XR Module Features
Faster and more affordable ARRIRAW
In addition to its overwhelming success in the world of television, ALEXA has become the go-to camera for feature projects and commercials. Feature films bound for the big screen and an increasing number of commercials are opting to record ARRIRAW, the highest image quality output possible with ALEXA, delivering uncompressed, unencrypted raw image data for maximum flexibility in post and a truly future-proof archiving format.
ARRI and Codex have combined their technical expertise to develop the XR Module, incorporating tried-and-tested Codex recording technology directly into the ALEXA cameras.
ARRIRAW is an unencrypted, uncompressed raw image format that contains the full raw data from the sensor for the absolute best image quality from ALEXA.
For greatest flexibility in post, nothing is “baked” into an ARRIRAW image. Image processing steps like debayering, white balance, sensitivity or downscaling, which are irreversibly done in-camera for a ProRes, DNxHD or HD-SDI output, are not applied to ARRIRAW. Thus they can be optimized in post based on image content. For example, different debayering parameters can be chosen for faces, landscapes or green screen. Of course, the settings you make in camera for HD-SDI monitoring on the set are recorded in metadata so you can retrieve them in post.
For VFX it is very important that the original material is uncompressed, because all compression artifacts make compositing more difficult. And because of the high overall image quality of ALEXA ARRIRAW images, it is possible to down-sample the image to HD or 2K, to keep it at the native 2.8K (16:9) or 3.4K (Open Gate) resolution, or to up-sample to 4K UHD or 4K Cine. Thus shooting ARRIRAW is the most versatile format for all types of deliverables.
Furthermore, ARRIRAW is an excellent future-proof archiving format. ARRIRAW is uncompressed and unencrypted, which means that anyone can access their ARRIRAW data with standard software tools in the future without any proprietary decryption or decompression. We openly publish our color science as standard SMPTE documents (Recommended Disclosure Document RDD 30:2014 and RDD 31:2014). We also make our color science and our debayering algorithm available to third parties as a Software Developer’s Kit. Using this information, a large number of third parties have included native ARRIRAW support into their products. So when you come to your post house with ARRIRAW footage, they know how to process ARRIRAW with familiar tools.
Check out the list of third party tools with ARRIRAW support
Exceptionally fast XR Capture Drives
ALEXAs with an XR Module can record ARRIRAW at up to 120 fps in-camera onto an exceptionally fast and rugged XR Capture Drive. This not only makes for a smaller, lighter and more affordable camera package, it also simplifies setup and operation while avoiding unnecessary cabling. The result is a fast and reliable workflow on set.
In addition to ARRIRAW, ProRes or DNxHD can also be captured to the XR Capture Drive for significantly longer recording times than with memory cards as well as ProRes 4444 recording up to 120 fps and DNxHD 444 recording up to 96 fps. The XR Capture Drive contains highly reliable custom solid-state drive technology in a small and tough aluminum housing, identical in shape to the current Codex Capture Drives. Its high capacity of 512 GB can hold enormous amounts of data, and with its 6.7 Gbit/s it is one of the fastest digital magazine available.
Choice of media
For greatest versatility the XR Module allows recording onto one of three media. The XR Capture Drive can record ARRIRAW, ProRes or DNxHD. With an SxS Adapter it is possible to record ProRes or DNxHD to a single SxS PRO or SxS PRO+ card. With a CFast 2.0 Adapter it is possible to record onto CFast 2.0 cards, the same medium used by AMIRA, the new documentary style camera.
Safely carry CDL color correction metadata into post
An increasing number of productions are using on-set color correction so the cinematographer can create and monitor a pre-grade of the footage. The resulting ASC CDL (American Society of Cinematographers Color Decision List) can be automatically transferred to the ALEXA XT cameras and stored as ARRIRAW metadata, for fast and convenient retrieval when creating dailies and/or as a basis for final grading.
Flexible, Proven Workflow into Post
Once removed from the camera, the XR Capture Drive offers a number of different paths into post for every budget and time schedule demand, using the proven Codex on-set or near-set workflow.
Capture Drive Dock (USB3 or Thunderbolt) Workflow
The small and affordable Capture Drive Dock (USB3 or Thunderbolt) allows safe copying of data via a Retina MacBook Pro. Further features can be added with optional Codex software, the ARRIRAW Converter (ARC) and other software.
Capture Drive Dock (SAS) Workflow
The Capture Drive Dock (SAS) can make clones of XR Capture Drives and connect to a Mac Pro via SAS (Serial Attached SCSI [Small Computer System Interface]) for high speed copying. The included software provides all features for an efficient digital lab.
The Codex Vault 2 is a modular and rugged stand-alone system that includes all the hardware and software for copying, archiving, metadata management, reporting or dailies creation with the greatest ease and highest speed.