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Who makes the RED sensor, aka Mysterium?


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#1 Chris_Burket

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:18 PM

Does anyone know who makes the mysterium sensor? Is it a company secret? Are they making their own? They obviously have a working chip that outputs some amazing images, but I doubt sony or panasonic would have built it for them. If they are fabricating their own chips, wow, now that's impressive!
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#2 Nathan Milford

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:54 PM

Is it a company secret?


Yes.

Are they making their own?


No
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#3 Chris_Burket

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:59 PM

Yes.
No



If its a secret, how do you know they aren't making their own? And if another company is making it, why wouldn't that company want the world to know they make the best, most technologically advanced sensors on the planet?
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#4 Greg Lowry

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:07 PM

If its a secret, how do you know they aren't making their own? And if another company is making it, why wouldn't that company want the world to know they make the best, most technologically advanced sensors on the planet?


It's unlikely that RED is fabricating its own sensors. I assume the secrecy is because RED wants to maintain whatever competitive edge it has for as long as possible. Seems reasonable to me. One can also reasonably assume that this was part of RED's deal with the sensor foundry. Secrets are rarely secrets forever.

Edited by Greg Lowry, 11 September 2006 - 04:09 PM.

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#5 Jim Jannard

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:34 PM

The secrets are not found at the fab house...
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#6 Greg Lowry

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:49 PM

The secrets are not found at the fab house...


Hmm ... mysterium-ous. Even better for RED.
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#7 Deanan DaSilva

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:52 PM

The secrets are not found at the fab house...


It's lies in who designed it :)

(although the fab is important for other reasons)
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:59 PM

Hi,

I asked this question of three people at Red today, in person - apparently they're all convinced that it's somehow important.

However there are about three places that could do it, and it isn't Dalsa or Thompson.

Phil
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#9 Jim Jannard

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:02 PM

Deanan... a voice of reason back on the board. Nice to see you posting here again.

Jim

Hi,

I asked this question of three people at Red today, in person - apparently they're all convinced that it's somehow important.

However there are about three places that could do it, and it isn't Dalsa or Thompson.

Phil


I wasn't at the booth today. :-)

Jim

Edited by Jim Jannard, 11 September 2006 - 05:04 PM.

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#10 Deanan DaSilva

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:11 PM

Deanan... a voice of reason back on the board. Nice to see you posting here again.


Thanks.

So, who designed the chip?

Just joking... :)
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#11 Greg Lowry

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:32 PM

Jim, may we know the sensitivity (range) of the sensor yet? Or perhaps confirmation of the EI/ISO you used for the demo footage? ISO 320 is mentioned in one of Mike Curtis' blogs.
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#12 Jim Jannard

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:39 PM

Greg... great question. Original guess was about ISO 320 when we turned it on. After testing several IR filters and selecting the one we like best, we currently believe the sensor to be ISO 100-125 in "shooting condition". The good news is that the image is SO clean, it is pretty easy to push the ISO up without traditional penalties. Our initial tests of this were too incredible to post without taking some time to verify carefully what we saw. When we get back, it is on our long list of tests to perform. For additional reference, the Arri D20 is rated at ISO 64-80 (or so the tech guys told me). I am not sure what the Dalsa is rated. Maybe Deanan can help us out here.

Jim

Edited by Jim Jannard, 11 September 2006 - 05:42 PM.

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#13 Greg Lowry

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:54 PM

Greg... great question. Original guess was about ISO 320 when we turned it on. After testing several IR filters and selecting the one we like best, we currently believe the sensor to be ISO 100-125 in "shooting condition". The good news is that the image is SO clean, it is pretty easy to push the ISO up without traditional penalties. Our initial tests of this were too incredible to post without taking some time to verify carefully what we saw. When we get back, it is on our long list of tests to perform. For additional reference, the Arri D20 is rated at ISO 64-80 (or so the tech guys told me). I am not sure what the Dalsa is rated. Maybe Deanan can help us out here.

Jim


Thanks for that very candid response, Jim. I appreciate that it was a sprint to get the sensor operable and the demo footage ready for IBC. Lots of testing and tweaking ahead, I'm sure.
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#14 Deanan DaSilva

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:13 PM

Greg... great question. Original guess was about ISO 320 when we turned it on. After installing several IR filters and doing some additional testing, we currently believe the sensor to be ISO 100-125 in "shooting condition". That sounds like bad news. But the good news is that the image is SO clean, it is pretty easy to push the ISO up without traditional penalties. When we get back, it is on our long list of tests to perform. For additional reference, the Arri D20 is rated at ISO 64-80 (or so the tech guys told me). I am not sure what the Dalsa is rated. Maybe Deanan can help us out here.

