ARRI just released their latest firmware updates for the ALEXA Mini LF and ALEXA LF cine cameras. Along with this news comes official Netflix approval for both models and a bunch of other nice improvements such as the new online simulator for the Mini LF. ARRI also clarifies on a possible S35 4K Mini in the future.
Whenever ARRI releases new firmware for adding features or streamlining existing, users can download a so-called SUP (software update package) in order to get the latest code for their devices. For this December update, ALEXA Mini LF users can install SUP 6.0.21 and users of the even higher end ALEXA LF will benefit from SUP 4.2.
ARRI ALEXA Mini LF – SUP 6.0.21
Since the ALEXA Mini LF is (at least a bit) more indie cinema friendly than the ALEXA LF, we’ll start with this model. The new SUP is mainly a maintenance release with some improvements to the overall stability. It also fixes an issue which sometimes prevents a 1TB Compact Drive to be mounted properly. So if you happen to be one of the lucky owner/operators of the ALEXA Mini LF out there, you should download the update rather sooner than later here.
ARRI ALEXA LF – SUP 4.2
With the bigger brother of the Mini it get a bit more interesting, although this SUP release is, just like the one for the Mini LF, a maintenance release. The bigger LF model was plagued by an issue which prevented the camera from booting correctly. Most occurrences of this issue have been removed with SUP 4.1 but some rare issues remained. SUP 4.2 now fixes the root cause of the issue so once installed, the ALEXA LF should boot up correctly every time. So again, no new exciting features to be found here but a solid stability update.
Official Netflix Approval
Both cameras, the ALEXA LF and the ALEXA Mini LF are now officially approved by Netflix. Gone are the days you couldn’t use any other digital ARRI camera but the huge ALEXA 65. Although both, the LF and the Mini LF had preliminary approval since July, now it’s official and you can safely use these cameras when aiming for a Netflix release. This approval includes anamorphic recording options detailed in the ALEXA LF & Anamorphic Lenses white paper (PDF) and for the LF Open Gate 4.5K, LF 16:9 UHD and LF 2.39:1 4.5K recording resolutions. Some more useful links: Netflix Camera Production Guide for the ALEXA Mini LF (PDF document) and Netflix Camera Production Guide for the ALEXA LF (PDF document) Happy shooting!
ALEXA Mini LF Camera Simulator
ARRI offers online menu simulators for a bunch of their cameras already and now you can explore the Mini LF, too. All you need is a browser (even works on smartphones). With this simulator you can explore the menu structure and button layouts prior of handling the camera itself, which can be a great time saver.
The Frame Line & Lens Illumination Tool can now be downloaded to macOS computers running Google Chrome for offline use. DITs now can create custom framelines or check on the lens illumination capabilities of many lenses without an internet connection. Head over to this page for more information regarding the Frame Line & Lens Illumination tool.
Also new is an online course hosted by ARRI’s own Florian Rettich. In this course, which can be purchased through MZed for $199 or as part of the MZed Pro subscription, you’ll learn everything regarding large format. Topics of this 8h course include:
- ALEXA Mini LF
- ALEXA LF
- ARRI Signature Prime lenses
- LPL lens mount
- wireless video transmission
- wireless lens control
You will come away with a certificate indicating your product competence and ability to use the large-format camera system to its full potential in real-world situations.
One More Thing – S35 4K ALEXA Mini
This might be interesting for all the S35 format fans out there: No, ARRI won’t abandon the S35 ship just yet. We found a FAQ article on the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF page, stating the following:
We at ARRI believe in Super 35. Not everybody will shoot Large Format/Full Frame. Many productions, in particular in TV, will remain with Super 35 for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we are also working on a dedicated Super 35 4K camera (not LF), further increasing the choices for cinematographers.
This ARRI S35 4K camera will have a new S35 4K 4:3 sensor and the size of the body will be close to the ALEXA Mini LF. It will be compatible to the MVF-2 viewfinder and will support CODEX Compact Drives which have been introduced with the ALEXA Mini LF.
In order to implement additional ALEXA Mini LF features and to deliver software updates for our existing customers, the launch of the S35 4K camera will not take place in 2020, as originally announced.
So there will be another Mini-like camera in S35 format coming your way, but not in 2020!
link: ARRI Website
This concludes a fresh round of updates for the ARRI ecosystem. What do you think? Share your thoughts int he comments below!