I rebuilt my XDR mounting bracket at DVinfo.net

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Old October 5th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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I rebuilt my XDR mounting bracket

Here are some pictures of my much improved XDR bracket. I recently had to take my rig on a plane so my old mounting system was not a workable solution. I needed something I could break down and put together very fast and get into a carry on for the plane safely. This setup also works VERY well for handheld shooting. It's still a little heavyish, at 20 pounds but much lighter than what I had before.

Here's what I came up with. I used a length of 1/8 inch aluminum from home depot. I banged it into shape with a hammer and a vice. It's got a mounting hole for the XDR and the anton bauer plate sits on an aluminum cheese plate attached to the bracket. There's a lot of velcro fuzz on my bracket. It holds stuff. The Lectrosonics wireless receiver sits up top on the bracket.

Also, at the top of the bracket, there is a VCT-WEDGE mount from DM Accessories. This is what allows the bracket to attach and detach from the camera body, quickly with no tools. The locking mechanism is also very secure and solid. Huge thanks to DM Accessories for making the VCT-WEDGE mount.
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I rebuilt my XDR mounting bracket-mvc02861.png   I rebuilt my XDR mounting bracket-mvc02868.png  

I rebuilt my XDR mounting bracket-mvc02854.png   I rebuilt my XDR mounting bracket-mvc02860.png  

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Old October 5th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Very Nice Mount

Hi Aaron:
Congratulations on your XDR camera mount. I really liked my XDR mount until I saw yours. I find the XDR is really BIG, and it takes some serious engineering skills to design and fabricate a mount which permits both a most advantageous mounting position as well something secure enough to insure the XDR will never come off your camera during shooting. I see you're using the Viper camera. Wow ! I'm sure you are getting awesome heart stopping quality.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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Hi Aaron:
Congratulations on your XDR camera mount. I really liked my XDR mount until I saw yours. I find the XDR is really BIG, and it takes some serious engineering skills to design and fabricate a mount which permits both a most advantageous mounting position as well something secure enough to insure the XDR will never come off your camera during shooting. I see you're using the Viper camera. Wow ! I'm sure you are getting awesome heart stopping quality.
I told Dan Keaton (in a private email) the other day about how "giddy" I get every time I power up the viper and XDR. The images produced by 27 megapixels and the XDR are what I consider, stunning.

I don't think I've fully come to grips with the fact that I can "own" a rig like this, and I actually do own it!
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Old October 5th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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I told Dan Keaton (in a private email) the other day about how "giddy" I get every time I power up the viper and XDR. The images produced by 27 megapixels and the XDR are what I consider, stunning.

I don't think I've fully come to grips with the fact that I can "own" a rig like this, and I actually do own it!
...You own that Viper ? ! Wow ! Well, you probably have the best possible camera and solid state recording combination currently extant in the world. I heard the Red 4K camera is pretty sweet, but I don't know if its sensor is 27 Megapixels.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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...You own that Viper ? ! Wow ! Well, you probably have the best possible camera and solid state recording combination currently extant in the world. I heard the Red 4K camera is pretty sweet, but I don't know if its sensor is 27 Megapixels.
Red has a huge sensor, no doubt. But it's a bayer pattern CMOS with a rolling shutter. Probably the best rolling shutter performance I've ever seen, but still a rolling shutter.

Viper has a real mechanical shutter, just like a 35mm film camera. Rolling shutter and vertical smear problems simply do not exist. Viper has 3x 9.2 megapixel CCD. Massively oversampling the 1920x1080 output. For each pixel in the HD output frame, the Viper is using FOUR pixels on the sensor. 6 pixels for 720p. Heck, even 3 pixels per for cinemascope aspect.

RED crops the sensor when shooting less than 4k, instead of the oversampling that the Viper does.

I didn't fully understand this, even when I bought the camera but now I do.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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That's Totally Sick !!!

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Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
Red has a huge sensor, no doubt. But it's a bayer pattern CMOS with a rolling shutter. Probably the best rolling shutter performance I've ever seen, but still a rolling shutter.
....I didn't know it was a rolling shutter on the 4K Red.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
Viper has a real mechanical shutter, just like a 35mm film camera. Rolling shutter and vertical smear problems simply do not exist. Viper has 3x 9.2 megapixel CCD. Massively oversampling the 1920x1080 output. For each pixel in the HD output frame, the Viper is using FOUR pixels on the sensor. 6 pixels for 720p. Heck, even 3 pixels per for cinemascope aspect.
....You actually have a spinning mirror or pie plate design in front of the sensor ??? Wow !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
RED crops the sensor when shooting less than 4k, instead of the oversampling that the Viper does.

