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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 February 22nd, 2007, 04:46 PM   #1
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Was there a new body at the seminars?

I was wondering if those who were at the seminar saw the new body that they were about to contruct. If yes how did it look? If no did they tell you anything about when it would be able to see it?
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 07:41 AM   #2
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The "new body" for the SI-2K won't be ready till NAB. We'll have a booth setup on the show-floor this year (we won't be stuck in the corner of the Adobe booth), so keep an eye out for upcoming announcements.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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Will the new body and kit be avaliable for delivery after NAB?
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 12:52 PM   #4
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Well, I can't get into our internal hard deliver dates right now, but we're targeting very shortly after NAB.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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""new body" for the SI-2K won't be ready till NAB"

so does that make it official the Jan 2007 estimate release didn't happen
and there is NO current official release date ?...

i thought we were suppose to see new photo/design of body last Nov?
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #6
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so does that make it official the Jan 2007 estimate release didn't happen
As with any complicated engineering project, we ran into some complications . . .rather than pass those complications onto you as the end-user and write-off any issues as "growing-pains", we figured we would through some re-designing to make sure that any problems/issues we had been dealing with are solved 100%, and all the features that we've targeted for our first release are in the shipping product.

So yes, while there has been a delay, and me missed a publicly targetted goal, it's a good delay in that we'll end up with a much better end-product . . . rather than dumping a gen-1 product on the market that's basically an expensive public beta, we're making sure what we come out with works full-time and is the "real-thing", ready for real-world production use.

The good news is that we're marching head-on into NAB and expect to have some very exciting things to show both for the physical cameras themselves and the workflows that make our cameras tick.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 01:54 AM   #7
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Shortly after NAB is also when RED is supposed to start shipping. If both cameras indeed make it to the market, what's the advantage of paying 20k for a 2k camera which is basically a computer with a security camera linked to it instead of paying 17.5k for a well thought out 4K camera? I'm mean, there's really a different market for both? Otherwise the choice seems to be a non brainer. Unless the Si2K will have a HUGE price cut or something. Like cost as much as a XL-H1, then I can see the advantage of going for it. Otherwise...
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Old March 10th, 2007, 04:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Michael Maier View Post
Shortly after NAB is also when RED is supposed to start shipping. If both cameras indeed make it to the market, what's the advantage of paying 20k for a 2k camera which is basically a computer with a security camera linked to it instead of paying 17.5k for a well thought out 4K camera?
You don't get a shooting RED rig for $17,500, that's just a headline figure for the camera head, the actual cost will be higher. You really need to compare the cost of RED in a 2k shooting configuration to the cost of a similar SI-2k.

Quite a lot of people don't need 35mm sized sensors with the increased lens size, weight and focus pulling issues. The SI Mini has a major size advantage over the RED head (it's also cheaper), so it has the potential to be given serious consideration by anyone shooting a film in confined spaces.

I suspect the RED is basically also a sensor with a computer linked to it, since it's also using IT technology.

Both cameras are worthwhile new tools.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 06:27 AM   #9
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You don't get a shooting RED rig for $17,500, that's just a headline figure for the camera head, the actual cost will be higher.
The 20K price tag for the Si2K is for the camera only as well right? Not a full shooting package. RED is cheaper and seems "better".

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
You really need to compare the cost of RED in a 2k shooting configuration to the cost of a similar SI-2k.
RED has no price difference for 2K or 4K really. 16mm PL lenses aren't that cheaper than their 35mm counterparts. That's basically the only difference you could have and affect price. RED will also have a Nikon mount option for really cheap and good glass.

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
Quite a lot of people don't need 35mm sized sensors with the increased lens size, weight and focus pulling issues.
True. But when RED can get you a camera that can do it all and for cheaper, what's the point? You can have 4k and 35mm DOF just in case you need one day and don't need to pay more for it.

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post

The SI Mini has a major size advantage over the RED head (it's also cheaper), so it has the potential to be given serious consideration by anyone shooting a film in confined spaces.
Cheaper? Yes the camera on it's own but what are you using to record? How about storage media?

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
I suspect the RED is basically also a sensor with a computer linked to it, since it's also using IT technology.
Well, every camera is a sensor with a computer. The difference is the SI camera looks and seems like something you could make in your garage while RED, the F900 or Varicam don't.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #10
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You have no way of knowing how much "better" either of these cameras are. All that can be said is that the SI prototypes have been used on actual productions and the RED is unproven in this regard. The camera head of the SI 2k can be bought for less than the RED - it's called the SI Mini and you can record onto your laptop from it.

