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Old May 24th, 2004, 11:45 AM   #91
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<<<-- Originally posted by Valeriu Campan : - the camera can be built around a motherboard with Gigabit Ethernet/FireWire
- a minimum 2/3" chip: to keep as close as possible to the depth of field -->>>

Here's an example of a embedded motherboard that might be suitable:
http://www.technoland.com/tl_embsbc845.htm

This board has built in Gigabit Ethernet and a CPU with enough power (hopefully) to handle the job. Also, it has built-in video, so it may be feasible to have full-resolution preview to a CRT or LCD monitor.

Here's the chip (the 3530 I think) used in the Kinetta camera:
http://www.altasens.com/products.html

The 3560 version (see above) has support for 1920x1080 progressive at up to 60fps. It can also be downsampled to 1280x720p at up to 120 fps (!).

I did some quick calculations, and it appears that Gigabit Ethernet can handle 1280x720 up to 36fps with no compression required. 1920x1080 would require compression of some sort (or multiple Ethernet connections) even at 24fps. Handling frame rates of over 24fps would be nice because I think overcranking is going to be a desirable feature.

(I am not a hardware designer, so I'm not sure if this combination would work -- how the motherboard would communicate with the chip, etc.)
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Old May 24th, 2004, 01:23 PM   #92
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Ohh I am such a complete cretin, I was over at the other thread and realised that if your using a normal one chipper than your raw image data rate falls to one third, because you actually have one monochrome pixel (behind a bayer filter etc) behind each scree pixel. So 2million pixels at 24fps, is actuall 48MB/s, going to 10 bits and we are still in the realm of possibility of fitting on USB2.0.

Anyway we don't want consumer grade single chip solutions do we ;)

Thanks for the compliments guys. I actual have a degree with distinction. But I have been too sick to make a descent living, I have had Ross River Virus, Glandular fever leading to CF, am becoming hyper sensitive to chemicals and a range of other things (this mostly started before I got the degree). So generally I'm not really upto stuff and am really out of the loop as far as software programming goes (I learn't the year before they started teaching Windows programming). Over in the States you have been more lucky, if you can do it you can get a job, over here you have to wave that little peice of paper mostly and then have the track record. But I have a creative mind and whatever it creates I tend not to forget, so I can workout some nifty stuff, like my OS design (which I often can't work on either). I also used to spend every Friday morning going through the electronics engineering industry periodicals at the Uni, and still dream of one day doing my own gadgets (requires a fair bit of study using my one real weak piont, maths). So if I was earning lots of dough, I'd be having a $20-$50K camera, and paying some engineer to design a cheap one for me to sell or something, but allass, it isn't so. The only camera stuff I may think of doing is a film lense adapter with some special features.

Ron, I hear you and your idea, and that is my reason for presenting so much information, that this camera could be received and setup on a preworked out syastem over days instead of months (and after that withn minutes). That we could have a backend system that could be upgraded and reused for any future camera. There is allready a Linux movement, and if you go to the Toas links above, there is an open content platform they have started, and I recently remember an open hardware platform, I think there is one for Power PC too, and I think MS might be running one of thm. But as far as the platform, we have the open work done on the Russian camera, and we have the cheap (compared to embedded boards) nano-itx pc standard by Via. You have sourceforge and in there you will find a wealth of open source video projects for Linux and Windows, and people that might want to help, or even join a project like you are interested in. We are probably almost at a stage of being certain that there is a variety of camera modules out there that such a project could support (but all one chippers).Unfortuately I am too stuffed to do most of it, but I have come up with what information I could for others to work with.

I would support Gigabit erthenet for 720p or 1080 4:2:0, but for 4:4:4 1080 it is still a couple of hundred mb/s short (pluss over head), and unfortunately it doesn't look like anybody is going to do lossless comrpession at the camera head either.

Valeriu, yes the size of the vault is the biggest worry I have aswell, but I am hopng somebody knows of a cheap backup medium used n computer servers that canbe used to store footage. We could also use an adaptive comrpession routine and compress nearlossless with bcakup footage that don't really need lossless. What do you think?
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Old May 24th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #93
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Valeriu

I had a look at those photonlines cameras, quiet an impressive range.

