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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 July 23rd, 2006, 04:17 AM   #1
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Couple of questions for the SI team.

First off is the 7" LCD screen fanless ? and if not can it please please have an off button or menu option and on the subject of it can there be an easy mounting area and the right number of sockets for a focus puller to have his own screen.

Second is time code for multi camera (and for audio) shoots, I presume there will be a BNC timecode in for using Ambient Clockit boxes ??

What other connections BNC wise will there be ? Timecode out ? HD SDI Out, SD out ?


Thanks
Ian
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 08:58 AM   #2
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Yes, the 7" LCD is fanless. Of course you don't HAVE to use our LCD, and we will have other options for monitoring as well, we're just working on those . . . the 7" LCD will be the first option. But if you wanted for instance, you could always hook up an Accuscene or something of that nature, or an Astro, etc. We'll have a HD Y/Pb/Pr output on the camera.

We will be supporting a USB LTC timecode input device. Timecode will be jam-syncing only, so you can use the Ambient, but not as a continuous input device.

The timecode is derived as a frame-offset from the camera head and the clock on the camera head is very accurate (+/- 3ppm drift) . . . not as accurate as an Ambient, but accurate enough that it will take at least an hour or two before any two devices become a frame out of sync.

If you want, you can keep the Ambient hooked up, and just jam-sync every hour or half-hour to the Ambient.

There's no timecode out. There's no HD-SDI output, but there is a HDMI output that you can use to convert to HD-SDI using a Gefen or Doremi converter (the Doremi can also do a downconversion). Please remember that we're shooting RAW straight-to-disk, and as a result, we're just showing you a preview render of what the RAW data looks like . . . the preview is not a super-high-quality demosaic that is going to get you the best resolution and demosaic quality. It's just a preview. I have some other posts on this board that explain this concept in more detail.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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Jason... could you please elaborate more on the HDMI output from the camera. I'm not familiar with that option. Does this mean I could somehow feed the live output of the camera into a switcher or a professional VTR?
Best of luck.... we're eagerly awaiting the release of your revolutionary camera!
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:01 PM   #4
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The camera's not really made for "live" TV broadcast, i.e., pumping "live" into a switcher . . . we're targeting film-makers, music video, high-end industrial video, stock photography, commercial production, live event photography (but not live broadcasted events), etc. Basically situations where you have at least a couple hours you can spend editing and posting your stuff. The camera is designed for direct ingest into the editing/post workflow . . . if you're not going through editing, but going live-to-air, then this camera isn't for you. If you're going through an editing suite before you go to air or whatever distribution path you distribute your content on, then this camera *IS* for you.

Because of the RAW data direct-to-disk and direct-to-post menality of this camera, we do a live preview on the camera so that you can get an accurate view of what your footage will look like . . . but it's only a preview, it's not a broadcast quality rendering of the RAW data in real-time (we can't do that and compress to CineForm RAW at the same time). So having HD-SDI outputs that you would plug into a switcher or VTR defeats the point of the system.

Also a VTR is self-defeating since it 1) destroys the RAW data (once you demosaic to RGB, the RAW data is gone), and 2) we're recording direct-to-disk which avoids the digitizing process completely, but if you go into a VTR, you'll have to re-digitize the footage, albeit now you no longer have access to the RAW data.

So, suffice to say, this camera is a bit of a different paradigm than all the current tape-base cameras or ENG cameras that are on the market . . . we are not marketing this as a "normal" video camera, this is a "digital cinema camera", meaning it is constructed as a sort of film-camera replacement . . . so all the places where you would shoot film, or would like to shoot film (if the budget or time-to-post allowed) is where this camera fits in great. We're faster to post than film (it's digital, so it's immediate), but we still require that you go through an editing suite first, not through a switcher, and we don't require any expensive proprietary VTR's for recording. Just simple 2.5" HDD's or anything that will plug into a USB port and support 12MB/s sustained.

I hope this helps :)
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 05:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info Jason, I wouldn't recomend the Astro as I'm constantly having to ask for it to be turned off by the Camera crew on the TV drama I am on right now as it makes a horrible racket, it's got no place on a film set from my experience with it and would defeat the whole point of a camera head with the body far far away and all your hard work would be for nothing :-)

I would dearly love to have the camera able to contantly work via an ambient clockit, on a TV drama there is no time to keep rejamming it, I do it once in the morning and once after Lunch, I know the camera is a new thing in the workflow etc but some things have evolved on a camera due to the way people work.

Now is there any chance of there being audio in's via XLR's ? I would personally be using a Motu Traveller as an interface via Firewire but there will be times other ways of working will be needed and on the subject of Firewire is there any chance of a more secure plug socket combination ?

Whilst working with a 750P right now I would much prefer to be working with the SI-1920 so none of what I ask are criticism's in any way, I just would love the camera to be exactly what I want for rental and for my own projects.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 09:42 PM   #6
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We are planning on-board XLR's, although that is going to use the internal sound on the mainboard rather than a MOTU or other device.

On the subject of "more secure connectors" for common connectors like Firewire, etc., just wondering what you mean or what you would like to see . . . just realize that we don't want to make custom connectors that will prevent people from using off-the-shelf parts (and require us to make custom cables . . . that will mean $$$'s for you the end user). That would be a bit counter-intuitive towards the "open" nature of the camera platform.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 12:38 AM   #7
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On Board XLR's would make me very happy and being able to plug in a Motu(etc) via FW is a great option for other reasons, the perfect combo :-) Thanks Guys.


Secure connector wise something like an XLR connector but with FW centre's would be perfect, I understand that it means no off the shelf parts but 4 and 6 pin FW cables are not up to the task of filming something like a TV Drama, the FW800 (9pin) is the best choice of the standard cables as it at least grabs hold and if it falls out is not a metal body to touch things not to be touched but it's still hardly secure, the ideal thing to me is an XLR type plug/socket, FW800 middle's so to speak but at a push you could just plug a standard FW800 lead into the socket.

Hope that made sense lol
Thanks
Ian
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