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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 March 19th, 2013, 06:30 AM   #16
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Originally Posted by Ari Presler View Post
... The question remains...more pixels or more sensitivity?

Also, keep optical format within 2/3"/Digital-16 (11-12mm diag) for use with B4 and small C-Mount or IMS primes or go for larger Super 16.

Finally, if target is for use with smaller C. Should we also go for a form factor even small than the current Mini. (Note: These form factors immediately differentiate it from the other cameras on the market.)
I'll take sensitivity over resolution any day. 15 stops of DR in 1080p at ISO 800 - who has that even today?

I can see how many who own and use 16mm and 2/3" lenses will find a small sensor interesting, but where I'm at, these lenses are not readily available. It's one thing to hear about a decent lens that someone uses in another continent. But it's extremely frustrating to not have access to the same.

Why not develop your own mount (like the Sony FZ/E) and then supply adapters for any kind of lens? E.g., a sensor like the one used on the BMCC has extreme resolution demands that not all lenses can meet.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 04:25 PM   #17
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

The S.I. already has an interchangeable lens mount system - PL, Nikon, Canon FD, B4 & C mount (and probably others) so you can fit just about any lens to the system.
A micro 4/3 mount would be great so you could use the Voigtländer f0.95 range.
Super 16 size chip would work fine.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 01:41 AM   #18
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

With the original Mini head, for side-by-side POV 3D, the IMS-Mount system limits the narrowness of the interaxial distance to about 72mm if my feeble memory serves. If you take the IMS ring off and use the disk-shaped C-mount which fastens by four screws, I think you can get it down to 66mm.

I think the shortest flange to focal of the IMS adaptors available is 17.5mm or thereabouts for the C-Mount. Micro 4/3rds is 19.5mm. A Micro 4/3rds adaptor might be doable in IMS but the lens receiver as with the C-Mount adaptor would be dished which may make the lens aperture control awkward to work with if it is in the traditional rear position of stills lenses.

There is as little as 2mm available workspace behind the Micro 4/3rds flange for bayonet lugs and lens barrel structure sticking through, depending on the actual diameter of the 4/3rds mount which I do not know.

Closer than 17mm to the sensor, the camera body becomes coned in towards the sensor panel, so the rearwards intrusion of some wide-angle Micro 4/3rds lenses might impinge on the structure of the camera.

The diameter of the lens rear body would need to be less than 50mm to allow internal clearance within the shoulder chamber of the IMS-Mount less a wall structure of 1mm thickness in the IMS-Micro 4/3rds adaptor.

There is a SI camera variant called the Nano. It is a rehoused version in a small case with no sharp corners by Radiant Images created specially for bodycam POV work. - Think of the film "End Of Watch".

It is fitted with only a C-mount. I understand one can have tighter 3D side-by-side with physical lens size being the practical limit. Someone may like to correct me here.

Given that POV and 3D as compact agile and bodycam have become SI's niche, my guess is the new tech will appear in that form.

The larger boxey Mini head with IMS-Mount on rails tethered to a laptop or homespun recorder seems muchly used for the same work as the full P+S body combination. It is up against RED's Scarlett and all the other S16 wannabes, so may not be as viable a commercial development to kick off from as the Nano style.

There were three versions of the Mini head, one without LEDs, one with three LEDs across the rear top, one with three LEDs down the rear right.

My imagining is that unless the LEDs were fed by wires, each version had a unique PCB with LEDs hardmounted on it in the LEDs versions. I would expect that for my wishlist Mini head budget retrofit kit, the LEDs might be eliminated or hanging on long tails, with a prewired 12pin Lemo panel socket hanging on a tail.

An entire front case panel for the camera might be redesiged to accept a different fixing pattern for screwholes etc., for a different PCB layout and to preserve precision between the sensor and the focal plane. The average kitchen table mechanic fitting it all together is not always going to get it right, so an assembly including front case panel would be the safest bet for a kit.

So the kit might be comprised of a replacement front panel with threaded fixing holes for moving the IMS-Mount across from the old Mini, already fitted with sensor PCBs and revised OPLF/IR panel.

The remaining rear case may be the least of any added expense to be saved by an end-user retrofit kit although it is a complex piece of machining, not cheap to remake.

Shimming the IMS-Mount to correct collimation would be the end-user's responsibililty.

There are good reasons for not issuing a user's retrofit kit. SI's control over quality assurance would end at the Fedex gate and end-users might badmouth the product if they can't get their end of the deal right due to hamfisted incompetence.

My guess then, if there is to be a Mini head retrofit suited for the P+S body, it will be a fully built-up piece as an entire replacement. That would be the only means by which SI could control the quality assurance up to the point the end-user's DNA is smeared all over the product and the power goes on.

As for S16 versus 2/3" my personal preference is for S16 as it enables me to extract a little more apparent sharpness from my lenses across a slightly wider sensor. Except for the Voigtlander f0.95 some of the Micro 4/3rds lenses may not be as sharp as the S16mm T1.3 lenses which are sweetest at about T3 or thereabouts.


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Last edited by Bob Hart; March 20th, 2013 at 01:54 AM. Reason: error
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Old March 28th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #19
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Hi Ari!

As a long time supporter and customer, and having hands on experience with the new F-series from sony, and other vendors, I can safely say that 5 years ago (!) SI-2k was so far ahead of the game that only now other manufacturers are trying to accomplish their workflow, not to mention the ACES workflow from the ASC and the Academy which are still working on full integration of RAW/metadata workflow.

I still shoot on the SI every week, but it's getting harder to "sell" it to customers, not because of RED hype but because 4K (as silly as it is) is going to be the de-facto standard or at least 3K.
clients like buzzwords - that's the fact of life I see, so my personal recommendations would be:

1. Dont touch the DVR software! it's beyond perfect, it's cutting edge and amazing!

2. 3k resolution - its a must have for clients, regardless of what us techies know is best.
eventually were all selling gear to the producers of a show

3. Offer a full package camera and sensor for around the same price point as sony (15-20K)
pro DP's dont care about gear, about rigs etc. they just want a camera that shows a picture they can light.

4.Native ISO at 800. it's almost an industry standard.

5.Get on board the ASC ACES workflow and integrate ACES inside the workflow, get the cinematographers support, they still talk about the SI-2k there :)

6.Shooting in prorez would seal the deal - most times working with the Alexa, people just use it's prorez,
again, its just the way people LIKE to work, not necessarily the smartest or what I would do but is the working reality I see in LA

7.And last but not least, demo the hell out of the camera - CANON finances so many short movies to demo new equipment, Panasonic now does that, they pay high-end, ASC members to shoot short films to demo their cameras(not young filmmakers) and it helps spread the word in "the industry"

Love my SI-2k! got it tatood on my bum :)

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