I was wondering, being a digital cinetographer, if you would like to give you opion on the performance of some of these chips sometimes? As they have a wealth of stats, some I don't even know, and the response curves, to the primary colours, on some of them looks a bit worrying (they are not very even/matching responses).

I notice they also have a PCI-X camerlink card too.

Thanks

Wayne.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 02:07 PM   #94
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<<<-- Originally posted by Wayne Morellini : Ohh I am such a complete cretin, I was over at the other thread and realised that if your using a normal one chipper than your raw image data rate falls to one third, because you actually have one monochrome pixel (behind a bayer filter etc) behind each scree pixel. So 2million pixels at 24fps, is actuall 48MB/s, going to 10 bits and we are still in the realm of possibility of fitting on USB2.0.-->>>

That hadn't occurred to me either. Assuming we're sending pre-Bayer images down the pipe, then we have only a 10-bit depth per pixel to deal with?

Actually, some chips appear to send 12 bits per pixel, which would (hopefully) mean you lose less information. I guess you'd then truncate to 10 bits after the Bayer filter, right?

1080p @ 10 bits @ 24 fps = 59 MB/sec
1080p @ 12 bits @ 24 fps = 71 MB/sec

Either one is too much data for USB 2.0 without some compression. Firewire 800 or Gigabit Ethernet could handle it easily, in fact Gigabit Ethernet could handle it up to 36 fps.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 02:16 PM   #95
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<<<-- Originally posted by Wayne Morellini : ... the cheap (compared to embedded boards) nano-itx pc standard by Via. -->>>

Thanks for the heads-up on the Nano-ITX board. I looked it up and it looks interesting ... but only has 10/100 Ethernet. It does appear to have USB 2.0, but something faster would have to be an add-on board.

It also appears to have a 1-GHz CPU. I wonder if that would be fast enough to shove the raw data down the pipe and provide a real-time preview via the RGB port? Would be interesting to find out.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #96
 
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Hey Steve,

I've got a couple of scripts I wrote. You say you are looking for scripts. Are you involved in a producing company?
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Old May 24th, 2004, 09:04 PM   #97
 
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Wayne,

You say 1080p 4:4:4 might be difficult and that we might have to settle for 4:2:0. I think the happy medium of 4:2:2 should be fine to start with, don't you? Perhaps that should be the goal.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 09:20 PM   #98
 
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By the way to all,

I'm not sure I should offer this, because I could be getting myself in over my head with certain social inticracies of my own personal life, but it's always a possibility.

As it turns out, my girlfriend's father is a recently retired ELECTIRCAL ENGINEER. Wayne just mentioned if he was an elecrical engineer or knew one, that some of these construction problems might be solved. After several weeks of looking at these threads on DVcommunity, I'm seriously considering talking to him about helping us construct a working model.

Before I get ahead of myself, I'm not exactly sure what type of projects he was used to working on at his work place, but he's supposed to be a real crackerjack. He only retired last year so I'm sure if he was capable of helping us, all he'd need to be brought up to speed technically is some communication with you guys.

Of course, I should mention that most people don't retire in their mid 50's so they can spend an inordinate amount of time with their daughters boyfriend creating digital film cameras, but my girlfriend is quite certain he would love working on such a project for both my benefit and also for the challenge of it. What I could bring to the table would be mostly gruntwork and necessary research, as I'm more of an artist than a technician. But hell, filmmaking is all about gruntwork now isn't it.

Perhaps there's already enough knowledge on the board so this is not necessary, but the words "If I was an electrical engineer" spurred me into realizing that it might be the missing link.

Maybe? Maybe? Input please.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 10:17 PM   #99
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As for logic/motherboard option, all current models AppleMacs have on board Firewire800+400, USB2, Gigabit ethernet, RAID option as part of the OS... and running a flavour of UNIX, I think they would be also Linux friendly.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 04:25 AM   #100
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To Laurence Maher

No, Laurence, I'm not with a production company, I wrote that I have scipts but lack the equipment :(( Thanks for the offer, though :)
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Old May 25th, 2004, 11:00 AM   #101
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As long as he is an Electronics Engineer as well. Then he would still need to learn this niche of the market. Whatever you do, there is preciouse little that you could make into a commercially viable venture on your own (firms like Sumix are much more setup for that sort of exertion), so expect to open source it. And very few engineers would like to work on something in there off time, but there are the extraordinary very few that do these things.

