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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:20 AM   #1
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The Apertus Project -open discussion-

In this thread we would like to discuss everything about the concept of an open source project like Apertus. What are our ideas and plans, but mostly: what are your ideas?

We would also like to put the phenomenon of HD cameras (in this case open source cinema) in to perspective with the fast development of DSLR cameras like eos 7D, 5DmkII etc.

To launch this discussion, I will post some interesting comments from an email discussion I had with Lee Parker.

Last edited by Oscar Spierenburg; January 24th, 2010 at 08:03 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Parker
I see a bunch of info on the SCARLET from CES. And, just reading about some amazing tests of the Canon 7D at 24p.
...
RED ONE is less to worry about as an open source cinema camera than Canon. You see why I believe nothing less than a full frame sensor will do.
...
I understand it is difficult to find the development money to get large area sensors, but how can a home built open source camera even compete with the $1800 7D unless its far superior and can compete with the $28,000 RED ONE EPIC?
In my opinion, it's a waist of energy to attempt a direct competition with the Canon DSLR camera line. In terms of sensor, we need to keep in mind that the Elphel camera is under continuous development and I'm sure the next sensor won't be the last.
I think the competition is in the long run and Apertus can be ahead because it will be:
- practical to work with
- upgradeable (even the sensor!)
- reconfigurable (open)
- offering pro-audio

I'd also like the next Elphel/Apertus camera to use a full frame 35mm sensor too, but if it will be a 4/3" and we will work and accomplish the above issues, we have something in our hands. If we than make a switch to a full frame sensor, we have a direct competition, even with the RED. It just takes time and effort to get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Pichelhofer
The nice thing about the possible next sensors for the Elphel 373 (upcoming model) is that they are:

-) CCDs - no more rolling shutter issues like Red or Canon has
-) from Kodak - known for professional work and very supportive of "open business" (do not require non-disclosure-agreement on full sensor datasheet)
-) available in 2 (2/3" Scarlet competitor), 4 (1") and 8 (4/3", four thirds standard has lots of very good lenses to offer) Megapixels, that are pin-out compatible (so they can easily be swapped)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Parker
In any even, we should keep an eye out for accessories for the 7D that are surely being built, to incorporate as the accessories for the OSC.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #3
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Lee Parker wrote:

For 15 years I was a large format cinematographer. I built 2 70mm cameras. I said that digital would never replace the quality of IMAX.

I built my own computer motion control system thinking the same way. Digital can't possible replace the need for motion control camera systems. You'll always need to move the camera.
In retrospect, I was totally naive to think that computer image manipulation software could not replace hardware.

Anything to do with image is replaceable, fixable, improvable by software.
...
Am I being naive to say that a camera itself can be replaced by computer image creation? AVATAR is the writing on that wall.

I hope the functionality of complete world creation and simulation is a long way off. AVATAR took 4 years. In two years, it will take 2 years. In 10 years, it'll take two months to complete a movie like AVATAR. In twenty, software to create AVATAR in IMAX resolution in 3D will be possible for the average talent. Just as they have done with word processing for writers and the music synthesizers for musician. What we see will be limited only by the imagination.

Even today, with word processors that will convert speech to the typed word, where are all the Shakespeares? I just saw James Taylor playing his REAL quitar on the Today show. Sure, computers can and will do anything, but it won't make it art.

As with anyone who can't stand computer music, computer movies like AVATAR will never replace reality, and the quality of light on the face of a beautiful woman, or a winter storm in Yosemite Valley. I grew up as a photographer in a dark room, and I miss the intimacy of watching the image slowly appear on the paper in red of the safe light. I miss the tactile immediacy of you to the image you create.

There will always need to be cameras to shoot movies. As with the advent of the "Craftsman" movement as a rebellion against the industrial era, there will be a rebellion against the "digital era", and movies like AVATAR will be revealed for what they are. Sterile avatars to reality.
...
The beauty of an open source camera to me is a step back toward the dark room, in which making the tools is part of the joy of making the art. Therefore, ars gratia artis. And we should never be stuck on any part of the system as anything less than a temporary means to an end. That what ever we as an open source community does is nothing less than the best, whatever that is.

Lee
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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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Lee,

I totally agree with everything you say... in fact I just showed my girlfriend a package of real photo paper wraped in black sealing. I was amazed it was still on my shelf, and realized that it was just a 'couple of years' ago I was actually developing photographs.
The feeling you describe is the reason I was aiming for an optical viewfinder... regardless if it's the best choice. It's the feel of a real camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee parker

I grew up with an optical viewfinder. I don't believe you are a really good photographer unless you love to have your eye looking at the world through the finder. I agree that the subtle intimacy with the image, because it is a REAL image, and not one artificially produced. It gives you so much more than a video viewfinder will EVER be able to produce.

