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NEW D&A-1 720p Camera!


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#1 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 08:40 PM

Hi all:

I want to show you the D&A-1 720p camera that I am working on:

It has a Sony 2/3" CCD sensor and records CineForm Raw at 12-bit directly to a laptop with a CF card as Hard Drive.

The Resolution is 720p (720x1280 true pixels.)

It can record at 24 or 30 fps. (variable also).

It also can record up to 14 bits!

The light sensitivity is better than any current HD camcorder in its price range!

You can see the camera here:


http://www.davidrubi...p...&forum_id=3


What do you think?

Cesar Rubio.
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#2 adam berk

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 10:49 PM

Did you have the electronic shutter turned off in that wmv file? It looks like there is an absurd amount of motion blur.


PS: Cute kid!!!
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:33 AM

[quote name='adam berk' date='Feb 14 2008, 09:49 PM' post='218003']
Did you have the electronic shutter turned off in that wmv file? It looks like there is an absurd amount of motion blur.

/quote]

The tech specs on the camera list: "Frame Rates: up to 15 fps (full resolution) Higher frame rates at smaller AOIs." That would probably explain the motion blur if the recorder is set to 24 fps with the camera at 15 fps. Which is also probably why Cesar likes its low light handling. No further info on shutter speeds is listed.

http://dr-3dcameraco...?products_id=39

"At full image resolution, the AVT PIKE F-421B/C offers up to 15 fps and is thus particularly suited for fast applications in industrial image processing and product automation. The extensive built-in image processing possibilities (image pre-processing) result in outstanding image quality, reduced retouching, less load on the system and higher performance overall."

So, this camera is not really designed for dramatic or even documentary work, but for industrial use. Should AVT come out with a 15fps > camera, I think that would be really interesting.

I liked the image softness on the kid's clip, and I LOVED that it uses C-mount lenses. And while I think true 720p is great, the camera still has to mature from industrial to dramatic aplications to truly compete against Panasonic and the rest of such camera manufaturers. Oh, and a more user friendly physical design, with a non-laptop interface would be great . . .

Very intriguing little camera though. Like a mini Phantom HD, kinda?
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#4 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:27 AM

Did you have the electronic shutter turned off in that wmv file? It looks like there is an absurd amount of motion blur.


PS: Cute kid!!!



Thanks for your comments Adam.

I have to look into the shutter thing.

Cesar Rubio.
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#5 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:25 AM

The tech specs on the camera list: "Frame Rates: up to 15 fps (full resolution) Higher frame rates at smaller AOIs." That would probably explain the motion blur if the recorder is set to 24 fps with the camera at 15 fps. Which is also probably why Cesar likes its low light handling. No further info on shutter speeds is listed.

http://dr-3dcameraco...?products_id=39

"At full image resolution, the AVT PIKE F-421B/C offers up to 15 fps and is thus particularly suited for fast applications in industrial image processing and product automation. The extensive built-in image processing possibilities (image pre-processing) result in outstanding image quality, reduced retouching, less load on the system and higher performance overall."

So, this camera is not really designed for dramatic or even documentary work, but for industrial use. Should AVT come out with a 15fps > camera, I think that would be really interesting.

I liked the image softness on the kid's clip, and I LOVED that it uses C-mount lenses. And while I think true 720p is great, the camera still has to mature from industrial to dramatic aplications to truly compete against Panasonic and the rest of such camera manufaturers. Oh, and a more user friendly physical design, with a non-laptop interface would be great . . .

Very intriguing little camera though. Like a mini Phantom HD, kinda?



Hi Saulie:

The Pike F-421c camera that you are making reference to, is a 2K camera. At 2048x2048 pxs, the camera can run at 16 fps max actually.

But at 2048x1080 (2K Cinema resolution) it can achieve 24fps easily. At 1080p it can achieve up to 30fps in Raw-8 (8 bit).

If you want to record (and you should) in Raw-12 (12 bit), then you have to reduce the AOI (Area of Interest).

I like the 2.40:1 Cinema aspect ratio very much.

With the Pike F-210c camera, I can achieve 24 fps in Raw-12 at 800x1920 pxs. (2.40:1 aspect ratio).

The same applies for the F-421c camera since both Kodak sensors are almost identical.



For the F-145c camera, at 1388x1038 the maximum frame rate is 30 fps in Raw-8.

At 720x1280 pxs. (720p), it can achieve like 37 fps in Raw-8.

In Raw-12 (12 bit) or in Raw-16 (14 bit), it can achieve up to 30 fps at 720p!

Regarding for the softness of the image, I did not applied any Sharpening in camera nor in post.

Also I did not make any color correction in post.

Right now we are working in some de-bayering problems with CineForm with this camera in particular.

The Shutter speed can be changed to completely erase the blur that Adam also talked about.

