We've talked extensively about the ARRI ALEXA SXT (Super Xtended Technology) camera at No Film School. We would have no problem removing delicious bacon from our diets to get my hands on one of these cameras for free. In an NAB preview, ARRI has announced its latest model, the ALEXA SXT W, which has an integrated high-quality and low-latency HD video transmitter and a WiFi radio inside the camera.
With a video transmitter built into the ALEXA SXT W, the camera has a smaller footprint and is lighter than it would be with an external transmitter. It's also an improvement for operators and ACs as it avoids any cable issues associated with wireless transmission. The WiFi radio opens up a whole range of options to include wireless color management and remote control via the ALEXA Web remote.
Marc Shipman-Mueller, ALEXA Product Manager says, "Our wireless video uses technology from market leader Amimon, with special hardware and software modifications to comply with ARRI's stringent performance and quality requirements. But that's not all; the wireless video system works harmoniously with ALEXA SXT’s other radio-based offerings—the WiFi and our own proprietary camera and lens control system—avoiding time-consuming interference between the radios on the camera."
The SXT W will replace the ALEXA SXT Plus and ALEXA SXT Studio models and there will be upgrade options for ALEXA SXT EV and ALEXA SXT Plus owners. Based on the ALEXA SXT Plus camera, the SXT W features SXT SUP 2.0 software adding improved HDR monitoring, support for current SxS PRO+ and CFast 2.0 cards, quicker frame grabs, various WCU-4 and lens motor features, among others.
It also completes the ARRI Wireless Video System (WVS) where the SXT W has a standalone transmitter for use with other ARRI cameras, like the ARRI Mini or even third-party cameras, as well as a standalone receiver to pick up signals from either transmitters. The transmitter will provide a strong radio link and rapid reconnect with a long-range, uncompressed encrypted signal. Features like audio, timecode and REC flag are included in the signal, and up to four receivers can be used per transmitter.
Mounting brackets, antenna extensions, handheld monitors and other accessories are offered by ARRI to complete its Wireless Video System to link directors, cinematographers or anyone else on set who may need a feed. You can see sample set-ups in the photo below.
So what do you think? Is this a good move for ARRI? Will wireless products like Teradek soon be phased out? Let us know in the comments section.
Based on the popular ALEXA SXT Plus
- 35 format film-style digital camera
- 16:9, 6:5, 4:3 or Open Gate
- HD, 2K, 4K UHD or 4K Cine
- 16 bit in-camera processing
- Wide Color Gamut signal
A fully wireless camera
- Integrated wireless video
- Integrated WiFi
- Integrated ARRI ECS wireless camera/lens control
- Interference-free operation of video, WiFi and ECS radios