It's like sampled violin versus a real violin. However unconscious or subtle the difference, EMOTIONALLY, there IS a difference. But, I disagree with you on a pellical(two way mirror for viewfinder). Practically speaking it may be the best way to go, but I would prefer a spinning mirror. You still have the loss of light with the fstop, but it was not so much. When I was shooting movies, I found rarely needed my meter. I could tell by the way the image looked in the viewfinder if I was over or under. And I could set the exposure exactly without ever looking up. This came in handy when you were shooting fast. I heard a story once, about one of my heros, Nestor Alamendros. He always used a 1930's Westin light meter. I finally found one at a garage sale. The story is that when Nestor died, they got his light meter and it was broken. And it had been broken for years. He used to wear it around his neck, and look at it once in a while, but it was only to make other people feel
better. I thought it was a good story until I started doing it myself.

I don't think a open source camera should be about anything being static or "good enough", it should be about a community of artists helping each other to create tools to allow us to constantly improve our individual styles.

The viewfinder from ground glass to eyepiece is exactly the same for pellical or spinning mirror. We make a view finder - full frame to cover the Canon / Nikon / Hasselblad Ziess and I can add a spinning mirror, you can add a pelical and whoever can make whatever.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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While we will never be able to compete with Canon products in terms of mass production and price there is one major difference that will always seperate Apertus from all future DSLR cameras:

DSLR cameras are photo cameras that can also record video.
Apertus is a video camera that can also record still images.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Spier
There will always need to be cameras to shoot movies.
Never has been.
Drawn on film animation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old March 28th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #7
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hi

I'm glad I did found it, guess I thought it is way dead.
got a 7d and a 5d to play with.
found here a stupid discussion sustained recording length and a zillion people claiming the fat32 4gb limit is a EU regulation.
Gosh the camera has it all over the world as Chris put it out, and camcorders are using fat32 too. They dont stop and have to be manually restarted they record seamless.
They are Conon camcorder

I gues it is a bad trick from Canon the 5 and 7 are NO camcorders and not intendet to take the market share of the prosumer market.
politics

second the ergonomics are catastrophic.

I did 2 decades 16 mm Aaton and Arri but Aaton is my beauty.
a viewer is a viewer and even me with glasses I worked comfortably
an LCD with sunlight is ...merde... otherwise to have it beneeth is a great idea.

people are fooled by 18 bla resolution, that is photo,
video 24 frames they do 1920p as usual.

The DOF discusion on 7 or 5 D is a total hype

with a Aaton I did had DOF too allways
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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Dear Oscar

2012 do we might expect an Apertus becomming real?
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Old April 9th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #9
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the holy grail of digital cinematography is film.

Emulate the film-look. Render skin tones as it does. Provide for the same DOF and range, allow for film lenses (PL mounts) and make it better in low-light. I think these are a few of the most important things.

Who cares about resolution?

Oscar, since you have experience making 70mm cameras, then why not go for IMAX resolution? Let the data come out RAW like a tsunami. Let the filmmakers worry about how to capture it. You could keep it onboard to a maximum of 10-20 minutes. They'll live with it.

Here's my wish-list:
PL/EF/EF-S lens mount - Sensor - Convert to RAW - Record to solid-state 10-20 in full IMAX resolution and make proxy files with Cineform - Ethernet out to a netbook for monitoring and data transfer.

Is there any new R&D here, or is just scaling up what's already available?
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Old April 18th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #10
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I admit the website and forums have been a little silent recenty.

This is not caused by the project being dead or abandoned.

Quite the opposite: Oscar is budgeting a small feature short film and I have been visiting the Elphel headquarters in Salt Lake City for several weeks. I did not only participate in assembling Elphels "big-next-thing" a panoramic camera head called Elphel Eyesis (I wrote a blog post here: Elphel Development Blog) but was also able to test Apertus in the field in South-Utah, in an area called the Canyonlands.

Its red colored sand makes it look like mars and we were told that Disney/Pixar is using exactly the same location to start shooting a feature film ("John Carter of Mars") just one week later at the end of March.

Attached is the first processed still. I will need some more time to process all the JP4 RAW files and edit them.
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The Apertus Project -open discussion--cactus.jpg  
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