While many productions choose the Arri Alexa for its superior dynamic range, sensitivity, and color rendition, having the ability to record to high quality ProRes can mean faster turnaround times with a workflow that is already a standard. Any production that will rely on color correction will usually choose a log profile, but this also means that unless you do some sort of correction, the files will be very flat. Since the Alexa can output both log and standard gamma profiles, you can use an external recorder like the Sound Devices PIX 240 to record proxy files with a standrad gamma profile. The new 2.01 firmware for the 240 gives it the ability receive timecode and have identical file names to the internally recorded files from the Alexa, so those can be matched up perfectly when you want to re-link files later for color grading. Andy Shipsides from AbelCine gives a walk-through of that process in this video:
Though it can also record RAW, many productions will choose ProRes 4444 Log C (or DNxHD if the camera has been upgraded) because it fits better into their overall budget. Not everyone can understand or visualize what a color grade can do for an image, so its very helpful to have these files for many of those situations. Even from a rough cut standpoint, not having to do a first light type of grade is helpful. While transcoding is always a possibility instead of using a something like this, many times that can cost time and money that a production would rather save on a low-cost external recorder rental. The other big benefit is that editing can begin immediately on almost any available computer since you can record in a lower data rate codec like ProRes Proxy or LT.
With an update, it's also certainly possible that you could use this recorder to get proxies for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. If you're shooting RAW internally, it would be helpful to be able to record externally with identical file names in a non-log format without having to be tethered.
What do you guys think?
If you own a PIX recorder you can download the new firmware from the link below.