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Old July 12th, 2004, 01:38 AM   #1
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Home Made HD Cinema Cameras - Technical Discussion


This thread, is for technical discussion and suggestions on project development for the home made HD camera system discussed in the threads below:Other discussion is covered by it's companion threads:This HD system is also meant for more general work than Cinema.

The detailed guide to this project is presently at:

Have fun!
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Old July 13th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #2
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What stage is this project at? Has anyone started buying components yet?

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Old July 14th, 2004, 03:01 AM   #3
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Ben: two people have bought the camera, I'm still weighing my
options. Programming has commenced, mostly by Rob Scott with
some backing by yours truly. Obin seems to get read to shoot a
movie last time I heard. Heh.

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Old July 14th, 2004, 08:31 AM   #4
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Yes that is the sum of it.

About these threads:
I created these threads on a whim, because people were complaining that there was too much going on in the threads, and they needed extra threads. It is upto them to use them.

We aim to use cheap HD industrial and security cameras connected to cheap small PC boards, eventually in a small custom shoulder mounted case (like pro cameras). The internal PC's would record, and maybe edit, the footage. Otherwise the drives would be connected into a NLE editing computer for editing.

To hook these things together Rob is developing glue software to handle capturing, recording and outputing raw images, and eventually to a codec that off the shelf NLE editing software can read. We hope to eventually support any compression codec, and the most popular NLE's in Windows MAC, and Linux. With this software, and by working out good components, we hope to make it simple and reliable to put together and use.

The camera project is truely incredible, but for the moment 1 chip solutions. The main problem is that 3 chip requires 3 times more data, that makes it much more expensive (but not compared to film, probably very cheap). With increasing capacities this will be less of a problem next year, closer to when the camera system should be in a simple form. I feel most people will get along fine with 1 chip, and high end work with 3 chip uncompressed.

As PC's and storage gets more powerful, we will be able to do more things, and higher resolutions. At the moment 720p and 1080p capable sensors are the most affordable, and we expect a number of cameras to have pro grade senors.

The pricing ifor a complete systems are expected to be $3K-$7K DIY. If a big company was to really try (this won't happen) they could probably do a non PC one for $1K.

The other peice of information is that there are a number of cameras out we could use, and some more suitable ones coming this year from "Silicon Imaging" and "Sumix". Looking in recent pages in the viper thread, and the 10 bit thread will give you a run down on these.

Please read the original threads and the FAQ wiki (listed in the first post) to get an overview.


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Old July 20th, 2004, 10:45 PM   #5
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Some posts from the other threads:

I have some great new, stop the FPGA stuff, we might have a solution (after cameralink).

The head of VIA's processor subsidary:

Notice the DSP like hardware acceleration in the next chip mentioned down the bottom. My guess is that it might be something remarkable like PIM's or clearspeed. Also notice they work closely together with nerw customers. It occurs to me we have simualr needs to the Blade server market (multiple drives, multiple Gb Ethernet, high speed (through multiple on board parrallel preocessors)). We also have simlular needs to the multimedia, high defintion DVD recorder market (using HDMI/DVI input/output and compression). It occurs to me that one of their potential platforms might over lap with our needs, and if it doesn't they might be persuaded to overlap it. They have many reference platforms and are a nice company to work with.

New alternative low PC powered processor by AMD, but faster:


Nice case:

One of these pages (lost it) on the itx website, under computex coverage had some ITX product running "surveilence" footage on a screen, I only saw a glimps but I think it was multiple video streams on a 16:9 moinitor (only got a glimps before I closed the window).

(re-edit: Maybe there might be some usefull hardware that it uses).

Been to the website, couldn't find any DC power supply reference.


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Old July 20th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #6
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Laptops, laptops, laptops.

I can't stress it enough. Why base your design on a machine that's designed to be plugged into the wall, and doesn't have an integrated monitor? Laptops have the power, battery and display issue solved. I honestly can't understand why you'd go with a VIA solution when the Pentium M is a far more powerful processor with only slightly higher power needs?

