An interview from the 2024 NAB Show in Las Vegas with Chase Hagen at the ARRI Booth. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film, broadcast, media, and entertainment industries, with a worldwide distribution and service network. The portfolio includes digital cameras, lenses, camera accessories, archive technologies, lamp heads, and lighting accessories.

At NAB 2024, ARRI announced the ALEXA 35 Live - Multicam System, making the cinematic image quality of its flagship ALEXA 35 camera available to the world of live productions, including concerts, sports, esports, fashion, corporate, talk shows, game shows, house of worship, and more. The system seamlessly integrates into existing live production environments, providing the full functionality of a system camera while retaining the flexibility of a dockable camera setup. It sits alongside ARRI lenses, lights, stabilizers, and custom solutions that collectively demonstrate the company’s commitment to the live entertainment sector.

Over the past decade, ARRI equipment has been relied upon for a variety of live production applications due to its exceptional image quality and reliability. International concert tours including Ed Sheeran, Adele, Coldplay, the Rolling Stones album launch, and leading half time shows at major sporting events are only a sampling of performances that have been captured by ARRI’s Multicam System.

ALEXA 35 Live - Multicam System

The ALEXA 35 Live - Multicam System combines the new ALEXA 35 Live camera, the new Live Production System LPS-1 (comprising a Fiber Camera Adapter and Fiber Base Station), the Skaarhoj RCP, and a slew of bespoke accessories. These include the new ARRI Touchdown base and receiver plates, an adjustable monitor yoke, an extra-long camera handle, a tally light with camera ID display, a rain cover, and a new, quick-fit ARRI Large Lens Adapter for unprecedentedly rapid setup with box lenses.

The ALEXA 35 Live camera offers the unique ARRI look. Supporting a current trend in live productions, the Super 35-sized 4K sensor enables shallow depth of field. Capturing 17 stops of dynamic range—more than any other camera on the market—it handles extreme lighting situations for the best results in SDR and HDR. Colors are rendered accurately through ARRI’s proprietary REVEAL Color Science, from bright, saturated colors to the subtlest shades. As a result, even contrasty concert lighting is captured faithfully and skin tones are beautiful, so performers always look their best. Low light scenes display minimal noise, and highlights roll off in a natural, film-like way.

Full-quality ProRes can be recorded in-camera during live productions, providing flexibility in post. The in-camera recording also permits stand-alone operation of the camera, without the Fiber Camera Adapter. The modular lens mount can be switched between LPL, PL, EF, and B4, facilitating a wide choice of lenses for different applications. ALEXA 35 Live owners can even upgrade to full ALEXA 35 functionality via an optional Cine License.

Extra options for creative looks

ARRI cameras are renowned for making it easy to craft stunningly beautiful images and the ALEXA 35 Live - Multicam System provides all the common live production shading controls to continue this tradition into the live realm. But the system goes even further, with additional creative options that can quickly give any project a fresh look.

Firstly, ARRI Look Files can define a unique image character through specially developed Multicam Looks. One of 87 pre-made looks from the built-in ARRI Look Library can be activated at the push of a button, catering to a huge variety of shooting scenarios. Secondly, ARRI Textures are a unique method to modify grain and contrast. The camera includes five multicam and eight cine-style ARRI Textures.

Efficient and seamless fiber solution

The Fiber Camera Adapter of the ALEXA 35 Live - Multicam System attaches to the camera quickly and easily, while the Fiber Base Station integrates seamlessly into the engineering room or OB vehicle, supporting multiple simultaneous outputs such as HD, UHD, progressive, or interlaced video.

Connecting them is a SMPTE 311 hybrid fiber cable that includes copper connections to supply up to 400 W of power for the camera and accessories. The hybrid cable also allows uncompressed 4K video transmission over a distance of up to 2 km. Tactical fiber cable lengths of up to 10 km can be used if the camera is powered locally. An additional extra fiber tunnel and Ethernet tunnel increase the system’s flexibility.

Extensive connectivity options on the Fiber Base Station include four return inputs and 15 simultaneous SDI outputs for 3G, 6G, and 12G in single, dual, or quad link, as well as SMPTE 2110 IP. Reliable operation is assured through ARRI’s renowned build quality and stringent quality assurance criteria, including a unique operating temperature range of -20º C to +45º C (-4° F to +113° F). The Fiber Base Station also supplies a redundant 2022-7 network and hot-swappable, redundant power supplies.

For fast setup and easy configuration, the Fiber Camera Adapter and the Fiber Base Station provide status display and allow on-the-spot adjustments, saving time and hassle. Dedicated web interfaces allow full remote control, configuration, diagnostics, and software updates of the camera, Fiber Camera Adapter, Fiber Base Station, and Skaarhoj RCP.

Unsurpassed control with the Skaarhoj RCP

While the system is open to support any number of established remote control panels, the recommended tool of choice is the Skaarhoj RCP Pro ARRI V2B. It combines classical RCP handling with a powerful, fully customizable interface, making the most of ALEXA 35 Live’s exceptional image quality and offering additional creative possibilities.

By using ARRI’s Camera Access Protocol (CAP), the Skaarhoj RCP enables traditional live painting as well as full control over camera settings, including some not covered by other RCPs, such as frame rate; REC start/stop; playback; selection of looks, ARRI Textures, and setup files; and more.

In summary, the ALEXA 35 Live - Multicam system is a complete production toolset for the requirements of live content producers, combining the visually striking ARRI look with easy integration into existing live production environments.

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Brought to you by:
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