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Old November 5th, 2004, 07:38 AM   #61
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I am hoping some varying configs may be available.

I have no need for a 17" viewfinder... i think 7" would be fine for me.

Certain things, as long as the image quality is the same... i wouldn't mind something of trimmed down.

And anyways, i dunno if i can afford something that is 7k USD.

Even though that is cheap, that is not so cheap for private ownership!!!

I am hoping that eventually a sensor can be found that is the full 35mm plane... that would be fantastic... could utilise all my slr lenses and the like.

We will see what is available and so on, i would much rather support people out there like me, than marketing departments for big companies.

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Old November 5th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #62
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It sounds absurd. But compressing is acutally a tougher task than recording uncompressed. Something must be in place to do the compression. That means computing power...
We started with a HDV camera (the small JVC one) and the format is just not good enough for professional tasks. MPEG 2 at this dararate gives you a hard time in post. Alter the contrasts just a little bit and the compression artefacts show up. To edit this means to reencode. You have all sorts of cascading effects with compression. MPEG really is a special thing. It's a new information to me that the new JVC 3chip HDV camera will record at double data rate. That could be usable...

And shure the first question you need to ask yourself before you spent money and time and dedication to seomething is: what do you want. Scince this thread was split of to collect posts regarding our camera project I can tell, that what we want is a digital camera, that does pictures that can be screened at regular theaters after being put to regular 35mm film and look as close as possible like 35mm film.

Or in other words: make high budget production value possible with indie / low budget resources.

It's not only possibilities in post. It's also the film camera like shutter speed with the motion blur effects you have , especially in action sequences. DOF issues and the possibiliy to treat the picture in a way that it doesn't look like video at all.
I'm not impressed by the viper picture. The data richness is incredible, chroma levels and so on. But just looking at still images... The picture details and the feeling of it does not remind me of cinema but of video.

I don't know. But from an artistic point of view that's not sattisfying.

To work with a 17" viewfinder is something you have to get used to. But once you find the workflow, you don't want to miss it. I'll shoot a video soon, showing the features of the camera. Having such a big screen helps a lot to compose your pictures. By the way much smaller displays that can do the full HD res are much more expensive. I saw HD viewfinders for more than 15.000 ...
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Old November 5th, 2004, 09:17 AM   #63
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Markus i sure can understand how cool that would be, but is it actually needed for a full rez output while shooting, wouldn't even at half rez, on a screen that is 7", show enough detail.

Well i dunno, i would love this rig in shape and form.

I have a friend who works doing canon pro camera repairs, gonna see if he can source me out some of their full size sensors and see if you guys can have a play with it :)

Drop me an email if u wanna talk about it further.

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Old November 5th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #64
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<<<-- Originally posted by Anhar Miah : Wow, this is really amazing stuffm BUT....

I'm starting to wonder, this is beyond most peoples grasp, i mean it took experts(s) and month(s) and lots of money and god only knows how much dedication to get to where you got.

So i give congrats to you guys, great work.

However I was just wondering for the rest of us (no-so techincal experts) if the proposed 24P 1080P 3CCD JVC HDV 2/3" $20k may just be THE indie HD cam?
It may turn out to be less than $20K, and may even have 50Mb/s i.e. double current HDV rates recording onto full size DV tapes.

I know it wont be uncompressed, but heck if people can watch miniDV blown up then this options gotter be a great deal better?

Ooops, maybe i shouldnt have spoken out aloud...................................... now i gonna get grilled :) -->>>

Where did you get that information from? 24p, 1080p, 50mb... All of that is not HDV standard and I can't find any info anywhere on this?
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Old November 5th, 2004, 04:32 PM   #65
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A view words about the "viewfinder" thing. I've used the small LCD screens with DV cameras scince they are available and find them usefull. I shot with the Sony DSR 200 for a while. That's the only "pro" camera I had in my hands both utilizing a good viewfinder (b&w tube) and a color LCD screen.
I used it a lot, even though it fooled me often and showed me a much better picture than I actually got.

Now with HD resolution viewfinders are a different issue. HD resolution tubes in viewfinder size as well as LCD screens are possible and available - but the price is out of discussion.

