Arri Makes a “Baby Alexa”, Introducing the Alexa HD

Cameras

Arri has added another Alexa to the line-up, a baby Alexa if you will. The Alexa HD is the same size and shape as the original Alexa, shares the same ALEV III CMOS 2.8K sensor, but stripped down to a supersampled 1920×1080 image only.

It shoots in 2 kickass ProRes flavors internally to Sony SxS cards. A 32GB card can hold 15 mins of ProRes 4444 or 20 mins of ProRes 422 HQ and the cards can be hot-swapped in the camera and footage will work seamlessly with all major NLEs. Uncompressed 12-bit HD (4:4:4 or 4:2:2) is also available directly out of the camera in 1080p. It shoots anywhere from 0.75 to 60fps in 1080p (requires external recorder capable of odd framerates to capture non-standard fps), plus a 120fps option that requires an additional license. It also can use DNxHD if you would like to pay for the license also.

arriHD1

It also is upgradeable from Arri, with an upgrade path to the Alexa HD Plus. This upgrade replaces the side module and gives you Lens Data System so you recieve live data about your lens also.

The key features lacking compared to other Alexa models is ArriRAW and high resolution, the camera is a straight-up HD camera with the Alexa’s classic smooth 14 stop of Dynamic Range, high ISO sensitivity, and uncompressed 12-bit 4444 or 422 max potential throughput.

The Alexa HD is available exclusively in North America from Abelcine. It sounds like the camera will be shipping in 2-4 weeks.

Packages available are:
The basic Arri Alexa HD body only for $44K UPDATE: Now $44K, includes ProRes codec and SxS onboard module (required additions to camera)
The Alexa HD Starter Kit for $65.4K, which includes all the things you actually need to shoot with it, EVF, handle, cards, batteries, etc.
The HDX kit at about $69K, with the HDx35 Mark II B4/PL Optical Adapter, a $5.8K adapter for about $4K more than the standard kit price.
The original Alexa Starter Kit sits at $80K, so it’s stripped off about $15,000 from the price.

Is it going to get all the indie shooters buying it up? Probably not, but many broadcast shows shooting on the Alexa only ever use ProRes 4444 and 1080p anyway, so this definitely has a market, the question is how large. It’s kind of aimed at the C300/F5, but not exactly, it’s looking to further secure the dominance it has in the markets it already owns I think, broadcast is used to the Alexa and why change everything when you can scrape a few bucks out of your budget without changing your end product? It also makes it that much easier to rent an Alexa now…

Anyone originally yearning for the Alexa now has even less of a reason to not get one though, which is great, because we all could use a bit more Alexa in our life.

One final question, will it blend?

Update: the body only price has jumped to $44,008 shortly after listing, due to a mistake in features, the camera requires the onboard SxS module and ProRes Quicktime options in-order to be operational, apparently these additions run you nearly $14,000 over the original $30.3K price. Katie Shipsides lists exactly what are included below in the comments.

Jared Abrams
Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Katie Shipsides

    Update from Katie Shipsides @AbelCine on Alexa HD Pricing:

    It was brought to my attention today that while the AR-800141Alexa HD Body is only $30,300, it MUST be purchased with the following items:

    AR-800301 Arri ProRes Codec Option = $5,196
    AR-800300 Arri Alexa SxS Module = $7,770
    AR-800302 Arri QuickTime File Format Option = $742

    Which changes the purchase price to $44,008. I updated the price to reflect
    that change since it can’t be ordered without those three additional items.

    Please contact one of our sales representatives to build a personalized kit that fits all of your production
    needs.

    Katie Shipsides
    Product Marketing Manager
    AbelCine, Burbank