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Old June 9th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #1
 
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Low Cost HD Available to Buy Now: Cameras, Recorders, 35 mm Adapters, Lenses, etc.

I've spent days now reading and trying to absorb info of this forum and the other forums that are refrenced here, the Camcorderinfo and Cinematography. It appears that we already have some solutions and better solutions are under development. Could we dedicate this thread to products that are available now, that can be bought now, that you don't need to make. As new products become available, please post them here. It will save everyone's time.

T H I S .. T H R E A D .. I S .. F O R .. L I S T I N G .. O F .. C U R R E N T ,

F I N I S H E D , .. R E A D Y .. T O .. B U Y .. S O L U T I O N S .. O F

L O W .. C O S T .. H D .. P R O D U C T I O N . E Q U I P M E N T

Please don't post here designs that are not finished or that you need to make yourself.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #2
 
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What is available now

Available, or soon to be available, equipment:

Cameras:
Red Lake 1080p camera with controller. It costs $6.5K. It allows connection of a monitor to the controller, and to do various adjustments, like color balance, with the controller.

35 mm adapters:
There is a thread of a guy in Germany, who built a vibrating type 35 mm adapter that works with HD and he is willing to make it and sell to others. How much is it? When will it become available?

Wide and Standard Focal Length Lenses:
The industrial cameras come with C mount. Edmunds Scientific sells lenses in C mount that are high definition or are for megapixel cameras. The cost is from couple to several hundred dollars. There are also Macro hi def lenses.

Telephoto and Zoom Lenses:
Edmunds also sells 35 mm to C mount adapters for all major camera brands lenses. These lenses have sufficient resolution when used with the 2/3" sensor. For wide angle and standard focal length, C mount lenses are more cost effective. For telephoto, we would use 35 mm wide through tele lenses. These would also allow easier follow focus. The C-mount lenses are fast, like F1.6. I think that they are available in 8 and 12 mm focal length. 18 mm could be either C mount or 35 mm lens. Above that 35 mm lenses become more convenient and cost effective. Some 35 mm tele lenses are available with image stabilization. I think that there were some Canons made in the past that have internal auto focus. Maybe these can too be used.

8 bit recorder:
PC with with Aspect HD/Premier. Once the footage is recorded to a hard drive array, it needs to be converted to 1080p, 4:2:2, 8 bit, 1440x1080. Aspect HD will work with this stream and will compress the images 6:1 in it's high quality mode and the PC will record it to two separate drives. One of these drives will be for backup. The compression is less than $60K Varicam's. The 8 bit sampling is the same as Varicam's and CineAlta's. The resolution is the same as recorded with $100 K CineAlta camcorder, but the color sampling is better. CineAlta is 3:1:1. Aspect HD/Premier software is about $1K. Maybe someone could configure such recorder and figure out the price. Also someone should confirm with the David Newman of the HDV NLE forum that this system would work.

Power Supply:
12V car battery with 120 V inverter, on a cart, filter, charger.

Estimated cost for such system; in parenthesis is lowest possible cost):

$6,500 camera and controller (5,000 discount to DVinfo members)
$2,000 35 mm adapter (500 self-made)
$2,000 set of lenses (1,000)
$6,000 recording PC with NLE and storage (5,000)
$0,500 power supply (250)
$3,000 23" monitor and small LCD panel (1000; computer monitor)
$1,000 NTSC monitor (none)
$0,250 tripod (125)
$0,500 Glidecam (250 equivalent from Promax)
$1,000 Lighting set (750)
$2,000 sound mixer, mike (500 - use MiniDisc, dual sound system)
$0,250 misc. (125)
__________________________
$25,000 Total ($15,000)

One could also use Boxx Technologies RT computer with 10 bit Prospect HD, and record 6:1 compressed 1920x1080. The system would go up in price by about $25,000.

Another option would be to record uncompressed on Mac and do additional backup lightly compressed in MPEG4 by FCP HD. The cost would go up by about $35,000 additional over the Boxx system because of expensive uncompressed storage.

Another option is to use a better camera, Sony HDC-X300 with Canon HD auto/manual focus lens. Add $15,500.

if you'd get better monitors, tripods, wireless mics, lights, more lenses, etc., add up to $10,000 and more.

Could someone elaborate o this, add some links, more accurate pricing, configure the computers, etc.

Mike
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Old June 9th, 2004, 08:25 PM   #3
 
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Hope this thread will help newcomers to this forum, who will get a quick overview what is available and how much it would cost them. I'm sure a lot of members became quite efficient in making the 35 adapters. It would be a lot easier for someone who's already learned it to make and sell it to others at a reasonable cost/profit, than for someone to go through these endless threads and then attempt to do it himself.

