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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 7th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Ari Presler has some interesting things relating to SI2K ahead. No spoilers yet but when I can open my big mouth here to spill the beans, I shall.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #2
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Can I guess (or hope)? SI-4K with a Super35 mm sensor shooting RAW for $9,999?
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Old March 11th, 2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

A Super 16 sensor would be more unique with perhaps 2.7k, to give a good sensitivity/resolution balance. There are a lot of high quality Super 16 lenses out there and you don't lose the compactness.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Sareesh.


I don't think you will be seeing a SI4K Given that everybody else and their dog and cat are already doing one, it would not be much of a business model for a smaller scale builder.

The Kinefinity cam which shoots a S35 frame and downsamples to 2K and codes to DNG and cineform have let that horse go already at an asian price point. Their sensor is 4K nd rthey say they intend to progress the camera to 4K recording. At the higher end industrial level, P+S have gone it alone and have it covered with the X35 which was to go from 1920 to 2K during its product life.


Bryan.

Out of courtesy to Ari at SI, I should hold my tongue for the time being. Suffice to say, he is not sitting on his hands.

Last edited by Bob Hart; March 15th, 2013 at 12:52 PM. Reason: error
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Old March 15th, 2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

There are way too many camera products announced before they are ready for prime time. I will tell you we are "looking" at a next generation SI-2K product targeted for the optical format segment that Brian is referencing....Super 16 and compact.

Would it be appropriate to call the camera an SI-2K, if its resolution is higher than 2K?

Anyone interested in having a live streaming channel directly out of their camera?
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Old March 16th, 2013, 04:31 AM   #6
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

I loved using the SI2K over the last two years, we have just replaced it with a couple of cameras that are sadly twice the size. There is now a huge gap in the market for something that can actually replace the size of this camera & have the same latitude as some of the newer cameras on the market. If they come out with something new at the same size as the mini head with 13+ stops I would buy it direct for sure. SDI out makes a lot of sense also.
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Old March 16th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Compared to some other owner-operators of the system, my personal preference has been to stick with the P+S recorder with camera docked. Except for a glitch which shook down to a locally replaced HDD, this combination has been robust.

My past wishlist has included a 35mm sensor 2K retrofit kit or exhange deal for the S16 Mini head insides and upgrade of motherboard and backpane kit to i7 with two Lemo LAN ports to enable on-body side-by-side 3D or beam rig on the front via a dummy Mini body insert attachment.

With the trend for Lego style modularity over fully enclosed systems, that is now unlikely to happen. There would be need to be too much expensive alteration of the existing large P+S body system.

High volume asia-based builders are closing in on the 35mm digital cinema space as evidenced by RED Corp's recent litigation. There is a squeeze also coming from the SinaCam style products which are small sensor 1920x1080 and the most recent adventures by GoPro.

Compact and agile 2D and 3D digital cinema seems to be the remaining niche for the SI2K. Within that scope, improvements to or replacement of the Mini head may be commercially viable.

I wonder what sort of intererst there is among SI2K owner-operators as well as newcomers who might be drawn to the system.

Last edited by Bob Hart; March 16th, 2013 at 10:06 AM. Reason: error
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Old March 17th, 2013, 06:07 AM   #8
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler View Post
There are way too many camera products announced before they are ready for prime time. I will tell you we are "looking" at a next generation SI-2K product targeted for the optical format segment that Brian is referencing....Super 16 and compact.

Would it be appropriate to call the camera an SI-2K, if its resolution is higher than 2K?
SI-3K surely sounds cool. There's no one else with a 3K camera on the market, so it definitely stands out and still adds a 'version' element as well!

Quote:
Anyone interested in having a live streaming channel directly out of their camera?
Ethernet? The mini was ultra-cool in this regard, but I'm not sure anymore. A lot of processing (encoding, conforming, 'correcting', etc.) needs to take place prior to a live stream - too many devices, formats and business models.

If it was a simple live telecast, there's HD-SDI, with an 'established' infrastructure and workflow.

Possibly naive question: Are you competing against the BMCC? Small form factor, 2.7K resolution, 3G-SDI out, and recording RAW? For some reason, when the BMCC first appeared, most people compared it to DSLRs; but it reminded me of the SI-2K mini.
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Old March 17th, 2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

As well as BMCC, there are Ikonoskop Digital A-Cam, Digital Bolex, Kinor, Kinefinity aspiriing to the same digital S16 sportsground for SI to go up against.

I assume Ari's questions are based on what is doable now or not too far down the track.

I would also not write off ethernet just yet.

Would the existing SI2K owner-operator cohort want third generation improvements integrated within the existing P+S and PC notebook platforms, something new and self-contained, or something which is new and more capable but has some legacy compatablity with the existing platforms?

