November 07, 2011

Alexa to support Avid DNxHD

Arri's Alexa is to gain full support for in-camera recording of Avid's DNxHD format as MXF files in the new year, giving users the same simple workflow it has offered for Final Cut Pro with Avid's Media Composer.

It is something that Alexa users have been asking for, and Arri has been talking to Avid about, for a long time, and will mean that Alexa will be the first digital cinema camera to have built-in DNxHD support, although it is possible using external recorders.

“The Avid editorial environment is an important cornerstone of the broadcast and motion picture postproduction industry, and Arri is very pleased to be able to provide Avid DNxHD MFX file-based recording within the Alexa camera for Avid-centric productions," said Neil Fanthom, Arri’s head of digital camera strategy. "This further confirms our commitment to add significant ongoing value to the Alexa camera family, in this case by allowing customers to choose which workflow suits their own capture and postproduction requirements. No other camera in this industry fulfils such diverse workflow needs.”

“By providing native Avid DNxHD recording with the Alexa camera, Arri is allowing producers to use high quality Alexa cameras and quickly and easily view dailies, and begin editorial, without the need to transcode or re-wrap footage," added Angus Mackay, Avid's pro video segment marketing manager. "Media Composer version 6 now offers the Avid DNxHD444 codec, which will permit customers to preserve the high colour information in Alexa footage while still having a low bit rate codec suitable for editorial. This is great news for Arri and Avid customers, who will benefit from the advantages in quality, speed and streamlined workflows.”

DNxHD recording for Alexa will be available as a paid-for software download in January and is now entering Beta testing with several broadcast productions. The first roll out will support up to 220Mbps 10-bit recording (plus up to 145Mbps at 8-bit), with support for DNxHD 444, at 440Mbps (10-bit) to be provided as a further upgrade for all adopting customers during the first quarter of 2012.

It will mean that Alexa users will be able to record Arriraw uncompressed 3K images as a digital negative for mastering and feature archival use, and/or DNxHD or ProRes for offline, dailies and general broadcast post production.

By David Fox

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