So we did it the russian way, sat down and looked around what is available for reasonable prices, that can show us the HD image in full res and can be mounted to the camera.

We did this thinking while we experimented with a box camera / laptop setup and the laptop display, even though really weak in daylight proofed usefull.
When we came across this 17" LCD monitor, tripple as bright as "normal" screens and pretty light too (about 3 kilogram) we tried it out.

First we put the preview window in full resolution on it. On a 17" monitor, that's really big. You see everything. Every detail, every small shadow or clipped white spot. We made it turnable, so when working with the actors I could turn the screen around and discuss positions and found that it's much easier to discuss "why should we do that in this way for the camera issues". Otherwise it's better not to show the actors the camera picture but for those situations it helped in comunication a lot.

LCD screens have a problem that with a changing viewing angle the picture looks different. Hard for defining the aperture or light issues. Especialy when you do crane moves or pans and you can not exactly stay in the best viewing angle. So we added a histogram display. That shows you (like in photoshop) the picture information in curves. It has a white one for the luminance, you see if there are too many shadows, if the entire picture is too low lit and so on and it has curves for each color. So you can see how much color information is seen for real by the chip. Together thats a really usefull feature.
Then we put other status displays and the entire GUI on that screen. You can change to playback mode, look at or search for recorded shots, get and manipulate all kinds of setups - in a size you can operate it with 2 or 3 people in front of it easily. You can't do it with a small display or you need a external screen. So cameraman and assistant can use it and the director can stand behind and also watch what he gets. Much, much better than this small watchman thingies. Sony already hates us, so what. Vaio is great though, got a Vaio laptop.

Anyway. We tried a smaller screen afterwards. And it was not the same. I got so used to the workflow, to see all details when shooting that I find it hard to get back to something like a viewfinder... Try it out. Start a DVD on your laptop and ask yourself - why not this quality for a viewfinder.
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Old November 5th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #66
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please, please, please, oh please markus... post i picture of your camera!
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Old November 6th, 2004, 02:27 AM   #67
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Anhar, most camera systems here are developed from ready made parts, it is the cinema specific capture software that takes the most amount of time. With the Drake, I'm not sure whst they did in the end in respect of this formular, I expect we shall see soon on the new website.

The continuing saga of the JVC HD ENG camera. One reason I am here is that JVC went upmarket (actually middle market) with their HDV camera. Originally it was something like $27K, way above the $7K of the 5000, just toomuch of a jump so I jumped. $10-15K was the limit for a JVC.

The issues of data rate has been discussed before.

But with minidv what they do for cinema, is film it right, do lots of processing to get rid of codec/interlacing artifacts, estimate missing detail, and make it look right, and do resolution upscaling. If you just use a projector or HD TV (or some large SD TV's like what Philips does), it may have a simplified version of this correcting/upscalling that is why they look better sometimes. There is one film transfer company I saw that would do this and colourisation for around $30K an hour (maybe it was cheaper). Once you go above 50MB/s in SD, the results start getting visually indistinguishable. Actually I don't like the look of the Minidv upscaled I've seen, I would rather upsacle 1080p to SHD resolution and screen that.

Donal, the 50Mb/s Mpeg2 is from the figurative HDV2 spec (but I think it has something to do with the Blue ray disk). As predicted this is the minium for good Eng work.

Raw is good for special effects and if you got the budget for it (but that's what we are stuck with, as Markus said we need extra processing for anythign else at the moment. Lossless saves a bit of space (around half to one third for a good codec).

For everything else we could use visually Lossless as used in cineform codec (David Newman has been here from them they even have introduced a suitable codec for bayer that does 4:1). Their normal codec does vissually lossless from 6:1 to 10:1 3chip footage. It is able to maintain integrity over many editing generations.

Now apart from this there is an open Avid HD codec that goes upto 220MB/s??, and who ever else.

So between all these we have a good selection to support for different work. In the other projects we were looking at slotting in any software codec the user wanted (given the eventual computing power).