I started this thresd as an overview what is out there. It would be nice if people could post link and info and pricing on actual products and systems.

Let's compare the system I described to the upcoming $20K JVC HDV camera:

20K camera
17K lens
8K NLE, monitors
5K tropod, glidecam, lights, mic, batteries
_____________________________
50K

The JVC is a 19 Mbps system; our compressed system's bit rate will be about 10x higher.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 09:06 PM   #4
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Hmm, let's see, $25,000???

That would be an awful lot of rentals of the new 35mm Panavision Genisis digital camera, probably enough to shoot a month-long feature. And the quality would be far beyond what you'd get from a put-together-rig.

Just warning people to be aware of the pitfalls of owning a put-together right that's so expensive. As of right now, once you get above 10 grand, I think you're sinking money into a project that might not really reap the benfits you want in an economic sense. For instance, you can't rent the system out, major producers will NOT shoot with your home-made system (unless they're senile, a project that has a budget of $30,000+ should not be done with home-made equipment), and again, if it's a personal project that you're working on, how many "personal" projects are you planning in a six month to year timeframe? So to spend $25,000-$50,000 when there are systems coming out from Panavision and Kinetta that will create very easy workflows and very high-quality products, and in the case of Panavision, repleat with the best 35mm optics money can buy, sounds crazy to me.

Try keeping your budget below $10,000 and then it makes sense.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 09:47 PM   #5
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Have to say that I agree with Jason on this one. At the moment there are two options that I am looking at.

1. Imperx camera 2megapixel with camera link 1920*1080, frame grabber, raid, etc, blackmagic card, adobe premier pro? $10-12k, once the missing link of storage, file formats, process, compression is sorted. Does anyone know how we will get 4:2:2 in the NLE from 4:4:4 from camera?

2. Is the sony POV really $15000? If this is correct this would be my number two choice in front of the kinetta (kinetta.com). would use black magic SDI straight into NLE. $20-25k package?
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Old June 9th, 2004, 09:59 PM   #6
 
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Jason,

Let's use this thread for what is, or what is about to be available.

The Genesis will not be avilable until November and it is likely to be the most expensive digital cinema camera that Panavision will have at that time. The camera and the recorder will probably be worth close to 1/4 million dollars. Add 35 mm cine lenses.

The camera is not enough. You need all the other production and postproduction stuff. Editing takes a lot more time than shooting. If you want to discuss it, please open another thread or use a thread I started on the Genesis in the News forum. We can discuss it there.

Also, the cameras that are being discussed in this forum will not allow you to bring the production and post system pricing down to below $10K. Once you find such a system, please, by all means, post the info in this thread.

Thanks,

Mike


P.S.

Adrian,

The same goes for your post. Let's not clogg this thread with info on unfinished systems. Once you get your system more or less configured, please, by all mens, post the info here, especially if you can keep the price below $10,000. If you want to concentrate on figuring how to configure a system around the Imperx, please open another thread.

M
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Old June 9th, 2004, 10:21 PM   #7
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I contacted redlake a couple of days ago. The engineer told me that their megaplus? camera could not do 24p, only 30p. Is this correct? forgive me if I am mistaken.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 10:46 PM   #8
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I think the system that Obin and Steve are talking about won't run more than $10K.

If you want three chips then you're probably going into the 20K category, but Steve said that you could most likely do one 2/3" chip for 8-10K, which isn't unreasonable.
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Old June 10th, 2004, 05:46 AM   #9
 
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$10k through $500K Systems

The systems include everything you need for shooting and editing. The same PC is used for both recording and non linear editing. Sound recording is included. The recording quality is on the level of $100K CineAlta camera recording. The camera used will be the limiting factor to the system quality.

The systems that Steve Nordhouser describes are for video recording only. You need additional investment for NLE, sound recording. You need lights, etc. All this is included in these systems. Different Summix, Imperx, Silicon Imaging. Just substitute the camera cost to the one quoted by other companies.


