
8
RS232-RXD
9
RS422-RXD(-)
10
RS422-RXD(+)
11
RS422-TXD(-)
12
GND
13
TTL-IN1
14
TTL-IN2
15
24V-AUX
16
GND
ETHERNET
1
MX-1P
2
MX-1N
3
MX-2P
4
MX-2N
5
MX-3P
6
MX-3N
7
MX-4P
8
MX-4N
9
GND
10
24V-ETH
AUDIO IN
1
AGND
2
L-IN(+)
3
L-IN(-)
4
R-IN(+)
5
R-IN(-)
AUDIO OUT
1
GND
2
R-OUT
3
L-OUT
A.4
False Color Display
The false color display is a tool to check correct exposure. It can be
activated in the EVF and the MON OUT image. When active, the image is
turned into a greyscale image with important luminance ranges shown in
signal colors.
Color Encoding
Six different colors are used to show the important luminance ranges.
Figure 101: False Color Encoding
The following example illustrates the behavior of the false color display.
Figure 102: Night scene captured with ALEXA
Figure 103: ALEXA night shot with false color active
A.5
Infos and Warnings
If anything unwanted occurs in the camera, it will give a message to the
user.
These states, that require attention from the user, are indicated by icons in
the main display, the viewfinder and the MON OUT.
Warnings are message that inform the user that a state has changed or that
an error might occur soon. Anyway, recording is still possible.
If the camera goes into error state, recording is no longer possible, as it
cannot be guaranteed that images are acquired as the user intended, or
recording is simply not possible.
The messages give a compact info what has happened. if more information
is required, please refer to the following tables.
Special warnings and errors: Sensor temperature
ALEXA has a Peltier element that keeps the image sensor at a stable
temperature. This is important to achieve constant image quality. Under
some occasions, the camera might not be able to keep this temperature, or it
might take some time to reach the correct level. This can be the case right
after booting, or with very hot or cold ambient temperatures.
A red temperatrue icon indicates that the sensor temperature is too far off to
guarantee a high image quality, while a white temperature icon indicates that
image quality is still in the (very high set) quality limits required by ARRI.
The related messages in the INFO screen are shown in the following tables.
ALEXA status message
System state: Good
Camera works properly.
ALEXA warning messages and meanings
Warning message
Meaning
Main Bat: Power
warning
The battery attached to the BAT connector has
reached its warning level. Battery power is
about to end, and a replacement battery should
be prepared.
Onboard Bat: Power
warning
The battery attached to the onboard battery
adapter has reached its warning level. Battery
power is about to end, and a replacement
battery should be prepared.
Card 1: Low capacity
The SxS-PRO card in slot 1 has less than 3
minutes recording time left. Prepare a new
card for recording.
Card 2: Low capacity
The SxS-PRO card in slot 2 has less than 3
minutes recording time left. Prepare a new
card for recording.
Card 1: Rec protected
The SxS-PRO card in slot 1 is Rec protected.
Remove the card from the camera, slide the
switch located on the camera back end to the
Rec enable position and re-insert the card.
Card 2: Rec protected
The SxS-PRO card in slot 2 is Rec protected.
Remove the card from the camera, slide the
switch located on the camera back end to the
Rec enable position and re-insert the card.
Card 1: Full
SxS-PRO card in slot 1 is selected, but the
SxS-PRO card is full. Use a new card. Card in
other slot can still record.
Card 2: Full
SxS-PRO card in slot 2 is selected, but the
SxS-PRO card is full. Use a new card. Card in
other slot can still record.
Card 1: Wrong file
system
The SxS-PRO card in slot 1 is not formatted in
the file system required by the camera. Format
the card.
Card 2: Wrong file
system
The SxS-PRO card in slot 2 is not formatted in
the file system required by the camera. Format
the card.
Card 1: Card is too
slow
The write speed of SxS-PRO card in slot 1 is
insufficient for the sensor fps set on the
camera. Use a card with a higher write speed.
