September 21, 2014

Rumor No More: ARRI Reveals Their 6K 65mm Cinema Camera, the ALEXA 65

ARRI ALEXA 65mm Digital Cinema Camera
There have been rumors floating around about ARRI developing a 6K 65mm digital cinema camera for some time. The mysterious camera finally made its official debut at this year's Cinec event. Introducing the ARRI ALEXA 65.
Alexa 65

The ALEXA 65's sensor is around 3x bigger than that of a Super35. ARRI Rental shares plenty of information about the camera. Here's what they have to say about the sensor itself.

At the heart of the ALEXA 65 is the A3X sensor; the largest high-performance motion picture sensor available on the market today. The sensor has a 54.12 mm x 25.59 mm active imaging area, which is even larger than the film gate of ARRI’s 765 65 mm film camera.
 
The maximum recordable resolution from the A3X sensor is 6560 x 3102 photosites, with a dynamic range of more than 14 stops. The sensor design is based on the same photosite technology as the ALEXA XT, therefore image attributes such as colorimetry and dynamic range will match well with any member of the ALEXA family. This allows productions the freedom to mix the use of 35 mm format ALEXA XT cameras with the larger 65 mm format ALEXA 65, without having to worry about adopting different workflows or any additional color correction of images in postproduction.

Here is some basic information about The ALEXA 65 pulled from the Cinec Munich issue of Jon Fauer's Film and Digital Times.

Technical Specifications

  • 65mm Digital Cinema Camera
  • ARRI A3X CMOS sensor
  • 5-perf 65mm (full camera aperture)
  • 6560 x 3102 resolution (maximum recordable)
  • 54.12 x 25.58 mm Sensor size (active image area)
  • Weight: 10.5 kg / 23.2 lb
  • ARRI XPL Mount (64mm diameter)
  • 200 - 3200 ISO. Base is 800 ISO
  • Dynamic Range: >14 stops
  • Uncompressed ARRIRAW
  • LDS metadata
  • Electronic Shutter 5° - 358°, adjustable in 1/10° increments
  • 0.75 to 27 fps (upgrade to 60 fps planned for early 2015)
ARRI Alexa 65 Sensor

The new ALEXA 65 has a similar design and ergonomics as the 35mm ALEXA, except that the body is a little wider, adjusted to fit the massive sensor. The ALEXA 65 was designed not just as a standalone camera, but as an entire camera system, complete with lenses and workflow solutions. ARRI has rehoused Hasselblad lenses -- high-performance 65mm primes and zooms, which include a 50-110 mm Zoom 65, as well as 8 primes that range from 24mm to 300mm. As far as the workflow goes, the Codex Vault will "handle RAW data from regular ALEXAs as well as from the ALEXA 65."

If you're wondering if ARRI has any plans to include more lenses or mounts for the ALEXA 65, the answer is... maybe. Kraus says that it all depends on how well the camera system is received by the industry.

No word yet on prices or availability Per ARRI Rental (see their comment below), this is a rental-only item (none of us could afford to buy one anyway!). For more information on ARRI's new ALEXA 65, head on over to Jon Fauer's Film and Digital Times to download and read through the exhaustive write-up, complete with interviews with ARRI reps, including Managing Director Franz Kraus. You can also take a look at ARRI Rental for overviews of the camera, the sensor, the lenses, and much more.     

Your Comment

97 Comments

This camera looks like it weighs almost as much as an URSA!

September 21, 2014 at 8:01AM

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More than URSA actually. 11 pounds more.

September 21, 2014 at 8:41AM

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Really? It's a 65mm Alexa...

That's like finding a unicorn and telling it that it's too fat.

September 22, 2014 at 1:13PM

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Josh Paul
Most often DP, Direct or Gaff
1152

Heyy!!! I Love Fat Unicorns!

September 23, 2014 at 11:08AM

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Wentworth Kelly
Director/DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2130

Man, I can't wait to see the images out of this, should be beautiful.

September 21, 2014 at 8:29AM

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Gvickie Xiong
Editor/Cinematographer/Director
782

Yes please!

Super 35 has been a great standard for years but I hope that this is the catalyst for moving the industry bigger.

September 22, 2014 at 1:09PM

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Josh Paul
Most often DP, Direct or Gaff
1152

Panavision: "damn."

September 21, 2014 at 9:01AM, Edited September 21, 9:01AM

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Miguel Sotto
Cinematographer
248

Panavision are already in the final stages of development of their own new camera 65 system. They've already launched the lenses here http://www.panavision.com/products/primo-70-series

September 21, 2014 at 4:21PM

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John Brawley
Cinematographer
102

Arri rentals state that is going to be an rental only product, like Panavision does.

September 21, 2014 at 9:04AM

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Rodrigo Prata
Director of Photography
197

Hey everybody. The ALEXA 65 is exclusive to ARRI Rental. You can't buy it but you can rent it from us :) More info here: http://www.arrirentalgroup.com

September 21, 2014 at 9:10AM

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Brigitte Wehner
Marketing Manager ARRI CSC
74

6k with Hasselblad glass....

Is there an actor out there who's complexion and skin can stand up to such sharpness and resolution? I doubt it. How about sets and costumes? Anyone else remember how bad the 'Hobbit' movies looked?

The test chart jockeys and pixel peepers will be overjoyed, but I see this camera getting the 'veto' from an awful lot of stars. There is no way that anyone short of a milk fed 16 year old virgin can stand up to that sort of scrutiny and there is a severe shortage of milk drinkers and virgins in Hollywood.

I hate to say it, but Arri is going to be stuck with the 2.8k Alexa for a very long time...