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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:13 PM   #7
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New summary of potential camera designs

Now that we seem to have found most things needed to specifiy a potential camera design, I thought I wouild list them out (haven't been keeping up with the Wiki, but you might like to list this Rob).

Re-edited: cheap battery info added.

Camera 1: Simple Handycam

- camera 720p single chip
(variations allow higher specs)
- Single Hard Disk drive
- small form factor motherboard (nanoITX series, embbeded PC's possbile but expensive).
- PC Interface USB/Ethernet or higher.
- Small form factor or custom case
(At the moemnt Oblin is using an exisitng 16mm Russian Movie camera)

In the future multiple drives and chip versions at higher resolutions would be possible.

My thoughts: if you look at the Hoojum Nanode cases www.hoojum.com/index.php , posted earlier, they look like oblong, tin cans (there is a tin opener that will cleanly cut the can along the rim itself). Maybe we could find non ribbed oblong cans and do the same, or even paint some oblong plastic containers metalic, for ammusement, and also to get our footage straight into the can ;) One thought is to get mouldable mirror perspex and shape one for handheld use (and add some case mod lighting).

Camera 2: Straight shoulder mount

- camera upto SHD multichip (depends on the variations, interface, processing and drives involved)
- Multiple Hard Disk drive.
- Small form factor motherboard (miniITX series, also micro atx, btx, embbeded PC's possbile but expensive).
- PC Interface Cameralink, 10/Giga Ethernet, HDMI (DVI), USB3/Ext desktop PCI express.
- Small form factor or custom case

Each camera also has:

- External LCD (or touch sensitive) or head mounted display.
- Custom control panel or touch plate, and/or, firwire, or standard external controls.
- Standard lense mounts to suit sensor chip, others through adaptors.
- Adpators through image reduction (brighter image) and projection (better DOF).
- Battery, buy your own, but I prefer to get a cheap battery case and stuff it full of cheap nicad cells. Not as good as li-ion but if you know where to get hi-densiity Chinese cells cheap off an distibutor, cheap to repack.


Camera: Any supported camera.

This is being achieved by either custom support, plugin or profile files. The sort of support will change during developement.

Software: Custom Capture (the Rob Mobile) and any supported Editor. Or alternative commercial product.

Format: Any supported format

This is being achieved by use of standard (or if needed, custom) codecs and plugins for the capture software and the NLE Editor.


Variation 1:

External capture/compression card to take from high speed camera interface to low speed PC interface. Allows lower CPU use, and by passes Cameralink PCI speed restriction.
- Use of Clearspeed like parrallel processor re-edit: (now to expensive), embeeded processor with PIM (processor in memory) memory chip, or FPGA.
- But codec support is restricted. So good codecs need to be picked for lossless, visually lossless, and high comrpession are needed, preferably open unlicensed. With Clearspeed and PIM this canbe reprogrammed (also with FPGA).

Variation 2:

PC variation of variation 1: Using PC with inbuilt 2.3GB/s Cameralink interface (by passes Cameralink PCI speed restriction). If a comrpession engine is added it then reduces cpu load. Main problem is that the PC is tide loacked into a maxioum capability, and gets outdated. But eventually PC speed will outstrip camera SHD/UHD requirements and it will no longer be a problem. Also this puts more of the system in the hands of low volume manufacturers who can charge what they want.
- Extra processing through Clearspeed like parrallel processor, PIM, or FPGA. With Windows using Clearspeed/PIM as a coprocessor resource, a standard codec could benefit (Sometime ago MS put API's/Device drivers in to allow processing requests to be passed to DSP's (simular toi Direct X). I do not know if they are still supported. Advanced stuff.

Variation 3:

Variation 1 pluss ATA drive storage.

Variation 4:

Variation 1 or 3 in the camera head.

HDMI is compatiable with DVI used on AGP graphics cards (but which have HD digital capture is unknown) so the bandwidth restrictions are removed.

So does this look like a good overveiw of the possibilities and technology?