On Displays. Sometime ago I sent Rai information about a laptop that did 720p, the screen was high contrast, sharp, crystal clear and wide angle, simply much better than the others I saw around it, and more like modern LCD TV's. So shortly many more laptops and even tablet PC's (ideal for your application) should have this technology. On the other thread they have looked at the emagin OEL veiwfinder, it is HD and $1600, small inbuilt VGA type circuit, that is a bit cheaper. The truth is that eventual production costs of these LCD on silicon is extremely low in bulk, but they want to make big money. I have done much reserach before and had many links, there are too mmany competing companies. So realistically a mass produced HD item might be available for $200 and less eventually (but this could take between 1 and 5 years of competition).

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Old November 8th, 2004, 03:38 AM   #68
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Markus & Rai: are you guys gonna reveal how your camera works?
Like are you using PC components, if so with what operating
system and things like that?

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Old November 11th, 2004, 06:51 PM   #69
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Rai & Markus, can you give us any more information about the 35mm cmos project (even some tiny snippet?)

All of these stuff is making my head spin, soo much going on!!

I know this is long away, but if say (hopefully) you complete this 35mm cmos project would you consider selling as a complete product? if so any idea how much? (even a wild guess).

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Old November 11th, 2004, 11:21 PM   #70
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Anhar take a look at my thread 4:4:4 10bit ..I have made a breakthrough with capture at 1080P 4:4:4 10/8bit 24fps
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Old November 16th, 2004, 10:43 AM   #71
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I need to be brief, tight schedule.
Inside the camera are many components we bought after a long experimental and hand selecting process. But we can't offer a step by step do it yourself tutorial. So, yeah, there are PC components and circuit boards of this and that brand. Thing is, the camera has a button. When you hit it, the camera needs five seconds and is turned on, when you hit it again, you turn it off. It doesn't make noise and when there is a new software update you put a USB stick in and the camera updates itself. Just describing this little two mechanisms in detail: single button for turning on/off and software update I could fill 25 pages with. And this is the case for any feature, any solved problem.
All I can ask for is patience, until we have time to organize the "possible" informations on a webpage and do some video clips.

Despite the limits of the chip we incorporated we managed it to define a "look". Drake as a system has a different look to cinealta, varicam or viper. That's the important thing to us. We will build Drakes for fellow filmmakers and also rent them for fair money. We will use it, get more experience, make it better. Who can tell what sensors are available in 2 years.

even though we are experimenting and getting experiences with big sensors that won't lead to a Mama Drake cam right away. I consider a camera something you can mount on a tripod and shoot a long film with. The piles of data you get with higher resolution and higher bit depth are just a little too much for todays processors and hard drives... if limited money is of some importance to you. It is to us, so we expect, that within 2 years that will come to indie budget reach. By then we will have a working camera, incoporating what is possible in a usable sense, by then. I'll post clips when we are done :) until then, lets start to use what we have and I can't wait to see what people shoot with the little sister drakes in a short while...

cool, post some clips
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Old November 16th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #72
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When will the little sister drakes be available and roughly how much money?

I am seriously interested in one.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #73
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I'm also interested.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 05:17 AM   #74
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Markus: I understand all of what you are saying and I can assure
you know one is looking for tutorials, more like:

- the camera runs windows or linux or a custom OS for example
- it runs on a standard mainboard with pentium 4 or a custom FPGA chip for example

Things like that. Since you obviously have a camera that works
it would be interesting to see which base components you guys
used to get it off the ground.

Anyway, I'm also quite interested especially in renting in due time.
Heck, I ain't that far away from you guys!

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Old November 17th, 2004, 07:18 AM   #75
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Rob, you talk about inside parts. We talk about DRAKE. And DRAKE is a SYSTEM, not only a camera.

This SYSTEM is a powerful tool to shoot movies. Its not only a sensor with some hard- and software to write RAW files to HDD.
DRAKE have a differnt and more flexibly design compared with all existing cameras. So the system cames with spezial software, spezial case design, spezial mount supports, spezial lenses, spezial focus drives, spezial accessories, etc. You must see the whole system.

Therefore we decided that we will presentation the whole DRAKE SYSTEM, not only parts (not yet). Those presentation cost some days, but compared with other announcements (like the JVC Altasens) it will come very fast.
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