$10,000 SYSTEM:

$1,500 camera (Silicon Imaging 720p, discounted 4 DVinfo mmbrs
$1,000 set of lenses
$5,000 recording PC with NLE - Aspect HD and storage
$0,250 power supply
$0,750 computer monitor and small LCD panel
$0,125 tripod
$0,250 Glidecam (250 equivalent from Promax)
$0,500 Lighting set
$0,500 sound system, mike (MiniDisc, dual sound system)
$0,125 misc
__________________________
$10,000 Total


$15,000 SYSTEM:

$5,000 camera and controller (5,000 discount to DVinfo members)
$0,500 35 mm adapter (self-made)
$1,000 set of lenses
$5,500 recording PC with NLE - Aspect HD and storage
$0,250 power supply
$1,000 computer monitor and small LCD panel
$0,125 tripod
$0,250 Glidecam (250 equivalent from Promax)
$0,750 Lighting set
$0,500 sound system, mike (MiniDisc, dual sound system)
$0,125 misc.
__________________________
$15,000 Total


$20,000 SYSTEM:

$5,500 camera and controller (or another camera)
$0,500 35 mm adapter (self-made)
$2,000 set of lenses
$6,000 recording PC with NLE - Aspect HD and storage
$0,500 power supply
$3,000 23" monitor and small LCD panel
$0,250 tripod
$0,500 Glidecam
$1,000 Lighting set
$0,500 sound system, mic (MiniDisc, dual sound system)
$0,250 misc.
__________________________
$20,000 Total



$25,000 SYSTEM

$6,500 camera and controller (or another camera)
$2,000 35 mm adapter
$2,000 set of lenses
$6,000 recording PC with NLE - Aspect HD and storage
$0,500 power supply
$3,000 23" monitor and small LCD panel
$1,000 NTSC monitor
$0,250 tripod
$0,500 Glidecam
$1,000 Lighting set
$2,000 sound mixer, mic
$0,250 misc.
__________________________
$25,000 Total


$35,000 SYSTEM (quallity equal to $100K CineAlta recoording)

15,000 camera Sony X300
$2,000 35 mm adapter
$2,625 set of lenses
$6,500 recording PC with NLE - Aspect HD and storage
$0,500 power supply
$3,000 23" monitor and small LCD panel
$1,000 NTSC monitor
$0,375 tripod
$0,500 Glidecam
$1,000 Lighting set
$2,000 sound mixer, mic
$0,500 misc.
__________________________
$35,000 Total


$45,000 SYSTEM (at least equal to Sony $100K CineAlta recording)

15,000 camera Sony X300
$7,000 Canon HD lens
$2,500 35 mm adapter
$2,625 set of lenses
$7,250 recording PC with NLE - Aspect HD and storage
$0,625 power supply
$3,250 23" monitor and small LCD panel
$1,000 NTSC monitor
$0,500 tripod
$0,750 Glidecam
$1,750 Lighting set
$2,375 sound mixer, mic
$0,375 misc.
__________________________
$45,000 Total


$65,000 SYSTEM (10 bit, superior to $100K CineAlta recording)

15,000 camera Sony X300
$7,000 Canon HD lens
$2,500 35 mm adapter
$2,625 set of lenses
27,250 recording PC with NLE - Boxx RT with Prospect HD, storage
$0,625 power supply
$3,250 23" monitor and small LCD panel
$1,000 NTSC monitor
$0,500 tripod
$0,750 Glidecam
$1,750 Lighting set
$2,375 sound mixer, mic
$0,375 misc.
__________________________
$65,000 Total


By comparison, here is a standard configuration of a system based on Sony CineAlta F900 camera, with which are made major motion pictures, including the last Star Wars, Spy Kids 2, Once Upon a Time in Mexico

$500,000 SYSTEM, dealer configured

103,000 camcorder Sony F900
27,000 HD lens
30,000 35 mm adapter
75,000 set of 35 mm cine lenses
72,000 feeder and recording VTR
27,250 NLE - Boxx RT
08,000 additional RAID storage
$5,000 batteries
15,000 LCD viewfinder/monitor
$2,000 23" LCD monitor
35.000 NTSC monitor
10,000 tripod
20,000 Steadicam equivalent
10,000Lighting set
10,000 mics
50,750 misc.
__________________________
$500,000 Total

This is how a dealer would configure your system that would have the same image quality as the $35,000 system.
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Old June 10th, 2004, 06:09 AM   #10
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Panavision offering?

Jason and Listmembers,

Will Panavision have a camera offering based on their subsidiary's [PanavisionsSVI] cmos sensors or are they intending to continue to use sony sensors? Have you heard anything about the Olympus camera Ultra High Def project?

The single chip cameras Kinetta, the Arri M-20, and the Dalsa origin are all promising experiments but a 3 chip solution is necessary to make the most of the 2k and 4K sensors that are now coming on the market. The problem is that its not easy to build a compact 35mm image area prism block. If you choose a 2/3" sensor your going to spend another 30K for a Pro35 DOF solution.

Does anyone know if the old Arri Lockheed 12Megapixel 3 sensor camera used a custom prism block. How big were the sensors?They could have used an old TV prism block but probably would have got a lot of chromatic aberration?

