ARRI Alexa Mini LF
High-performance solid-state drive with 1 TB (960 GB usable) capacity in a compact, rugged aluminum casing.
Can I put camera tape or other labels on a Compact Drive?
Thin labels or asset stickers can be applied to the plastic surface of the Compact Drive (that has the large CODEX logo). No tape or labels should be applied to the metal surfaces of the Compact Drive.
The bottom surface of the Compact Drive is made of black anodised metal and must be kept clean to ensure that it does not overheat during recording. This is because the metal surface makes direct contact with the camera’s cooling core.
We strongly recommend that camera or fabric tape should be avoided as it may impede the Compact Drive being loaded in the Reader or Adapter, and leave residue that could cause damage or prevent proper cooling.
What is the capacity of the Compact Drive?
The user capacity of the CA08-1024 model is 960GB.
I have accidentally reformatted a Compact Drive. Can the data be recovered?
When a Compact Drive is reformatted in the ALEXA Mini LF a secure erase operation is performed. This means that data is entirely deleted and recovery is not possible.
If a Compact Drive is reformatted or erased on a computer then a variety of methods can be used. In this case it may be possible to recover data using an application or specialist data recovery service, but Codex does not provide any specific recommendations.
How long does it take to download a full Compact Drive?
Assuming that the Compact Drive Reader is connected via USB-C (to achieve ~1GB/s speeds), and that the backup storage is fast enough to write at ~1GB/s, the download time for 960GB of data would be 16 minutes. If a copy application is used to perform a verification pass (recommended) then this will add some overhead to the process – depending on the type of checksum and verification method used it may double the overall download time.
Here are some approximate download times for a full 960GB Compact Drive containing 32 minutes of ALEXA Mini LF 4.5K OpenGate MXF/ARRIRAW recording (at 24fps), along with the data rate that the backup storage would need to achieve them*:
* These tests were performed using an iMac Pro 10-core system with 3GHz Xeon processor.
What is HDE?
HDE stands for High Density Encoding. It is an encoding technique that is optimised for Bayer pattern images. ARRIRAW images encoded with HDE are typically around 60% of the original size. HDE encoding is completely lossless – when an HDE file is decoded, it is a bit-for-bit perfect match to the original file.
What software supports decoding of HDE files?
HDE files are supported in industry standard software such as Filmlight’s Baselight and Daylight, ColorFront Transkoder, Pomfort Silverstack and YoYotta. The list of supporting software is growing rapidly.
How do I encode ARRIRAW HDE (.ARX files)?
Codex Device Manager 5.0 software on macOS allows HDE encoding of ARRIRAW directly from a Compact Drive or Capture Drive. The software has a Preferences option to choose whether your files are presented as regular ARRIRAW, or HDE encoded ARRIRAW. The encoding happens on-the-fly when files are copied, and your copy application needs to include support for this. Applications with this support include Hedge, Silverstack, Shotput Pro, and YoYotta.
NOTE: macOS Finder is not capable of copying ARRIRAW HDE files from Capture Drive and Compact Drive. See the Device Manager datasheet for details.
NOTE: Codex Vault XL and S appliances can encode ARRIRAW HDE with a licence – please contact Codex Support if you require more details.
Why are some ARX files zero-size, and others have final size?
ARRIRAW stored on the original camera media (e.g. Capture Drive or Compact Drive) is unencoded. By default this appears as ARI (Capture Drive) or MXF/ARRIRAW (Compact Drive) files on the media volume. When the Device Manager > Preferences are set to enable HDE then the contents of the media changes to ARX files with zero-size – this is because the Device Manager presents a list of files ready to be copied but the encoding has not been done yet, and the size cannot be pre-determined because the final HDE size depends on the image content.
When using Codex Production Suite, ARRIRAW stored on a Capture Drive can be copied to a Transfer Drive and have the HDE applied during this copy process using the Clone task. Once on the Transfer Drive the material is then encoded and the final HDE size is known. In this case the Transfer Drive appears on the Desktop and contains ARX files that have the final size.
As part of our regular camera testing, we have discovered a potential issue that can occur when removing the Codex Compact Drive too quickly from the camera after a recording stop. While this would not lead to any data loss – even if the recording stopped unexpectedly, the take recorded up to this point will be safely stored on the drive – it would disrupt production and cost time. Therefore, we are working on a Software Update Package (SUP) to address this issue and are projecting the release in Q4 2020. Until then you can avoid this issue by following the 10 second rule detailed below. This pertains to the ALEXA Mini LF running the current Mini LF SUP 6.0.21.
If you encounter the following error messages:
Reboot the camera with the drive inside. This will clear up the issue in most cases. If you permanently encounter these error messages, please contact ARRI Service
Best practice for avoiding data loss article
Memory Card Compatibility Database
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