16mm lenses are a lot smaller than 35mm lenses. Try shooting a documentary with a 10:1 35mm zoom lens.

The vast majority of productions never need 35mm DOF and I suspect there will be a bit of quality engineering in getting high quality follow focus gears to work Nikon stills lenses with their small, compressed focus scales with the required precision.

Storage - You'll have to wait to hear what is included in the SI $20k package. The camera records onto hard drives and if one or more of these are included at this price I haven't heard. Certainly the RED $17.5k price doesn't include any hard drives or rails etc - $20k is a likely price for a very basic RED.

You'll have to wait to hear what is included in the SI $20k package. The camera records onto hard drives, so if one or more of these are included I haven't heard. Certainly the RED $17.5k price doesn't include any hard drives. I'm sure the SI people are well aware of being competitive with the RED in this regard

I suspect decisions are going to be made more on the cost, ergonomics and workflows of these cameras than they might need 4k some day.

The pictures are of a prototype for testing, not the final production camera. Like RED, the SI people have received feedback and I assume this will be reflected in the final production camera's design.

There are a number of HD cameras coming out in this price range this year, they'll all have pluses and minuses: none of them will perfect for everyone, so having all these choices is good for the industry.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #11
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I totally agree with Brian. The Si is a lot cheaper then RED in many ways especially if you want to own the total package yourself I've looked around to build myself a kit and the si camera in conjunction with other components such as an optar illumina kit (I don't know of a high quality low prised supplement for the zeiss lenses in 35mm, please correct me if I'm wrong) your favourite computer monitor featuring 1920x1080 some standars usb-harddrives(Have we heard anything about what the reddrives will cost?) a small generator and you have a complete recording kit with cheap monitoring, ok it's not color aqurate but who cares since you're recording raw (I'm mean you see if you're totally wrong it's not black and white) the above will set you back about 14k. All that for 34K that unheard of (and you own all by yourself. Thats what I call independent) For that money all I would get in sweden would be a sony f350 with a half decent lens. Then I don't even have monitor capabilities.

The most beatiful thing is that it plugs in perfectly into my already estblished cineform pipeline. I think that RED is a better camera but the SI is the cheapest and best evolved kit/product(til this day, the situation can change of course.)

I really love the fact that people at SI, cineform and irridas are cooperating to give you the whole chain. I mean am I the only one that think it's kind lame that final cut started to support the hd100 just a few months ago (avid xpress still doesen't do it. without tricks) The point is that the companys from jvc to apple just care about their product if they cared they wold guaranteed it before they started to sell their product(especially jvc that should have thought of a sollution before they launched their cameras). With this camera you have guy's and girls that wan't you to have it all the moment you start (ok for now you have to use pp2 but at least you can finnish your projects. I've followed their sperarate paths and all I can say is bravo. (I am in no way affiliated with the companys above I just appreciate people using their knowledge to deliver product that will make my life easier and more independent)

Michael I really think that you're attitude towards the SI-price is really weird. What if they were to sell it for the price of a H1 then what should the H1 cost? 2K and then the Z1 500$ maybe?
I know Jim is a billionaire but I don't think that he's a magician, sooner or later we will understand what his financial plan is. Maybe his model is to loose money on the red and gain it back on wievfinders and redpack(like playstation 3 and xbox 360). I fully support his efforts and I also respect the stuff I mention above(about earning money) But until I see the RED-camera and offer someone 17,5k and they are willing to give it to me I won't believe it. I still can't believe that he can get a fullframe 4k sensor doing 24 frames /s(if he hasn't built his own factory) that cheap that he can sell it for that price. (Don't see this as trolling I really wan't it to be true but I just can't believe it until I see someone owning it).

Actually I'm not biased towards any of these cameras and a lot of my kind words can be equally applied to the RED-team. I just feel that I can't afford the RED if my scepticism towards it is justified. Michael I really feel that a lot of your comments are unjustified. If the RED-team are able to match the SI price point by point that only means that the RED is better not that The SI-is a bad camera that should be be put on some kind of sale. I really think if someone need dirt for giving the customer little love for their money (compared to the two mentioned above) It should be the big companys that never end their greedy productsegmentattion that not only hold the technical quality on independent productions down but also cripple their techical innovation due to their slow professional organisations. (I mean lets give sony a hand of applause for still having their 10 year old f900 as their main professional hd-camera)

I will end this rant with three short sentences.
It's not the size of the sensor that matters but how you use it that is important.
There's no such thing as a free lunch (or a cheap gourme lunch in this case)
RED....I want to believe but I just can't (but I'm crashing my thumbs and holding my breath. Maybe april will be the month they made contact:)
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Old March 10th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #12
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I think there is a lot to be said that our cameras are quite battle-proven, having already shot 3 feature-length films as the only A-camera, then a B-camera on a large-budget feature film shooting with Vipers as the A-camera, and then another feature film, a documentary, and a episodic production in the works as we speak.

