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Old August 16th, 2004, 11:36 AM   #1
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XL2 SDK Possibilities

Hello all! Along with everyone else I'm waiting with bated breath for the XL2 to be released. One of the more interesting features I find about the camera (among many) is the SDK. What kind of applications do you think this feature will have? Do you forsee a 'modding' scene for the XL2? Lastly - and this may be a stretch - but would it be possible to write a program that could side-step DV compression and go uncompressed to a portible HDD or other solid state media? (probably impossible, but just wondering with the hype of that 4:4:4 CMOS project thread) Anyways, does anyone else have any input on this subject matter?
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Old August 17th, 2004, 12:24 PM   #2
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It's hard to say what kinds of things are possible without knowing what the SDK itself actually lets you do. I don't have any idea. If and when I ever get my hands on an XL2 (probably late this fall or early winter), I'm going to try and get on the NDA list to get an SDK, so then I'll know for sure.

I would assume (don't take my word for it) that you could upload small programs to the DSP for on-camera image processing before the picture got written to tape. Depending on the speed of their DSP and the memory capabilities of the unit, you could theoretically do anything you automate in Premiere on the camera (again, speed and memory would be a major issue - a lot of filters simply wouldn't be possible because of these constraints). Some examples include:

*blurs
*film grain looks
*color adjustments (you could probably get whatever look you wanted without filters)
*brightness adjustments

Again, this is all assumption based on what I've seen, but pull up a list of PhotoShop filters and you'll get an idea.

You should also be able to directly control camera operation remotely from a PC via the FireWire link (I think you can basically do this already with most cameras) which could be useful in some situations. If you had total control over all the settings, you could actually do some interesting things with that like hooking up a light sensor to a particular point in your scene and having your f-stops adjust as the brightness on that spot changes.

As for bypassing the compression, that depends on whether you could get a raw data stream off the camera somehow. I don't know if this can be done or not. I think there's theoretically enough bandwidth on Firewire to do this, but I don't know if the camera would let you or not. It would be nice if it did - I know that I would really like to get a raw, uncompressed signal if I could.

Again, all of this is an educated guess right now, and there's probably plenty more that I haven't thought of here.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 01:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for shining some light on the subject Russel! Does anyone else have an "insider's" perspective on this matter? Anyone who's tested an XL2 or has somehow gotten a hold of the SDK?
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Old August 17th, 2004, 02:02 PM   #4
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With all due respect I wouldn't expect things like by passing
compression and high end functions. You would need different
access ports anyway and I doubt you get full control over one
or multiple DSP chips. But we'll have to wait and see ofcourse
to know what we'll be able to do exactly.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 07:45 PM   #5
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I didn't think doing such a thing would be an easy solution for bypassing compression, just thought it would aide in the quest for uncompressed video - an "in" of sorts to the camera's computational system. I'm really interested to see what the SDK is used for.
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