But the problem is that I have to make a "conversion table" of the scientific one that is in StreamPix 3.37, to a more Cinema friendly one like 1/60th, 1/500th etc.

The default shutter speed is set to very low, hence the blur problem.

Also Streampix (Norpix) has said that if there is enough interest, they could make a Cinema style recording software. Probably like the one in the SI-2K camera.

I could probably make (a home style , since I don't have much recourses) integrated design of the camera. I thought of putting the laptop in the arm support too, but I rather have the weight on my backpack that in my shoulder an arm.

In the 7" touch screen you can make ALL the adjustments of the camera right there!

The only time that you need to touch your laptop is for powering it on and off. And that also I need to figure it how to do it remotely with a button close to my camera.

I don't want to have the camera in stop for very long periods of time nor the laptop spending battery power running in idle.

I am working in a complete "solid state" recording solution, and that means that you can jump, run or whatever with this camera-laptop configuration, and NOT a single frame will be dropped!

I think that this camera could compete directly with the Panasonic AG-HPX500, and even that camera only has 2/3" sensors with 960x540 actual pxs.

The Varicam has 720x1280 true 2/3" pixels.....just like the Pike F-145c.

I know those cameras have 3 CCD sensors, which gives slightly more resolution. But can they record at 14 bit or Cineform Raw? ;)


Thanks,
Cesar Rubio.
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#6 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:42 AM

Or at 4:4:4 color sampling?..... :rolleyes:
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#7 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:57 AM

Very intriguing little camera though. Like a mini Phantom HD, kinda?


Sauli:

Thanks for comparing the Pike F-145c camera to a "Mini" Phantom HD camera, which I think its an extraordinary camera that can accomplish what others can't.

I've seen the videos in their website and they are awesome!

To be able to capture at those incredible 1000 fps in HD resolution the Phantom uses a CMOS sensor.

CMOS sensors are faster than any CCD sensor, but they have other problems...like Rolling shutter ones.

I don't need to shot at those frame rates most of the time and in a regular movie production it would be used very seldom too. (The Matrix and Superman returns are the exceptions probably).

It would be nice to have a camera like that for such especial (and beautiful) effects.

But for more than 99% of the time, a "slow" CCD will do it just fine...and with not rolling shutter artifacts BTW.

Cesar Rubio.
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:26 PM

Cesar:
Wow! I am very impressed .

Have you thought about using something like the Firestore or those hardrives that record DVCPRO HD/ HVD but somehow encoding (I don't want to say compressing) full raster 12 or 10 bit video data to go Firewire in? That may be dumb, but worth a try. I mean, as great as having 12 bit 4:4:4 2k video is, what is the point if one needs to haul large amounts of equipment to record it, even a laptop would be too much for me. I wouldn't mind recording onto a Firestore at 1080p 24p DVCPRO HD or Pro Res 422 if it meant making my life so much easier (I WOULDN"T record HDV though. . .) Especially when it is a tiny crew or one-man shows like the ones I usually do.

Also, can you mount the cameras on tripods? How about using it with a Steadycam-style harness? Or on-the-shoulder handheld? These are the things us gear-head film/ video dudes are going to be asking for as well, so you may want to start thinking about that as well, if you already haven't.

In the near to mid future I will be looking for a personal true HD camera to buy. I this camera meets my physical handling, ease of recording expectations I would certainly consider buying it . . .

Thanks!
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#9 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:02 PM

Cesar:
Wow! I am very impressed .

Have you thought about using something like the Firestore or those hardrives that record DVCPRO HD/ HVD but somehow encoding (I don't want to say compressing) full raster 12 or 10 bit video data to go Firewire in? That may be dumb, but worth a try. I mean, as great as having 12 bit 4:4:4 2k video is, what is the point if one needs to haul large amounts of equipment to record it, even a laptop would be too much for me. I wouldn't mind recording onto a Firestore at 1080p 24p DVCPRO HD or Pro Res 422 if it meant making my life so much easier (I WOULDN"T record HDV though. . .) Especially when it is a tiny crew or one-man shows like the ones I usually do.

Also, can you mount the cameras on tripods? How about using it with a Steadycam-style harness? Or on-the-shoulder handheld? These are the things us gear-head film/ video dudes are going to be asking for as well, so you may want to start thinking about that as well, if you already haven't.

In the near to mid future I will be looking for a personal true HD camera to buy. I this camera meets my physical handling, ease of recording expectations I would certainly consider buying it . . .

Thanks!



Saulie:

I have thought about all those things that you mentioned.

First, you need a computer to record from this camera. Like I said before, you can carry the laptop and 2 batteries in the backpack.

You don't need to see them or touching them for anything (For now just the on/off switch like I said before)

You can control everything from the 7"LCD monitor. The c-mount lens is a manual one, you control focus and lens aperture with it.

