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Old June 8th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #1
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Low Cost 4:4:4 HD and SD boards.

For all you wanna-bee camera designers:

Blackmagic Designs has chopped their prices drastically.

Some of the cards can capture up to 4:4:4 14 bit YUV 1080i

Cards that were around 2500 are now 1200.

The cards are also interfaceable to digital and analog decks (one of their primary purposes).

One of these cards a disk array and a laptop or other small form factor PC could be the beginnings of a great experimental camera.


Does anyone else have any ideas on the digitizing/data storage part of the camera?
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Old June 8th, 2004, 07:36 PM   #2
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Unfortunetly you're going to need a disk array that can store at 275MB/s for 12-bit 4:4:4. That's an awful lot of juice IMHO, definitely nothing under 10K is going to do that reliably.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 05:13 AM   #3
 
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Are you sure?

Surely you could get an array of drives and computer to house them for around 7-8k? I think mac makes a terabyte of disk space raid for like 7k. Course, that's a mac and not too portable, I'm sure (lolol). Does Black Magic work with mac?
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Old June 9th, 2004, 05:30 AM   #4
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yes, but again, we're talking about 275MB/s sustained, which will require at least 20% headroom, or around 315MB/s.

You can't just pile 4 SATA drives together in a RAID 0 config and get 315MB/s. Try maybe 10-16 SATA drives on a dual U320 RAID 0 setup, or a lot of expensive 10K SCSI drives. These types of data rates are nothing to sneeze at, and furthermore will require you to have the image pre-bayered in real-time (I believe). I mean I'm not quite sure how Bayer image data would come across a dual-link HD-SDI line and be digitized, what it would end up looking like. At the least it would end up taking 3x the space that a normal RAW bayer file would take because the blackmagic codec is going to write a full RGB file, even if the image is greyscale (I would assume, they never said anything about a "greyscale" setting").
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Old June 9th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #5
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I said up to

you can capture at a variety of bit depths and frame rates.

So you can push it up to the limits of your capturing hardware.

Raids are fairly inexpensive and portable!

You can implement a 4 HDD raid on a lot of motherboards that sell for under $150. You can do a Terabyte of storage for around $1000.

Even with HD that's a fair amount of storage.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #6
 
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Terabyte of storage for 1k? You talking mac or PC compatable drives? Or would it be both. Where in the world did you find a terabyte for 1k? Please be specific.

By the way, someone explain to this layman just why the current HD industrial Box cameras don't record in color, etc. Don't most have at least a set Daylight or Tungsten setting?

I looked at the Black Magic cards and they seem tasty. If nothing else, it would sure be an excellent source way to record 4:2:2, 10 bit, 1080p.

Thanks!
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Old June 9th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #7
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That's nice, 4 HDD's for $1,000??

So how're you going to sustain 315MB/s with those 4 drives for 12-bit Uncompressed???
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Old June 9th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Laurence Maher : Terabyte of storage for 1k? You talking mac or PC compatable drives? Or would it be both. Where in the world did you find a terabyte for 1k? Please be specific.
-->>>

250 GB drives (SATA, I think) are now available for around $180 retail (note that this is just an example, I'm not recommending this web site) --
http://www.buycyberpc.com/wedi2572saha.html

I'm not familiar with a specific example of the 4-drive RAID motherboard that James mentioned. Presumably there is one for less than $250, so a motherboard plus 4 of those 250GB drives would be less than $1000.

AAUI (As I Understand It) ...

With RAID 0 and four drives, you'd be able to sustain about 300+ MB/sec until the drive is about half full. After that it would drop until at "mostly full" you'd be limited to around 160 MB/sec.

To sustain 300+ MB/sec for the entire capacity of the array I think you'd need at least 8. This is why the Kinetta has 12 drives (40 GB each, IIRC) in an array.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 01:26 PM   #9
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(message deleted because Rob edited his post while I was posting)

Now I have nothing to add.
:)


-Luis
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Old June 9th, 2004, 05:53 PM   #10
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some novice questions

I'm one of the least technically knowledgeable guys on thes boards and have a couple of questions for you guys. Regarding the Imperx camera that I posted on a couple of weeks ago: I'm presuming this is 4:4:4? Does this mean that if have a black magic design board which can capture this video, will it be able to output at 10bit 4:2:2? I mention this as this is the current FCP 4 max.

Secondly since the interface for the camera link appears to be for PC, how will I go about getting the images into a MAC?

Regarding storage, is a raid necessary? I know it wouldn't be as convenient be I have see 300gb external hard disk drives? which would give about 45min uncompressed storage per drive, if my calculations are correct.

The imperx camera seems to have a c-mount as standard, which I presume means 16mm? They mention an F-mount adaptor. Does this mean I could connect Nikon F-mout stills camera lenses?

Finally, do think it would be better to atay with a PC (premiere pro) NLE or try and get it into FCP 4?


Any opinions very welcome.
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how far can we push these cameras?
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Old June 11th, 2004, 02:44 PM   #11
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Is raid necessary

If you are recording SD 60i 4:1:1 then no. A standard 7200rpm with a few megs of cache would be fine. Firestor and others do it with just a single drive.

The permutations are huge SD HD @ 1080i or 720p, bit depth, 4:4:4, 4:1:0, 4:2:2, 4:1:1, frame rate, compression (lossless or lossy).

The amount of data you lay down is potentially huge.

JVC for example with their prosumer HD cameras use the same mini-DV tapes that SD DV cameras use. They just compress the signal, use 4:1:1 to get the data rate down.

So if you want the pure milk you might have to link it up to a raid.

The Viper doesn't even come with a deck. It's the head only. You have to decide how you're going to record your data. Tape deck or HDD.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 04:34 PM   #12
 
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N O I S E !!!!!!!!!

Therer is another point to consider. The RAID drives will be noisy. You have a computer with up to 200' coax to a camera and it is a different story. Noisy buzzing hard drives next to talent is a major problem.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 09:30 PM   #13
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Blimp

Wow are we getting off topic. I had hoped that others had found other cheap ways to get their analog/digital camera signals into their PC/Mac in a cheap/novel/better way.

Everything can be overcome at some price level.

For example, You can blimp (put in a soundproof case) your RAID in a nice little case with a peltier chiller inside and passive heatsink outside the case. cost would be about $1000.

Heck you could put it in a frige with the door close. Cut the power to it just before you begin shooting but then of course weight and space may becomes a concern.

Everything is about tradeoffs. If we didn't think that we'd all rush out and buy a varicam. It already works!

Just remember that once upon a time all cameras were quite large. Most of the movies we love were shot with unwieldy cameras. Not run and gun.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #14
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The drives in the RAID array can be attached in an external case outside the camera... like a film magazine. I saw a few external firewire cases for IDE drives made of metal with no fans. LESS NOISE!!! A pack of 4 cases can be made, blimped and "leggo-ed" on the camera.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 04:43 AM   #15
 
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Yes,

Remember that if we all had our dreams and were hollywood directors, the studio steups we'd be working with are MONSTERS. Lots of luggage and bulk, very little "run and gun". You don't need to be run and gun to have great moving shots, just time to implement the systems we build here. Real filmmakers deal with hell in terms of shooting. It will probably always be that way.

We SHOULD focus on efficency, but only when the efficency that gives us the best possible "hollywood" image.

Just go for good price, good quality, good reliability, and user-friendly systems. Great speed in shooting is desired, but is not always end-product effective.
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