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ARRI ALEXA Mini LF SUP 7.1 Now Available – New 1:1 Anamorphic Mode

August 31st, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 2
ARRI ALEXA Mini LF SUP 7.1 Now Available – New 1:1 Anamorphic Mode

The Mini keeps growing up. ARRI’s latest SUP 7.1 (Software Update Package) for the popular ALEXA Mini LF features a new 1:1 anamorphic mode as well as several other improvements. Let’s take a quick look!

Ask a certain bunch of people in Hollywood known as cinematographers what their tool of choice is, and you’ll often hear this: “the Mini“. This term refers to the (very) popular ARRI ALEXA Mini and its bigger sibling, the Mini LF (read our Lab Test here).

And although the ALEXA Mini is fairly small, it is a powerful (and expensive) piece of camera equipment. ARRI is constantly developing new features for it, which are made available in the form of Software Update Packages. SUP 7.1 is now out of beta and available for download.

ARRI ALEXA Mini LF SUP 7.1

First and foremost, ARRI teases a new 1:1 anamorphic mode which uses 2880 x 2880 photosites on the LF sensor to produce a 2880 x 2880 recorded image @60p max. This new mode is for use with 2x anamorphic lenses with a target 2:1 aspect ratio. Also important to know: This new 1:1 mode fulfills 4k UHD mandates.

Below is a comparison of all the different recording modes, plus a brief explanation by ARRI.

ARRI ALEXA MINI LF SUP 7.1
Different recording modes of the ALEXA Mini LF w/ SUP 7.1 Image credit: ARRI

1) 2.8K LF 1:1 – 2.8K
Designed for shooting with 2x anamorphic lenses for a target deliverable of 2:1, fulfilling 4K UHD mandates. Available in ARRIRAW and Apple ProRes.

  • Sensor photosites / Recorded file pixels: 2880 x 2880
  • Maximum frame rate: 60 fps

2) MXF/ARRIRAW 3.4K S35 3:2 – 3.4K
The most flexible format for feature films, drama series and commercials in Super 35. This format is covered by most S35 lenses and has enough resolution for many post-production workflows.

  • Sensor photosites / Recorded file pixels: 3424 x 2202
  • Maximum frame rate: 60 fps

3) MXF/Apple ProRes 3.2K S35 16:9 – 3.2K
Very popular for drama series and commercials. This format is ideal for shooting with spherical S35 lenses for a 16:9 target deliverable.

  • Sensor photosites / Recorded file pixels: 3200 x 1800
  • Maximum frame rate: 75 fps

4) MXF/Apple ProRes 2.8K S35 4:3 – 2.8K
Designed for shooting with anamorphic S35 lenses for a target deliverable of 2.39:1 or for shooting with spherical S35 lenses for a target deliverable of 1.85:1 with extra room above and below the image.

  • Sensor photosites / Recorded file pixels: 2880 x 2160
  • Maximum frame rate: 75 fps
ALEXA Mini LF
all the recording formats as one overlay. Image credit: ARRI

5) MXF/Apple ProRes 2.8K S35 16:9 – HD
This is the format of choice if you want the quickest way to an HD deliverable with a super low data rate and the assurance that the sensor area is covered by any S35 lens. Established with the ALEXA Classic EV in 2010 and still very popular.

  • Sensor photosites: 2880 x 1620
  • Recorded file pixels: 1920 x 1080
  • Maximum frame rate: 100 fps

6) MXF/Apple ProRes 4.3K LF 16:9 – UHD
By using almost the entire width of the LF sensor, this format delivers the unique large format look with a drastically reduced budget-friendly lower data rate, since down-sampling to your target deliverable 16:9 UHD is done in camera. Officially approved by Netflix.

  • Sensor photosites: 4320 x 2430
  • Recorded file pixels: 3840 x 2160
  • Maximum frame rate: 48 fps

7) MXF/Apple ProRes 4.3K LF 16:9 – HD
By using almost the entire width of the LF sensor, this format delivers the unique large format look with a drastically reduced budget-friendly lower data rate, since down-sampling to your target deliverable 16:9 HD is done in camera.

  • Sensor photosites: 4320 x 2430
  • Recorded file pixels: 1920 x 1080
  • Maximum frame rate: 75 fps

Along these recording modes (and the new 1:1 anamorphic mode) the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF SUP 7.1 adds the following features:

  • Lens Data Archive files for ARRI Signature Primes and ARRI Signature Zooms
    • ARRI Signature Prime 12 mm and 280 mm
    • ARRI Signature Zoom 45 – 135 mm and 65 – 300 mm
  • Sync Shift via Camera Access Protocol
  • Support for future revisions of the Codex Compact Drive 1TB
  • Various bug fixes and system stability improvements

LF and s35 in one camera

With the release of SUP 7.0 earlier this year, ARRI transformed the Mini LF into a more versatile camera than it already was. The addition of a number of S35 modes made it a real powerhouse, as it is basically a classic ALEXA and a large format camera in one package.

Read our report about the SUP 7.0 here. There is also a very useful video that explains the new s35 modes in detail:

Pricing and availability

The SUP itself is available for free, but of course you have to be the proud owner of such an ALEXA Mini LF. I think it’s still more of a rental thing, although I’m sure there are a few owners/operators out there.

You can read all about this new SUP over at ARRI.com where you also can download it.

Link: ARRI

Do you use an ARRI ALEXA Mini LF for your projects? Do you even own one? Tell us in the comments below!

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