Anybody making their own camera, or know of any alternative cameras? at

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Old December 23rd, 2005, 09:05 AM   #1
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Anybody making their own camera, or know of any alternative cameras?

Let us know if you are doing a video/indie camera, or know of cheap alternative cameras? There have been many camera projects announced here, that have come and gone, and it would be good to a have a record of what's still going on, and other things we don't know of? Even low compression 4:4:4 SD camera solutions.

I'll cast a few names I think are still current: Network camera, but cool and cheap. The Drake camera, used for the Dragon Feather motion picture (Germany). The example footage is mostly from an deliberately undersatuated "dream" sequence. new, a billionaire behind it, is on our forums.

Noah Yuan-Vogel's little camera project.
Juan P. Pertierra Andromeda recording system Built into an Panasonic DVX100, 9.5 stops apparently. For some reason I cannot find the original thread here on dvinfo.

If there is anybody else I have left out, it is not because I am trying to insult you, but mainly just because I don't know what the status of your project is, and it is probably best coming from you. If you have a thread for your project already, please put a link to it here, for people to go there and discuss it.

I'll actually throw it a little wider open, any cheap component to hard disk recording priced below $1000 (for the bits between the component port and computer/disk). Presently cheap solutions are expensive and involve component to HDSDI to HDSDI computer interface then to disk.



And Merry Christmas to all, even if there isn't a reply.
Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2005, 11:56 AM   #2
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Maybe Andromeda is mostly referred to as Reel-Stream or Reelstream on here... ?
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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don't forget the Kinetta ($60k, not released yet, on hold indefinitely, altasens CMOS-driven uncompressed 10bit log 1080p etc)

Thomson's Infinity also counts in my mind, since it's going to be about $20k for 4:2:2 to disk. Announced Sept 2005, not expected until Q4 2006 if i recall.

Lastly there is this project, which isn't public yet. 35mm "2k" & 16mm "1k" uncompressed cameras, 16 & 10bit respectively to digital recorders.

Beyond those, i've heard rumor of a few others.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 04:59 PM   #4
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I'm interested in the (minimum) specs a computer has to have to capture a frame size of 720p or a little less from a CMOS camera head of some kind (USB? Firewire?) at a usable frame rate (>20 FPS ?). I was hoping my laptop could be used, but it's a celeron processor (1.5 GHZ), that would be a problem?
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Old December 24th, 2005, 11:56 AM   #5
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I would like to leave this space free for camera listings, but the answer is like how long a piece of string is. Generally, USB uses a lot more CPU power, because of the way it is handled. Firewire uses a lot less because it has extra hardware to do what USB requires the CPU to do. The situation also is effected by what hardware chipset is being used (GigE too), and also the software driver support. The standard drivers that come with windows might only reach less than 25% of overall performance (this has happened in times past). So it is best to find out which chips have custom drivers that will get the max efficiency at the least CPU disruption (least CPU performance drag, and interruptions to CPU normal flows caused by interrupts etc etc etc). The camera manufacturer might have this, or the chipset manufacturer, or some third party. But there might be something up in the rest of the system, so the best drivers for them too, if that is the case.

There is also the problem of what software you are running on the system, and particularly your windows configuration (I think I posted a few sites in the Cinema camera technical thread I did). Different programmers achieve different results int eh time frame they have, the work to get a PC system to run fluently and not waste processing opportunities is very tricky, not the average programming you see. So one system and set of programs might not be able to capture 720p on a 3Ghz machine, another might capture on a 1 Ghz. Best to ask the camera manufacturer, but best to realise there are many that won't have a proper video capture application, and it might not be convenient to control. In practice a 1 Ghz machine will probably not cut it, a 2 Ghz (Pentium M or 3 Ghz Pentium 4) might be a safer bet with Intel chipset (but check first), but there is no guarantee, as they found here, that the 2-3Ghz system will be upto it.

The truth is that even an 1Ghz machine with DDR and a fast interconnect bus has oodles of memory bandwidth, speed and processing power to handle 720p, but most are not designed, or programmed, right to take advantage of it. Even 500Mhz is oodles (but I wouldn't try it, as there are no modern ones and the programming/design is still a problem).

The most important other thing is the Hard disk. For 720p, get a fast hard disk (50MByte per second sustained+ is advisable, though for 24p less than 30MB/s might do) put the OS and etc on a separate hard drive (I don't know if there is any advantage of putting the software one another one again), on a separate channel that hopefully doesn't interfere with each other in the chipset/software design.

So it is a bit complex. Best bet is to, explain to your camera manufacturer what you want to do, and ask what system/mainboards, software, drivers etc he advises. This will hopefully save you from a the tortuous avenue of trial and error that happened in the cinema camera projects.
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