Jim


Camera iso rating is one of those highly subjective things and people like to have their own ratings (I do it for every film stock I shoot). As such, we recommend that people test the camera and make their own rating choices based on their own criteria. That said, we generally recommend a starting point of 320 for daylight and 250 for tungsten. However, since the camera has alot of latitude (another rating that everyone has their own way of coming up with figures for), you can certainly rate the camera differently depending on the scene content and how much you want to hold in the shadows vs the highlights. The sensor is natively daylight balanced so you can optionally use varying degrees of blue filters to balance in front of the lens but it's not necessary most of the time (again a subjective decision that also impacts the amt of light needed).

I believe the D20 is rated at 300 but some people I've talked to say they generally rate it one or two stops slower.

Deanan
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#15 Jim Jannard

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:28 PM

Deanan makes a great point here, it depends on how you are rating ISO... and the only way to really compare the cameras' ISO is to shoot them side by side with the same set of criteria. If you ask Arri marketing, they might tell you ISO 320 but if you ask the engineers, they might tell you 64-80 (which is what they told me). They both can be correct depending on rating methodology. The real question is what do the images look like at ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, etc. each camera compared to the other.
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#16 Greg Lowry

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:39 PM

Deanan makes a great point here, it depends on how you are rating ISO... and the only way to really compare the cameras' ISO is to shoot them side by side with the same set of criteria. If you ask Arri marketing, they might tell you ISO 320 but if you ask the engineers, they might tell you 64-80 (which is what they told me). They both can be correct depending on rating methodology. The real question is what do the images look like at ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, etc. each camera compared to the other.


This is a useful discussion because not many cinematographers have used single 35mm-sized CMOS sensor cameras yet. Are the variable ISO ratings equivalent to gain or do they exhibit other characteristics?
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#17 Deanan DaSilva

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:19 PM

This is a useful discussion because not many cinematographers have used single 35mm-sized CMOS sensor cameras yet. Are the variable ISO ratings equivalent to gain or do they exhibit other characteristics?


Generally you're mapping your exposure to a nominal output via a LUT or transfer function that is specific to your sensor's characteristics. This gives you the ability to control both the exposure and the tonality derived from the raw.

Deanan
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#18 Michael Collier

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 12:06 AM

The sensor is natively daylight balanced so you can optionally use varying degrees of blue filters to balance in front of the lens but it's not necessary most of the time (again a subjective decision that also impacts the amt of light needed).

Deanan


daylight ballanced eh? Seems like a departure from other chips (I was under the impression that most chips are nativley tungsten ballanced (Every ENG camera I have used at least has about 2/3 stop loss when going from filter 1 to 3 (or 1 to 4 depending on the camera)

I read on your website you have a 29micron pixel size! There was a time when I toyed with the idea of building my own HD camera (Quickly rethought that when I remembered the trouble I had making a simple tachometer/spedometer with a microchip and an smart LCD. The most I ever saw listed on other manufacters' websites was 10-12microns. I imagine that is why you get the S/N ratio and dynamic range availible. I also assume (if its a CMOS chip, not a CCD chip) the larger size reduces the artifcts of the dead zone where the transistor lies.

I am liking the red the more I have seen (now I just need to see some footage) Hey, any plans to show footage at the Anchorage Film Festival (its the premiere festival in the US.....well the non-contiguos US)
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#19 Greg Lowry

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 12:44 AM

daylight ballanced eh? Seems like a departure from other chips (I was under the impression that most chips are nativley tungsten ballanced (Every ENG camera I have used at least has about 2/3 stop loss when going from filter 1 to 3 (or 1 to 4 depending on the camera)

I read on your website you have a 29micron pixel size! There was a time when I toyed with the idea of building my own HD camera (Quickly rethought that when I remembered the trouble I had making a simple tachometer/spedometer with a microchip and an smart LCD. The most I ever saw listed on other manufacters' websites was 10-12microns. I imagine that is why you get the S/N ratio and dynamic range availible. I also assume (if its a CMOS chip, not a CCD chip) the larger size reduces the artifcts of the dead zone where the transistor lies.

I am liking the red the more I have seen (now I just need to see some footage) Hey, any plans to show footage at the Anchorage Film Festival (its the premiere festival in the US.....well the non-contiguos US)


The active pixel array of the RED sensor is 4520 x 2540 (24.4mm x 13.7mm). The sensor pixel pitch it 5.4 microns. 4520 x 5.4um = 24.4mm; 2540 x 5.4um = 13.7mm.
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#20 Deanan DaSilva

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:14 AM

daylight ballanced eh?

I read on your website you have a 29micron pixel size!




Sorry, I think there was a little confusion about my post. The daylight balance is for
the Dalsa Origin and the 29 sq um pixel size is for the Red (5.4 um x
5.4 um as Greg said).


Deanan
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