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How does the camera compare to Red?


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#1 Adam Smith

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:14 AM

I understand that with the Bayer pattern filtering you cut down on resolution, compared to 3-chip cameras. Do you get only some 1440 horizontal pixels equivalent resolution out of the 1920p chip? We discovered some 3K output on Red. Is 1440 enough as even the $7K prosumer XDCAM EX has true 1920p output? Will you ever be bringing out a camera of the image quality of Red, with 4K imager and 35 mm size?
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#2 Alex Worster

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:22 AM

Who is "the invisible hand" behind this Adam Smith? Ha Ha, no judgement intended, I just couldn't help make a lame joke however, it is slightly fitting in regards to these posts.
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#3 Jess Haas

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:38 AM

Yeah, he is a bit too enthusiastic......

~Jess
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#4 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:03 AM

A quick look at all his previous posts should be plenty enough evidence that this person will never contribute anything to this forum . . . get rid of the account, at least in my book.
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#5 Mitch Gross

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:34 AM

It's not a 1920 chip, it is a 2048 chip. Where you get 1440 in the mix is beyond me; it has nothing to do with this camera.

How does the SI-2K compare with the RED One? Very well.
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#6 Max Jacoby

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:29 PM

How does the SI-2K compare with the RED One? Very well.

It's important not to get too hung up in numbers, in the end it comes down to what the image looks and feels like. Besides mere resolution, sharpness and color reproduction are also important. What I've seen from the SI so far looks quite nice for a digital camera. Although I still find that DSLRs invariably look nicer than the current crop of digital cameras.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:40 PM

In a recent online photo I've seen from a shoot, it looks a rather neat hand held camera.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 12 December 2007 - 03:42 PM.

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#8 Mitch Lusas

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 11:36 AM

Well I would say a massive plus over the Red is SI-2K's modular design. By that, I mean it's ability to either use the big SI-2K, or take the Mini off the body and shoot with that. While it requires cords for monitor display and media output, this great helps in handhold operations or placing the camera in hard to reach places. The light weight of the mini also makes it idea for quick rigging and any mount that only holds DV camera weight. That's a huge advantage.

While I still get tempted by 4k resolution and ability to use 35mm, I also know that SI is working on a 35mm adapter, and that 4k is a little overkill for right now. Especially when you consider that most special effects shot, until [i]Spider Man 2[/] were done in 2k resolution.

Now that SI is getting the kinks out of the post-production, it seems like a great choice for any production wishing to have HD footage with lots of control over the image from production to final edit.

Quick questions about the software. How is the stability of the program coming? And why did SI choose a Windows platform?

Thanks,
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#9 Bart van Broekhoven

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:15 AM

And why did SI choose a Windows platform?


Windows is not nesseceraly worse! Si's choice probably is based upon combining best of both worlds - which is the future anyway - and reflects the philosophy behind it, the Joint Venture with p+s. But no worries, I've seen it work in FCP. Besides, to my experience you will not need to use the onboard software that much. All it does is interprete the Raw data. And I don't understand - maybe somebody else does - why do that on set? Furthermore the camera is pretty good, and feels nice (whilst handholding). The Optical Viewfinder option is great (and due to the very poor quality of the electric finder not a luxery at all: it strobes and makes it hard to judge focus accurately). And the option to disconnect the lens and reconnect it via a wire begs for some daring experiments! Great camera for documentaries.

More experiences: http://www.pachacine...p...2&ltemin=39
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#10 Glen Alexander

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:34 AM

Windows is not nesseceraly worse! Si's choice probably is based upon combining best of both worlds - which is the future anyway - and reflects the philosophy behind it, the Joint Venture with p+s. But no worries, I've seen it work in FCP. Besides, to my experience you will not need to use the onboard software that much. All it does is interprete the Raw data. And I don't understand - maybe somebody else does - why do that on set? Furthermore the camera is pretty good, and feels nice (whilst handholding). The Optical Viewfinder option is great (and due to the very poor quality of the electric finder not a luxery at all: it strobes and makes it hard to judge focus accurately). And the option to disconnect the lens and reconnect it via a wire begs for some daring experiments! Great camera for documentaries.