Cameras with 10 Gigabit Erthernet or HDMI are the way to go (hint, hint). If 10 Gigabit Ethernet is going to be commonly available in the next year or two. I think that USB3, PCI Express External, and SATA 300 are good for the next level down (except we need all the SATA channels). We could even buy 8MP today and use it in HD through HDMI till a good enough computer becomes available.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:17 PM   #8
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I made an error with the potential camera designs, I forgot to mention sound specs. There are three options integfrated, prosumer external USB/Firewire boxes, and internal sound card. Now because most of our designs will not have a spare PCI slot, we will have to settle for an external box and or integrated audio.

I am not a sound professional so take some of the following with a pinch of salt until you have a pro opinion (as I am wingging most of it from memory):

Issues: audio chipsets that have seperate DAC (digital to Anlogue converters for sound output) and ADC (anlogue to Digital convertors for sound input) work best. As if the DAC/ADC is integrated with the main processing chip significant thermal niose will build up and corrupt the signal (especially from the ADC amplifier). Designs that integrate these chips should be avioded. From memory amplifiers should allways be on seperate chips to the DAC/ADC for the same reason.

DAC and ADC (and some seperate sub-components and amplifiers) vary in performance from one another, and any can corrupt the sound chain. Some people replace individual components to improve performance, and you can find discussions in forums on this, but for the rest of us good reviews will have to suffice. One such mod was to put bluetack across the crystal to stop vibration induced niose being transmitted through it (I do have the knowledge, and have not researched this). Even though some manufactures of cards, or chips, are better than others, it varies from card to card, asnd chip to chip. I don't like Sigtel (I think that was the name) chips some people prefer the high end Cyrstal Semiconductor, AKM DACS and a couple of others (though cheap versions can have less quality). When reading the reviews I noticed that they performance and part price follow each other. The price varies from dollers to hundreds of dollers for dacs, and I guess the smae is true for ADC's.

Third, recording performance is often bad compared to sound reproduction. Looking at the reviews it will be noticed that recorded sound is often a lot worse than what the DACS will produce with significant channel cross talk.

Fourth, advertised performance figures are often far higher than the tested performance, particularly recording. You will also see cards advertised with a frequency (96Khz) only to see the signal drop completely off long before 96Khz, or at 44.1Khz (you might be able to send them a 96Khz track but they can't playit properly).

Fith sound mixing. Certain cards have mixing and processing units that work only at certain frequencies and bit depths. So this will result in all frequencies above that to be down converted and played at the lower frequencies. Other things that have happened, is that only the digital out can use the higher frequency, or only if it is played straight (bypassing the processing/mixing) without any effects. The result of down mixing problems (the full and half versions of the VIA Envy have 36bit hardware mixing) produces quantanisation errors. A lot of consumer market sound advertising is tainted by marketing hype, so read good reveiws from good sources.

Sixth, Signal to Niose ratio is desceptive. Manufacturers can use a gate to artifically boost the SN figure. But how this works is that the gate is applied when there is no sound signal coming through and the SN is measured with no signal, that can make a 50db SN card look like 120db SN card. I think the cards make abrupt volume increases/pops whe the sound signal comes out of quiet periods.

Professional cards cost a lot more (until now) and can handle multitrack recording (for surround purposes), but significantly, you should be able to get better quality recording (get multiple reviews first).

Now when you go and look at sound card reviews pay special attention to comparisons between Creative Audigy Cards and cards based on the VIA Envy chipsets from professional sound companies. A number of these cards are coming out in external versions, the problem is to find a good performance one that has mulit=track input. With a USB2 or firewire version you then by pass the need for an PCI slot.

While many motherboards have sound, only a few of them are very descent due to the low quality integrated dacs/adc (and lack of mixing hardware they use). So check out good reveiws done with Rightmark Audio Analyser (or equivalent) if you are going the motherboard route. VIA bought out a leading audio chip manufacturer a few years ago, and the VIA Vinyl six/eight trac audio DAC and Envy chipset are some of the better ones out (I have not been tracking it for a while so there maybe some better, and I have not checked out recording performance on inegrated). The six track maybe combined with another one for 8 channels, so check that to, as it maybe poor. But motherboard audio is at best descent stereo recording. If you want good mul;titrack recording you have to go for a card.

