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ALEXA 65: 65MM FILMMAKING REBORN


22nd
SEP 2014


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Article Posted by:
RICK YOUNG
ALEXA 65: 65mm filmmaking reborn
With a sensor larger than a 5-perf 65 mm film frame, ALEXA 65 harks back to the golden age of 65 mm widescreen filmmaking in the mid-20th century, when this newly introduced format captured the imagination of cinema audiences around the world. 65 mm grew into an inspirational format, providing an epic frame within which the biggest and most visually impactful stories could be told.
ARRI Rental proudly introduces the ALEXA 65 system, available exclusively through its global network of rental facilities. Offering a complete large-format solution for high-end theatrical motion pictures, the system comprises a 65 mm digital cinema camera, custom-designed prime and zoom lenses, and fast, efficient workflow tools. The ALEXA 65 camera is a scaled-up version of an ALEXA XT, able to capture an uncompressed ARRIRAW 65 mm image of staggering intensity and definition.
With a sensor larger than a 5-perf 65 mm film frame, ALEXA 65 harks back to the golden age of 65 mm widescreen filmmaking in the mid-20th century, when this newly introduced format captured the imagination of cinema audiences around the world. 65 mm grew into an inspirational format, providing an epic frame within which the biggest and most visually impactful stories could be told.

In many ways ALEXA 65 represents the evolution of ARRIs 765 65 mm film camera, first introduced in 1989 and used over the last quarter-century by major cinematographers on feature films including Far and Away, Little Buddha, Hamlet, Sunshine, The International, Shutter Island and Gravity. Whether for an entire movie or selected sequences, filmmakers have long valued the opportunity to capture images in the 65 mm format, with its immersive levels of detail and rich cinematic heritage.
In common with ALEXA XT, ALEXA 65 captures in the ARRIRAW format, which delivers uncompressed, uncompromised, unencrypted images. ARRI Rental has worked closely with Codex during the camera development to create a new high-performance workflow unique to the ALEXA 65, which processes full resolution uncompressed ARRIRAW 65 mm images. Depending on your shooting environment and location, the workflow can run on either a purpose-configured ARRI Rental Vault S or the new high performance ARRI Rental Lab 65.

This new, optimized workflow can also generate high quality ProRes 4444 HD dailies masters in real time to provide a very quick dailies solution given the large format nature of the recorded image. These files can then be further transcoded, if required, to other formats.
The ALEXA 65 sensor itself has exactly the same photosite design as that found in ARRI’s successful 35 mm format ALEXA digital cameras, aside from being much larger. The individual photosites on the ALEXA sensor are of an optimal size, carefully balancing the various different parameters involved in maximizing image quality.

With an open gate resolution of 6560 × 3102 photosites, ALEXA 65 offers the same incredible sensitivity, high dynamic range and natural colorimetry as ALEXA, but far greater spatial resolution. This results in images that will look stunningly life-like on the largest cinema screens, with pristine clarity and incredibly fine detail.
Overview
  • Camera type 65 mm format digital cinema camera
  • Sensor ARRI A3X CMOS sensor
  • Image aperture 5-perf 65 mm (54.12 mm x 25.58 mm active image area)
  • Sensor resolution 6560 × 3102 (Open Gate – maximum recordable)
  • Dimensions Length: 387.8 mm | 15.3 in
  • Width: 208.3 mm | 8.2 in
  • Height: 163 mm | 6.4 in (body only with XPL mount)
  • Weight 10.5 kg | 23.2 lb
  • Lens mount ARRI XPL mount with Lens Data System (LDS) functionality
  • Shutter Electronic, 5.0 to 358.0. Adjustable with 1/10 precision.
  • Frame rates 20 to 27 fps (Open Gate) *
  • Exposure index EI 200 to EI 3200. Base sensitivity EI 800
  • Dynamic range >14 stops
  • Recording file format. Uncompressed ARRIRAW
  • Recorder crop modes. 5-perf 65 mm (Open Gate, 1.78 extraction) 8-perf 35 mm (future)
  • Storage (type) Codex XR Capture Drive *
  • Storage (capacity) 480 GByte capacity / 850 MByte per second data rate *
  • Storage (recording time) 11 minutes @ 24 fps
  • Viewfinder Electronic color viewfinder ARRI EVF-1
  • BNC connectors 4 × 3G SDI
  • MON (1) OUT: 2 × 3G SDI
  • MON (2) OUT: 2 × 3G SDI
  • SD card For software updates and menu settings etc. as with ALEXA
  • New high speed operating mode for fast ARRIRAW frame grabs (planned feature)
  • Miscellanous interfaces
  • Focus / iris / zoom motor control with full wireless lens control support
  • 5 x RS 24 V
  • 1 × 12 V
  • TC I/O (5-pin Lemo)
  • 1 x LDD
  • 2 x LCS
  • BAT and ACC connection
  • Monitoring and playback
  • Monitoring 3 independent color outputs, all with optional overlays:
  • EVF-1 OUT
  • MON (1) OUT
  • MON (1) OUT
  • MON OUT assistive displays:
  • Zoom, overscan, overlay info, frame lines, false color exposure check, peaking focus check
  • CDL server support is provided as ALEXA XT
  • In-camera playback, Playback via EVF-1, HD-SDI MON OUT including audio

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