More experiences: http://www.pachacine...p...2&ltemin=39



windows is the worst performing OS in terms of latency, threading, technical performance, windows stinks!

probably choosen because quick easy development time, no real engineering hardware uses windows for real-time processing or anything.
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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:43 PM

windows is the worst performing OS in terms of latency, threading, technical performance, windows stinks!

probably choosen because quick easy development time, no real engineering hardware uses windows for real-time processing or anything.



I suspect Windows was picked because of Cineform.

It also enables you to just use a laptop to run the SI Mini.

Windows works OK when you're only it to run one operation without all the bloatware. Perhaps Jason can comment on the Windows OS system as used in the camera.

However, I don't think you need to meet the real-time processing requirements of a weapons system here.
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#12 Bart van Broekhoven

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:56 PM

I don't think Windows 'stinks' (either). And (as a cinematographer) I don't care about that, that much. Almost everybody knows that we're doing best using the benefits of both platforms. Besides that I know (from personal experiences) that the latest generation of Mac products (the Mac Book Pro for example) comes with a lot of problems. Wouldn't judge it as 'dump' though, it just needs to be fixed. I am not interested in problems, but in people helping out making things work. The Focus Puller 'pulls focus', the Loader takes care of the Data storage, the editor and colorist prepare the Raw data for further enhancements. When it works, it works. And this SI-2K works fine! So why bother about Windows? Just wouldn't connect the camera to the internet and only use legal software updates, to prevent viruses running the system down. To me what counts is what the camera allows you to do with it, as a cinematographer.
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#13 Glen Alexander

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 04:31 PM

I suspect Windows was picked because of Cineform.

It also enables you to just use a laptop to run the SI Mini.

Windows works OK when you're only it to run one operation without all the bloatware.


no it does not, unless you have at least two cpus.

However, I don't think you need to meet the real-time processing requirements of a weapons system here.


if you ever had any intent on capturing raw, uncompressed data>=10/12bits, 4:4:4, of course you would and yes, you absolutely do need real-time processing requirements.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 23 May 2008 - 04:35 PM.

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#14 Glen Alexander

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 04:46 PM

I don't think Windows 'stinks' (either). And (as a cinematographer) I don't care about that, that much. Almost everybody knows that we're doing best using the benefits of both platforms. Besides that I know (from personal experiences) that the latest generation of Mac products (the Mac Book Pro for example) comes with a lot of problems. Wouldn't judge it as 'dump' though, it just needs to be fixed. I am not interested in problems, but in people helping out making things work. The Focus Puller 'pulls focus', the Loader takes care of the Data storage, the editor and colorist prepare the Raw data for further enhancements. When it works, it works. And this SI-2K works fine! So why bother about Windows? Just wouldn't connect the camera to the internet and only use legal software updates, to prevent viruses running the system down. To me what counts is what the camera allows you to do with it, as a cinematographer.



works fine is subjective, since you're already dealing with wavelet compressed data, you're already throwing away valuable and expensive data. tell that the producer who is paying your salary.

unless the compression is guaranteed lossless, you lose information, period.

you want to see how, things should be done look at what these guys are doing

http://www.spectsoft.com/
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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:43 PM

if you ever had any intent on capturing raw, uncompressed data>=10/12bits, 4:4:4, of course you would and yes, you absolutely do need real-time processing requirements.


However, in this case it is compressed 10bit 4:2:2., a compromise, but life is full of those.
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#16 Peter Moretti

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 04:32 AM

works fine is subjective, since you're already dealing with wavelet compressed data, you're already throwing away valuable and expensive data. tell that the producer who is paying your salary.

unless the compression is guaranteed lossless, you lose information, period.

you want to see how, things should be done look at what these guys are doing

http://www.spectsoft.com/

True, but most of this lost information will go unnoticed. I've seen comparions between uncompressed and DNxHD 220 and noticing the difference was incredibly difficult. And CineForm is supposed to be DNxHD's equal (or better) in terms of image quality.