Card 2: Card is too
slow
The write speed of SxS-PRO card in slot 2 is
insufficient for the sensor fps set on the
camera. Use a card with a higher write speed.
Camera overheating
The camera system's temperature is reaching
a critical level. this can either be due to a
blocked camera fan or ambient temperature
exceeding the system's limits. Apply additional
cooling or switch of the camera to prevent
hardware damage.
Low sensor
temperature
The sensor temperature is lower than it should
be. High image quality is still guaranteed.
High sensor
temperature
The sensor temperature is higher than it should
be. High image quality is still guaranteed.
External TC: Different
frame rate
The external TC signal's time base differs from
the project fps of the camera. Syncing is still
possible.
Re-jam Timecode
soon
Accuracy of jammed Timecode can soon
expire. Re-jam camera with external Timecode
soon.
Re-jam Timecode now
Accuracy of jammed Timecode has expired.
Re-jam camera with external Timecode.
TC source forced to
internal
Sensor fps does not match Project fps.
External Free Run TC cannot be used, camera
has switched to Int Rec Run TC.
Interface bit error
Reboot camera. If error continues to occur,
contact ARRI service.
Internal processing
problem
Reboot camera. If error continues to occur,
contact ARRI service.
Internal battery error
The internal battery which powers the real-time
clock must be replaced. Contact an ARRI
service center near you.
System problem
Reboot the camera. If error continues to occur,
contact ARRI service.
External TC:
Incompatible frame
rate
The external TC signal's time base is not
accepted by the camera.
HD outs not synced.
Trigger now!
Appears on slave cam with Ext sync activated,
but not using settings sync. Send trigger from
Ext sync master camera to ensure the REC
OUTs of both cameras are in sync.
Connect with Ethernet
slave!
Camera is set to Settings sync: Enet master,
but is not connected with slave camera via
Ethernet
Connect with Ethernet
master!
Camera is set to Settings sync: Enet slave, but
is not connected with master camera via
Ethernet
External TC: Jamming.
Please wait!
Camera jams to external TC signal. Do not
disconnect TC source from camera until
warning disappears.
External TC: Signal
missing!
Camera is set to Ext LTC regen, but external
TC signal is missing.
External TC:
Incompatible frame
rate!
The external TC signal has a time base that
does not match the project fps of the camera.
Framegrab: Grabbing
image failed
A problem occured in the camera. The frame
grab failed.
Framegrab: Storing
image failed
A problem occured with the SD card. The
frame grab failed.
Playback failed
The camera could not play back the internally
recorded clips.
EVF smooth mode not
possible
Smooth mode is set to "On", but either sensor
fps is higher then 30.000, or shutter angle is
higher than 180.0
Ext LTC: Forced to
JAM sync!
Ext LTC had to be switched to Jam sync by
camera system.
Playback failed!
A problem with playback occured. Camera had
to abort playback.
Card removed!
Playback failed!
Camera had to abort playback, as SxS card
was removed.
Calibrate lens motors
New lens motors are attached to the camera.
Prior to use they must be calibrated.
Temperature at limit.
Fan RPM raised.
With camera fan is in "Rec low" mode, fan
noise might exceed silent level because
camera is becoming too hot.
Master/slave: Focus
unit mismatch
With ALEXA Plus and 3D lens sync, both
cameras must have same focus unit activated,
which is not the case here.
Slave: No lens table
active.
With ALEXA Plus and 3D lens sync, select lens
table on slave when using LDA.
REC OUT: Switch on
Vari flag!
When SxS recording is off and sensor fps does
not match REC OUT fps, switch on Vari flag to
prohibit duplicate frames.
ALEXA error messages and meanings
Main Bat: Low power
The battery attached to the BAT connector has
reached its low level (10% below warning
level). Battery must be replaced.
Onboard Bat: Low
power
The onboard battery has reached its low level
(10% below warning level). Battery must be
replaced.
All Bats: Low power
Batteries on both BAT connector and onboard
battery(s) have to be replaced.