I have recently come across a new card claiming to, and actually delivering really close to, 120db performance at a cheap price (previously 110db was the ebst from a much more expensive card). It has it's own limitations, that a professional opinion should be sought on, and I guess maybe the first of a number of cards from different manufacturers using this new AKM convertor.


Just in Digit-life review:

The dynamic range of 16bit CD is around 96db, 20bit is around 120db, and 24bit is around 144db. CD is 44Khz, 48Khz for DVD, upto 96Khz for multi channel DVD adio and upto 192Khz for stereo DVD audio. CD is supposed to max out the human hearing range, but tests indicate (and I have heard it) higher frequencies produce a better tighter sound. I would suggest that, ideally, a card capable of a 96db+ range/SN, and 48Khz+ singal would be ideal for good sound. Below this and 72db+ (12-bit+) 48khz for descent sound. A limited number of cards come up to the 96-106db range, and few cards above that, in playback, but at the same time most of them fail/struggle to get to 96db recording.

I have gone and sought 3rd (max CD quality playback) level sound hardware (compared to the 4th, 5th, or 6th level sound from Motherboardfs) and I can tell you there is a big satisfying difference between descent and good sound. Good sound makes a better movie, bad sound makes a bad movie (ever see a DV camera with surround 16-bit sound, no, they don't want you to have it). In a cinema, or on a good home theatre, descent sound will take the edge off your sound and make it sound harsh.

Most of this is from the perspective of hometheatre than from sound recording but I have picked up a bit.


News, and a nice forum with much consumer/prosumer discuussion. You can see links to professional forums being mentioned there.

The people that did the rightmark audio analyser, used to do nice reviews I could whole heartedly agree with then suddenly the reviewer dissapeared and eventually a new reveiwer has come in.

Opensource Rightmark Audio Analyser for testing audio.

Some of the Via product.


New High definition audio from Intel is descent looking (haven't read the reveiw but looked at the figures for playback (still not any indication of recording goto digit-life for that), figures don't tell the full story as each brand of Dac has its own style of sound, so you best to check the ADC/DAC sound, some will be warmer, some strongrer/clearer in highs, mids, or bass ).

From 3D soundsurge and digit-life you can get most of the links you need. Sound card companies may also list links to revieiws from the product page.

Wow, look what I just dug up some good links on sound issues at extremetech :

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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #9
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I've come accross a number of things in the last week.

In new scientist, 19th June 2004, "Give it Some Gas" p26, they are talking about microengines that burn fuel (propane, m/ethanol) to produce electricity. They sound simular to a couple of designs I wanted to develope myself, so I think they are worth watching next year. Fuel has around 40 times more density than Li-ion battery, the alternative would be some future capacitor that stored more than the battery but may blow your head off if it blew up in your ENG camera, or a fuel cell that has it's own problems.

Commercialisation of micro fuel cells are due over the next couple of years, engines may take that long to come out and catch up. So shortly they might be viable for these cameras. In a interesting side note. In the past, in New Scientist, I saw a car by some UK college that used conventional parts to run very competively on compressed air. If anybody out there is experienced in this area, could we do the same as a power source for this camera?

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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:22 PM   #10
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Alternative processing tech using cheap memory modules, and new FPGA.

Cross post.