September 21, 2014 at 1:02PM

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Ed Jones
265

Right...b/c people looked awful in the even bigger 15-perf IMAX Dark Knight Returns/Dark Knight Rises footage.

The Hobbit looked awful b/c of the frame rate, not the resolution.

65mm sensors are great b/c the bigger the image sensor size, the less you need a perfect lens to get incredibly sharp imagery.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/full-frame-advantage.htm

September 21, 2014 at 2:01PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2119

Ken Rockwell? Seriously? You're using Ken Rockwell as expert testimony?

IMAX on film looks very different, than super high resolution digital. I've worked on 65mm film projects and did not find them to be offensively sharp.

Hobbit looked horrible not only because of the high frame rate, but it was also shot on Epic with the sharpest glass they could find. In the end it looked like a bunch of actors running around in costumes. You know you are in trouble, when you can see the latex appliance seams, fake eyelashes and pancake makeup.

As a DoP one of your main jobs is to make the talent look good; be that for a beauty shot or if they are dying of ennui. Are you really going to shoot a 50 year old actress with a 6k digital 65mm camera and lenses that resolve +100 lines? Really? You better bring a lot of Fogal to the shoot.

Car commercials? Sure.
IMAX documentaries? Sure.
Test charts? Certainly.
6k closeup of stars? Good luck in dailies.

Unless Arri worked some miracle with their optical lowpass filter, things are going to get interesting.

September 21, 2014 at 2:30PM

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Ed Jones
265

haha meanwhile everyone at mocka is rubbing their hands together :)

September 21, 2014 at 8:24PM

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Tony Anastasi
film guy in china
79

You can take you 6K images and scale them down to 240p for all I know. Having higher resolution is better, for all application, including close-ups of 80 year-old actors. It simply means you have more options of either making your as image detailed or as soft as you want, your choice.

September 23, 2014 at 7:35PM

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Ebrahim Saadawi
Director, Physician (Radiologist)
254

Every small tweak to the image you do to the image in post degrades it; the closer you can the image to the look/feel you want while shooting, the better.

September 24, 2014 at 1:00PM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
377

I didn't use Ken Rockwell as "expert testimony", I just used it as shorthand to explain that a larger image plane means you get much more out of your lenses...a crappy cheap medium format lens will outperform the best sharpest super-16 or 2/3" video lenses any day and many filmmakers do not realize this, hence a quick link to an explanation. And yes, of course...it's the DP's job to make the talent look good (well, usually)...it can, and has, been done just fine in large formats.

October 2, 2014 at 6:14PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2119

The resolution may be higher, but the Pixel Density is nearly the same as the original Alexa. Resolution isn't what denotes "quality" when you talk about detail. The affect on the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes in the Alexa 65 will be just about the same as Alexa.

September 21, 2014 at 2:16PM

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Tyson Birmann
Digital Image Tech, Near Set Dailies Op, Video Tech
72

When will it be available. I have a project that can use it.

September 22, 2014 at 10:45AM

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Timur Civan
Director of Photography

panavision and imax - both collectively go "oh man."

September 21, 2014 at 9:30AM, Edited September 21, 9:30AM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1596

If this thing comes in under $1500, I'm gonna get one!

September 21, 2014 at 9:33AM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
812

You missed 1 or 2 zeroes ther. ;)

September 21, 2014 at 9:57AM

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David Sharp
Video Editor, Cinematographer, Teacher
367

Maybe even three. Remember how much the Genesis cost when it came out? Although that was rental only too.

September 21, 2014 at 10:37AM

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Hendrikus De Vaan
Producer - Director
272

I think the 'un-Panavised' F35 was $200,000. So yes, quite a few zeros.

September 21, 2014 at 2:03PM

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This has potential to be absolutely break-taking and I can't wait to see footage. Not some silly footage comparisons that will inevitably show up on this site and others like it, but the real thing at the cinema on the biggest screen possible. I've never had the chance to watch original prints of films like Lawrence of Arabia but from all accounts the movie experience is unmatchable.

Please, please get this into the hands of Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott as soon as possible.

September 21, 2014 at 10:04AM, Edited September 21, 10:04AM

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James Malamatinas
2nd Assistant Camera
74

I think Roger Deakins should be the first to get his hands on it

September 21, 2014 at 10:42AM

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Or Wally Pfister!

I'm imagining The Prestige shot on this...

September 21, 2014 at 9:15PM

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Wally wouldn't touch this camera with a stick. He's anti-digital.

September 22, 2014 at 8:53AM

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Hampus Lager
Dreamer
195

Surely this could change his mind

September 25, 2014 at 5:13PM

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First of all, good luck with Ridley and Dariusz, they're RED guys now. Second, good luck with Nolan or Tarantino, especially Tarantino. Quentin's living in the ocean of nostalgia so much he hates digital projection even. Thank Lord it's not up to him to decide, but at least on the acquisition part he's 100% celluloid, shooting The Hateful Eight on 65mm Kodak film stock. (Can't wait, btw). P.T. Anderson is a film man too. I would be surprised if any camera brand could convert him to video anytime soon.

Wally is okay with modern high-end digital projectors and once said he'd switch over to digital when it's gonna offer him everything film can do and more. Which probably means excellent overexposure latitude, rich colors, fine tight grain texture when pushed. And all of that in 65mm, at least.