Card 1: End of lifetime
The SxS-PRO card in slot 1 has reached the
end of its life cycle and has become read-only.
Use a new card.
Card 2: End of lifetime
The SxS-PRO card in slot 2 has reached the
end of its life cycle and has become read-only.
Use a new card.
Card 1: Write speed
error
The current write speed could not be handled
by the SxS-PRO card in slot 1
Card 2: Write speed
error
The current write speed could not be handled
by the SxS-PRO card in slot 2
Cards 1&2: Full
Both SxS-PRO cards are full. Use fresh cards.
Cards 1&2: End of
lifetime
Both SxS-PRO cards have reached the end of
their life cycle and has become read-only. Use
fresh cards.
Cards 1&2: Wrong file
system
Both SxS-PRO cards are not formatted in the
file system required by the camera. Format the
cards.
Cards 1&2: Rec
protected
Both SxS-PRO cards are rec-protected. Eject
the cards, switch off the protection and reinsert the cards.
Camera overheating
The camera is getting too warm. Apply
additional cooling or shut down to prevent
hardware damage.
Low sensor
temperature
Sensor temperature is out of range. Wait until
error message disappears before continuing to
shoot.
High sensor
temperature
Sensor temperature is out of range. Wait until
error message disappears before continuing to
shoot.
System error
Reboot the camera.
Codec error - Reboot!
An error in the compression module has
occured, and recording was aborted. Reboot
the camera before you continue to record!
Sensor error. Reboot!
The image sensor has a problem. reboot the
camera.
Sensor boot error!
The sensor has not booted. Reboot the
camera.
Fan error. Contact
service!
The fan module is not working properly. Either
install an SFM-1, or contact the ARRI service.
Fatal system error!
Reboot camera now!
Camera has to be rebooted. If this error
continues to occur, a hardware problem might
be the reason. Contact the ARRI service.
Sync clock out of
range
The sync signal clock does not match the
camera setting. Make sure the settings match!
Syncing sensor.
Please wait!
Slave camera syncs to master camera. Wait
until message disappears before starting to
shoot!
A slave is not ready
One of the slave cameras is not ready for
recording.
Software error - reboot
camera!
A part of the camera software has stopped
functioning properly and requires a camera
reboot.
SxS: Audio recording
failed
Audio recording on SxS card failed
REC OUT: Frame
drops. Set frame rate!
Frame rate of REC OUT is smaller than sensor
fps. Make sure REC OUT frame rate matches
sensor fps.
SxS cards differ.
Recording prohibited!
With dual recording active, the two SxS cards
must have identical file structure. Use two fresh
SxS cards and analyze the not matching ones.
If any error that requires rebooting continues to occur regularly, contact the
ARRI service.
15
12 V ...................................................................... 44
12 V Accessories .................................................. 29
Electromagnetic Interference................................ 22
Electronic Viewfinder ............................................ 85
Electronic Viewfinder EVF-1 ................................. 31
ETHERNET .......................................................... 44
EVF....................................................................... 44
EVF Controls ...................................................... 100
Explanation of Warning Signs and Indications...... 19
EXT....................................................................... 43
External recording............................................... 108
External Sync ....................................................... 94
2
F
24 V Accessories .................................................. 29
False Color Display............................................. 146
Fan ....................................................................... 95
Firmware............................................................... 95
FPS....................................................................... 57
Frame grabs ......................................................... 97
Frame Lines.......................................................... 88
Framelines.......................................................... 110
Function Buttons................................................... 69
Index
1
A
About This Manual ................................................ 18
ALEXA Images...................................................... 14
ALEXA Plus ........................................................ 118
Appendix ..................................................... 133, 134
