ARRI and Codex have co-developed a new upgrade option for all ALEXA cameras that allows internal recording of ARRIRAW up to 120 fps. The XR Module is an affordable new side panel with various in-camera recording options, replacing the current SxS Module. It allows ALEXA owners to embrace the latest advances in recording technologies without having to purchase a new camera, exemplifying the concept of modular upgradeability that was built into the ALEXA design from its very beginnings.
ARRIRAW is the highest image quality that can be output by ALEXA, delivering uncompressed, unencrypted image data that allows maximum flexibility in post. Many of the feature films that are shot with the ALEXA system choose to record ARRIRAW, but up until now such productions have had to use an external recording device such as the Codex Onboard, either mounted on top of the camera or connected to it by a long cable. Responding to strong demand from the filmmaking community, the XR Module facilitates untethered shooting with a lighter, smaller and less expensive camera configuration.
Marc Dando, Managing Director of Codex, comments: “During the transition from film to digital movie-making, ARRI and Codex have formed a strong collaborative partnership and have been fortunate enough to have been the choice for so many feature films over the last couple of years. We decided to tie the camera and recorder more closely together, based on input from our many customers around the world.”
ALEXAs with an XR Module can record ARRIRAW at up to 120 fps in-camera onto an exceptionally fast 512 GB XR Capture Drive. In addition, ProRes or DNxHD can also be captured to the XR Capture Drive for significantly longer recording times as well as ProRes 4444 recording at 120 fps. With an SxS Adapter it is possible to record ProRes or DNxHD to a single SxS PRO card. The XR Capture Drive contains highly reliable solid-state drive technology in a small and rugged aluminum housing, identical in shape to the current Codex Capture Drives. At 6.7 Gbit/s, it is the fastest digital magazine available.
Stephan Schenk, ARRI General Manager of the Camera and DI Systems Business Unit, says: “Capturing images uncompressed to a Codex recorder has absolutely convinced award-winning and VFX-heavy ALEXA productions such as Life of Pi, Marvel’s The Avengers, Hugo and Skyfall. But many customers have asked us to further reduce size, weight and cost, and they also wanted higher frame rates. We are happy to now have a convincing answer – one that has been achieved in a great team effort between our two companies.”
Once removed from the camera, the XR Capture Drive offers a number of different paths into post, using the proven Codex workflow. First, a small and affordable USB3 Single Dock allows quick and safe copying of data onto a laptop. Second, the Dual Dock can make clones of XR Capture Drives and connect to a Mac Pro via a high speed SAS interface for speedy copying, archiving or dailies creation. And third, the Codex Vault is a modular and rugged all-in-one solution for fast and easy copying, archiving, reporting or dailies creation on or near set.
Franz Kraus, ARRI’s Managing Director, notes: “Working with the right technology partners has been a key element of ARRI’s success for many years and across all business units. In Codex, we have found a collaborator that has understood and responded to the need for simple, dependable image pipeline solutions on high-end productions. The Codex workflow is one that filmmakers can trust, and the fact that ARRIRAW can now be recorded internally with ALEXA cameras will lead to an even broader range of productions embracing the format.”