When you set up your camera for sharpness, gamma, saturation, frame rate, AOI pixels etc. You barely will use the monitor, except for record and stop.

The software saves the last used settings, so you wont have to do this every time. Probably White balance only.

But since you record to CineForm Raw directly, you can change that in post also! (In Premier Pro with CineForm Prospect 2K installed).

With a 16GB Sandisk CF card, you can record like an hour of CineForm Raw-12 (12 bit) High Quality video with sound!

If you fill out the CF card, you can remove it easily and put an empty card for more recording.

Soon 32GB and 64GB cards will be available for the consumer market. Imagine how many hours you will be able to record with out removing the CF card (which is easy to do anyways, but then you have to create a new directory in Streampix that will take a few seconds)

Or you can have another card reader and CF card ready (in a USB port) to use right away!


The D&A-1 720p camera with the monitor and mic is way to much lighter than a Varicam for sure, that weights 16.8 lbs "in operation".

Actually it weights almost like my DVX-100 camera mounted in the same bracket. I need to weight both to tell you for sure.

The laptop barely weight 5 pounds. Each battery probably 1 lb. I rather have the weight on my back (or chest) than in my arms and shoulder.


If i had the resources of Jim Jannard, probably I will built an integrated PC in the camera. It can be done like in the SI-2K camera or in the Red camera BTW.

But such design and manufacture would increase the price significantly. The complete SI-2K camera package is close to 20K isn't?

This is a "poor-men Varicam" style camera. I did not have to design anything (except for some modifications in the shoulder support).

All of the components are "off the shelve" ones. You can buy them almost everywhere in the world.

Yes you can mount the camera in a tripod. Actually the video of my son David was made with the Pike F-145c camera in a tripod by itself.

In the support shown in the pictures on my site, there is a threaded hole in the bottom rail to put a tripod adapter.

That way you can use a tripod in a hurry with out having to take the camera, monitor and LCD screen off the bracket!

I will post more videos (color corrected with Finesse 2 this time) in the near future on my site.

I think that this camera will fill a need of Independent producers like me that don't have fortunes to spend in a camera system...but like the BEST quality their money can buy!

Actually this camera can be used for HD event videography as well!

Try that with a 1/3 HD camcorder....

Can you get a constant f1.2 aperture zoom (6x) lens for $315 for the Varicam camera?

You can get a 2/3" 12.5mm-75mm f1.2 lens for this camera for that incredible price of $315!

Thanks,
Cesar Rubio.
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#10 Anmol Mishra

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:22 PM

I am doing a project using a DXC9100P 3-CCD 1/2-inch sensor PAL camera for a DIY cam. I am thinking of mounting a PC board as well. The Analog DXC offers VGa output @ 25fps AND 50 fps which I will ingest using a framegrabber card.
On the current topic, it should not be a problem integrating a PC board in a housing. The problem is the Center of mass. With the camera and the lens I think it may already be "front heavy"

Just wondering if any of you would think there is a market in making camera mounted PCs. I am thinking of designing a PC with screw mount so it can be mounted on top of the camera.
This PC will have slots for a battery and a hot shoe mount on top as well to attach a touchscreen.
There are tons of people trying to build their own..


Saulie:

I have thought about all those things that you mentioned.

First, you need a computer to record from this camera. Like I said before, you can carry the laptop and 2 batteries in the backpack.

You don't need to see them or touching them for anything (For now just the on/off switch like I said before)

You can control everything from the 7"LCD monitor. The c-mount lens is a manual one, you control focus and lens aperture with it.

When you set up your camera for sharpness, gamma, saturation, frame rate, AOI pixels etc. You barely will use the monitor, except for record and stop.

The software saves the last used settings, so you wont have to do this every time. Probably White balance only.

But since you record to CineForm Raw directly, you can change that in post also! (In Premier Pro with CineForm Prospect 2K installed).

With a 16GB Sandisk CF card, you can record like an hour of CineForm Raw-12 (12 bit) High Quality video with sound!

If you fill out the CF card, you can remove it easily and put an empty card for more recording.

Soon 32GB and 64GB cards will be available for the consumer market. Imagine how many hours you will be able to record with out removing the CF card (which is easy to do anyways, but then you have to create a new directory in Streampix that will take a few seconds)

Or you can have another card reader and CF card ready (in a USB port) to use right away!


The D&A-1 720p camera with the monitor and mic is way to much lighter than a Varicam for sure, that weights 16.8 lbs "in operation".

Actually it weights almost like my DVX-100 camera mounted in the same bracket. I need to weight both to tell you for sure.

The laptop barely weight 5 pounds. Each battery probably 1 lb. I rather have the weight on my back (or chest) than in my arms and shoulder.