Hi guys heres the little secret I mentioned a while back, and was what I was intending to use on my original camera project last year. I was supposed to read up on it and it has been waiting so long I nearly forgot about it. The technology is Processor in Memory modules. The idea is to implement processing elements (or full arrays) inside memory, simular to clearspeed but on the internal bus of the memory modules instead, here greater speeds and wider busses are accessable, and unlike clearspeed, large chunks of memory are directly accessible, which makes it very good for what we want, and indeed it is earmarked for things like compression. I think I have found the article I read last year, I thought it was refering to making standard dram sticks for PC's using the technology for 50% more, but I am unsure now. Production was hoped to be "18 months" (august 5th 2002 article). The speed up for one was upto 25-40 times over workstation performance (potential for several hundred), and for another it was upto 1000 times (Active page) using arrays of FPGA processing elements). The idea is that if they produce pc memory modules with it, you pop it into your PC memory slot and program it and "hey presto" your 1GHz nano-itx board is capable of processing and compressing 8 mpixel SHD streams (maybe a little exageration) but you get this without (maybe) even needing a cooling fan on the main board, low powered, low cost. To make things even better (depending on what Windows API standards are now) I think Windows had an API that allowed DSP's functions in add-in cards to be transparently used in programs (simular to Direct X API calls) to accelerate them. I remember some international meeting they had for this tech, the web site for the meetings would be a good source of contacts. For somebody like Steve in SI a non PC version could be hooked up to an ARM processor to provide a simple to program alternative to FPGA design (not that the programming is as simple as C coding on clearspeed). Normally I would keep this quiet (to stop companies from interfering) until I had researched, approached and negotiated with suitable companies about the possibilities of even using samples, but because of my health this is just not going to happen quick enough. So, if somebody with technical knowledge would like to do this for us it would be most appreciated.

Here are some links.

The only three that seemed to be aimed at intergration into memory modules is Diva, FlexRam, and Activepage (The FPGA solution), but I don't know which one is the standard PC module.. I have only been able to skim the documents due to health, so I don't know exactly the details, and haven't even looked up all the websites for each competing version.


This site was useful finding academic papers:



OK, furthure omissions to my list of potential camera types.

Power supplies. PC Motherboards run off of AC to multiple line DC power supplies, but batteries are DC. How can we do this with the minium of fuss (without lossing too much power), as it would cost too much to make a multiple voltage line DC power supply for the MB, or does anybody know of cheap DC PC power supplies for ATX/BTX and ITX?


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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:25 PM   #11
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Research Interface solution, programing PCI, tape backup.

Sumix and Steve,
and Robs you need to have a look at some of this.

Took me a while but I finally found that high speed serial interface.

HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface. Small like USB, is the next generation of DVI (using:

"High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP)", "VESA’s Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) standard, Display Data Channel (DDC) standard (used to read the EDID), and Monitor Timing Specification (DMT). In addition, the EIA-861 standard specifies mandatory and optionally supported resolutions and timings, and how to include data such as aspect ratio and format information."
www.sigmadesigns.com/support/DVI_HDMI.htm )

It also will also send hi-end surround sound at the same time.

Consumer grade (so hopefully will be cheap). Supported by a lot of big companies, so it should eventually come to multimedia PC's (hopefully replacing the VGA port). The speed is 5GB/s (for one socket). So not as fast as Cameralinks 2.3GB/s (on SI website), but looking below it should serve much of our future needs.

And it only gets better. One of the links below says that behind the scene the manufacturers are agreeing on mass to use HDMI as the default video connection ;).

You can get DVI to HDMI convertor cables (anybody what AGP graphics cards with DVI input will do HD resolutions, bandwith limitations, and cheap capture cards limitations, just dissapeared). I could not find mention of HDMI on VIA, but they have just announced a graphics/capture addin cards, I would think with DVI, I expect this to eventually carry over to the ITXEden form factor ;).

You can also get HD-SDI to DVI adaptor ($999) using an existing (DVI based) graphics cards?


And this isn't that little single droplet SDI channel that even Firewire beats in speed tests.

And it canbe made to travel 150feet (the 1640feet DVI extender is a bit expensive)..

5Gb/s (8mp*24bits*24=4.608Gb/s, or 8mp*48bits*24 / lossless compressed 2:1=4.608Gb/s, or 16bit*8mp bayer * 24=3.072Gb/s, or 16-bit*8mp bayer *48/50/ lossless 2:1) Forget the comrpession for the moment, but it will come in handy for in a few years time.

Planning ahead, the shorterm possibilities are: 3.2Gb/s Firewire (also there was supposed to be 1.6Gb/s wireless firewire), 10 Gigabit Ethernet, I think I remember something about a USB like version of the PCI-express bus, but am unsure. If 8 mpixel cameras are made with one of these and an older interface we could use it for 1080 shooting until Main Boards came out with the new interface.

