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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #1
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The Dictator Thread

No this thread does not have anything to do with creating a regime!

If you have not yet heard of the Dictator please check out: Dictator | Apertus Open Source Cinema

Its also called the "real buttons and knobs project".

Dictator is still in the planning stage. The basic technical framework is pretty much set. We know which parts we will need and what they should do. The next step is to create a proof of concept setup where all the parts are connected together and we implement basic functionality and interfacing with the camera.

The dictator hardware should be designed in a way that makes it flexible to be used with many other applications other than camera controlling as well. For example it can be used as universal remote for controlling music / DJing. It could also work well with the rotary encoders used as Jog/Shuttle wheel as input device for an editing or color correction suite.

The reason for this post now is that I long thought about how to make the button labels and therefor each buttons functionality exchangeable. The buttons next to the LCD do not have labels as their function is shown inside the LCD itself and can be easily altered.
But there is also a number of buttons that do require printed labels. I considered using magnetic metal labels for some time that can easily be switched or replaced but having I never really liked the idea of having magnets all over the case, also the labels could potentially be shook of on heavy vibration (shooting offroad for example).

I recently stumbled upon this audio device and was struck by its button design:

http://mediacdn.shopatron.com/media/...png?1263444038

*) button labels are lit
*) buttons itself could be exchanged by opening the case and switching the rubber buttons that are fixed from the inside

This would add some cost as buttons would have to be custom manufactured but I think its worth the added flexibility.

What do you think?
Sebastian Pichelhofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #2
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what do you actually need to control with this thing?

codec/quality level
shutter speed
white balance
gain/ISO
frame size/dimensions
available frame rates

all of this could be done with a simple 3 button up/down/enter design. with a super cheap monochrome screen.

it sounds like you're over complicating it and trying to create something akin to a REDmote.

i have a few unrelated questions about the elphel though. if you don't mind. :)

is 2k 16:9 (2048x1152) at 25fps possible? you seem to have some conflicting information or errors on your website about that.

in the elphel FAQ is says the delay of the rolling shutter with the 5MPix sensor at full resolution is 1/15 second = 67 milliseconds

what is the delay time in milliseconds of the 5mpix sensor in 2k mode? 1080p? and 720p?

the reason i ask is that the canon 7D and 5D have a 25ms delay in 1080p mode. and that is only just bearable.

also what is the native ISO of the sensor?

cheers
pat
Patrick Jennings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Jennings View Post
what do you actually need to control with this thing?

codec/quality level
shutter speed
white balance
gain/ISO
frame size/dimensions
available frame rates

all of this could be done with a simple 3 button up/down/enter design. with a super cheap monochrome screen.
The Dictator should be able to handle all functions and parameters of the camera. That are a few! more than above.

The goal of the design is not to make it as cheap as possible but as convenient as possible for the DOP. Having every feature hidden in sublevels of a menu that the user has to navigate through is a common habbit most lower end consumer cameras employ, higher end products have their own button for every or at least the most important functions.

Quote:
it sounds like you're over complicating it and trying to create something akin to a REDmote.

i have a few unrelated questions about the elphel though. if you don't mind. :)

is 2k 16:9 (2048x1152) at 25fps possible? you seem to have some conflicting information or errors on your website about that.

in the elphel FAQ is says the delay of the rolling shutter with the 5MPix sensor at full resolution is 1/15 second = 67 milliseconds
Where did you get this from? If there is conflicting information I want to correct it.

Quote:
what is the delay time in milliseconds of the 5mpix sensor in 2k mode? 1080p? and 720p?
Do you mean the delay between pixel readout start of the first pixel of the image to the last pixel of an image?

I will research that for you.
Quote:
the reason i ask is that the canon 7D and 5D have a 25ms delay in 1080p mode. and that is only just bearable.

also what is the native ISO of the sensor?
I am not sure Aptina supplies this information with the sensors datasheet.

Quote:
cheers
pat
Sebastian Pichelhofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #4
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@Sebastian:
I looked at the Kaossilator. There appears to be only two sized buttons here, plus the round one. I expect that there are global outsourcing companies that already make exactly what we want, we only need a specification, or to choose from their catalog . I would think that the buttons themselves could be semi-transparent silicone, and the labels could be self-printed on a clear label material. I expect that there are shops that offer semi-custom die cut labels that you can print onto that would work for this application.
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