AUDIO .................................................................. 59
AUDIO IN .............................................................. 44
AUDIO OUT .......................................................... 45
G
B
General Description ............................................ 118
General Precautions ............................................. 22
General Safety Instructions .................................. 19
Gold Mount Batteries ............................................ 28
BAT....................................................................... 43
BAT Connector ..................................................... 25
Bridge Plate adapter BPA-1 .................................. 38
Bridge Plate BP-12 ............................................... 37
H
Hand Units.......................................................... 124
HOMESCREEN .................................................... 52
C
Camera Controls................................................... 51
Camera Dimensions ........................................... 137
Center Camera Handle CCH-1 ............................. 35
Cine-Style Batteries .............................................. 25
COLOR ................................................................. 65
Condensation........................................................ 22
Connector Pin Outs............................................. 141
Connectors............................................................ 41
D
Disclaimer ............................................................. 11
Display .................................................................. 52
Display + Beeper .................................................. 92
E
EI .......................................................................... 62
I
INFO ..................................................................... 72
Infos and Warnings............................................. 147
Installation of The Camera.................................... 30
Internal recording................................................ 102
Introduction to ALEXA .......................................... 16
L
Lens Adapter PL Mount LA-PL-1 (no LDS)........... 48
Lens Adapter PL-Mount LA-PL-2 (with LDS) ...... 120
Lens Data Display LDD-FP................................. 125
Lens Motors ........................................................ 122
Lens Support ........................................................ 49
Leveling Block LB-1 .............................................. 39
Licensed Features ................................................ 95
Lists and User Lists .............................................. 55
M
T
Main Controls........................................................ 51
Mains Unit NG 12/26 R ......................................... 25
Menu..................................................................... 80
Minimum Equipment Recommended For Operation
.............................................................................. 30
MON OUT ....................................................... 43, 87
Monitoring ..................................................... 84, 110
TC......................................................................... 45
TC (Time Code) .................................................... 70
Time + Date .......................................................... 93
Tripod and Remote Heads.................................... 30
U
O
Onboard Batteries................................................. 26
Operation of The Camera ................................... 102
Operator controls .................................................. 99
Optics............................................................ 48, 119
USER.................................................................... 75
USER BITS........................................................... 72
User Setups .......................................................... 98
Using Time Code ................................................ 113
V
P
Parallel recording ................................................ 110
PLAY..................................................................... 77
Plus Camera Controls ......................................... 126
Power.............................................................. 26, 92
Power Management.............................................. 24
Power Outputs ...................................................... 29
Power Supply........................................................ 24
Production Info...................................................... 90
Project................................................................... 89
