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Old May 23rd, 2005, 07:22 PM   #1
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Sumix HD Camera Summary

Hi, this is a message about the granddaddy of all Cinema Camera projects here, the HD RAW camera by Sumix.

I have been in contact with Sumix for a while and their Engineers continue to pursue a cheap high quality Altasens camera development. Projected release date is within the coming months.

As announced before, the camera will also produce compressed output, and not just lossless compressed (where the reconstructed image is the same as a pure uncompressed RAW image).

As announced before that it is FPGA, but also is programmable. So you might expect that it canbe made to connect directly to hard drives enclosures and bypass the need for a computer. So complete costs maybe camera, +reprogramming, plus some hard drives and enclosures.

As has been discussed previously it is also expected that they have their own capture application (which is not too uncommon on PC's now days).

From the information I have, it seems that it is a more complete, and ready, camera than any project here is, or plans to be.

Unlike some camera companies that want to skim profits with high priced camera head models, Sumix has been putting in the work, quietly, in the background, on a more complete model (though I will note that this seems to be the only model so far, designed for high quality production image, so don't buy an machine vision model and expect the same). Sumix seems to be the only camera company willing to provide us with this level of product at a low price, but price, as far as I know, is still not set.

Since the storage of the original capture effort here, by Rob Scott, this may prove to be the best option available to us in the near term. With the possibility of uncompressed component output in the current generation of prosumer HD cameras (still to be confirmed which models, but one base line camera may have it, see HDSDI thread) this should round off the needs of most here.

My disclaimer is, that business is business, and any details that I have provided here are subject to change or cancellation at any time. I am not sure what the current situation is as I have been sick for weeks.

I am hoping for a more complete solution than I have mentioned here (but not a full camera) and I will, likely, be asking for input to pass onto Sumix.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:08 PM   #2
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Wayne, I certainly hope that you're close to the mark...that would be amazing. Any idea what Altasens chip would be in that? Would it output 1920x1080p? Thanks for all your work keeping us informed and keeping the wheels turning...it is appreciated.

thanks,
Omar
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 09:11 PM   #3
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how about making a guess as to what the price might be.. ballpark... $5000? $10000? ..??
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:29 AM   #4
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Would be a single chip 2/3inch 1080p Altasens. Price is a factor of many different things, and they have put in a lot of effort, but no less than $3K I would imagine.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 02:24 AM   #5
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I think, the main issue with these altasens heads is SHUTTER. I cant justify purchase a camera for almost 5 grand knowing that i cant use it for creative work, before breaking apart and implementing rotating shutter. In my opinion - very tricky task, especially considering recording syncro audio on separete device. If you have contact with sumix plz ask em about what is done there.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #6
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I would not worry about audio. What is important is Summix is providing lot more complete solution that SI, which relies on members here to make recording part, interface, compression, etc. Company with engineering resources and production facilities is much more suitable provide quality reliable product. Since major companies failed supply low cost cameras to filmmakers, I hope Summix becomes major player in this field one day. It is sector of market that is so overpriced that Summix can make some real money.

Radek
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Old May 27th, 2005, 02:56 AM   #7
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What is wrong with SI solutions? Have you seen footage from their 1920HD?
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Old May 27th, 2005, 07:50 AM   #8
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Shutter

Hm
Vance has done this to do real progressive

It was a mechanic shutter
it is on his web page
simple to do and
on all S16 and 35mm it was this way
syng to sound no problem has been working
for decades on all s16 and 35mm !!!!!!!!

the finder is one question
to have it on disk without a backpack PC the second one

Film is the question DOF and so on only the image counts.
NOT ALL can be done in post-pro...

Have fun
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Old August 18th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #9
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I was just wondering if anyone has heard any news or new info regarding the sumix altsens 1080p cameras and when or if they are on the horizon. It has been very quiet lately on this and other dyi hd cameras front, just seeing if anyone knows of anything new is in the works.

thanks,
Omar
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Old August 20th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #10
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Don't expect much replies around here. I have tried to contact them twice over the last two months, but no replies. It may well turn out to be vaporware (in that it may not get released even if it is finished, not suggesting that it was never done) which is common problem in the hi-tech industry due to cost and complexity for products.

At this state of play (with the very excessive time delays) it is a bit hard to tolerate us all being cut off.

The other cameras, I have read some very unrealistic expectations from people without the necessary ability to meet the time frame, we will see, but expect that 6 week expectations to be at maybe stretch to at least 6 months in reality.

I expect that it would be much easier for all concerned to use the Filmstream FPGA adapted for all the cameras. I expect that this would also be a cheap option for component recording from all HD cameras (even the HC1, but please $200-$500 with user supplied drives). Once you add up all the potential sales for an generic external Filmstream box you probably get economical volume.