September 26, 2014 at 4:55AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1172

Well that's that. You wanted the best, you got the best. Happy shooting :)

September 21, 2014 at 11:05AM, Edited September 21, 11:05AM

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Anthony F. Marino III
produce shoot edit
232

if this camera goes on sale and not rental only i think it will be hard to keep count of all the zeros need for one to make a full purchase.....i bet around 200000/= as a throw away price

September 21, 2014 at 11:21AM

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Edwin Mathenge
Cinematographer,Editor,Sound Editor,Director
164

what's next NAB2015 RED announces development of 8K 65mm cinema camera?...you neva know,am sure they wouldn't lik to be left behind

September 21, 2014 at 11:28AM, Edited September 21, 11:28AM

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Edwin Mathenge
Cinematographer,Editor,Sound Editor,Director
164

I'm pretty sure that's what's gonna happen next year

September 21, 2014 at 1:42PM

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Nigel Thompson
Director / Editor / Producer
165

An animator I was working with, said a DP buddy of his was messing around with a 12K prototype at RED. Could he have been misinformed? Sure, but this is RED we're talking about. Oh you like 6K, well how does 12K sound? Ummm...unnecessary?

September 22, 2014 at 6:35PM

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The resolution is a little underwhelming compared to 65mm film. But I'm still excited to see the first movie that uses this.

Film at this size is really quite lovely in its rich tonal gradation. I wonder how this will fare.

September 21, 2014 at 12:15PM, Edited September 21, 12:15PM

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jon
74

This is a huge development (no pun intended) for the high-end cinema world, and I am really excited for it. No longer will big productions seeking large frame sizes and high resolution have to deal with the quirks and ergonomic drawbacks of shooting RED: Arri has basically sealed RED's fate as a high-end prosumer camera. I think we will very quickly see a lot of big budget Hollywood movies migrate over to the Alexa 65 system for their large format (shoot for IMAX) and VFX work. And I cannot WAIT to see it on the big screen.

September 21, 2014 at 12:26PM, Edited September 21, 12:26PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2092

Actually the VFX guys will be the last ones who want to work on Alexa 65 footage. Regardless of what camera a project was shot on the vast majority of vfx work is done in 2k, even if it's a 4k release to theaters. Even a facility like WETA with tens of thousands of processors on their render farm and countless terabytes of storage space could not handle 6k fx. The workstations, network etc just could not handle it. Besides, a 6k CGI render would be far sharper than the live action footage, so there would be no point in rendering at that high a resolution, since you would end up 'softening' it anyways in the compositing stage.

September 21, 2014 at 12:53PM

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Ed Jones
265

Though I am no expert in VFX work, I would assume that VFX artists would appreciate the increased detail and sharpness that an Alexa 65 image scaled down to 2K would provide, much in the same way that many VFX plate work today is done with the Epic. This seems like a natural progression of that thought process.

I don't expect projects shot on the Alexa 65 to be finished in 6.5K in the first place, VFX or no. However, it is clear just looking at the specs that an image from this camera scaled down to 4K or 2K will result in significantly increased detail and sharpness than an image that originated on a 2K or 4K sensor.

September 21, 2014 at 8:18PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2092

There certainly is a place for the Alexa 65 in VFX for specialized or very specific fx, but in general we use the same A camera as production.

The Epic is not a favorite for vfx, because of the compression, noise and odd color science. There is other odd behavior with shooting green screens or stacking a lot of ND in front of the RED, that doesn't make it ideal for fx. ArriRAW or Sony RAW are much preferred, especially for green screen work.

There is plenty of resolution in the Alexa or Sony footage, unless you are doing something very specific that requires an exceptional amount of definition. In that case the Alexa 65 or F65 would be ideal.

Some people like Fincher 4k window the full res Epic plate, so they have room for stabilizastion and cropping.

But in general everything from the Alexa, Sony or Red gets scaled down to 2k for FX work. Some shots are done at 4k for technical reason. $k for FX is coming, but it will be a few more years, before it replaces 2k.

As far as sharpness is concerned we always match what the DoP did for the production. And in that case excessive sharpness from downscaling is not necessarily desirable. Most DoP spend a lot time reducing the sharpness of modern cameras and lenses with diffusion and vintage glass on set and maybe in the DI. Even the sub 4k Alexa may get diffused and the subject lit with soft light. It has to be kept in mind that the stars are the 800 lbs gorilla on set and if they don't feel that they are being shown in their best light (no pun intended) they will pull rank and you are going to lose.

September 21, 2014 at 11:21PM

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Ed Jones
265

Very thorough breakdown, thank you for that. I think at the end of the day, none of this is really what Arri were aiming for. This has been very openly announced as being intended to be a digital equivalent to 65mm film: nothing more, nothing less. It's another tool for big budget filmmakers to work on an even larger canvas, just like 65mm film served as back in its heyday. And as I originally stated, I think the filmmakers that will embrace this camera are the kind that are going for that larger-than-life look: Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, etc. Filmmakers looking to create imagery on an epic scale, possibly geared specifically towards IMAX release.

September 22, 2014 at 12:22AM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2092

I Really don't see how this camera will interfere with the RED market, since there will be a very limited number of them. I`ve talked to people inside ARRI and there were talks about being only 6 available in the entire world in the first year. Also, I don`t want to engage on a discussion about RED image quality, but why is shooting Red an ergonomics drawback? The Epic body does not resemble a traditional movie camera when stripped down to it`s bare bones, but you can certainly make it bigger if you want to, but you can't do the other way around. Have you ever tried using a Movi with an Alexa? Not that I think the Movi is the best tool ever invented, but it has it's place and hour. I have benefitted from the Epic's body size multiple times, and I`ve accomplished shots that I certainly could not have when I used to shoot 35mm.

September 22, 2014 at 9:39AM

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Rodrigo Prata
Director of Photography
197

Certainly the Epic's body size and ability to strip down is helpful for getting shots in tight places and for gimbal, drone, and areal photography, but the ergonomic drawbacks are the fact that AC's normally require extra days to prep Epic packages for big features specifically because of how much you have to build them up for them to become useful in traditional shooting scenarios.