Just looked it up, rumour is USB3.0 will have 200-500MB/s 2005/2006 (and somehting about ultra wide band and being wireless??, but beware the source of this rumour is only the inquirer article he got from some "guy" on a trade show bus or something):


Could I suggest these following configurations:

Camera with 10Gb or Gigabit Ethernet (running at Gigabit for the moment)
+ HDMI (allowing us a host of multimedia connectability and recording on the host system).

Camera with External PCI express/USB3 (if such a beast exists)
+ HDMI, or Gb or 10 Gb Ethernet.

The use of 10 Gb Ethernet, allows great ussuability as it becomes available.

We could even go one further and use S-ATA 300 ;), or two of them (then where do we pout the drive ;)

Could I suggest another trick that would be great for your customers in shooting, industrail and security applications. Including upto 40:1 Wavelet compression in the camera head (see the clearspeed device I posted, and also I think Analogue devices has something). This would allow 40+ 8mp cameras for security or shooting, to be hooked to one 10Gb Ethernet trnsmission path, (or HDMI or PCI Express), or even 4 + on Gb Ethernet, which is a major advantge for your customers.

In future (if all goes well, and often it doesn't come through) we may be dealing with a lot of HDMI, what do you think?



Very insteresting VIA small formfactor platform for Flat panel:



Been over to the www.PCIsig.org (the pci standards org), hard to get information there (havvew to register and pay big time just to find out how many MB's per second different PCI standards do) but if you do a search I came accross people in forums trying to maximise framegrabbing to RAID baords.

There will be a mini PCI express, and I'm confused wether 66mhz bus is part of the mini-pci spec (that would give 266mB/s).

PCI express external seems to be name Newcard (that seems to be PCMCIA express card which combines pcie and usb, confusing isn't it), TI has also tried an external connection over Gigabit Ethernet. Speculatively, maybe this is the tech that is being used in the rumoured USB3.0 above.





Tape BAckup:

Just been checking Tape Backup, found stuff for upto 1.2 tbyte backup and fast rates (some not yet available), I haven't been through the pricing but I think it is too high. So this will have to be researched in the future


Have fun, another 14 hours down the drain.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:43 PM   #12
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Ok, I don't get it... single CCD HD cameras with security camera lenses that record straight to PC with no monitor for up to $7K? This just sounds insane to me. Are you just doing it for the fun of it or is there actually going to an advantage to using your camera?

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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:53 PM   #13
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Holy sh*t Wayne, do you get paid by the word or something?

Half of this is utter fantasy:
Using PC with inbuilt 2.3GB/s Cameralink interface (by passes Cameralink PCI speed restriction). If a comrpession engine is added it then reduces cpu load.
??? CameraLink on the motherboard? What is going on here?

USB 3? 10 Gigabit Ethernet? Fuel Cells? Please, lets stick with technologies that exist today. If they're only going to exist in two years on high-end workstations, there's no freaking hope of putting them in a camera. It's impressive how much research you've done, but in 2 years, the whole scene will be entirely different anyway.

And why even bother with CameraLink? Why let the hardware guys get off that easy? Let's not start basing our designs for a new system around a standard that isn't standard. Please, Gigabit Ethernet or Firewire 800 could theoretically handle 1280x720 @ 12bit at 75 frames per second or 8bit at 133fps. Who needs more bandwidth? Nobody. Convince these guys to ship cameras with IEEE-1394b or Gigabit Ethernet instead of this idiotic CameraLink interface which is clearly designed to necessitate the purchase of an expensive capture card and software.

Why did I send my money to Sumix instead of Steve? Because Sumix supports USB2, and while it may mean a step down in quality, I'm voting with my dollars. The vote is for sanity and true standards.

I understand if you're a manufacturer that wants to cater to the scientific market only -- if that's your choice, fine. But if these companies are going to hang out here and court the filmmaking market, we have a responsibility to tell them what we want, not the other way around.

