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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old May 31st, 2008, 02:11 PM   #1
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My SI-2K Pics

As promised...... I will post more pics when the remaining parts come in (EVF, FF, Mattebox).

-John
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My SI-2K Pics-bravo61.jpg   My SI-2K Pics-bravo62.jpg  

My SI-2K Pics-bravo63.jpg   My SI-2K Pics-bravo72.jpg  

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Old May 31st, 2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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Lately I've been very interested in knowing more about this camera.

However I can't find any type of footage or test so I can judge its quality.

If you do some work with it please post some sample footage.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 04:07 PM   #3
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Pietro-

SI has video footage (RAW, WMV and QT) available online. Go to the SI website then > Digital Cinema> Gallery> Video Gallery. The biggest thing Iíve noticed so far with the test footage is that the new sensor *seems* to be much lower noise and overall higher image quality.

The camera feels very rugged and well made in your hands. IMO it has a better film look than RED (resolution isnít everything!).

-John
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Old June 1st, 2008, 06:09 AM   #4
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Pietro-

SI has video footage (RAW, WMV and QT) available online. Go to the SI website then > Digital Cinema> Gallery> Video Gallery. The biggest thing Iíve noticed so far with the test footage is that the new sensor *seems* to be much lower noise and overall higher image quality.

The camera feels very rugged and well made in your hands. IMO it has a better film look than RED (resolution isnít everything!).

-John
I didn't realise that they'd changed the sensor.

I must admit that, from what I've seen to date on-line, the images from the RED seem rather bland compared to those I've seen from the SI 2K. However, I'll await the much awaited RED build 16 for any final thoughts on the matter.

It's a shame that they're suffering a bit because of the exchange rates at the moment.

I must have a talk to a local production company, who used a SI Mini on a commercial about their workflow.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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Brian-

***I didn't realise that they'd changed the sensor***

We are coming from the pre NAB 07 camera head (different housing and connectors as well). If you dig around you should be able to find a thread that talks about 'the new sensor'.

***I must admit that, from what I've seen to date on-line, the images from the RED seem rather bland compared to those I've seen from the SI 2K. However, I'll await the much awaited RED build 16 for any final thoughts on the matter.***

Again this is just my *opinion*, but I personally think the SI camera looks less digital. The RED is still very capable of capturing beautiful images, but *IMO* looks more like a DSLR. Someone in the digital cinema market should download footage from both sites and judge for themselves.


-John
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Old June 1st, 2008, 02:50 PM   #6
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All my comments are. of course, subjective and the RED does capture good images, but perhaps they seem to lack a certain something that you need with some stories. You really need to decide on which camera best suits the production in hand and how you wish to visualise the story. Once the RED firmware and post software matures perhaps it will become less DSLR like.

I expect the sensor was mentioned in the past, there have been so many changes.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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Pietro-

The camera feels very rugged and well made in your hands. IMO it has a better film look than RED (resolution isn’t everything!).

-John
The camera also has some neat features that RED doesn't over. But what kills it for me is the lack of a 35mm sensor. Having been using 35mm adapters for the last year I'm not really thrilled with the P+S 35mm adapter option for the SI-2K. 35mm adapters are clumsy.
I also do not agree with SI pricing structure. Not in a post RED world.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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Hey, Congrats John! I just got back from a feature shoot with the SI-2K and everything worked beautifully.

I have to chime in and say that I also think the SI is more film-like. I have a Red as well and we just shot a music video with it on Saturday. The image is nice on the Red, to be sure, and I wish I could articulate what it is that bothers me, but on my own stuff I use the SI, and if I had to shoot my own feature tomorrow, it would be with the SI.

I definitely think resolution isn't everything. Latitude and the amount and quality of the compression of the "RAW" image are more important, I think.