I hope that Foveon will someday design a 24fps capable single chip solution. Bayer filter designs waste a lot of resolution and potential S/N ratio advantages on the color interpolation. A single chip camera to be equal to a current 2K 3 chip camera needs at least 6K pixels. Motion artifacts aren't cured by interpolation.

So far if you want to do serious work on a budget the Panasonic DVX100a with a P+S Technik Mini-35 is the way to go. However, don't think that you can hand hold this 500 line resolution camera if you are blowing up to 35mm. If you shoot from a tripod, you might get useable footage with this setup. You won't end up owning a white elephant home made camera that never is used except on personal projects.

IMO the next step up would be an Ikegami HDL-40 at 35K+ add another 30K for a Pro35 setup and you'll be renting your 35mm
Cooke S4 lenses and camera accessories. Use double system sound and spend some money on a good mixer and sound crew.

The idea is not to go broke before you make money with a film.

My advice: Don't buy a lot of equipment. If you spend more than 10K, the money should go into the post production equipment needed to make a showreel for your project. Save your money to pay for the Digital Intermediate at a decent lab. Better yet make the film first on a shoestring and then let the distributor pay for the DI and the prints!
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Old June 10th, 2004, 07:21 AM   #11
 
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Randall Larsen writes:

>>IMO the next step up would be an Ikegami HDL-40 at 35K+ add another 30K for a Pro35 setup and you'll be renting your 35mm
Cooke S4 lenses and camera accessories. Use double system sound and spend some money on a good mixer and sound crew. The idea is not to go broke before you make money with a film. My advice: Don't buy a lot of equipment. If you spend more than 10K, the money should go into the post production equipment needed to make a showreel for your project. Save your money to pay for the Digital Intermediate at a decent lab. Better yet make the film first on a shoestring and then let the distributor pay for the DI and the prints! <<


Answer:

Please, let's keep this real.

You're talking about two systems. One is based on the Panasonic DVX100a and Mini 35. That makes it $11,000, plus lenses, plus all the other production and postproduction equipment. So now we are close to $20,000.

Your next system is based on $40,000 camera nad $30,000 Pro 35. That is $70,000. Add the other production and post equipment and you're at $100,000, plus rental costs for the lenses you suggest.

Then you say not to spend more than $10,000.

You're also talking about couple hudred thousand dollar and more expensive cameras.

As to the prices I listed, they include all production and postproduction stuff and start at $10,000 for everything.

This forum is about industrial cameras costing $2-10,000 dollars, and about equipment to use with it, including low cost 35 mm adaptors.

Mike
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Old June 10th, 2004, 08:51 AM   #12
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The Panavision is using a single 12.4 megapixel Sony CCD, the Kinetta is using a single HD-rez Altasens chip, the Arri is using a single 3K chip, and the Dalsa is using a single 4K chip.

There's nothing wrong with using single chips. DSLR's have had this feature for quite some time, and their output looks amazing. For example, my 6 megapixel D60 will easily rival color film resolution-wise up to around A3 sized prints (with good lenses of course). 35mm falls apart shortly thereafter also, so basically we're talking 6 megapixels is effective 35mm resolution (Kodak says 12, but that's to render all the grain, effective resolution is only 1800 lp/mm, which 6 megapixel DSLR's can easily do-just look over at www.dpreview.com).

So don't be disappointed in single-chip designs, it really is the better approach to the problem, as long as you have good bayer demosaic algorithms (which many of those industrial cameras don't).
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Old June 10th, 2004, 09:28 AM   #13
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your right Jason, I think my canon 10D is VERY VERY close to 35mm even at a 20x30inch sizE! people IMHO need to get over the 3 chip thought pattern..once you get enough megapixels it's a none-issue
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:04 AM   #14
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Single chip cameras

Jason:

I admit that the stills from Bayer camera's look OK. However, Arri admits that there are problems with motion artifacts. They also admit that they have used a 6 megapixel chip to get after binning and averaging the equivalent of 3MP 3 chip camera. Arri's chip is 6MP not 3M as you suggest.

See: http://www.arri.com/news/ibc/ibc03_ab/doc/d_20.doc

and the white paper

http://www.arri.com/infodown/other/ti/wp_d20.pdf

Arri also claims that some bayer algorithms are better than others. They also have experience with a 12MP 3 chip camera that they built with Lockeed. So the Arri folks have reasons to prefer the single chip approach. IMO The main reason is that a single chip camera integrates more easily with the arri lenses and arri accesories. Since it is 35mm image area, no Pro35 is required to get 35mm lense Depth or field. The signal to noise ratio of camera is higher than it would be with a smaller chip. I don't know whether depth of modulation is higher than a 3 chip 2/3 inch sensor. I believe greater depth of modulation and higher signal to noise are advantages of a 3 chip camera other things being equal (except for the light loss of the prism block).

