ARRI Releases ALEXA Software Update 4.0
(July 7th 2011, Munich) – ARRI has released the latest software update for its ALEXA
camera system. The ALEXA Software Update Packet (SUP) 4.0 provides a number of
new features and improvements for both the ALEXA and ALEXA Plus models, based on
ARRI’s ongoing R&D as well as feedback from film and television professionals working
with ALEXA in the field. Epitomizing ARRI’s commitment to future-proofing the system
platform and delivering lasting value to its customers, SUP 4.0 further enhances
ALEXA’s already impressive versatility and usefulness.
ALEXA is a film-style digital camera system designed for the motion picture and
broadcast markets. The system is expanding rapidly, with two camera models already in
widespread use and two more due for release before the end of the year: the ALEXA
Studio, featuring an optical viewfinder and 4:3 sensor, and ALEXA M, with a separate
camera head for 3D applications and tight shooting environments.
New features of SUP 4.0 applicable to both ALEXA and ALEXA Plus include…
• Custom looks via ARRI Look Files
You can now apply a customized look to all ALEXA outputs through an ARRI Look File,
which alters the way the camera image is converted to video color spaces. For example
ARRI has designed a Low Contrast Curve (LCC) Look File for those who do not want to
deal with Log C but would like more dynamic range in a gradable video image.
• New SxS PRO card options
Audio playback from SxS PRO cards is now possible. When playing back a clip, the
audio is output as embedded audio on REC OUT, MON OUT, and as an analog audio
signal through the headphones jack. A new option to disable SxS recording switches off
the compression and SxS boards inside ALEXA but still outputs the HD-SDI record flag.
• Auto White Balance
In addition to the white balance options already available, the new Auto White Balance
can automatically determine the red/blue white balance and green/magenta CC values.
• Anamorphic de-squeeze
The first ALEXA feature to be enabled with the purchase of a license key, anamorphic
de-squeeze allows images shot with 2x or 1.3x anamorphic lenses to be displayed in
their proper aspect ratio on set, either in the viewfinder or on a monitor.
• Peaking focus check
The new peaking function makes it easier to determine if an area is in focus or not by
highlighting everything that is in focus, either in the viewfinder or on a monitor.
• False color exposure check for Log C images
The false color exposure check available in the viewfinder and the monitor output will
now show accurate exposure levels for Log C images as well as Rec 709 and DCI P3.
• Fan improvements for hot shooting conditions
ALEXA now achieves silent running at ambient temperatures of up to +30 °C with the
fan set to ‘Regular’ mode. When it’s even hotter on set, ‘Rec Low’ mode runs the fan fast
during standby to pre-cool the camera, but slowly and silently during recording.
• Image comparison options for the camera operator
RETURN IN video has been enabled, allowing the camera operator to see a reference
image such as a second camera feed or a previz image with VFX elements already
added. In addition, a JPEG still image can be loaded from the SD card into the camera
and displayed for comparison with the live image.
New features of SUP 4.0 applicable only to ALEXA Plus include…
• Master/Slave lens motor control and 3D sync
When two ALEXA Plus cameras are connected in Master/Slave mode, the motors of the
slave camera will follow the motors of the master camera. 3D lens sync ensures that in a
Master/Slave setup, the focus, zoom and iris on the slave camera lens precisely follows
the lens on the master camera.
• Enhanced Lens Data System (LDS) integration
LDS information can now be displayed in the viewfinder or on the monitor, detailing the
lens being used and its settings. Even non-LDS lenses can be displayed, as long as the
lens profile has been added to the Lens Data Archive.
• Electronic level
A virtual horizon can be displayed on the monitor or in the viewfinder; its sensitivity can
be adjusted in five stages.
All new ALEXAs will have SUP 4.0 installed, and all existing cameras can be upgraded
to SUP 4.0. For more detailed information on SUP 4.0 you can download the “ALEXA
SUP 4.0 Release Notes” from http://www.arri.com/downloads/alexa. At the same place
you will also find white papers on “ARRI Look Files for ALEXA” and “ALEXA Anamorphic
Software Update Packet 4.0 can be downloaded from
For locations and more information, please visit www.arri.com.
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