There is not enough real estate on the camera for accessories, so you need to start adding third party plates and adapters to build it up, making sure it all fits together while not covering precious fan space; the SDI connections are buried in an indent way underneath the camera and require additional equipment to become useful, and that is not to mention that the camera already can be occasionally buggy, overheats quickly, and is generally quite delicate. Don't get me wrong, the Epic has its time and its place as well - I think it is a brilliant camera for owner/operator style shooting, and it is certainly useful for when you just need a small camera body (though I'll take an Alexa M over an Epic any day).

All I was saying is that I think the Alexa 65 will offer a more lucrative alternative for those big budget films that have been shooting Epic by default to get a "bigger canvas" for their movie, and more pixels to work with when they inevitably go through an IMAX blow-up for that type of release, which is becoming more and more popular for big-budget "spectacle"-filled tentpoles.

September 22, 2014 at 11:34AM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2092

I'm not a RED guy by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a little rough calling them high end PROSUMER camera systems - I'm sure you're used to working with the array of 'Professional' cameras out there haha

September 24, 2014 at 7:02PM

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Lloyd Will
Film maker
163

Man, being in Brazil sucks in times like that. How could I put my hands in a camera like that? Of course I probably would not have money to buy it, but some local rental house could and I can't even imagine the logistical nightmare in renting this camera outside US or Europe.

September 21, 2014 at 12:57PM

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Yep, it'll be really hard to see it around here, unfortunately. Well, If you work for a major broadcast, you can put your hands on the F65 and other cool stuff. Who knows...

September 21, 2014 at 1:44PM

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Alex Mandarino
DP / VFX Generalist
261

F65 is great, but I was thinking about the sensor size. It's really what set this camera apart from the others. If you want to work with medium format, there isn't many options aside film.

September 21, 2014 at 4:11PM

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I think this is the ultimate plan to get rid of the indie film maker. Let's hope red and sony can help get us back in the game.

September 21, 2014 at 2:06PM

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JustCalMeDBoss
Director of photography
74

Gear won't get indies back in the game..... proper story telling and set design will.
If those two can go hand in hand with a director that is picky, then you can shoot the damn thing on a smartphone and hook up externally recorded sound and make a hit.

But in the hands of the big guys, well maybe this Arri will offer them some tweaking possibilities they have been missing (if they have...).

September 22, 2014 at 3:54AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
671

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.... NO.

September 25, 2014 at 1:02AM

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Lloyd Will
Film maker
163

That was @JustCalMeDBoss haha.

September 25, 2014 at 1:02AM

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Lloyd Will
Film maker
163

Jim Jannard is gonna be pissed... but right after he takes (again) credit for "launching a revolution". Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha !

September 21, 2014 at 3:00PM

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Red has had a medium-format camera on their development timeline since at least 2010. Epic already does 6K. An even bigger sensor could handle 8K or even more.

September 21, 2014 at 3:25PM

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Medium format is not about resolution, is about the size of the frame and all the physical implications with the area being exposed. If you have a 20K resolution in a S35mm size sensor, it wont be a large format sensor.

When the Dragon was announced and Jim told you must compare it with 65mm film (not 35mm film), it showed how much he still had to learn.

September 21, 2014 at 4:19PM

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That wasn't the point I was making. Red clearly has had plans for a medium-format camera. And it has experience creating ultra-high-resolution sensors. (Jannard's comments, I believe, were restricted to comparisons of resolution alone, not frame size -- the resolution of the Red Dragon is comparable to that of 65-mm film.) It's just a matter of time before Red delivers a medium-format camera, and if resolution scales to some degree, it will be significantly more than 6.5K. And I say this with the disclaimer that I am no Red fanboy (like most, I prefer the look of the Alexa).

September 21, 2014 at 5:02PM, Edited September 21, 5:02PM

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I guess there is/was a reason red didn't pursue their medium format camera, even if they could tackle the immense amount of additional r&d required, they would have to ask themselves where the needed glas would come from. Super 35mm is a no brainer because of its origin in the 35mm still world and the APS-C lens technology available. But even when you just need full frame 35mm you're in some trouble. There are not many modern full frame glasses and even those for stills is quite expensive. If you now need medium format lenses, then you'll probably wait for years until you even get stills lenses from the vendors as there are fewer out there than for 35mm. I'm not even speaking about the time it may take until film specific lenses will be available and at which obscene prices...

September 21, 2014 at 6:24PM, Edited September 21, 6:24PM

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Even Paul Thomas Anderson had to test some still lenses for "The Master" and asked Panavision to work in some of them.

Let's consider that Jim is thinking in a new big sensor. Unless Red tackles the problem as Arri is doing by creating some lenses for medium format, it's gonna be very difficult to find options out there.

September 21, 2014 at 8:24PM

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But what does this the sensor size really translates to im terms of Image? The lenses available to shoot with this camera are relatively slow, and the MTF is low compared with modern S35 glass like Master Primes or Leicas. Im terms of sharpness and real measured resolution, I don`t think it's gonna be much, if any, better then 6K from Red with a Leica lens on it. And im terms of Depth of field, a 1.4 lens on an APS-H sensor will be similar to a 4.0 lens on a 65mm sensor.

September 22, 2014 at 9:49AM

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Rodrigo Prata
Director of Photography
197

"But what does this the sensor size really translates to im terms of Image?"

A larger sensor allows Arri to use larger pixels which improves low light capability.

"The lenses available to shoot with this camera are relatively slow, "

Fast lenses aren't as much of a necessity when your base ISO is 800 and tops out at 3200. I doubt many digital cameras are shooting at 1.4 these days.

