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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #271
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Wayne: that would be indeed a next stop, since we also spoke
about FPGA's and such. I'm not saying Win is the only way to go,
but let's get something working first is what I'm saying.

Again, I think (you as well Wayne with this line: "the other factor is
that you can use it for other tasks and editing with the right OS".)
everyone is confusing a view things. The PC/computer/chips
(whatever) inside the camera are not going (at least it really
should not) to be used for editing. You have a small system in
there to do one thing and one thing only: record (reliably). You
then either transfer this footage over to your edit suite or copy it
of the harddisk(s) directly.

Now, ofcourse this second stage (copying/transferring/processing
the footage and then edit it or whatever you want to do with it)
should be done on a "normal" computer and that can be any
platform that is supported. For now that is Windows, but that can
much easier be ported to other systems!

Ronald: yes, we would like an onboard realtime system with
something like an FPGA as well, but that is just beyond the scope
since we have no-one here that can build such a system. This is
*NOT* easy stuff! Windows could hibernate and would start
pretty fast as well. Personally I don't care with startup times since
these are clearly not run and gun camera's, but camera's for some
serious film shooting work.

As said above, let's get it all working good first and then see if
we can finetune or port it to better suited system. Unless
someone knows an excellent realtime system's designer who
has the time and expertice to do such a project...
I was talking about the OS *ON* the camera which in my opinion
should only be used for shooting.

I'm not sure why comparisons between DOD and now lego blocks
are being made. They either have much, much more money and
resources than us to design whatever they want or do not have
enough power (the bricks). If it where easy these systems would
be all around us already!
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Old November 9th, 2004, 01:05 PM   #272
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No Rob, I am agreeing with you, get the camera working first (as I said before). But Origionally the discussion was to use the camera for editing too, in field this would be useful for ENG and doco work (as well as some indie cin) and I have kept on this. The piont is that to support this feature you only need a different boot sequence and extra software on the system drive. Same camera, to make into computer hook in usb hub (with keyboard/Mouse/etc) montior and external/rack harddrive, three connectors off mainboard. So when you finish shooting go to your tent open up custom case (cheap foldout modified airport luggage) with keyboard etc inside and plugin, good simple and cheap. You don't have to do a complete edit on the spot, but maybe figure a few things out, scenes and sequences (scapping useless stuff) and day by day. So don't worry I'm sure I can do this myself ;)

Ron:

I think a couple of people volunteered to do FPGA before, but what I think Rob is also meaning ;) is that any Voluntreers would be welcome ??
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Old November 9th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #273
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Wayne: dual boot to another OS might be interesting indeed.
Would probably raise some eyebrows, you plugging a TFT Screen,
keyboard, mouse and power supply in your camera on your hotel
room <g>
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Old November 9th, 2004, 03:22 PM   #274
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Thinking in a purely speculative fashion, how might one go about making a camera that simply dumps data out to a drive - say a firewire 800. The camera would have no preview, no monitor, nothing but camera and disk.

There may be a way to get a drive to have an button that has two settings: write the data that is coming through/don't write the data that's coming through.

I shall elaborate:

I was looking at the capdiv hard disk recorder at http://lairdtelemedia.com/ amongst others and was thinking that perhaps such a thing would be useful for the uncompressed dvx 100 filmstream mod and if it could be somehow used with sufficiently fast disks/with several disks.

you may be able to solve some of Obin's problems with simultaneous preview and record by hooking up a pc for preview and camera controls (shutter, frame rate, gain) and recording via a second camera output/split signal direct to disk.

just a thought.

i'll send a mail to the capdiv people and see what they say to recording different formats on their device. also, some googling is in order.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 12:25 AM   #275
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It can be quiet small (as discussed in the other thrad), but you loose the PC in camera advantages mentioned above, plus you also loose the ability to plugin whatever prefered PC codec you might want, as all has to be built in and reprogrammed. What you need is to get fast enough embedded controller with Firewire800 (or sata etc), camera interface, and whatever orher conrtol buttons you want, for preview you will need display output. Now you need to get realtime embeeded developement system to program. Then figure out the external control electronics, and power supply/battery electonics and case. Program it then hopefully you will have working system in 6 months (if you have really programing, few are, in a month). You will need moire than one button to control camera setup for different lighting conditions, preview is the best I think. But good idea I have seen it before, but it was expanded.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:36 AM   #276
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Mmm, so it's hard then.

With Juan's dvx mod it could be a useful thing, since you wouldn't be using off camera controls (so far as I understand it). However, I was under the impression that his thing was FW800, and not USB 2.

As for something like Obin's camera, I saw the posts outlining how one could use two computers for capture and control. If you could make the first a simple on/off drive then it might be simpler and cheaper.