As far as DOF goes, whenever we wanted to blow out the background with the SI we simply threw on a 35mm. We had Zeiss primes and a Zeiss zoom, and we never had a problem obtaining a shallow DOF. On the Red shoot the other day, focus was more shallow, but practically speaking, it only made focus a chore. The super 16 DOF is just about perfect for me. Sometimes I think people are knee-jerking from their experience trying to get ANY shallow DOF on prosumer 1/3 inch cameras. --- my 2 cents.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:50 PM   #9
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The camera also has some neat features that RED doesn't over. But what kills it for me is the lack of a 35mm sensor. Having been using 35mm adapters for the last year I'm not really thrilled with the P+S 35mm adapter option for the SI-2K. 35mm adapters are clumsy.
I also do not agree with SI pricing structure. Not in a post RED world.
The SI 2K does address a different market sector to the RED. 35mm DOF isn't a requirement for most productions - this week I'm working on a feature film that is being shot on Super 16, which has both TV and theatrical distribution and no one is pulling out their hair out over the DOF. Also, being a more compact design, SI 2K also makes a lot of sense for documentary makers, the Mini being a useful additional tool for a lot of shots.

The SI 2K has a recording media advantage, in that you can just hand over the hard drive as if it was a tape, because the costs are comparable to high end HD tape stock. This is an advantage in the broadcast market - I've heard of one cameraman having to handover his RED drives to the producers, so that they can transfer them. Also, currently the SI post workflow seems to be more mature and easier to handle than the RED.

The SI does suffer with exchange rates, but the costs of a shooting rig aren't hugely different.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:43 PM   #10
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The SI 2K does address a different market sector to the RED. 35mm DOF isn't a requirement for most productions - this week I'm working on a feature film that is being shot on Super 16, which has both TV and theatrical distribution and no one is pulling out their hair out over the DOF.
IMO, feature filmmaking without DOF control (the shallower the more control) is a no-no. Even with 35mm DOF I find myself wanting less since my lenses are all T2 only.

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
The SI 2K has a recording media advantage, in that you can just hand over the hard drive as if it was a tape, because the costs are comparable to high end HD tape stock. This is an advantage in the broadcast market - I've heard of one cameraman having to handover his RED drives to the producers, so that they can transfer them. Also, currently the SI post workflow seems to be more mature and easier to handle than the RED.
Actually this is a recording media disadvantage. I would never trust recording things to a HDD. RED has compact flash, which is the way to go. I have heard way too many horror stories from people who were too cheap to buy RED flash and recorded to the drives instead.

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The SI does suffer with exchange rates, but the costs of a shooting rig aren't hugely different.
Yeah, tell me about it. :)
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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IMO, feature filmmaking without DOF control (the shallower the more control) is a no-no. Even with 35mm DOF I find myself wanting less since my lenses are all T2 only.
That's a personal stylistic choice, there are many feature films - if not most - which are shot with the aperture stopped down from T2. Using a zoom, a T3/T4 split is pretty common on interiors and I know one DP who always used T5.6 with fast stock. Deep focus is also a stylistic choice.

Some DPs are using 2/3" HD cameras for greenscreen heavy films because of the greater DOF.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:26 PM   #12
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Actually this is a recording media disadvantage. I would never trust recording things to a HDD. RED has compact flash, which is the way to go. I have heard way too many horror stories from people who were too cheap to buy RED flash and recorded to the drives instead.
I belive SI does in fact offer an OPEN flash option, plus OPEN HDD in single and RAID1 config.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:58 PM   #13
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We have our SI-2K setup with the RAID 1 option. Two copies of the footage on two physical drives, doesn't get much more secure than that.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:22 AM   #14
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SI-2K Storage Options - SSD Flash Drives

The removable storage in the SI-2K is now a SATA RAID system which can use dual SATA drive magazine configured for either RAID-0 (Uncompressed - Speed) or RAID-1 (Redundancy). You can also use a single SATA in the magazine, for non RAID.

Any 2.5" SATA Solid State Drive (SSD) which can sustain up to 30MB/sec is suitable for CineformRAW recording. This higher data rate is the result of a new improved codec and quality setting with only 3.5:1 coding.

There are several drives to hit the market. Here is a 120GB Super Talent drive for only $640.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820609304


For uncompressed recording you can consider drives from M-Tron and MemoRight, which are claiming over 90MB/sec write speeds, as well as some soon to be released units from Intel and Samsung:

http://www.dailytech.com/Samsung+Set...ticle11883.htm
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 05:07 PM   #15
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How is the Raid system working

Hi guys!
First off congrats John on your new SI-2K.
Bob & Ari: How is the Raid system working ?
Is it using two cf cards inside the cru cartridge ?
Or SSd or HDD ?

Pedro
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