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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 August 24th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #16
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Soooo... a few questions:
When you say the Merom MacBooks will be sufficient to operate as the recording device, are you talking about 1080/24, or all available frame rates up to 72fps?
It should work for all available frame-rates.

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Since you're describing the port over to Quicktime as being a rewrap, I'm assuming the Cineform is a container-type file structure?
Yes, but there's no "re-wrapping" . . . you will record using the DirectShow interface directly to a QT file format. Of course if the file gets "damaged", and not closed properly, then it's not readable, although we have some workarounds for not loosing all your data through segmenting the files during a long record

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Since the heavy lifting in the laptop is in processing the raw signal, I'm assuming there's no significant loss of overhead in writing the files to an outboard FW400 drive rather than the laptop's internal drive? Or does the FW drive need to hang off the faster Express/34 cardslot?
Outboard firewire should be perfectly fine. We've been using USB 2.0, and it's been working great.

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I'm seeing 12 MB/s discussed as the data rate. Assuming that's not a typo (MB instead of Mb), that's 96 Mb/s, which would outstrip even a 7200rpm drive. So is the data rate really only 12 megabits/sec? Or am I mixing up the final deBayered file size with the wavelet file size?
Actually laptop hard-drives are easily able to sustain that data-rate. We've been using 5400RPM laptop drives which go from 35MB/s at the start to 18MB/s at the end, and it's all working fine. And yes, the datarate is 12MB/s, or 96Mb/s.

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Are there labs out there already geared up to do film-out from the raw Cineform files, or would I need to output to D-5 (or transcode the footage to DVCProHD or 10bit uncompressed QT?) This gets even trickier, since I'll be mixing Cineform with the HVX DVCProHD. It seems like transcoding it all to DVCProHD would make sense, but do the transcoded files look as good as the originals?
Yes, Pixel Harvest can do film-outs from native Cineform files. Don't transcode to DVCProHD, that will ruin the resolution (since it's not a full-raster codec) and add compression artifacts.

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I'm seeing the camera body drives described as hot-swappable. Does it hold a pair of 2.5"s, or is there simply enough onboard RAM buffer to allow a quick swap of drive cartridges (of course, it's debatable whether you could even do that without shaking the camera to an unacceptable degree...)
It's hot-swappable, but not in that sense. You can store up to 4 hours or more on a 200GB hard-drive. That should be plenty for an interview.

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Are the drives accessible without actually opening up a panel on the camera body? From the photos, it doesn't appear so.
Yes, the drives slide out the back (in that photo you see).

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If I remembering correctly, the announced pricing of the camera head includes "two C-mount Fujinons." Is that optional for those of us who'd rather look at getting a single, high-end S-16 lens? And does the powered camera head (without camera body & brick) provide power to an HD video lens's zoom servo?
We don't have pricing for PL-mount lenses, you will have to supply those yourself. Also we don't support B4-mount lenses since we've found they aren't apochromatic, so that can cause problems with a single-sensor design.

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Finally.. (yeah... really.. I know.. lots of questions) one thing that drives me nuts on the HVX200 is the inability to leave the focus assist turned on at the viewfinder while shootoing. When I'm working with a monitor, I can use the monitor for framing, but would like being able to judge critical focus through the entire shot if I have a fidgety interview subject. Is that something you guys can accomplish (BTW, 2x really isn't enough to judge critical HD focus...)
Yes, we have a "loupe" mode that you can leave up during recording, and it does a really, really tight zoom (like a loupe). With it you will know if you're in critical focus or not.

Hope this helps,

Jason
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Old August 24th, 2006, 09:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
snip

Actually laptop hard-drives are easily able to sustain that data-rate. We've been using 5400RPM laptop drives which go from 35MB/s at the start to 18MB/s at the end, and it's all working fine. And yes, the datarate is 12MB/s, or 96Mb/s.

snip

Hope this helps,

Jason
Indeed it does; thanks a lot!
As it turns out, the material I'd been reading about typical ATA data transfer rates were using Mb to mean megabyte instead of megabit. Thus the confusion. It was a whole lot easier when all I had to worry about was ASA...

You're really finding that good HD glass mas too much chromatic aberration? I'll admit I'm surprised.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #18
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You're really finding that good HD glass mas too much chromatic aberration? I'll admit I'm surprised.
It's not the problem that it's not "good glass", it's the problem that the lenses were not designed to properly focus all three color planes on the same physical plane . . . they are specifically constructed to slightly offset the RGB channels so that they compensate for the different refractive indexies of the prism as the light wavelengths are split into the three RGB primaries. As a result, putting a lens designed in such a manner in front of a single plane sensor where the RGB wavelengths need to be focused at the same physical plane creates slight offsets in the RGB channels that will contribute to chromatic abberations. So you need a lens, like a film lens, that was designed to focus the individual RGB channels all at the same physical plane.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
It's not the problem that it's not "good glass", it's the problem that the lenses were not designed to properly focus all three color planes on the same physical plane . . . they are specifically constructed to slightly offset the RGB channels so that they compensate for the different refractive indexies of the prism as the light wavelengths are split into the three RGB primaries.
I had never run across that interesting little piece of information. Makes sense optically... though, given that each manufacturer's prism assembly is different, you'd think that'd be corrected in the camera head, not by expecting the lensmaker to design corrective optics (that are expected to work on any HD cam, not a specific model.)

Nevertheless, I understand what you're saying. Interesting.
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