R
Radio System...................................................... 121
RCU-4 ................................................................. 132
REC OUT.............................................................. 82
REC OUT 1&2 ...................................................... 43
Recording ..................................................... 80, 102
RET/SYNC IN ....................................................... 43
RS......................................................................... 44
S
Safety Instructions ................................................ 19
Scope.................................................................... 13
Screen Buttons ..................................................... 52
SD Card ................................................................ 45
Sensor .................................................................. 91
Shoulder Pad SP-3 ............................................... 40
SHUTTER ............................................................. 62
Side Camera Handle SCH-1 ................................. 36
Specific Safety Instructions ................................... 20
Storage and Transport .......................................... 22
SxS CARDS.......................................................... 81
SxS Slots .............................................................. 46
Syncing the Sensors of Two Cameras.......... 94, 114
Syncing the Settings of Two Cameras .......... 94, 115
System .................................................................. 91
Viewfinder Cables................................................. 32
Viewfinder CAM menu ........................................ 101
Viewfinder EVF menu ......................................... 100
Viewfinder Mounting Bracket ................................ 33
V-Lock Batteries ................................................... 26
W
WB........................................................................ 67
Wedge Adapter WA-1 + Quick-Release Plate ...... 39
Wireless Remote System ................................... 122
ALEXA UI Tree Version SUP 4.0
HomeScreen
FPS
Fps list**
DELETE
Choose & delete
list entry*
ADD
Set fps
+ 10 FPS
MAX
+ 0.1 FPS
- 0.1 FPS
MIN
- 10 FPS
AUDIO
SHUTTER
SxS CODEC
Shortcut to
Menu>Recording>
SxS
SxS INFO
Shortcut to Info>Storage
SDI FPS
Special screen to set frame
rate of REC OUT and MON
OUT
CH 1 +
Increase gain on channel 1
CH 1 -
Decrease gain on channel 1
CH 2 +
Increase gain on channel 2
CH 2 -
Decrease gain on channel 2
AUDIO OUT
Audio out screen
Audio screen
+
Increase volume of
Audio out
-
Decrease volume of
Audio out
OPTIONS
Set Audio options
DELETE
OPTIONS
Set Audio options
DELETE
Choose & delete
list entries*
ADD
Set shutter
Shutter list
+ 100.0°
MAX
+ 10.0°
- 10.0°
MIN
- 100.0°
EI
Exposure Index list
(fix: 160-3200 ASA)
COLOR
LOOK
SET LOOK
WB
Choose Look from list
DELETE
Choose & delete
list entries*
ADD
Add look file from SD
card
GAMMA
Set gamma for image paths
EVF
Toggle look on EVF
MON
Toggle look on MON
REC
Toggle look on REC
SxS
Toggle look on SxS
DELETE
Choose & delete
list entries*
RENAME
Change name of WB list
entry
ADD
Set White Balance
& CC value
White Balance list
+ 1000K
- 1000K
<>
AUTO WB
MENU
See separate chart
INFO
STATUS
Calculate auto white balance
SAVE TO SD
Saves log to SD card
VERSION
Opens Version
Info screen
SxS CARDS
Opens SxS CARDS Info
screen
SYSTEM
Opens System Info screen
FPS
Opens FPS Info screen
STATUS
Opens Status
Info screen
SxS CARDS
Opens SxS CARDS
Info screen
SYSTEM
Opens System Info screen
FPS
Opens FPS Info screen
STATUS
Opens Status
Info screen
VERSION
Opens Version
Info screen
SYSTEM
Opens System Info screen
FPS
Opens FPS Info screen
STATUS
Opens Status
Info screen
VERSION
Opens Version
Info screen
SxS CARDS
Opens SxS Cards Info
screen
FPS
Opens FPS Info screen
STATUS
Opens Status
Info screen
VERSION
Opens Version
Info screen
SxS CARDS
Opens SxS Cards Info
screen
SYSTEM
Opens System Info screen
OPTIONS
Set TC Options screen
USER BITS
User Bits screen
PROJECT
Link to Menu>Project
SET TC
Activates TC set mode
VERSION
SxS CARDS
SYSTEM
FPS
TC
Set TC
SET 2 TIME
RESET
USER
User screen
1
2
3
4
5
PLAY
GRAB
EDIT
User button edit screen
CLIPLIST
List of all clips on SxS card
LIVE
Switch to live image
momentarily
OPTIONS
Set playback options
STEPSIZE
Change scrub step size
MARK
Mark/Unmark a clip as circle
take
Playscreen
Grabs a still frame to the SD
card
LEGEND:
* Default list values
cannot be deleted
FUNCTION BUTTON
LOCK
Long press to
lock/unlock
** When Sensor fps is set by
REC OUT fps, list
is not displayed!
