ARRI Rental has introduced new ALEXA Monochrome cameras covering the 65mm, full-frame, and Super 35 formats. These cameras are not for sale and are only available through ARRI Rental.
The ALEXA 65, ALEXA Mini LF, and the ALEXA XT are now all avilable in monochrome versions. ARRI Rental states that they offer a visually superior and more creatively committed approach than capturing in color and desaturating in post. The ALEXA Monochrome cameras record black-and-white ARRIRAW with increased resolution, crisper blacks, and higher native ASA than regular ALEXAs. The rich, high-contrast monochrome images are said to be similar in look to analog panchromatic film.
The monochrome sensor assemblies in the cameras have no Bayer mask, which allows each photosite to capture the full spectrum of visible light. Because the monochrome cameras also don’t have an IR filter they can capture non-visable infrared light that renders white foliage, milky skin, black eye pupils, and moody skies.
Each of the three cameras can only record in ARRIRAW, using their native recording media: 2 TB SXR Capture Drives for the ALEXA 65 Monochrome, Compact Drives for the ALEXA Mini LF Monochrome, and XR Drives for the ALEXA XT Monochrome.
The ARRIRAW can then be processed using a Mac-based platform with software such as the ARRI Reference Tool or ARRIRAW Converter, both available for download free of charge. A Mac workflow is cost-effective, especially in combination with Codex HDE (High Density Encoding), though for some productions a Codex Vault might still be the best option.