"and the MTF is low compared with modern S35 glass like Master Primes or Leicas. Im terms of sharpness and real measured resolution, "

Where have you seen charts comparing the MTF?

"I don`t think it's gonna be much, if any, better then 6K from Red with a Leica lens on it."

Sounds more like you hope it won't be any better.

"And in terms of Depth of field,"

Of course you need a really good AC to shoot large format.

September 22, 2014 at 8:27PM

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Tenolian
230

Rodrigo, all good and fair questions! Dont know why you got a -3 as of this writing! The system here is unbalanced, and discourages the discussion. So, for what is is worth, a + from me!

Keep participating!

September 23, 2014 at 11:04PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3839

This is the first camera that can shoot 4K with no compression or image compromises.

September 21, 2014 at 6:40PM

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Tenolian
230

Full frame is not big enough for Alexa :) I'm pretty excited to see what people make with this. Medium Format meets digital cinema.

September 21, 2014 at 7:38PM

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Braden Storrs
Post Production Manager, Photographer
375

It's official. Christopher Nolan will now be shooting his films digitally. (I'm totally making this up). But seriously, this is pretty much IMAX status.

September 21, 2014 at 8:23PM, Edited September 21, 8:23PM

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Dang! Game over! Ball is in your court red/sony/panavision

September 21, 2014 at 10:11PM, Edited September 21, 10:11PM

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very very exciting! only thing im worried is about finding lenses that cover a 6.5k sensor. ive had a lot of lenses even pancros vinnetting on the dragon 6k.
also the post work flow is going to be tough. im having a hard time on 6k footage on a pegasus tb2

September 21, 2014 at 10:19PM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1346

They are providing the lenses and post workflow with the camera package.

https://codexdigital.com/alexa_65

September 21, 2014 at 10:39PM

0
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Tenolian
230

You guys all seem to confuse 4k, 6k, and sensor size.
Resolution has nothing to do with sensor size.
A lens covering the lousy size of a "6K Dragon" will leave 65% of the Alexa65 sensor black.

September 22, 2014 at 6:23AM

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Jannik Nolte
Steadicam & AC
81

Unless my math is off (and it could be), just about any medium format lens will completely cover this sensor and more. And I dare pose a possibly controversial lens idea. I've owned several Hasselblads and a number of Hasselblad lenses. I've, also owned and still own, 2 Pentax 6x7's, 2 Pentax 645's and a compliment of Pentax lenses for both systems. Perhaps the Hasselblad lenses are sharper, I don't confirm or deny that but, the Pentax lenses, IMO, produce the best images I've seen from a medium format lens. The images have a silky smoothness and a kind of liquid quality to them. For years, Pentax cameras and lenses were the choice of top beauty and fashion shooters worldwide for this reason. It's hard to describe unless you've used them but, I believe, they would make excellent glass for the Alexa65.

September 21, 2014 at 11:47PM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
812

Can I please see a show of hands of how many people on this board think they'll rent this camera in 2015?

September 21, 2014 at 11:55PM, Edited September 21, 11:55PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3839

Can't tell if this is sarcasm or not -guessing it is since for most, myself included, the price is going to be way too high for a rental. A normal Alexa is already about a grand for a weekend.

September 22, 2014 at 12:11AM

4
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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1092

This camera isn't meant for us, I fear. It is intended for the likes of Dariusz Wolski, Mauro Fiore, Claudio Miranda, Dion Beebe, Emanuel Lubezski, Dan Mindel, and so on. And I absolutely cannot WAIT to see what they can do with $200 million and this camera.

September 22, 2014 at 12:26AM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2092

I hope to be using it in a month.

September 22, 2014 at 10:57AM

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Timur Civan
Director of Photography

Its not very likely any entire feature film will be shot with the Alexa 65 in 2015. More likely in the near term the Alexa 65 will be used for VFX background plates, arial shots, and large vistas for IMAX.

September 22, 2014 at 3:43PM

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Tenolian
230

But Red have more than 14 stops of DR. The ARRI it's good camera, no doubt, but in that range of price, one or two stops of DR more could be a good thing.

September 22, 2014 at 2:43AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7642

RED claims 16 stops with the new sensor, ARRI claims 14 stops with their current sensor design. History has show that ARRI is a very conservative company when it comes their claims, and RED on the other hand, very optimistic. All the tests that I have seen so far, show that they have about the same dynamic range, and then, of course, RED has the advantage when it comes to resolution on a Epic vs Alexa battle. But maybe ARRI will surpass it in terms of resolution with this camera.

September 22, 2014 at 9:55AM

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Rodrigo Prata
Director of Photography
197

The Alexa 65 absolutely surpasses the Epic in resolution as it is shooting uncompressed 6560 x 3102.

The Epic uses around 8:1 compression in its RAW codec.

September 22, 2014 at 3:47PM, Edited September 22, 3:47PM

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Tenolian
230

The Alexa 65 it's impressive, in resolution, in color, texture... I normally not Alexa user but ... Now i am think... ;D

September 24, 2014 at 3:56AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7642

>The Epic uses around 8:1 compression in its RAW codec.

It's called REDCODE and you can dial lower than 8:1.

September 26, 2014 at 5:06AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1172

I think this camera seems great but previous alexa's have this "thing" about the image that may not necessarily get better just because you increase the the sensor size or frame rate, or fiddle with the color science etc... I think the old alexa's still have a very long life left.

September 22, 2014 at 7:21AM

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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
585

"Holy crap Batman!!"

September 22, 2014 at 8:19AM, Edited September 22, 8:19AM

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The real question is: Are you shooting on 70mm right now? If not, you will likely not shoot on this Alexa.

