UPDATE: The official release of ARRI's new camera is almost here. Here's all the new info we have. 

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of its most popular cameras, ARRI, which has been in business for over 100 years, has shared new details of its ARRI ALEXA Super 35 4K. 

According to ARRI, the digital camera will feature a Super 35 4K 4:3 sensor, and have "image quality that is as good or better than the ALEXA image quality." ARRI also said the physical size will be similar to the Mini LF and will be capable of using the same MVF-2 viewfinder and CODEX media as the Mini LF. The S35 4K camera was expected to arrive in 2020 but has been pushed back in order to implement new features and software updates to the LF system.

So, why Super 35 4K? 

Well, ARRI is a very focused company. They unequivocally believe in the Super 35 format. Stephan Schenk, managing director at ARRI, has said, "Not everybody will shoot large format or full-frame. Many productions, in particular in TV, will remain with Super 35 for the foreseeable future." This is why ARRI is dedicated to a new Super 35 4K camera that's not LF. Marc Chipman-Mueller, the product Manager of ALEXA LF, adds to the mantra, saying "We [ARRI] strongly believe that there's a place in the world for large format and there's a place in the world for Super 35." 

They are not wrong.

Both visual formats won't be going away anytime soon. ARRI moves at a different pace than its competitors. This is not to say the company doesn't have a pulse on the future of filmmaking. They absolutely do. But they go about it in their own way, at their own pace. They're methodical with their approach and consider the entire ecosystem of what they offer, including lenses, accessories, and lighting. Everything connects.

So, what can filmmakers expect when the S35 4K does arrive? To better understand, let's look at the current digital models.  


  • Sensor Size: 54.12 x 25.58mm 
  • Max Res: 6560 x 3100
  • Max Image Circle: 59.87mm


  • Sensor Size: 36.70 x 25.54mm 
  • Max Res: 4448 x 3096
  • Max Image Circle: 44.71mm 


  • Sensor Size: 28.25 x 18.17mm
  • Max Res: 3424 x 2202
  • Max Image Circle: 33.59mm 


  • Sensor Size: 28.25 x 18.17mm
  • Max Res: 3200 x 1800 (4K UHD upgrade to 3840 x 2160) 
  • Max Image Circle: 33.59mm

In making the ALEXA LF and Mini LF, the sensor uses the same size photosites and color science as the ALEXA Super 35 sensor, which is quite an accomplishment. If ARRI is able to do that while increasing the resolution to 4448 x 3096, the S35 4K camera could have a true native 4K sensor of 4096 x 2160. One question that remains is if ARRI oversample the sensor to create the image? That's yet to be determined, but if history tells us anything, it may not be in the cards. 

ARRI is known for it's operating modes. The ALEXA LF and Mini LF have 3 different ones that are Netflix approved for 4K production. Open Gate, LF 2.39:1, and LF 16:9. The latter records 3840 x 2160. So at the bare minimum, the new sensor should have a similar mode. The actual sensor size is the bigger question. 4-perf Super 35mm is 24.89 x 18.66mm and 3-perf Super 35 is 21.95 x 13.9mm. ARRI most likely wouldn't reprise those exact formats in the digital realm. 

The original Mini and AMIRA sit at 28.25 x 18.17mm. It's possible the S35 4K could be a Super 35 version of the Mini with 4K DCI resolution. This would make it compatible with platforms requiring 4K resolution, and it would easily integrate with current accessories. What it does beyond that, filmmakers will have to wait and see. Expect its arrival in 2021.