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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:58 PM   #14
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Ok, I don't get it... single CCD HD cameras with security camera lenses that record straight to PC with no monitor for up to $7K?
Exactly. That's why I went with Sumix. The USB2 camera was around $1000, and the laptop it will record to is around $1000. Add in a high quality lens for $200 (and an awesome f0.95 Angenieux 16mm lens from the closet) and a high-speed hard drive for $200, and you have $2400 for an uncompressed HD system. Considering my GL1 cost $2100, it's worth a shot. And it's upgradeable.

But these fantasies of ultra-high-tech miniature components and custom-designed motherboards and FPGAs are too much for me. Call me when we have someone who can actually design that tech.

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Old July 21st, 2004, 12:59 AM   #15
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OK, these are cross posts of summaries, to answer some of the questions that get ask repeatedly in the list. If you read the first post you would notice this. That is why there is so much wording in them they cover a lot of ground, a sort of FAQ. I don't get paid it is for others benefit.

There is no real fantasies in here, only practical realities that "maybe acheivable". Think tank like ideas to match the many hidden considerations of future cameras. So comments like that are not appreciated. If anybody has the mental ability they will realise the practical possibilities of this, but that is rare for non engineers/managers. These are all options to get people thinking and for manufacturers to select from, and if you read the origional thread it has at least a couple of manufacturers thinking about it.

Also we are considering long term futures, and low cost that has toi be planned for now (as is done in real business). So selecting Gigabit Ethernet now (available now) will result in seemingless support for 10GBe when it becomes available, but HDMI is a cheap reality this year and DVI input (which it canbe plugged into) is a cheap PC reality now. But USB 3 was supposed to be coming shortly (when the post was originally written) but this is still next year, and I suspect that it might be mixed in with PCI-E desktop. If it is next year we might as well consider it. Within the year 8Mp 1 or 3 chip cameras maybe available, so we have to consider what fits in that future too.

For instance, new motherboard designs use special internal busses to remove many of the devices off the the PCI bus, and they are many times faster than PCI. By having a camera link interface inbuilt you save on double handling costs, and can potentially run the interface at it's maxium rate, something plain PCI cannot do. This would fit perfectly into cost savings for most cameralink customers. But the only problem is finding somebody to do it. I know of one prolific manufacturer that does many reference designs and maybe a sponsorship like deal could be struck. These things can and do happen but are outside the experience of most people. But because this is difficult to achieve, I have suggested the alternative mass market interfaces aswell (Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI DVi derivative etc).

This stuff might not be obviouse to many people, but that is the real world of how things are done, otherwise we will end up promoting a outdated DOS like product, in a Linux/Windows like world.

Now Cameralink is a low cost standard, supported in the machine vision industry, the cameras are also cheaper. Cameralink is faster than Gigabit Ethernet (something like a max of 2.3 Gigbyte/s) and can take future 3 chip/foveon 8Mp (next year) - 3 chip 32Mp cameras (years from now). Gigabut Ethernet cameras and in camera compression has been announced, it is coming, it is in the threads.

It is a fantasy that we can just tell them what we want. It is a partnership, they have cheap stuff we use it, when there is enough volume of demand they can do custom stuff cheaply. Without enough buyers they will be expensive. We are lucky that Gigabit Ethernet and USB are allready in their plans (USB2.0 is unreliable so that is why I suggested USB3), so we are making good progress.

Now for the other post:

Ben, we are trying to reduce cost (waiting on this GBe cameras). ITX-min and nano are small, low cost, flexible solutions that canbe fitted in a handheld or shoulder mount camera case. They are also low powered. In these to respects it hjas the power and is a better solution for 720p RAW now than Intel etc. People judge the future on the past and the present, but VIA is progressing it's game plan, which I think will provide extra power, and an alternative to PentM into the future for 1080 solutions. But this is only the low cost solution, you add what ever you want in the chain (add a 8 way Athalon 64 if you wanted). It is meant to be flexible we are just concentrating on the low end, and the minimal full featured system (that do compression aswell).

With a laptop, you would have to break the expensive laptop apart and re-cable it to fit into a small shoulder/handheld case, with not much advantge over the ITX-nano/mini (plus not all portable HD's are fast enough).

Well thanks, another long post to answer this :(
Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply

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