I didn't fully understand this, even when I bought the camera but now I do.
....If Red is cropping, then I suspect it's because they are afraid of noise from the CMOS I bet.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #7
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....I didn't know it was a rolling shutter on the 4K Red.

....You actually have a spinning mirror or pie plate design in front of the sensor ??? Wow !

....If Red is cropping, then I suspect it's because they are afraid of noise from the CMOS I bet.
Well the way they get ridiculously fast fps with the RED is to only use part of the sensor. It would be really nice on the RED though if you could shoot 2k using the whole sensor (standard frame rates) and get some nice oversampling advantage, retain your field of view, depth of field, etc.

The Viper doesn't do really overcranked speeds. 60fps max. But the mechanical shutter is quite unique, very few digital cinema cameras have a film camera style mechanical shutter.

Some of the Viper concepts are a bit hard to get my head around though. For example, the shutter speed and exposure time of the CCD can be adjusted independently. Think about that one for a few minutes. I just leave them set to follow each other until I have a reason not to. You can also turn the mechanical shutter completely off and it works like any Sony or Panasonic 3CCD.

There's a viper on ebay right now. May be out of the range for your average EX1 owner but if I was considering a new HPX or something, I'd have to consider that Viper.

Way more interesting than the shutter though is the Filmstream 4:4:4 uncompressed 10 bit log out of the dual link HD-SDI @ 10 GIGABYTES per minute. I wish I had a way to record that!
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #8
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Way more interesting than the shutter though is the Filmstream 4:4:4 uncompressed 10 bit log out of the dual link HD-SDI @ 10 GIGABYTES per minute. I wish I had a way to record that!
...I am working on a project now to develop an SD card SSDR and we will have dual link HD -SDI 4:4:4 recording capability on it, but at the speed we are going on this project, it will be quite a while before I can head off to NAB with a working prototype in my hands.

....I have actually never even seen a dual link HD-SDI 4:4:4 recording out of the Viper, and I would love to see what one looks like. You must have paid some crazy - sick Dollars to purchase your Viper camera. You say someone put one on Ebay ? ! What ?!! Are they nutz ?!!

....You wrote the Viper camera has a shutter and a sensor which can be set to work independently of each other. I am trying to wrap my mind around this concept. I think these setting flexibilities would be to shoot for eventual delivery on 35 mm film. I suppose the whole concept of the Viper is a digital camera for digital acquisition for film output - otherwise why put a film camera shutter on the Viper ?

....It would be amazing to enable the Flash XDR to record both Long GOP and I Frame to record in higher data rates, such as 300 Mb, 500 Mb. I would think you would have a lossless compression at this point, but you could do amazing timelapse with the Viper. Also, enabling full uncompressed on the XDR with your Viper would expose the true potential of your camera. You are very fortunate to actually have one of these VERY RARE instruments. You must be having a great time shooting with it.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Yeah Mark, I'm fully aware of your project and I've been following it in the other thread. I suppose I don't have to tell you that a portable recorder that can record 4:4:4 uncompressed for less than $50k pretty much doesn't exist. Even at $20k for the recorder, would be out of the question for me at this point.

I need a box about the size of my XDR that does dual link 4:4:4 uncompressed for about the same price as an XDR. Yes I know I'm dreaming.

The Viper on EBay is listed at $20k, a steal in my opinion. It'll be a hard sell though since the "good enough" technology is getting better and better, plus cheaper. There are people who don't know any better and would say that shooting on a $2,500 5D MkII is better than a Viper.

The RED is so cheap and being actively marketed, the Viper market is dwindling, not growing. They don't make them any more. Doesn't make them any less awesome though. I'm going to shoot as much as I can until my camera won't work anymore. I expect that to be sometime in the far future.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #10
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Nice rig Aaron.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
Yeah Mark, I'm fully aware of your project and I've been following it in the other thread. I suppose I don't have to tell you that a portable recorder that can record 4:4:4 uncompressed for less than $50k pretty much doesn't exist. Even at $20k for the recorder, would be out of the question for me at this point.
......Our SSDR will be far less than $20K - This I promiss. I'm not interested in creating a product that retails in this price range.

