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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 October 30th, 2006, 01:58 PM   #1
Silicon Imaging, Inc.
 
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Seminar on November 2.

Abel Cine Tech will be hosting a seminar called The Silicon Imaging - Cineform workflow on the day after HD Expo in LA.

http://siliconimaging.com/SEMINAR.htm

We will have some cameras set up and demonstrate the workflow from capture to edit.

Hope to see you there!
Steve
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Old October 30th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #2
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Steve
for a moment my heart jumped into my throat...
But I am in N.Y.C. -
Ugh,
I was hoping it would be at the Abel Cinetek Here.
Dang it.
Sometime Super soon, Please.
(If there is any way I can facilitate it on the NY end, let me know)

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Old October 30th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #3
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Wait a second...You are in Troy, NY

ok something has to happen in the East Coast Sooooon,

John
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Old October 31st, 2006, 06:05 AM   #4
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One of the reasons (and there are many) that we are excited to work with Abel is that they have a presense on both coasts. There will be something similar in NYC in the next few months.
Steve
Silicon Imaging Product Development.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:26 PM   #5
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Great !
How about Nov 3rd?
Haha - I cannot wait to see this camera (and am planning on it)
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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For those of us who can't attend...

It would be great to have someone shoot this seminar so it can be posted on the Web.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:10 AM   #7
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I second that emotion
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:04 PM   #8
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And so...
How was this?
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Benton
And so...
How was this?
I flew in from SF to get a first hand view, and it was well worth it. I've got a feature in January shooting in SF that I was initially planning to shoot on an F900R, but thought the timing might be right to get an early adopter badge on the SI's first production run.

Steve did a great job running through the cam, and the Ciniform guys also added a lot of details on where the workflow is now, is not now, and is headed. The only real dissapointment is there was no working example of the Iridas Look integration, but I guess SI hasn't had time to integrate it yet.

In a nutshell, the camera and the footage looks bloody wonderful, considering the demo footage quality. What they were not able to show is a fully rendered CCed (or in SI verbage: "developed") clip shot by a pro in fashion that seeks the limits of the tool. Basically, they showed some raw footage from spoon and the yellow tower on thier website. I guess we'll have to wait for some example shots from Geoff's zombie fest for that.

The release date of the Mini is indeed a hard target, but Steve mentioned that the biggest risk to that slipping into 07 will be delivery of the second generation chip which will be used in all the production systems.

Workflow is still limited to Adobe, although Cineform has quicktime support in alpha/beta. Even with that though, since FCP is 8 bit, to extract the potential, FCP will have to be a cut-only editing environment with all effects/cc happening in AE or other supported 10bit tools. Say "hi" to automatic duck!

The user interface for the camera software is really quite cool, and pulls best of elements from many cams; center LCD taps zoom progressively for focus aid, plus red line highlight of edges also for critical focus. White balance to a zoomed in 10x10pixel region is also cool for some situations.

One of the coolest is the ability to store a reference frame, set it to 50% transparency, and then overlay it on the display for continuity or complex layers shots. Steve even talked about the possibility to use that same function to pull a greenscreen matt in realtime with the ref-frame as the background.

Downers included synch timecode being an afterthough that has not been addressed yet. As well no pro-caliber solution for recording synch sound (Steve suggested a USB interface like M-Box). That will work but it's a kludge for now.

Support for the solution is going to be pushed towards the Dell M90 in the style of Avid (ohh my). And they do not want to at this point support the desire of some to purchase the mini package now, and add the DVR camera back later.

Plane is loading now...thanks for the advance peek, Steve!

cheers

Paul Nordin,
DP - San Francisco
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 09:33 PM   #10
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Paul,
Thanks for the update !

"The release date of the Mini is indeed a hard target, but Steve mentioned that the biggest risk to that slipping into 07 will be delivery of the second generation chip which will be used in all the production systems. "

The Mini is available now, but I would love to see the camera/forkflow in action, before I jump.
This is the first I have heard about their new chips. Good news, but it prolongs the potential purchase
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:37 PM   #11
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Well according to Steve, they are not going to release/sell any more Minis until they get the first lot of revved chips. They are planning to upgrade all the older systems in the field with the new chip, which is an expensive task so they don't want the problem to get any more difficult by releasing more minis that will need a field upgrade within a month or so. In his paraphrased words, they already have a number of pre-production units out there, and the beta program is over so now they need to get serious about selling proper cameras.