The workflow is lightning fast, comprehensive, and is only going to get better (especially wth more user feedback) . . . again, NAB will expose some new treats we're working very hard to implement with our partners. Realize too that our workflow is the only one in the industry that supports a full color-calibration workflow including device, target, and creative profiles all integrated together to make sure that you're getting WYSIWYG from the set to the theatre (or at least as close as possible given the limitations of the display device and viewing environment to emulate the target).

Quicktime support is being implemented as we speak.

So overall all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together quite nicely, and furthermore, real people are getting real work done *today*, and that's with them figuring this stuff out for themselves like real-people do, i.e., we're not sitting with them on-set holding their hands. They use it, they give us feedback, and we implement that and make it a better system.

To look at the SI-2K series of cameras as a security camera bolted onto a PC is doing the system a disservice. The AltaSens chip is not "security-grade", but is manufactured for the highest demanding clients in the broadcast market. It has a 12-bit A/D converter, over 11-bits of dynamic range, 14-bit internal data pathways, and low-noise output. We're not the only ones using it, as it's also being used by Ikegami in a number of their next-generation broadcast camera designs. AltaSens is a spin-off from Rockwell Scientific, the same company that build the imagers in the Hubble Space Telescope and have done an number of high-grade military and scientific parts in the past. They know how to make top-quality sensors.

So we've basically coupled the digital cinema quality of AltaSens sensors with the flexibility of a IT-based architecture. I can't give you all the details on what we're providing for NAB this year, but suffice to say I think you all will be very pleased compared to what we demonstrated last year and reassure you that we are building a professional camera system, not an expensive toy.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #13
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Red pricing on HD for Indies

According to HD for Indies, by the time you get everything you would like with the Red, it will cost about $42k. Everything is detailed there and the "extras" are pricey. And I'm not too sure about the workflow. Isn't it proprietary? What if there is a hitch? Cineform seems to work things out if there is a problem.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #14
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"According to HD for Indies, by the time you get everything you would like with the Red, it will cost about $42k."

looking at 42k does seem high compared to SI2k at approx 22K? ( not sure what is included) but if one is going to list 42K with no details perhaps we should see what one gets for 42K then perhaps load up a SI and see the prices ??

from HD for indies:
Loaded for bear with Red Rail/Cage, two batteries & charger, EVF & LCD, 2 Red Drives, CF & SATA Flash modules, 2 Red SATA Flash modules but no lenses, it is $32,350. Throw in a Red Zoom when it is available and you're just shy of $42,000

so included for 42k is RED body ($17,500), red rails/cage ( $2700), hi def 720 efv ( 2900) , hi def LCD ( 1700) , 2 red drives 360 gig each ( 900 each) , CF & SATA flash modules ( 500 & 1500) , 2 batts /charger (1700) .... add RED zoom 18-85 f2.8 (9,500) ...

perhaps a better price comparison would be looking at camera body( 17500), 1 batt/charger (1200) , 1 drive (900), LCD (1700) = 21,500 for RED ...

and SI2k = ??
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Old March 15th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #15
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BTW, the other really nice thing that people don't consider about CineForm is that they have a unified codec environment. That means you can ingest from a variety of sources, whether it's' HD-SDI (with real-time 3:2 pulldown), HDV (and it's multitude of variations inluding all the 24P flavors), P2 MXF, and of course RAW, and all these clips will play back natively on the same timeline in real-time with multiple streams and real-time effects. REDCODE, while a nifty idea and I'm sure backed by some great technology, is off in it's own world, basically designed for footage from the RED camera, not for a unified editing environment where a multipicity of clips and codecs can all co-exist together and be edited/imported/exported in real-time. CineForm has been constructed from the ground-up to be a powerful "Intermediate" codec. Editing in one of the REDCODE variations is simply like editing with another camera-native codec, with the stipulation that you can't really mix/match cameras together on the same timeline since each camera has their own native codecs that are not designed to work together. As an intermediate codec, CineForm is made to bridge that gap and provide a faster unified working environment, with the added benefit of being tuned for post-production with high-quality visually lossless results over numerous multi-generational passes.
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