If i had the resources of Jim Jannard, probably I will built an integrated PC in the camera. It can be done like in the SI-2K camera or in the Red camera BTW.

But such design and manufacture would increase the price significantly. The complete SI-2K camera package is close to 20K isn't?

This is a "poor-men Varicam" style camera. I did not have to design anything (except for some modifications in the shoulder support).

All of the components are "off the shelve" ones. You can buy them almost everywhere in the world.

Yes you can mount the camera in a tripod. Actually the video of my son David was made with the Pike F-145c camera in a tripod by itself.

In the support shown in the pictures on my site, there is a threaded hole in the bottom rail to put a tripod adapter.

That way you can use a tripod in a hurry with out having to take the camera, monitor and LCD screen off the bracket!

I will post more videos (color corrected with Finesse 2 this time) in the near future on my site.

I think that this camera will fill a need of Independent producers like me that don't have fortunes to spend in a camera system...but like the BEST quality their money can buy!

Actually this camera can be used for HD event videography as well!

Try that with a 1/3 HD camcorder....

Can you get a constant f1.2 aperture zoom (6x) lens for $315 for the Varicam camera?

You can get a 2/3" 12.5mm-75mm f1.2 lens for this camera for that incredible price of $315!

Thanks,
Cesar Rubio.


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#11 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:16 PM

I am doing a project using a DXC9100P 3-CCD 1/2-inch sensor PAL camera for a DIY cam. I am thinking of mounting a PC board as well. The Analog DXC offers VGa output @ 25fps AND 50 fps which I will ingest using a framegrabber card.
On the current topic, it should not be a problem integrating a PC board in a housing. The problem is the Center of mass. With the camera and the lens I think it may already be "front heavy"

Just wondering if any of you would think there is a market in making camera mounted PCs. I am thinking of designing a PC with screw mount so it can be mounted on top of the camera.
This PC will have slots for a battery and a hot shoe mount on top as well to attach a touchscreen.


Hi Anmol thanks for your input.

"There are tons of people trying to build their own.." -Include Norpix in those "people".

They have the engineers and knowledge to make this a reality very soon. The best thing is, at a very reasonable price!

If you think about it, most of the current projects are based on CMOS sensors that are not well suited for digital cinema (in my opinion), for the rolling shutter problems.

The only camera that has a Kodak 1.2" CCD sensor (like the Pike F-421c camera, which is almost identical to the Kodak 1"CCD in the Pike F210c camera as well) is the Nox 2K camera:


http://gs-vitec.com/...a-techspecs.php


Just look at the beautiful images that it produces. And it has (like all CCD sensors) a "Global Shutter"! That means that records every frame at once! Perfect.

The only "problem" that I see with such camera is the price....

That's when we come to the rescue of the "poormen"....just like me. ;)

With other good based CCD and more affordable solutions.


Thanks,
Cesar Rubio.
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#12 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 09:56 AM

Hi everybody:

For some time now, the people from Norpix and I, have been talking to make the StreamPix recording software more Digital Cinema "friendly".

Yesterday when they saw my D&A-1 camera, they liked it so much than they told me that they are ready for "Rock&Roll" (They didn't use that word..it's mine). :lol:

And not only the software, but a complete Field Recorder! So we don't have to use a laptop at all.

Now, we need your help.

Tell us what features you want.

But please lets make this the simplest possible, so it can be done faster and cheaper.

We want to keep the whole project in the $10K range for a real 720p 2/3" Sony CCD camera solution.

And probably around $12.5k for 1080p 1" Kodak CCD based camera. A 2K camera with a 1.2 Kodak CCD sensor would be like $14k probably.

Those prices reflect a complete package for recording. We don't plan to start at half
(misleading BTW prices), and then with all the "accessories" to make work the camera you end up paying double (at least).

Does a CMOS based 35K US Dlls (real price) camera comes to your mind with this?

In the Red user forum, I've seen how people wants hundreds of features in one camera. That can't be done with any camera!

My Panasonic DVX-100 camera would be a good example of a workable simple design. It has what is most needed and buttons at easy reach.

Also, real Film Cameras are the simplest image recorders ever, and they have been the "workhorses" of the Cinema Industry for decades!

If Film is going to be replaced (and it will be) by Digital Cinema cameras one day, we need to have the same easy interface of Film Cameras.

We want to make movies, not to have the latest toy with the most "bells & whistles" to show off. If you want to do that, buy a 2009 Hummer H3 instead.

So keep the ideas and suggestions rolling guys.

It's time for a Real Digital Cinema Revolution! ( Revolutions are always started by the poor and oppressed guys...not by Millionaires.) :rolleyes:

Thanks,
Cesar Rubio.
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#13 Cesar Rubio

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:50 PM

The 2K camera version would be like $15K to be more realistic.

Thanks,
CR.
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