After the rumors, announcements, and radio silence—the date for ARRI’s new camera is set. Here’s what we know so far.
UPDATE: It's here!
In the last few years, camera releases seem to have taken cues from the video game industry. Every year, there’s been a new release with better specs and more resolution. But ARRI has always done things at its own pace.
It’s been three years since we’ve seen a new camera from the German manufacturer, with the last release being the ARRI Mini LF.
Now, after a long wait, the new ARRI Super 35 digital cinema camera is on the horizon, set to be officially announced on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 6 p.m. (CEST).
Long Live Super 35
Full-frame cameras have been all the rage lately, with RED, ARRI, Canon, and Sony all releasing some amazing gear.
But the Super 35 frame size has been a staple of the motion picture industry for decades, and it’s not going away anytime soon. The RED Komodo, with its Super 35 sensor, has been making waves since its release, and Canon just announced the Canon EOS R7 and Canon EOS R10 with an APS-C sensor, a throwback to the original Canon EOS 7D.
Why is the frame size so important? Initially, the frame size was developed to make better use of the space on celluloid film. But over time, it has been ingrained into the fabric of movies. It provides a larger frame size than Super 16 film but allows filmmakers to get more frames out of 135 film stock. Cine lenses for the Super 35 frame are also cheaper than their larger cousins, which saves you money. On set, that means more time to get the shot you want.
In the digital age, the Super 35 sensor provides the same flexibility. It’s large enough to provide a flexible and appealing image but doesn’t require the hefty processing power that larger sensors demand.
And ARRI wants to remain in that space to give creatives the option to stay in the Super 35 frame.
The New ARRI Super 35 Camera
Officially, the new camera will be revealed during the ARRI keynote on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. But we’ve scoured the net to find all we can to give you a sneak peek of what’s coming. Since this isn’t official info, take it with a grain of salt for now.
The craziest bit of info that we’ve heard is that the new Super 35 camera will have a new sensor with 17 stops of dynamic range. It seems after using the same sensor tech for over a decade, ARRI is finally bringing some new innovations to the market.
While that doesn’t seem super high with Sony VENICE topping out at 15 stops and the RED Komodo giving us 16-plus stops, these figures are always a bit optimistic when compared to measurements in a lab. However, ARRI cameras have always tested nearly perfect to their advertised numbers. If the Germans say 17 stops, you’re most likely going to get 17 stops.
This seems to also include a 1.5-stop improvement in the shadows as well, giving creatives betters low-light performances.
The new sensor will measure 28mm by 19.20mm when shot in 4.6K 3:2 Open Gate and will crop down all the way to Super 16 in 2K. There will also be anamorphic options with 1.25, 1.3, 1.33, 1.5, 1.65, 1.8, 1.85, and 2x squeeze factors. This is a welcome addition as new and affordable anamorphic options are hitting the market.
The new camera will have a new image processing pipeline and will shoot in ARRI RAW and ProRes. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any compressed RAW options. ProRes will have 422 HQ, 4444, and 4444 XQ flavors.
ARRI is also releasing a new color space called ARRI Wide Gamut AWG4 and a new LOG curve dubbed.
The Official Announcement
It’s been a long wait for new technologies from ARRI, and we’re finally going to get them next week. This new camera isn’t just an evolution of the old sensor but seems to be new tech built upon the experience with the previous releases.
If you want the info straight from the source, sign up for the keynote here.
We’ll be back when we have official details, so stay tuned for this monumental release. Until then, we’ll be holding our breath.
Generally speaking Super 35 is the better choice especially on smaller productions. That being said it can't have compressed RAW as that would violate REDs patents. Also I'm sure this won't cost 6 grand like REDs S35 offerings. It's not the kind of camera where compression or cheap anamorphic lens are going to really apply.
May 24, 2022 at 6:44PM
Totally agree that S35 is better for smaller productions. And that this will not cost $6K like a Komodo (really double it for accessories but that's the same for any camera). The Arri color science is pretty impressive though, and lots of producers will be wanting this cam.
May 25, 2022 at 8:01AM, Edited May 25, 8:01AM