Arri Alexa SUP 11.0 Firmware Update

Check out the latest features from the new, highly anticipated, Alexa SUP 11.0. This is the latest firmware upgrade to hit our Arri Alexa fleet. All Alexa bodies in house are currently updated to this firmware and and ready for our customers to test-drive.
ALEXA Software Upgrade Packet 11.0 includes:
  • ARRI’s New Debayer Algorithm ADA-5represents a great improvement in image quality, as it significantly reduces color aliasing and removes ringing artifacts, resulting in clearer and sharper images. This is especially visible in small, high contrast details (think thin branches against a blue sky), which will exhibit smoother, cleaner edges. ADA-5 also reduces noise in the red and blue channels, making for significantly better blue screen compositing in VFX. ADA-5 has already been available through the ARRIRAW Converter since ARC 3.1, as part of the ARRIRAW Software Developer’s Kit (SDK) and is also being used in the AMIRA camera since AMIRA SUP 1.1 The change from ADA-3 (ALEXA SUP 7.0 to SUP 10.0.1) to ADA-5 (ALEXA SUP 11) does not affect color or contrast. Images recorded with ADA-5 have the same colorimetry as those recorded with ADA-3 and can be seamlessly intercut.
  • ALEXA XT and ALEXA Classic cameras with the XR Module upgrade can now record in a new recording format: ALEXA ProRes 3.2K. ALEXA ProRes 3.2K allows the same easy up-sampling in post to 4K UHD deliverables as Open Gate ARRIRAW does to 4K Cine. These formats, combined with ALEXA’s unsurpassed overall image quality, make ALEXA XT/XR cameras suitable for any type of production with any distribution requirements.

Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 10.15.35 AM
  • Because of ALEXA’s best overall image quality, and since up-sampling from 3.2K to 3.8K uses a very small factor, the result looks as good, if not better, than the 4K UHD produced by other cameras. The 3.2K sensor area (blue in the image above) is slightly smaller than the Open Gate sensor area (green in the image above) and was chosen since it is the largest ALEXA sensor area that can still be covered by almost all Super 35 PL mount lenses.
  • ALEXA ProRes 3.2K is a 16:9 format and can be recorded in any ProRes flavor at up to 30 fps. The format can be recorded onto XR Capture Drives, SxS PRO, SxS PRO+ and CFast 2.0 cards with some exceptions (see Maximum fps charts at the end of these release notes). ALEXA ProRes 3.2K playback in the camera is available at up to 30 fps for ProRes 422 and 422 HQ and up to 24 fps for ProRes 4444. The camera cannot play back this resolution in ProRes 4444 XQ, due to limitations of the playback electronics. The viewfinder smooth mode is not available while the camera is set to ALEXA ProRes 3.2K
  • ALEXA Classic, XT and XR cameras now support SONY SxS PRO+ revision C (SBP-64C and SBP-128C) cards, in addition to SxS PRO+ revision B (SBP-64B and SBP-128B) and the SxS PRO (SBP-64A) cards. Using SxS PRO/PRO+ cards in an ALEXA XT or XR camera requires our SxS Adapter (K2.48838.0).
  • The ALEXA ProRes 3.2K QuickTime file container is 3200 X 1782 pixels sized, containing an active image area of 3164 x 1778 pixels. The active image area is noted in the file’s metadata, and some players can display the file correctly (QuickTime Player 10) while others will show a thin black border around the image (QuickTime Player 7, Final Cut Pro 7, Final Cut Pro 10, Avid Media Composer, Resolve, Adobe Premiere, Baselight) that has to be cropped.

The screen shot below shows an ALEXA ProRes 3.2K ProRes image displayed in QuickTime Player 7. There is a 2 pixel black border on top and bottom and an 18 pixel border left and right.

Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 10.47.50 AM

To hide these black lines the camera stores in QuickTime specific metadata atoms the information to crop out the valid image area automatically. This automatic crop out is currently supported in QuickTime Player 10 only, but we are working with the software manufacturers so more players will gain this ability. For AVID Media Composer it will be available in version 8.3.1. The screen shot below shows in QuickTime Player 10 the identical ALEXA 3.2K ProRes image, but here the player has automatically cropped the none active image area.

Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 10.49.36 AM

The Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4 can connect directly to Plus or Studio ALEXA models (Classic, XT/XR), since those have a radio built in. For all other ALEXA models, an extra box is needed, the Universal Motor Controller UMC-4.

Starting with SUP 11, you can use the WCU-4 Remote License also to control an ALEXA without a built-in radio (ALEXA, ALEXA XT, ALEXA M, ALEXA M XT). This requires our new connection Cable UMC-4 to ALEXA (K2.0005951)

SUP 11 supports fast and easy lens table programming via WCU-4 in wireless or hard-wired mode (requires WCU-4 SUP 2.0).

  • Access to the ALEXA user buttons 1, 2 and 3 greatly expands the powerful Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4 remote control license features.
Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 10.31.12 AM
  • All ALEXA Classic, XT and XR cameras run a web server that provides a user interface for camera remote control. In SUP 11, this Web Remote has been updated with a new and improved interface and new features. The Web Remote now offers camera status information an controls in a single screen, so you don’t loose sight when adjusting a camera setting. Next to the standard operational parameters, the new Web Remote offers control over the MON OUT, pre-recording, the selection of the recording codec, and offers a great number of editable metadata fields, expanded warnings and status info messaging.
  • The Web Remote can be accessed via an Ethernet connection from the camera’s ETH port to a computer’s Ethernet port, using the Bonjour protocol or by directly entering the camera’s IP address. First, make sure on the camera that MENU>SYSTEM>NETWORK ACCESS READ-ONLY is set to ‘Off’. If you want to prevent access to the Web Remote, set MENU>SYSTEM>NETWORK ACCESS READ-ONLY to ‘On’. Connect the cable. To use the Bonjour protocol, open the web browser on the computer and enter the address alexa####.local in the browser’s address bar, where you need to replace #### with the serial number of the camera. Alternatively, you can look up the camera’s IP address (INFO > SYSTEM) and enter that in the browser’s address bar. Connecting via IP address may require that your computer is in the same subnet as the camera (e.g. 169.245.###.###).


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