Perhaps it is possible to modify a firestream or a capdiv to write any old data, perhaps these companies might be willing to release products for raw data. perhaps perhaps.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #277
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Maybe it is not so hard as you think, as long as you have the abilities, certainly not as easy or flexible as the PC solution.

I don't reply to everything, as it would be a bit dissapionting, but the dual motherbaord technique will add a whole new level of headaches and complexity. Faster processor is probably better.

Yes you could do that, but most of those commercial to disk solutions go for high end prices, and would probably cost more than the complete PC capture system. But if you ghave a low price manufacturer in mind you could ask them about it.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:51 AM   #278
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No, no manufacturer in mind. Just thinking out loud. A little research and I'll see if this can be a cost-effective recording solution.
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Old November 11th, 2004, 11:40 AM   #279
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My first post here, but I have been following these fascinating threads for a while.

I have been looking around trying to find information on software and came across a standard called IIDC v1.3 (DCAM v1.3) which is part of the 1394a (Firewire) protocol to communicate with digital cameras over FW - at the most basic level, the sort of thing a FW webcam is based on I guess.

I thought it was interesting as some of these cameras are using 1394b fiber optic connections, which is both high speed and can extend over very long distances. An some have incredibly high quality outputs, although they are pricey.

Anyway, it seems there are masses of cameras which support this DCAM v1.3 standard, mostly being used for astrology and scientific purposes. I found this site which lists all sorts of cameras, which might be interesting to some here:

1394 IIDC Cameras

And also some simple Mac OS X software built on this standard. However it is not really designed for what we all want here, it may be of interest to those developing their own apps, it is supposed to support IIDC conforming cameras. It costs around $50:

Astro IIDC Mac Software

I emailed the developer with a few questions and here was his part of his reply:

------------------------------------------------------
"We have 3 main bayer algorithms 2x2, 3x3 and 5x5 kernel methods to handle bayer 8, bayer 12 and bayer 16 bit input formats, support the 4 RGB variants (RGGB, GBRG ) and can deliver RGB24, ARGB32 and RGB48 bit formats, which is a total of 108 Bayer variants. The 2x2 and 3x3 methods are real time and the 5x5 one is designed for photographic final rendering.

The app converts the bayer video for display in real time. When recording as QuickTime movies, the bayer video is saved in the movie and is played using our Bayer Codec. We do not currently offer the Bayer Codec outside of the Astro IIDC application.

We do not support "external algorithms" and have no plans on doing it.

We do offer our IIDC API and SDK, but that starts at $1000 USD and goes up from their. It's intended for developers so they can build their own applications without using QuickTime and is not for end users but it would extract the raw bayer frames and allow you to do whatever you want with them via your own "custom" algorithms."

------------------------------------------------------

Seeing as 1394a (b on Mac) is a ubiquitous standard and is connectable to the computer of choice without any significant (if any) cost, how difficult would it be to adapt these cameras people here are looking at into FW based systems?

Is the bandwidth the major concern for using FW as opposed to CameraLink? Would 1394b make enough of a difference?

I am also interested by the idea of having a camera which can send uncompressed data to an app such as Final Cut Pro and then be transcoded on the fly to Quicktime codecs like Apple 10bit uncompressed, DVCPRO HD, or uncompressed HD.

Being an editor, I am all too aware of the issues of storage and although I love the idea of a pure 4:4:4 RGB recording for some projects, I also think a camera which could feed an uncompressed signal through FW to FCP and then be transcoder on the fly to a manageable but high quality codec would be hugely popular with the post production community as well.

I know these designs are really about the acquisition and not so much the editing, but the DVCPRO HD codec is a massive hit with the post community because of its good quality and very low data rate.

I know Blackmagic Design (Decklink, HD-Link etc) are developing a 4:4:4 RGB Quicktime Codec and they are some of the best in the industry at doing this. Their Dual Link Decklink HD PRO card could handle the capture from HD-SDI, I am not sure if it could be utilized as an encoding card for data delivered over another form of cable. Contact Grant Petty or Luke Maslen at Blackmagic Design, they are a very responsive company and I am sure will give you some useful feedback.

How difficult/expensive would it be to take a Dual HD-SDI feed off the AD converter of the camera?

Anyway, I wish you all lots of luck, I am glued to these discussion now, so can't wait to see where you go with your designs.

Regards
Mark Burton
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Old November 20th, 2004, 12:35 AM   #280
 
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Okay,

I've been on these threads for about a year now, and when I first came on I remember vividly about all the stuff that was coming out from Summix and SI in "just a few months" that was basically going to be a studio signal quality camera, only in box format.

I Keep hearing and hearing about when the "real deal" is coming out. First it was mid summer, then september, then October, then November . . . P.S. November is almost up.