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Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
I need a box about the size of my XDR that does dual link 4:4:4 uncompressed for about the same price as an XDR. Yes I know I'm dreaming.
...How about a box that is much less at 1/3rd the size of the XDR ? I call my box the little beast because it devours large sums of cash !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
The Viper on EBay is listed at $20k, a steal in my opinion. It'll be a hard sell though since the "good enough" technology is getting better and better, plus cheaper. There are people who don't know any better and would say that shooting on a $2,500 5D MkII is better than a Viper.
...Actually, shooting on the Canon 5D Mark II is pretty sweet, but obviously inferior to a 27 Megapixel camera like the Viper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
The RED is so cheap and being actively marketed, the Viper market is dwindling, not growing. They don't make them any more. Doesn't make them any less awesome though. I'm going to shoot as much as I can until my camera won't work anymore. I expect that to be sometime in the far future.
...I would think Viper is still being fully supported by Thompson, is it not ? Regarding the RED camera, well, the guy who started and marketed Raybeam sunglasses is the same guy behind the Red One camera project, so I would think the marketing wouldn't ever be anything less than superb, and with 10's of millions in development cash behind their project as well.

.....I would have to say this is where we are in serious peril on our SSDR project. I've spent way more money than I would ever have the courage to divulge, and I'm still a ways from having a prototype in my hands, but I think it will happen. The only question is - will it happen in time for there to still be a reasonable market ?

.....I've become a little more philosophical at this point, and I'm regarding my SSDR project as more hobby at this stage. I'm continuing to inject large sums of cash into the project, but my resources are fairly limited. I have to take my hat off to Mike Schell at Convergent Design. I don't know what Mike spent in development on the XDR, but it must have been not less than a few hundred thousand Dollars plus anyway. To design any SSDR device is to partake in the creation of some very complex technologies all coming together in one device. CD was able to get their SSDR to market in what I think was world record timing too !
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Old October 6th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #12
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Don't get me wrong, Thomson Grass Valley still supports the Viper very well. The very first thing I did when I bought it was to send it to Grass Valley right away. They have real Viper experts that tuned up the camera, tested and verified everything that could be tested. They fully support the camera, even willing to sell me a support contract on it.

The Vipers have all vanished though. The biggest Viper rental place in LA no longer has Vipers. I think it was a Panasonic or Sony $30k trade in that vanished all the Vipers. Private owners still have them though I suppose.

They just don't make it anymore, or anything like it.

Viper was an awesome idea, way before it's time. When it was released, there was literally no economical way to record a 4:4:4 10bit log uncompressed signal. It took a bit for the recorders to catch up. Looking over the production notes for Viper shot feature films as recent as Benjamin Button, proves that most Viper cinema is STILL being done with large and tethered recorder. Fincher even complained about working tethered in one of the interviews I read. Shooting with a tether rolls back movie making technique 50 years.

The impracticality of capturing 4:4:4 to cheap hardware is the bane of the Viper.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #13
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Don't get me wrong, Thomson Grass Valley still supports the Viper very well. The very first thing I did when I bought it was to send it to Grass Valley right away. They have real Viper experts that tuned up the camera, tested and verified everything that could be tested. They fully support the camera, even willing to sell me a support contract on it.

The Vipers have all vanished though. The biggest Viper rental place in LA no longer has Vipers. I think it was a Panasonic or Sony $30k trade in that vanished all the Vipers. Private owners still have them though I suppose.

They just don't make it anymore, or anything like it.

Viper was an awesome idea, way before it's time. When it was released, there was literally no economical way to record a 4:4:4 10bit log uncompressed signal. It took a bit for the recorders to catch up. Looking over the production notes for Viper shot feature films as recent as Benjamin Button, proves that most Viper cinema is STILL being done with large and tethered recorder. Fincher even complained about working tethered in one of the interviews I read. Shooting with a tether rolls back movie making technique 50 years.

The impracticality of capturing 4:4:4 to cheap hardware is the bane of the Viper.
...4:4:4 recording is now as necessary to digital cinema, as the High Definition format was. There is even a way to capture 4:4:4 through a single HD-SDI jack.
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