It will make 70mm more accessible, but still way out of range for 99.9999% of productions. I imagine a handfull of commericals, and a few features per year. MAYBE a music video here or there..... Maybe.

September 22, 2014 at 11:01AM

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Timur Civan
Director of Photography

I'm curious what's the brand and the model of the sensor in Alexa 65. "A3X" it's Arri "creation". But original sensor is not Arri actually, they don't build sensors (the same about RED).
Just want to understand how much would cost that sensor itself.

September 22, 2014 at 11:46AM

3
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Alexey Nitko
Director of Photography / VFX Artist
155

Arri has been designing their own sensors since the 90's.

It sounds like your question is who fabricated the sensor. Arri designs the sensor and they can get any fabrication manufacturer to make to their specs.

September 22, 2014 at 3:50PM

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Tenolian
230

Red has designed their own sensors, too. Rumor has it that they are fabricated by Tower Jazz.

September 24, 2014 at 10:37PM

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A few things some of the commenters here might want to remember: 1) I've seen 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm dozens of times and faces look absolutely glorious in high resolution--that closeup of Dave Bowman in the pod is almost as spectacular as anything else in the film. A beautiful head and shoulders shot doesn't just come down to shooting in SD with the lights off and cellophane on the lens. And even for live tv there better and better programs to "flatter" the skin. 2) This camera is I assume made for grand event films so whether we need that much detail for a closeup is beside the point. When I saw PT Anderson's "There will be Blood" in 35mm at the theatre I loved it but sitting as I do in the back of the front third of theatre, far enough away to see the whole frame but close enough to have an immersive experience, the wide shots, from the oil field vistas to the bowling alley at the end simply couldn't hold up--they didn't have enough information, the trees and extras were like blotchy dabs of paint--a bad impressionist painting rather than a great one. Now a lot of this comes down to the torturous path a 35mm negative takes from camera to the screen but this was a great theatre in Los Angeles and so about as good as "Blood" was ever going to look. I wasn't surprised then when Anderson went through the enormous cost and hassle of shooting 70mm for his next film and in deed the mid and wide shots were sooo much better. 2) Even the 35mm scenes in Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises were muddy and soft compared to the Imax sequences--and those 35mm scenes were shot by one of the best DPs alive--so I for one at least look forward to the day when it becomes practical for at least big budget filmmakers to shoot in 10k. 3) Asking how many people have shot in 70mm lately is beside the point. The cameras and film were always too big, required too much light and too much special processing to be economically feasible--and their low light problems presented extra difficulties when films shifted from the "turn on every light we have" aesthetic of the first technicolor era to more minimalist lighting set-ups. 3) I've heard all this before--whenever there's a jump in resolution there's a bunch of comfortable guys who say something along the lines of "I showed SD footage side by side with HD footage to a roomful of experts and no one could tell the difference." My only problem with the camera specs wise is--14 stops? The 2500 dollar sony a7s has 14 1/2 half stops--you'd think the latest, greatest sensor would do better than that. And yes, I great DP can work around that and they will but for what Arri is going to charge per day, the DP should be lighting an interior with a daylight background by choice not necessity. Oh, and not that this matters but it is one homely beast.

September 23, 2014 at 6:12AM

8
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J Robbins
269

65mm film looks very different than 6k digital capture. Also keep in mind that the 1960's 65mm film stock that Lawrence of Arabia was shot on had much larger grain than what you get today. I've seen the restored Lawrence at the Cinerama Dome and while it was stunning, it was not offensively sharp and the grain was noticeable (in a pleasant way).

But 6k digital from an F65 or the Alexa 65 with modern glass is going to be vastly sharper and will look very, very different than film 65mm.

September 23, 2014 at 12:33PM

8
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Ed Jones
265

Turn the sharpness knob back a little when needed. Or filter in-camera. Or use grain emulation in post like FilmConvert to mask fine details in faces. But you supposed to know that already.

September 26, 2014 at 5:14AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1172

Last time I checked there is no big 'sharpness‘ knob on a camera.

Sticking diffusion in front of the lens or softening in post is not a universal solution.

Your problems start with the lenses and what MTF frequencies they are tuned for, in what frequencies they emphasize contrast and how those factors will interact with the resolution of a given sensor.

Modern glass coupled with a very high resolution sensor is difficult to diffuse. By the time you stack enough diffusion on your lens to knock down unwanted detail you will very likely introduce blooming in glows. Especially if there are bright point lights in the scene or if you are shooting in to the light. Your diffusion is also having a global effect on the image (i.e. all frequencies), which is something you may want to avoid for various reasons. Also keep in mind that every diffusion filter you slide in your matte box is another potential source of reflections.

You can avoid some of these problems by shooting with vintage glass on a high resolution sensor, which is why the price on older cine glass has exploded over the past few years. But this too will only help you so much.

Aside from the technical issues, are you really going to have the time to dial in that much diffusion for every setup? In production, time is money and I’m not even going to get in things like the politics of the impatient actor / director, light changing on location etc

If you’re softening in post you would need a filter that reduces detail based on Fourier transformation, which the vast majority of software does not utilize. Applying a blur is not going to cut it, since you need to remove detail in certain frequencies and preserve it it others. Blurring the image globally is not going to solve your problem. It's just going to make it look soft and out of focus.

Throwing a little grain on the plate with some magical After Effects plugin isn't going to cut it either and just for the record, adding grain can actually enhance perceived sharpness, since it adds a certain level of acutance and gives your eye something to lock on to.

Diffusion in post is no magic bullet and you run the risk of your image looking unnaturally processed.

And of course, what is the point of capturing giant 6k images that take up massive amounts of storage and require huge amounts of processing power, if ultimately you’re going to reduce the detail in them to the point where you may as well have shot with la ower resolution camera in the first place?

