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ARRI's New ALEXA HD is a 'Budget' Version of the Industry-Leading Digital Cinema Camera

07.1.13 @ 10:59PM Tags : , , , , ,

Arri Alexa HD - AbelCineWant that sweet ALEXA look but can’t quite afford the full price to buy one? Or need the rental to be just a little cheaper? What if you don’t need that fancy schmancy RAW option? Then the new ARRI ALEXA HD might be in your immediate future. ARRI has taken everything that’s good about the camera series — like the 14-stop 800 ISO sensor, 10-bit Log-C ProRes, SxS cards, and the intuitive menu system — and is passing the cost savings on to the customer. Here is AbelCine’s Mitch Gross explaining exactly what this camera has to offer for users who want their ARRI just a little cheaper:


So what about price? This isn’t going to be Canon DSLR affordable (obviously), but it is a good $10,000 to $20,000 cheaper than a comparable setup from one of the lower-end ALEXA models that has the ability to shoot RAW. It was looking like this might be a steal for the hardware at around $30,000 for body, but it must be purchased with a few key components that bring the price up a bit. Thanks to Katie Shipsides from AbelCine for the clarification on Twitter (AbelCine is selling the camera exclusively for ARRI):

Alexa HD Body Only is $30,300 but MUST be purchased w/ ProRes Codec, ALEXA SxS Module, ARRI QT File Format = $44,008

AbelCine has a starter package available for $65,000, but you might be able to find a used ALEXA with RAW for somewhere around that price. The base price, however, is probably the cheapest you’re going to find an ALEXA that could theoretically shoot with some cards and a battery, but this will likely appeal to shows already using ALEXA, who want a few additional cameras but don’t need the extra capabilities, like the 4:3 sensor or RAW of higher-end models. We’ll see if it will do anything to bring back users who might be moving to the F55, but I think if ARRI had figured out a way to get a full starter package under $30,000 they’d really be putting serious pressure on Sony and Canon.

For more information, head on over to AbelCine.

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Disclosure: AbelCine is a nofilmschool advertiser.

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  • Thanks for that info. I’ll research that point so I have a better understanding of Raw versus Log. (I’m in the corporate production biz not the film biz)

    I just looked at Black magic’s site and it seems none of their cameras support shooting in log. That explains why BMD cameras only allow higher than 10 stops when shooting in raw; there is no log shooting available.

    Now, if those cameras that do support log in ProRes or DNxHD allow 13 or 14 stops, that may be good news for me. But my next question is what exactly “log” and does it need advanced color correction like raw does?

    For me, a good quality filed monitor on set to nail the color I want and needing only minimal color correction in post is my holy grail.

  • who cares for arri if we can get same raw footage from cannon mark 3..arri very expensive

    • Ahh the old DSLR cowboy. The 5d is okay but it aint no Arri, hence why just about every block buster is shot on Arri and not a M3. I know where my goals are! :)

    • HAH. I’m so glad there are people like you in the world. Less competition for me.

    • Not all raw footage is created equal. The raw capabilities of a camera are limited by its internal hardware. The 5DIII is firstly and foremostly designed for still photography. The video mode that we all love so much has been included over the past few generations as an afterthought more than anything else, and no one at Canon even planned on introducing raw recording. The camera is not designed for raw video, and the raw codec is nowhere near as perfected as that on the Arri Alexa. In addition, the Alexa has a much quicker rolling shutter, making it possible to do a much wider variety of shots without significant artefacts. The Alexa can also shoot a much wider array of codecs, including various favors of ProRes. The Alexa has a greater resolution and supports many more memory options, while the 5DIII is stuck with tiny cards that do not possess anywhere near enough memory to shoot for long periods of time. The 5DIII has pitiful resolution compared to the Alexa, and a much smaller dynamic range. As I said at the start, not all raw is created equal. On the whole, the Alexa is a far more versatile camera than any of its weakling DSLR cousins.

  • Alexra is very expensive.

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your
    presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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