(Steve, feel free to correct me if I got it wrong)
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:57 PM   #12
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BTW, Paul, do you have any suggestions for the Pro-audio support?

Right now our main limitation is that you're either limited to what's on the motherboard of the computer, or you're going to have to add some sort of external device.

On-board computer motherboard audio is not "pro" by any stretch of the imagination. There are the USB input devices which we've found to give great audio sound quality, but do you think they are too "kludgy"? If so, do you know of any other audio devices on the market we can integrate to get "pro" audio without the kludge factor?

BTW, Timecode syncing has been an often-requested feature, and so please don't feel as though it's an "after-thought", although we haven't gotten to it yet, so I guess it was . . . but the nice thing is that this is all software, so upgrades are not what you're used to in the firmware-based camera world, expect future versions of the software, with your user input to greatly increase capability, useability, etc., . . . I mean think back to Photoshop 3.0 or After Effects 3.0, or Final Cut 1.0 . . . when you look at where they are today, you can see they've come quite a long way, and that's the wonderful power of software-based systems.

Also we're not a super-huge corporation like Adobe with 18-month versioning cycles . . . you can expect software updates much quicker from us.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #13
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Hi Jason,
There are two problems with the audio the way I see it (and I dont think I'm alone). Firstly, the audio path on a PC-style off-the-shelf card is notoriously noisy. To get anything close to reasonable, a lot of signal and RF isolation needs to be implemented between the noisy side of the system (hard-drives, CPUs, Clocking cycles, etc) and the audio side of the signal chain. Without that isolation, your forcing production styles that require an external hard-disk recorder. That is fine for dramatic work. But for broadcast & documentary that's a pretty big negative. Now I can't say for certain, as we didn't hear any audio at the demo. But, based on my experience, what may sound fine on a PC's speakers, when played in a proper mixing room will have all manner of noise issues that will require lots of cleanup. So thats one problem.

The second problem is the use of firewire cables. At least once a day, I would not be surprised if an inadvertant tug doesn't accidentally unplug it during a take. Again, that will force a external HDD solution where the cabling uses secure XLRs/etc. Thats the second big problem I see with the solution you have being accepted by at least some types of shooters.

Now as far as a solution, well, now I could tell you...hmmm...and you know I would really like to use the system on a feature in Jan-07...hmmm. ;-)

Seriously, I think the basic premise you have adhered to in the design of the system (and the notion of it being a system and not just a camera goes much deeped into the philosophy than I am used to) is at odds with the most obvious answer. Basing it on standard off the shelf boards precludes custom solutions. So the only thing you can do would be to integrate a separate channel with as much isolation as possible into the system, like a separate bus...perhaps part of the DVR Chassis? And/or a simple breakout panel or box with a couple of XLR inputs.

Its kind of a catch-22. Your pricing a very cool piece of technology within reach of low-budget filmmakers (say a target minimum being a $60-$80k feature). Those are also the very same types of users who will need simple yet high-quality overall systems solutions like - pristine audio chain (or one at least capable of recording quality production audio). Yet too much custom work starts to push the price of the system out of their reach.

I really am impressed with your camera. I really want to use it in January for a feature shoot. And I think you guys have a unique approach that is very different in style to what the Red-Team is doing, and I mean that as a huge compliment.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 03:55 AM   #14
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Yes, for single system sound recording the audio connections really do need to be robust (XLR etc). Often they're being disconnected between every set up and the leads are likely to be tugged during the takes.

Sound recordists tend to carry leads that connect into the current broadcast cameras. Almost all use line level as an input, saving mic level for single person operation without a sound recordist. BTW Having the option of mic level input with 48 phantom power is useful on docs or even recording guide tracks.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Nordin
since FCP is 8 bit
As far as I know FCP is 10-bit capable these days (codec must support that as
well, obviously).
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