But as an accomplished Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor you already knew all of this.

September 27, 2014 at 12:39PM

1
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Ed Jones
265

A few things some of the commenters here might want to remember: 1) I've seen 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm dozens of times and faces look absolutely glorious in high resolution--that closeup of Dave Bowman in the pod is almost as spectacular as anything else in the film. A beautiful head and shoulders shot doesn't just come down to shooting in SD with the lights off and cellophane on the lens. And even for live tv there better and better programs to "flatter" the skin. 2) This camera is I assume made for grand event films so whether we need that much detail for a closeup is beside the point. When I saw PT Anderson's "There will be Blood" in 35mm at the theatre I loved it but sitting as I do in the back of the front third of theatre, far enough away to see the whole frame but close enough to have an immersive experience, the wide shots, from the oil field vistas to the bowling alley at the end simply couldn't hold up--they didn't have enough information, the trees and extras were like blotchy dabs of paint--a bad impressionist painting rather than a great one. Now a lot of this comes down to the torturous path a 35mm negative takes from camera to the screen but this was a great theatre in Los Angeles and so about as good as "Blood" was ever going to look. I wasn't surprised then when Anderson went through the enormous cost and hassle of shooting 70mm for his next film and in deed the mid and wide shots were sooo much better. 2) Even the 35mm scenes in Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises were muddy and soft compared to the Imax sequences--and those 35mm scenes were shot by one of the best DPs alive--so I for one at least look forward to the day when it becomes practical for at least big budget filmmakers to shoot in 10k. 3) Asking how many people have shot in 70mm lately is beside the point. The cameras and film were always too big, required too much light and too much special processing to be economically feasible--and their low light problems presented extra difficulties when films shifted from the "turn on every light we have" aesthetic of the first technicolor era to more minimalist lighting set-ups. 3) I've heard all this before--whenever there's a jump in resolution there's a bunch of comfortable guys who say something along the lines of "I showed SD footage side by side with HD footage to a roomful of experts and no one could tell the difference." My only problem with the camera specs wise is--14 stops? The 2500 dollar sony a7s has 14 1/2 half stops--you'd think the latest, greatest sensor would do better than that. And yes, I great DP can work around that and they will but for what Arri is going to charge per day, the DP should be lighting an interior with a daylight background by choice not necessity. Oh, and not that this matters but it is one homely beast.

September 23, 2014 at 6:12AM

12
Reply
J Robbins
269

A few things some of the commenters here might want to remember: 1) I've seen 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm dozens of times and faces look absolutely glorious in high resolution--that closeup of Dave Bowman in the pod is almost as spectacular as anything else in the film. A beautiful head and shoulders shot doesn't just come down to shooting in SD with the lights off and cellophane on the lens. And even for live tv there better and better programs to "flatter" the skin. 2) This camera is I assume made for grand event films so whether we need that much detail for a closeup is beside the point. When I saw PT Anderson's "There will be Blood" in 35mm at the theatre I loved it but sitting as I do in the back of the front third of theatre, far enough away to see the whole frame but close enough to have an immersive experience, the wide shots, from the oil field vistas to the bowling alley at the end simply couldn't hold up--they didn't have enough information, the trees and extras were like blotchy dabs of paint--a bad impressionist painting rather than a great one. Now a lot of this comes down to the torturous path a 35mm negative takes from camera to the screen but this was a great theatre in Los Angeles and so about as good as "Blood" was ever going to look. I wasn't surprised then when Anderson went through the enormous cost and hassle of shooting 70mm for his next film and in deed the mid and wide shots were sooo much better. 2) Even the 35mm scenes in Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises were muddy and soft compared to the Imax sequences--and those 35mm scenes were shot by one of the best DPs alive--so I for one at least look forward to the day when it becomes practical for at least big budget filmmakers to shoot in 10k. 3) Asking how many people have shot in 70mm lately is beside the point. The cameras and film were always too big, required too much light and too much special processing to be economically feasible--and their low light problems presented extra difficulties when films shifted from the "turn on every light we have" aesthetic of the first technicolor era to more minimalist lighting set-ups. 3) I've heard all this before--whenever there's a jump in resolution there's a bunch of comfortable guys who say something along the lines of "I showed SD footage side by side with HD footage to a roomful of experts and no one could tell the difference." My only problem with the camera specs wise is--14 stops? The 2500 dollar sony a7s has 14 1/2 half stops--you'd think the latest, greatest sensor would do better than that. And yes, I great DP can work around that and they will but for what Arri is going to charge per day, the DP should be lighting an interior with a daylight background by choice not necessity. Oh, and not that this matters but it is one homely beast.