Furthur feedback from more SI2K owner-operators may be helpful.

Last edited by Bob Hart; March 17th, 2013 at 10:46 AM. Reason: error
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Old March 17th, 2013, 12:05 PM   #10
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

There was a lot of interest in the 2/3" Scarlet, but I'd assume the price point of a next generation SI camera would be in professional price bracket, rather than the BMCC range or even the fixed zoom 2/3" Scarlet.

Regarding the RED patent case, the divide seems to be compressed RAW larger than 2K, although with Cineform RAW being around at the same time, if not slightly before REDCode, perhaps there could be wiggle room. However, 4k seems to be the current magic number for RED.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

QUOTE:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There was a lot of interest in the 2/3" Scarlet, but I'd assume the price point of a next generation SI camera would be in professional price bracket, rather than the BMCC range or even the fixed zoom 2/3" Scarlet.

Regarding the RED patent case, the divide seems to be compressed RAW larger than 2K, although with Cineform RAW being around at the same time, if not slightly before REDCode, perhaps there could be wiggle room. However, 4k seems to be the current magic number for RED.
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My interpretation of Ari's comment is that SI will not make promises it cannot deliver on.

Whether SI can deliver at a competitive price point with the other players one can only guess. I think their selling point can draw on the demonstrated reliability and robustness of the Mini camera head and mount system itself. Anecdotally at least, I have not heard of one ever laying down. For robustness and reliablity, existing SI2K owner-operators might pay a small premium to remain in a familiar environment versus migrating to a new system and abandoning their SI2K investment entirely.

My ideal would be for two variants of a new S16 "Mini" head, one which embraces all the improvements the other S16 Digital Cinema aspirants are spruiking but not necessarily yet delivering.

This variant would be fully functional and complementary to the latest capability of computers. In keeping with the furthur miniaturisation trended by competitors, the new Mini head would need to be similar to them in its physical footprint, especially given its niche in POV and 3D applications.

The other variant would be legacy and provide sharpness and dynamic range improvements to the extent that the existing P+S recorder body and older laptop installations can cope with. Desirably this variant would be built into a Mini-style body as a direct plug-in replacment for the existing Mini head.

Alternatively - owner-operator retrofit kits for the existing Mini bodies might be released to contain end-user costs, - existing Mini heads might be sent in for infit of the new camera core on an exchange basis - an adaptor dock to allow the new camera body form to dock into the existing Mini dock in the P+S body.

I have camera body Serial 1019. Assuming that bodies have started at Serial 0001, then potentially many of those owner-operators might be interested in a new compatable Mini head. A more valid indicator of potential uptake by existing SI2K owner-operators might be the degree to which the new software DVR2/SI3D has been adopted by non-3D users.

Catering for a new market and still providing legacy compatability could be a messy task and may not be a viable business plan. We shall have to wait and see.

Last edited by Bob Hart; March 18th, 2013 at 11:04 AM. Reason: error
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Old March 18th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

The RED case might be as much about retaining the claim they pegged out as the underdog everybody "roots" for and which they are still mining. For how long they can do so is moot for RED is no longer a seller of a few hundred units any more. Other patent holders including Ari Presler and David Newman are acknowledged in the RED patent.

It might be suggested then that RED by pursuing its intellectual property rights may be also collaterally protecting the intellectual property rights of others they have drawn from by licencing deals.

Apparently if intellectual property is not affirmatively defended, a case is effectively constructed by the holder for the infringers. This is apparently a driver of the action as well.

Last edited by Bob Hart; March 18th, 2013 at 11:20 AM. Reason: error
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #13
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

The SI-2K platform has always been about image quality, workflow and small form-factor. We would want to solve problems the current crop of products have not yet been able to do or solve them significantly better. It has to be application and use driven.

One application/use that is frequently done with SI-2K is POV and body worn applications with nominal or no compression.

The most common request for improved functionality has been increased sensitivity/dynamic range, to better match the current pool of cinema quality cameras. This would be our first and foremost objective.

The drawback of going higher resolution within a fixed optical format, is it requires the use of smaller pixels to fit more of them in the same square mm area. 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.)
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #14
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

It's good to hear from you, Ari -- see you soon at NAB (thanks for starting this thread, Bob)!
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Old March 18th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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Re: S.I. Interesting things ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler View Post
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.
I'd tend to go for the Super 16 sized sensor. You can use various optical devices to allow B4 mount lenses to be used. The extra area over the smaller 2/3" allows room to manoeuvre with larger pixels.

Edit: Perhaps a 2.5k sensor might be the best balance.

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; March 19th, 2013 at 03:21 AM.
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