BTW, I checked out the spectrasoft website, but there is no pricing info.. What does one of their HD or 2K recorders go for? Thanks!
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#17 Glen Alexander

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:10 AM

True, but most of this lost information will go unnoticed. I've seen comparions between uncompressed and DNxHD 220 and noticing the difference was incredibly difficult. And CineForm is supposed to be DNxHD's equal (or better) in terms of image quality.

BTW, I checked out the spectrasoft website, but there is no pricing info.. What does one of their HD or 2K recorders go for? Thanks!



the information goes unnoticed only if it's not used. get a good 12-bit dpx viewer and look at the raw data and adjust the gamma parameters, etc, you'll see much more detail with more bits with having to "crush blacks" for example. when you "crush the blacks", you lose a LOT of detail in the shadows and transition regions, but with higher bits you don't have to. i've got some matlab code laying around that will take up to 14-bit raw dpx files, when you compare true 12/14-bit versus 8/10-bit, you never want to touch 8-bit/10 again.

most commerical codecs crush everything down to 8-bit even when you've processed at >10, don't even talk about QT.

spectsoft pricing.

i don't know, i don't work for them, but discussed building a custom acquisition system for myself, portable, light, but NAB came along and now with my shooting schedule, i don't have time for digital, i'm going old school with film.

send an email to Romana info@spectsoft.com
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#18 Jason Rodriguez

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 10:58 PM

The choice for OS was really pretty easy . . . it all comes down to drivers and the ability of the OS to interact with custom hardware.

Good video drivers for all the real-time pixel shaders we're running in the main interface, including the 64-point 3D LUT engine.

Gigabit ethernet drivers for transmitting low-latency information from the camera head to the capture host computer, whether it's a laptop or the SI-2K.

CineForm is very important as well, with the ability to natively encode to either QT or AVI, and have the benefit of developing with the QT API and the DirectShow API, both of which are abscent on Linux. While techically CineForm could be adapted for Linux, the amount of work would be quite high, and then we'd still be stuck on the driver front.

The threading "issues" that are mentioned here are not really issues, especially with the speed of today's processors . . . I'm sure if processors were half as fast as they are now, then this would be a very large issue, but modern Core 2 Duo processors make any overhead that Windows might have compared to Linux miniscule.

Lastly, we're running Windows XP Embedded, not standard XP 32-bit. This allow us to customize the OS quite a bit, removing all the "fluff" from the commercial package, and make a very stable and controlled environment on the SI-2K.

I think there is some mis-information out there when people say "Linux is more stable than Windows" . . . the fact is that there is a lot of junk out there that people can mess up their Windows installs with, but at the base, core functionality of the OS's, you will find that the key to stability when integrating custom hardware is to have very stable drivers. We found that Windows was able to provide better offerings and more mature choices than the counterparts available on Linux.

The nice thing about Linux is that it does provide a lot of extensability, and it's kernel is very stable. With some custom development, I'm sure it would make a great OS for what we're doing. We foudn the XPe kernel to be equally as stable though, and again, there is a lot more support in the development community for the type of hardware we're using to make the camera system possible. And that's basically where the decisions to use XPe over Linux came from.
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#19 Jason Rodriguez

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:02 PM

However, in this case it is compressed 10bit 4:2:2., a compromise, but life is full of those.


We take the 12-bit linear RAW from the sensor head and apply a 10-bit LOG curve to the data in order to preserve the dynamic range of the information being encoded to CineForm. David Newman has a great explanation of why you want to have LOG vs. linear encoding for compressed material here on his blog:
http://cineform.blog...bit-linear.html

After compression, the RAW data decompresses to 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB, not 4:2:2 YUV. For FCP it supports the 32-bit float YUV encoding so that it can make seamless round-tripping between RGB and FCP's native YUV color-space.
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#20 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 04:02 AM

After compression, the RAW data decompresses to 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB, not 4:2:2 YUV. For FCP it supports the 32-bit float YUV encoding so that it can make seamless round-tripping between RGB and FCP's native YUV color-space.


I must've been thinking of their intermediate. The 4:4:4 from the RAW makes more sense.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 27 May 2008 - 04:04 AM.

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