September 23, 2014 at 6:12AM

0
Reply
J Robbins
269

A few things some of the commenters here might want to remember: 1) I've seen 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm dozens of times and faces look absolutely glorious in high resolution--that closeup of Dave Bowman in the pod is almost as spectacular as anything else in the film. A beautiful head and shoulders shot doesn't just come down to shooting in SD with the lights off and cellophane on the lens. And even for live tv there better and better programs to "flatter" the skin. 2) This camera is I assume made for grand event films so whether we need that much detail for a closeup is beside the point. When I saw PT Anderson's "There will be Blood" in 35mm at the theatre I loved it but sitting as I do in the back of the front third of theatre, far enough away to see the whole frame but close enough to have an immersive experience, the wide shots, from the oil field vistas to the bowling alley at the end simply couldn't hold up--they didn't have enough information, the trees and extras were like blotchy dabs of paint--a bad impressionist painting rather than a great one. Now a lot of this comes down to the torturous path a 35mm negative takes from camera to the screen but this was a great theatre in Los Angeles and so about as good as "Blood" was ever going to look. I wasn't surprised then when Anderson went through the enormous cost and hassle of shooting 70mm for his next film and in deed the mid and wide shots were sooo much better. 2) Even the 35mm scenes in Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises were muddy and soft compared to the Imax sequences--and those 35mm scenes were shot by one of the best DPs alive--so I for one at least look forward to the day when it becomes practical for at least big budget filmmakers to shoot in 10k. 3) Asking how many people have shot in 70mm lately is beside the point. The cameras and film were always too big, required too much light and too much special processing to be economically feasible--and their low light problems presented extra difficulties when films shifted from the "turn on every light we have" aesthetic of the first technicolor era to more minimalist lighting set-ups. 3) I've heard all this before--whenever there's a jump in resolution there's a bunch of comfortable guys who say something along the lines of "I showed SD footage side by side with HD footage to a roomful of experts and no one could tell the difference." My only problem with the camera specs wise is--14 stops? The 2500 dollar sony a7s has 14 1/2 half stops--you'd think the latest, greatest sensor would do better than that. And yes, I great DP can work around that and they will but for what Arri is going to charge per day, the DP should be lighting an interior with a daylight background by choice not necessity. Oh, and not that this matters but it is one homely beast.

September 23, 2014 at 6:12AM, Edited September 23, 6:12AM

11
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J Robbins
269

I'm curious. Is this camera better than the digital IMAX camera? The IMAX one also has a 65mm sensor which has more space than the Alexa 65's. And while its 4K, you expect the folks at IMAX to not make sure the colors and dynamic range are of par excellence?

September 23, 2014 at 1:01PM

12
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Henry Barnill
Director of Photography
671

A 300mm, on this sensor? I pray for those that pull focus that it's stopped down to f22...
But seriously, I need to change my underwear.

September 24, 2014 at 1:09AM

22
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I heard this comes with Windows 2000, IN CAMERA??

Looks like a beautiful camera.

September 24, 2014 at 11:50AM, Edited September 24, 11:50AM

9
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Matt Bastos
Filmmaker/Writer
748

It's incredible the work Arri has been doing in digital moviemaking technology. Can't wait to see a movie made with this baby

September 24, 2014 at 12:34PM

4
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Fernando Méndez Arroyo
Director, editor, script
175

In the early 1990's, we had NO PROBLEM with spending $55,000 on
Betacams + lenses, another $35,000 each on three editing decks
and $100,000+ on VFX processors, computers and software so
$200,000 to $300,000 for the Alexa 65 doesn't actually sound all that bad!

In terms of Red Dragon vs. Alexa 65...AND ANY OTHER sensor,
it is the measurement of MICRONS PER PIXEL that is the defining
factor in getting a high quality image.

High Pixel Counts per Millimetre simply means smaller pixels that capture
LESS LIGHT with MORE ERROR! Lower pixel counts per Millimetre over
a larger frame size means more light gathering power with less error.
(i.e. less error = less noise)

So in this case Alexa wins and Red has to go back to the drawing board
because the image quality SHOULD BE quite superior for the Alexa which
uses the larger size pixels vs. Red Dragon.

In some of the circles that I'm running within as a software/hardware developer,
I know of specialty CMOS chips that are fully 16384 pixels by 9216 pixels (16k)
on 120mm by 68mm frame sizes with specialty lenses usually used for
astronomy and military imaging systems. For final display, fully
16-bits per colour channel (48 bit colour) RGB laser projectors
are being used for final display at 120 fps.

That means decently sized pixels spread out over a larger imaging area
which means more light gathering power and less noise. The lens manufacturing
is actually EASIER, because they don't have to be so fast (i.e.sharp) which
means less precise manufacturing expertise is required for lenses that image
for a 120mm by 68mm CMOS frame size that has big pixels on it.

Yes, these are 100 kilogram cameras at millions of dollars per camera,
but IT CAN BE DONE...It's just than Red and Alexa could reduce the
price of such high-end technology so that independents and major studios
could afford to buy/rent such ultra-high end gear.

So i'm hoping that Red and Alexa go to even BIGGER frame sizes than 65mm
with BIGGER imaging pixels so that we can get better colour and less noise,
at lower light levels than we do now!

September 24, 2014 at 5:53PM

3
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Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development
1

How come Dragon's 6K just as noisy as the "darling" 2.8K Arri Alexa? It's not all about the bigger photosites, you know.

September 26, 2014 at 5:17AM

5
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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1172

I would EXPECT that the Alexa 2.8k is LESS NOISY than the RED,
because at the Alexa has FEWER pixels per millimetre which
means the photosites are larger than the 6K Red.

One CAVEAT is software processing after De-Bayering (i.e. getting
the spread-out Red, Green, Blue photosites combined into one
RGB/YCbCr pixel) which can make one camera appear noisier
than another. The post-processing is an ART-FORM in itself
and is highly dependent upon the skill and colour-science
schooling of the programmer. In this case, I give Alexa the edge
just because it's software tends to be MUCH BETTER than
Red's probably because a lot of ARRI's colour science work
comes from the Fraunhofer Institute which is an OUTSTANDING
computer science and software development institution!

What RED could do to change the game is to create a
DRAGON sensor at 6k or preferably 8k but use an 80mm
OR LARGER frame size to give us BIGGER photosites so
as to reduce noise. I know this means a total lens revamp
but as I always say INVENT the future rather than follow it!

October 2, 2014 at 9:55PM

4
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Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development
1

my company was looking for DA 31 this month and discovered an excellent service with 6,000,000 forms . If people need to fill out DA 31 also , here's a http://goo.gl/KPHl5a

February 22, 2016 at 8:23PM, Edited February 22, 8:23PM

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