2013 12-19 ALEXA XT B+W right hero_2.61-1


Uniquely cinematic black-and-white images.

Our exclusive ALEXA XT B+W camera represents the state-of-the-art in digital monochromatic cinematography. In addition to regular ALEXA XT Plus features such as in-camera ARRIRAW recording up to 120 fps, the camera has a modified ALEV III sensor, which captures rich, high-contrast black-and-white images with increased resolution and around 15 stops of dynamic range.

Sensor configuration and filter system

The ALEXA XT B+W sensor assembly has no Bayer mask, optical low-pass filter (OLPF), or IR block filter, allowing each photosite to capture the full spectrum of visible light with increased resolution and contrast. In this mode the camera's look is very much like 35 mm panchromatic film. Alternatively, the camera can also operate in an infrared mode, capturing non-visible IR light that renders white foliage, smooth skin, black eye pupils, and moody dark skies. The camera is also more sensitive than a regular ALEXA, with a native sensitivity of around EI 2000. Using the IFM in-camera filter system, ALEXA XT B+W can be easily configured with either a BG39 filter to shoot stunning monochrome images, or a BG87C infrared pass (visible light block) filter for infrared capture.

Photos: Martin Ahlgren


Since the sensor does not have a Bayer mask, images need to be processed using the ARRI SDK / ARC 3.0 reference tools, or other ARRI-approved image processing products. ARRIRAW images captured on ALEXA XR Capture Drives can be quickly and easily off-loaded; then LogC DPX sequences can be rendered from the ARRIRAW master prior to transcoding to editorial proxy formats such as ProRes or DNxHD.

For commercial or music video productions more familiar with using a ProRes mastering format, full-resolution 2.8K ProRes master files can be generated very quickly via the Codex VFS, while offloading black-and-white ARRIRAW footage into the Vault. An ARRIRAW archive copy can also be stored if required, without slowing down the process of creating editorial files. This streamlined on-set workflow has the benefit of being very efficient for single-day shoots where a large amount of footage is captured and rapidly needs to be QC inspected and turned around for editorial.

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