The ALEXA M camera program has achieved its first major schedule milestone, with production prototypes of the ALEXA M starting to ship to James Cameron and Vince Pace, Co-Chairmen of CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG), the industry leader in 3D technologies and production services from slate to screen. CPG announced a strategic collaboration with ARRI at NAB 2011.
Based on cutting-edge RAW image transmission technologies, the ALEXA M features the same sensor, image processing, build quality, efficient workflows and exceptional image quality that have established ALEXA as the standard in high-end cinematic and broadcast capture.
The front-end “head” of the ALEXA M transmits uncompressed RAW sensor data at around 18 Giga bits per second to a back-end image processing and recording “body” using a hybrid fiber optic cable that can also be used for powering the head. Weighing well under 3 kg, the ALEXA M head offers multiple mounting points and versatile maneuverability. The camera body provides all the image processing and recording options seen already in the standard ALEXA camera: images, sound and metadata can be recorded onto SxS PRO cards or external recording devices, offering many different workflows including the uncompressed, uncompromised ARRIRAW format.
CPG Chairman James Cameron commented on the delivery of the first ALEXA M units, saying, “The ARRI team has been amazingly responsive to the needs of the 3D market by creating the ALEXA M. CAMERON | PACE Group worked closely with them on the development of this important new camera, and we are proud to be the exclusive global distributor of the ALEXA M in its Phase 1 rollout.”
Co-Chairman Vince Pace adds, “The success of 3D will be based on designing technology that supports the creative process of the filmmaker; we are excited about the ALEXA M towards that goal. The team at ARRI has brought to the industry a great step forward toward quality 3D.”
Franz Kraus, Managing Director of ARRI Munich, explains the ALEXA M technology and strategy further: “ARRI is delighted to have hit this first important milestone for the ALEXA M. The fiber optic technology that transports the RAW sensor data and camera control signals from and to the camera head, which can be placed at a distance of up to a kilometer from the image processing and recording body, allows for some unique and extremely innovative 3D camera applications. We hope CPG will take full advantage of them in the months ahead.”
Mr. Kraus continues, “Our focus now lies in collecting, collating, and folding back into the program the huge amount of feedback we hope to see from the CPG team during their use of the ALEXA M in 3D production environments. ARRI will also be integrating elements of CPG’s proprietary and patented 3D rig automation technology within the ALEXA M camera system, leading up to commercial launch and mass production of the ALEXA M early in 2012.”