Are these 1080p, global shutter, 4:2:2 color space, c-mount lens fixture, 100 MHz, 64 bit, 24 fps+, $3000 cameras really going to come out any time soon, or is this going to take another year. I'm asking because I'm looking to shoot a feature in late Spring that i'm taking very seriously, with semi-name actors involved, and I need to bank on what's in front of me, not what might or might not come out soon.

I'm starting to think that by the time we actually get this stuff up and running, there will be commercial cameras with near the same quality and price from Sony or Panasonic just around the corner, so why bother?

I can't remember who I was talking to on the thread, but at one point I mentioned it's far better to spend a year or two working a mean job, and build the capital for reliable commercial equipment (that will drop in price over the time you spent working) than to spend a year or two working on something that in the end might give us all mega functionality head-aches during production . . . and have no money left for your project to boot.

The only reason I bring this up is because it has been a year already, and I don't think I can wait another one before shooting something serious. I also don't want to wait another year for a camera that cries wolf.

Maybe I'm missing some of the stuff that has actually come out? Or am I right that none of the cameras we've really been looking for from SI and Summix have really come to light?

Someone please fill me in as to what's going on.

I love you guys.

Thanks
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Old November 20th, 2004, 02:49 AM   #281
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The delay was allways sensors (and capture software). The tested sensors had problems, so Sumix and SI decided to go for quality Altasens, then Altasens had trouble manufacturing that will add around six motnhs. Given the Christmas periode, we probably will see something selling Februray, or so. We may see anouncements in December or January, but I expect the Christmass break (followed by a holiday in some companies) will make it hard to crankup production to Februray).

As far as price goes, I think Sumix is the only company I have heard of releasing a Altasens camera below $3000. I think that after Sumix decided to go for Altasens they put back their schedule to end of the year anyway.

Unfortunately these things do take time, and if you got all the right parts (including capture software) it can be done in a month (plus another 6 weeks+ for production preperation). If you look at what Rai recently said about the Drake system, is that they are still deciding on bits and peices, I forget where ever this was for marketability or technical changes for production, but I think it would be both. This is fairly normal.

Of the new commercial cameras, truth is there has been huge delays there too. I understand that there was new Sharp single chip HDV cameras at the beginning of this year (I think even a new HDV camera last year). The Sony is finally out and may have very good optical quality compared to Fillfactor Ibis and the Micron Sensor used in the 1.3Mp SI. But the truth is that they record HDV1 and you loose a lot. The minium that you need to "compete" with us is the HDV2/Blueray disc format (still not as good, but good enough for many things). So yes, we may get a 3 chip Altasens JVC Eng camera with HDV2 (don't know for sure) for around $20K. But being an Akltasens we might only see it a few months before we get ours.

Well, what you will get saving up for a year or two, will probably not be Raw from Sony/Pana etc, or as good, or as cheap. But look at it this way, it hasn't really cost you (only a few of us) much yet. So you can use the development time on a mean job to saveup and buy the best camera and production equipment. Actually I can say in a couple of years time it might be possible to do a camera system like ours for $500-1000, where as many of the HDV2 "competitors" might be still more than $10K (maybe somebody will come to $5K).

And yesa, I am very very very dissapionted that it is taking so long. Actually how good was the older 1.3MP Altasens, anybody? Is it suitable for a cheap 720p camera instead of the existing sensors?

My actual worry is that in the end it might prove as good, and maybe cheaper, to convert an existing camera to raw. I have heard of cameras that can do that, and while I discount that because the only ones I know are SD, the footage from Juan's DVX100 looks great.

Ohh yes, I think we started around 8-10 months ago.

Hang in there Laurence.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 03:06 AM   #282
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Thanks for the post, Mark, it is probably better to repost it to my technical thread (or Obins 10-bit thread) as much of the discussion has moved from here.

Yes, 800, 1600, or 3200 Firewire would make great difference, everything is still on the table though only Gige is talked about at a moment.

About transcoding to high quality codec, they are planning on adding this functionality in future. The cineform codec people have also got a suitable high quality codec too.

HDSDI is more complex (and limited) and was rejected as a FPGA design some time ago.
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 09:21 PM   #283
 
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Thanks Wayne,

Makes more sense now. Hey, can you remember what website/company it was that makes the c-mount to 35mm lens adapters?

Thanks!
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 07:30 AM   #284
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Angenuix or something like that. I think I posted a link in the technical thread a month or so ago (otherwise maybe the ten bit thread). Pretty expensive I believe.

Wayne.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 08:04 AM   #285
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Quote:
Hey, can you remember what website/company it was that makes the c-mount to 35mm lens adapters?
If you are talking about physical adapters (no optics), B&H photo/video carries some, such as a C-mount body to F-mount (Nikon) lens.
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