FUNCTION BUTTON
ON/OFF
Long press for power
off,short press for power on
HOME
Back to Homescreen
SCREEN BUTTON
Screen
BACK
Go to previous screen/Cancel
REC
Starts/stops internal
recording
Behavior description
ALEXA Plus only:
WRS
WRS screen
RADIO
Radio settings
CAM LEVEL
Camera tilt and roll degree
LENS DATA
Lens Data Info
OPTIONS
Set LDS options
LDA
User LDA screen
DELETE
Choose & delete
list entries*
ADD
Add lens table from
main archive
RESET LDA
IRIS CLM
Iris CLM settings
ZOOM CLM
Zoom CLM settings
FOCUS CLM
Focus CLM settings
DELETE
Delete user tables
from main archive
ADD
Add lens table from
SD card
Reset selected lens
table
ALEXA MENU Version SUP 4.0
MENU
Recording
SxS CARDS
REC OUT
Monitoring
Electronic
viewfinder
SxS recording
Off
On
Codec
ProRes 422 (Proxy)
ProRes 422 (LT)
ProRes 422
ProRes 422 (HQ)
ProRes 4444
Dual recording
Off
On
Quick format
SxS CARD 1
Confirm
Quick format
SxS CARD 2
Confirm
Erase SxS CARD 1
Confirm
Erase SxS CARD 2
Confirm
Frame rate
23.976
24
25
29.97
30
48
59.97
60
HD-SDI format
422 1.5G SL
422 1.5G DL
422 3G SL
444 1.5G DL
ARRIRAW 1.5G DL
Scan format
psf
p
Output range
Legal
Extended
REC OUT fps sets
sensor fps
Off
On
SDI remote
Off
On
Vari flag
Off
On
Brightness
0-5
Rotate image
On
Off
Smooth mode
On
Off
Surround view
On
Off
Frame lines +
status info
Frame lines
On
Off
Surround mask
Black line
Color line
25% mask
50% mask
75% mask
Center mark
Off
Dot
Cross
Status info
On
Off
Electronic level*
On
Off
LDS info*
On
Off
Peaking
On
Off
Peaking level
Low
Mid
High
Peaking
MON OUT
Anamorphic
desqueeze**
Off
1.3x
2.0x
2.0x mag
Zoom position
Centered
Eye level
Frame rate
23.976
24
25
29.97
30
Scan format
psf
p
Surround view
On
Off
Frame lines +
status info
Frame lines
On
Off
Surround mask
Black line
Color line
25% mask
50% mask
75% mask
Center mark
Off
Dot
Cross
Status info
On
Off
Electronic level*
On
Off
LDS info*
On
Off
Peaking
On
Off
Peaking level
Low
Mid
High
Peaking
Frame lines
False color
On
Off
Anamorphic
desqueeze**
Off
1.3x
2.0x
2.0x mag
Frame line 1
Choose from list of
frame lines, import
new frame lines from
SD card
Frame line 2
Choose from list of
frame lines, import
new frame lines from
SD card
User rectangles
User rectangles
Off
Rect 1
Rect 2
Rect 1+2
Set Rect 1
Top
Bottom
Left
Right
Set Rect 2
Top
Bottom
Left
Right
Project
Color
White
Black
Red
Green
Blue
Yellow
Intensity
1-4
Project frame rate
23.976 fps
24 fps
25 fps
29.97 fps
30 fps
Camera index
A-Z
Next reel count
001-999
Production info
Director
Cinematographer
Location
Production
User info 1
User info 2
System
Sensor
Sensor temperature
Standard
Tropical
Power
BAT1 (Plug) warning
12-30V
BAT2 (Onboard)
warning
12-30V
Display brightness
1-8
Button brightness
Off
Low
Medium
High
Run beeper mode
Start
Stop
Start+Stop
Off
Set time + date
Set time + date
Time zone
UTC -12:00 –
UTC +14:00
DST
Standard time
Daylight saving time
Eye index
L
R
Sensor sync
Off
EXT master
EXT slave
HD out phase
-30 - +30 clocks
Send HD sync trigger
Sends trigger to
slave cam
Settings sync
Off
ETH master
ETH slave
Fan
Fan mode
Regular
Rec silent
SD card
Format + prepare
SD card
Confirm
Display + beeper
System time + date
External sync
Prepare SD card
Licensed features
Firmware
Installed licenses
HW INFO
Saves hardware info
to SD card
DELETE
Delete an installed
license
INSTALL
Install a license from
the SD card
Select update file
Update list
Current version
Frame grabs
User Setups
File format
Jpeg
Tiff
Dpx
Ari
Compare grab 2 live
image
Compare file
Save current setup
Save Setup/Edit
name
Load setup
User Setup 1
User Setup 2
User Setup 3
Factory reset
Confirm reset
OPTIONS
Set compare options
LOAD
Load image from SD
card
COMPARE
Activate compare
function
*only on ALEXA Plus
**only with anamorphic desqueeze license installed