At the moment there is only the FIlmstream, and the expensive Drake to use, made by people here. Due to the problem, I have been investigating the Sony HDV HC1/AI cameras. They look promising as a cheapy HD, if somebody gets cheap component capture going cheap, but have problems. No independent IRIS, put a 35mm SLR condenser adaptor use (should help in low light a bit) it's and lock the HC1's system. Interlace, hopefully eventual testing of component modes might reveal progressive (don't hold your breath) and 1920*1080 resolution 8bit+. Rolling shutter, well there was an initial estimate of 120+ fps rolling shutter speed so I'm happy. Has independent colour and picture controls. If you know what your doing you can get around many of the auto limitations (see the HC1 and A1 forums for links) very nice natural like image, but without component you are dealing with HDV interlace/movement compression problems, which might be handled with high shutter speed (initial tests with 1500th and 3000th look better, but hard to tell, because of possible internal de-interlacing in memory card capture). But the A1 might prove to be better with black stretch and other features (read latest reviews in the forum, but not enough reliable information is known yet, suggestion that maybe, I mean an unconfirmed possibly, some cameras have better sensor etc).
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Old August 20th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #11
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Thanks for the reply Wayne. I hope that is not the case with Sumix however it seems to be more likely than them coming out with the camera anytime soon, too bad. Your right, it is frustrating especially when it has at times seemed as though a few excellent- relatively low-cost solutions where on the horizon....who knows maybe they still are. Its funny for the last year I have completely looked past HDV however now that might be our best solution. Especially if one of the new cameras will do uncompressed 4.4.4. output or if a mod can be offered through reelstream. I guess its just that or the looking into the si-1920hd with their hardware and software pkg for 10K or less answer.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 07:09 AM   #12
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I have been examining threads on HDV. I would suggest for pro use, anything with progressive mode is preferred, unless you get the HDV2 38Mb/s mode.

If you want to shoot movies with HDV tape then you will probably get better compression results by letter boxing the 16:9 into a wider movie format, but everything is a compromise in quality. I had a thread on it in recent months in the forum. I wish that JVC had made there Prohd mode at least 25mb/s. If only somebody could make a 38Mb/s-100Mb/s component to hard disk compression unit it would solve a lot of problems.

There maybe a HD1 replacement out this year, but going on the 100 model, I am not expecting too much from it (compared to HC1).

If we could only pool our resources, we could get answers to most things we need to know. I used to spend hundreds of hours researching information and technologies that could help us, but nobody else would (don't matter how opinionated they were) eventually I just gave up trying to find the truth. At the moment I spent a little while looking up component capture cards. Everything from video capture, to HDTV capture cards may have uncompressed component recording ability, even something that captures DVI or VGA monitor signals can be used (through a component to DVI or VGA converter). Somewhere out there may lie a $200 capture card that will do the job (using simple software to activate it's software when firewire/Lanc indicates it's recording).

At the moment all the camera projects I know of are below par. I have been meaning to get around to researching/posting new information on recently announced industry digital cinema format of around 8 MPixel. So clearly 1080p cameras are so HDTV now ;) things move on (for me 720p still looks good though). The good thing is, maybe they will eventually allow us descent 1080p and cameras, and digital still capture.

Thanks
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Old August 21st, 2005, 11:55 AM   #13
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Sumix was telling me that they would email me the spec of the altasens camera "next month" after they had done some tests - that was april 21st. So I don't put to much hope in the sumix guys - Sorry.

As for the component HD recorder their is a reason that it doesn't exsist according to many of the companies involved in HD. They don't want it to exsist. This is mainly because of the realitivly limited protection that is easily circumvented with analog video. By creating a component analog High def recorder they see it as an easy way to bootleg HD broadcasts. This is also the motivation behind HD-DVD. HD-DVD will not allow HD over analog, you will need a HDMI compatible TV. The analog will be forced down to 480p (maybe even 480i).

Their is actually a DVI and VGA capture card - I saw it once but it was expensive like this one

http://www.foresightimaging.com/boardsframe.htm

I don't know if it was the same one, but I read in the SMPTE journal recently about an 8mpixel video camera. Don't know if its the same one though, thing weighed in around 30kg and had 8 dual link hd-sdi outputs.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wakeham
As for the component HD recorder their is a reason that it doesn't exsist according to many of the companies involved in HD. They don't want it to exsist. This is mainly because of the realitivly limited
Yes, I have just been figuring that out :(. I'm over at avsforums at the moment asking if they know any equipment (maybe a HDD recorder, or firewire based codec for DVHS). I googled and got over a thousand mainly useless pages on a refined search and gave up.

http://www.google.com/search?hs=cOX&...nt&btnG=Search

But I may have been onto something with this one, but I don't even want to look past the first page. I've done so much googling I feel traumatised when ever I see too many pages, so feel free if you want to look:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...hd&btnG=Search


Quote:
Their is actually a DVI and VGA capture card - I saw it once but it was expensive like this one

http://www.foresightimaging.com/boardsframe.htm

I don't know if it was the same one, but I read in the SMPTE journal recently about an 8mpixel video camera. Don't know if its the same one though, thing weighed in around 30kg and had 8 dual link hd-sdi outputs.
There is w-vhs, haven't looked up the spec to see if it's compatible enough, but maybe there is some capture device to record from it.

Thanks
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 06:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Saad
Your right, it is frustrating especially when it has at times seemed as though a few excellent- relatively low-cost solutions where on the horizon....who knows maybe they still are.
There are some good solutions on the horizon.. it's just that the people developing them know not to say anything before they are able to bring products to market. ;)

Also.. component (and/or digital) to harddisk recorder is a very viable option (a few units already exist that can do this, they are just prohibitively expensive).. wait till NAB '06.. there are some good things on the horizon.
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