The ITX nano is 1Ghz, at the moment, but in the future expect upto 2Ghz in the future and newer interfaces.

Boards, cheap, cost for a embedded board is probably going to be much more than the ITX, a non PC reference design (ARM + etc) off of many companies might be better in some ways but probably will cost $500-$3000, and a DSP board would probably be cheaper and better tha that. I have nothng against the Mac idea (apart from being a diffrent platform to most users's at a bit of a premium) except that I would like a portable should mounted (even breakable into a camcorder) version for on the fly doco's. I have a suggestion that might solve the problem though and bring the price straight down (I think somebody has also done it to). Wirelessly transfer your video to a normal computer hooked upto a 12volt car battery in your car. But the problem is, what cheap and reliable 1 Gb's+ wireless interface (that uses unregulated international spectrum space) exists, and how far will it, go, ahh the Russian Elvis project, that probably has mophed into one of the telecomunications technologies now (4G or whatever). The problem you still get is how far can it reach through buildings, bush (thick forests/jungle) and EM niosy environments (if only we could, no there is another patentable idea, I'll shutup), and if your doing a car chase, or blowing somethign up will the picture breakup. Realistically you maybe limited to a radius of a couple of hundred metters from your vehicle through these obsticals.

To look at in a more advanced way, Ron's project canbe made to be setup with a variety of hardware platforms. Whatever the small capture unit is, it can still be docked with PC, Linux or Mac, and one common programming and decoding model (for different editors) canbe used accross these platforms. So, in this lego version we have camera connected to a small capture unit that may also be able to act as a editor, that canbe connect to other computers.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #102
 
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Well really I'm not too interested in making a product I can sell to the masses or anything. I'm not even interested in selling at all, just really to a select few, and that's if they wanted it. Becasue it's not like there isn't massive time spent in creating each camera. Selling something at a few grand like most people want would not be cost efficent, nor do I have the desire to be a salesman. I want a camera for me so I can shoot movies, and then cameras provided for the people that helped make it happen, becasue they also deserve one. If someone else wants to sell the thing, let them. Meanwhile, I'll be doing what I enjoy . . . shooting.

Anyway, I was just thinking it might help you guys to have someone experienced at creating finished products, and also maybe he'd have knowledge on where to get cheap parts or what not. Just an idea. Maybe what I should do is suggest it to him as a possibility, and have him check out these threads to see if he thinks it's feasible or even if he's interested at all.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 08:55 AM   #103
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<<<-- Originally posted by Laurence Maher : Well really I'm not too interested in making a product I can sell to the masses ... -->>>

Exactly -- an "open-source" hardware and software design would let people build their own if they like, *and* would allow people to start a (small) business selling cameras if that appeals to them.

I certainly can't afford a $50K camera, but I might be able to afford a few development boards and take some time to work on the software.

If there is enough interest, should we set up a web site where we can gather and share information in a more organized fashion -- start with a Wiki, perhaps?
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Old May 26th, 2004, 04:34 PM   #104
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count me in for the website help! I will be getting the hd camera and 16mm K3 soon I hope! and I can share the help with everyone on that and the 35mm adaptor I jsut made for the dvx100
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Old May 26th, 2004, 05:08 PM   #105
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<<<-- Originally posted by Obin Olson : count me in for the website help! -->>>

I'll be glad to help -- in fact, just today I set up a new web site called "obscuracam.com" ... the domain is still in the process of being set up, though, so it's only available here:

http://66.223.26.77/wiki/wiki/

Obin, you're welcome to begin using it to document your camera. I've already set up a topic that you should see from the main wiki page. Click on the link and then click "Edit" to add text to it. It's also possible to link graphics into topics -- to provide drawings, photos, etc.

I'd love to make this site available to anyone in these forums to use to document various projects -- GG adapters, etc. If you think this is helpful, or have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me -- rob (at) scottclan.cc

(BTW, I'm going to be out of town for a few days, so I may not respond until next week.)
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