Resolution is not the main issue. As a SMPTE Journal entry of the
1970s pointed out, 35mm film when projected in the theater has a resolution of only about 700 horizontal lines due to the blur induced by the Geneva movement. IMAX avoids this blur with their special horizontal projection rolling loop mechanism. However we are not comparing HDTV with IMAX.

Because of the 700 line limitation in theater projection, Projectable 35mm is attainable with a DVX100 with only 500 lines of horizontal resolution. If the footage is steady an s-spline algorithm (Prozoom) can be used to uprezz the footage credibly.

Thus BIT depth and not resolution is the main issue in film versus HD video. Film still has up to 14 bits of information versus the 10 bits we normally preserve in HDTV. Now raw files can be used to preserve 12 bits; however, how honest are those twelve bits from a bayer chip camera?

You rightly point out that a good bayer chip algorithm (done in real time on an FPGA) can give much better results than we have seen in some industrial ($1500-5000) cameras. I will concede that point.

Another slight correction in what you have written.
Remember that the 35mm still frame and the 35mm motion picture frame have different areas. The 35MM still frame is horizontal about 32mm? wide while the 35mm motion picture frame is vertical 24mm wide by 16mm high. So perhaps an effective 720p resolution is adequate for projection in the theater even though it wouldn't be adequate for still pictures bigger than A3.

So how bout an 8" by 10" sized cmos sensor? Hughes built a Holographic motion picture camera that produced 8 by 10 holgraphic frames. The resolution of the film was still a lot higher than the resolution of an equal sized electronic sensor. The fill factor is still a barrier in building high resolution sensors. PanavisionSVI claims to have made progress in this area by lowering effective pixel size in 35mm sized sensor cmos.

Kodak and others make 2 and 1/4" inch still and astronomy sensors. You can also cool a sensor with liquid nitrogen to limit dark current. So if money is no object you can make more ideal sensors but the economics of image storage is also a factor as Arri points out in their article. The snell and wilcox stategy of
saving only every third frame of 72fps video at full resoultion is a good fix but not an ideal fix because information is lost.

IMO Kinetta at the moment is vaporware. Has Jeff Kreines shown any footage? He needs a 35mm area sensor to get the benefits of the single chip approach. A 2/3" sensor without the mini-35 box will not use 35mm lenses effectively.

The effective focal lengths of 35mm lenses used with 2/3" image area will be higher (cropped). The depth of field will not be consistent with 35mm usage.

A good 16mm illumina or zeiss lens would be a better choice for this sensor than a 35mm lens (still not ideal).
Thats why we have digiprimesTM for prism cameras.

Kreines promises a pro35 like solution for "next year," pointing out that his camera is sensor independent--translation he is waiting for someone to sell him the 35mm area sensor he really needs to make his box viable.

I am not convinced that the single chip approach is "really better."
I think there have been advances in optics and coatings that might make a prism camera more ideal. A prism camera avoids the motion artifacts of bayer interpolation for one thing.









Arri still has great reservations about the viability of digital versus film, economics, portability, the need to record huge amounts of data on location, exposure latitude, archival stability,

By binning and using a 6MP chip at 3M arri avoids some motion artifacts but does not avoid the problem entirely.
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #15
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5, 000 industrial cameras

Mike:

Sorry if I went off-topic. I like the Silicon imaging cameras in this price range.

I think the point you are missing in my post is my realization that as a film producer I cannot expect to own all my tools. Film production is extremely capital intensive.

Producers eventually realize that they have scarce resources. When doing a film it makes more economic sense to rent than it does to own. Rent the right tool for the job rather than be limited by an economic compromise of using a substandard tool.

Production equipment is used comparatively fewer days than
post production equipment. So it makes more sense to invest in post gear than production gear.

My point is that if I want to own a camera I can use. I shouldn't worry about owning everything else. Get a good camera and rent the PRO35 and the 35mm lenses! You are not shooting every day.

After a 1 month shoot and two months of post production hopefully you'll make money with your feature. The HDL-37 can be bought for 22,000 B stock (rent your lense for the job). Sony DWV-700s are going for as little as 6,000K again w/o lens. These are professional cameras. Cheap postproduction gear can be used with professional cameras.

AJAs Kona2 board supports dual HD-SDI inputs.

So I will happily join in the discussion of Silicon imaging and other industrial cameras. However, I don't think its realistic to think that you will buy an inexpensive camera so that you can own everything in the production post production chain. Its still too expensive to own everything if you plan to do competitive work.
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