ARRI have announced that Software Update Packet (SUP) 11.0 for ALEXA cameras is now available for download from the company’s website, free of charge. ALEXA’s eleventh major update includes many new features, including an ALEXA ProRes 3.2K recording format for productions requiring 4K UHD deliverables, and ADA-5 – an enhanced debayering algorithm that further improves ALEXA’s image quality.
Available to ALEXA XT cameras and ALEXA Classic cameras with the XR Module upgrade, ALEXA ProRes 3.2K is a new recording resolution that uses 3.2K photo sites from the sensor to record a 16:9 3.2K ProRes file. The 3.2K sensor area was chosen because it is the largest area that can still be covered by almost all Super 35 PL mount lenses.
At data rates far below uncompressed ARRIRAW, ALEXA ProRes 3.2K provides the benefits of the well-established and efficient ProRes workflow. A straightforward up-sample from ALEXA ProRes 3.2K using standard post tools results in a 4K UHD deliverable of unsurpassed overall image quality.
The ARRI Debayer Algorithm ADA-5 represents an improvement in image quality for all ALEXA models, delivering clearer and sharper images. This is especially visible in small, high-contrast details (such as thin branches against a blue sky), which will exhibit smoother, cleaner edges.
ADA-5 also further reduces noise in the red and blue channels, making bluescreen compositing in VFX even easier. ADA-5 has been available through the ARRIRAW Converter since ARC 3.1 and as part of the ARRIRAW Software Developer’s Kit (SDK); it has also been used in the AMIRA camera since AMIRA SUP 1.1.
Expanded media support is another feature of SUP 11.0, with all ALEXA cameras now able to support all generations of SxS PRO+ cards, and ALEXA XT/XR cameras able to support SanDisk CFast 2.0 128 GB cards.
ALEXA compatibility with the ARRI Electronic Control System (ECS) has also been expanded, with SUP 11.0 providing support for the new Lens Data Encoder LDE-1, as well as unlocking a number of new features when using the WCU-4 wireless hand unit.
Other features of SUP 11.0 for all ALEXA models include improved web remote functionality, refined user buttons and the ability to save frame line and time zone information within the camera metadata.
Additionally, ALEXA XT/XR cameras will now record a checksum with each ARRIRAW frame that can be used to verify data integrity throughout the subsequent workflow. This makes working with ARRIRAW even safer and copying even faster, though it means that the latest version of Codex software must be used to read SUP 11.0 ARRIRAW files.
Detailed technical release notes about SUP 11.0 can be found on the ALEXA DOWNLOADS page of the ARRI website: www.arri.com/camera/alexa/downloads.