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"New" super-8 camera to market
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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:35 PM
What is the url/address for the webpage?
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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:57 PM
We will make sure to post all relevant information when we launch but right now we are not ready.
Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:29 PM
Thanks Lasse for his work, I find very interesting this camera for some jobs with negative Vision3.
Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:18 PM
will internal specs for the camera be made available at some point? While not an issue in the short term I can imagine a well used camera might require a bit of a service at a later date. And it would be good to have some docs that help that out - rather than the process of trial and error that otherwise accompanies the restoration of other Super8 cameras.
And on that note perhaps information could be supplied on where/how spare parts could be acquired. Obviously all of this sort of thing can become dated, but having as much information available now will make future reconstruction of the present a little easier.
Posted 17 November 2013 - 02:02 PM
We already have an internal service manual for the camera that also describes how to bring up the camera from initial production, what voltages can be measured where and how different signals shot look like (oscilloscope plots).
the "only" failure mechanism we have in the camera which is not protected (like motor drive etc.) is a couple of electrolytic capacitors these will dry out in a matter of 10-20 years other than these there shouldn't be much that can break.
if we decide to obsolete our S8 camera or for some reason our company should cease to exist its my promise that we will post all relevant schematics, reference/service manuals, firmware source code and order numbers for various parts onto these forums for public access.
obviously we have no plans for obsolescence nor ceasing to exist however we appreciate that people that purchase our camera wants to keep it alive and kicking and we will do our best to ensure they have all the means to do so beyond warranty.
we will not release schematic's etc. as long as the product is selling actively as we want to protect our investment against replicas.
Posted 17 November 2013 - 03:54 PM
Thanks for all your updates. Welcome back! How exciting news. I have a respect about all your efforts.
I do not want to be understand as an impolite person among the members including you. But I strongly believe that releasing schematics will be not a problem in this era despite its your own secret.
Its not a problem making clones nowadays, and was in the past. The most important thing is your build quality and after-sales service.
I know the manufacturers who have more than 50 years experience in this field and still active with the sophisticated people and machinery.
The big danger might come from China as they began to manufacture with the better manufacturing capability at very affordable and unbelievable prices.
Good luck, and I wish a wholeheartedly success in your sales.
All the Best,
Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:49 PM
I posted the news on Kodak Motion Picture's facebook page if they don't know already, as a way of informing them of the support coming for their S8 products. I have some plans and ideas to pursue more proffesional S8 projects this coming year, so this camera may be very necessary for me.
Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:56 PM
Please keep in mind you're addressing a niche market. So small we can safely say it will never get the attention of bigger manufacturers. Few people today use super-8. Within those people fewer need a "professional" camera. And even fewer of this last group will consider buying a brand new super 8 camera.
This makes me wondering if your camera really have some new technology to protect. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but what do your camera really offers compared to a Beaulieu 6008 or a Fujica ZC1000 apart from the all electronic framing ? Do you really have some patents to protect ?
On the other way, think that if you share your schematics with a bunch of passionate people, if you work in an "open source" way, maybe you will see some people coming with very good ideas on how to ameliorate your design. Don't forget, you're addressing a very specific niche with very specific needs who for a good part know their stuff extremely well...
Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:47 PM
Hi Tom and Erkan,
I appriciate your feedback and while our design is not rocket science nor the holy grail of electronics, there's still a few novel ideas behind it, especially in the motor control circuitry (nothing worth filing a patent over, but still). The motor controller we have implemented takes up an A4 page in schematic form and is a complete stand-alone PLL circuit without any processor intervention (after the reference frequency has been programmed into a direct digital synthesizer) - the circuit is (when you look at it) seemingly simple. However devil is in the details, and we've spend more than a year to refine it and it's made so universal that the exact same motor controller will be used in our 35mm camera that we have in development.
I'm a fan of open source and that's why we are opening up our remote control WIFI protocol for people to write their own apps (if they want to) however the actual processor source code is not something that we want to provide as open source (while we are still active) as the internal power supplies requires sequencing during power on and when changing frame rate for example - and if this is not observed properly the camera can "self destruct" so we wouldnt want to allow people to "play around" with the source code as we have a warrany obligation to fullfill and this could brik the camera.
Regardless of the product you go out and buy in the market today let it be niche or mainstream you cannot expect the vendor to provide you with schematics and source code, I cant think of any product I've ever purchased that gave me this to go with it actually and although it would be nice there's ofcause the competitive element in it in that you dont want to enable others to copy your product. But more importantly (and why we are extra careful) is that you dont want your customers to take your product apart and potentially brik it and especially the warrenty issue is something that we take very seriously - we will honor warrenty but we do not want to put ourselves in a situation where we (for instance by providing schematics etc.) risk that people think they can fix it themselves (or think they can improve it) and then potentially damage the camera even more beyond repair - we will also service cameras that has passed warrenty or is still in its warrenty period but we really dont want to touch anything that people have taken apart and done stuff to which we cannot control - just like your mobile phone, xbox, camera, headset or whatever you purchase there's a "warrenty void" seal on the product which we expect people to honor.
We perhaps would consider sharing block level diagrams with signal information and power supply build up (all the stuff that would normally fail after say 10 years) along with internal test point information but that would be on a case by case basis and we wouldnt want to share this at all when a camera is still within it's 2 year warrenty period.
Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:05 AM
Thanks Lasse, I understand your concerns.
I've been looking through this thread and I think there's some missing information about your design I'm curious to know... First, there's no mention of the shutter speed, and if it's continuously variable. Is your oscillating mirror acting as a shutter like in the beaulieu design or is there a separate pale (or two if variable) like in other designs ? Second, did you measured the noise level ?
Did you consider to make a more modular camera ? I mean, with the ability to change the motor or viewfinder for example.
Also, I feel the separate pressure plate and pin registration are unnecessarily expenses to the design... I know I'm going against the myth that a pressure plate makes the film more stable, but in "real life", having shot both super 8 and single 8, I never really noticed any sensible difference in sharpness due to instability of film plane. And I thought this debate was close after some tried with no results the "precision" plates for cartridges. As for registration pin, when we see the superior stability of Aaton cameras, we need to wonder if it's really this useful. And when I see an over engineered camera like the ZC1000, I doubt that it lacks one because Fuji were cheap...
Posted 20 November 2013 - 01:48 PM
the shutter is the oscillating mirror it is fixed at 180degrees and the frame rate is freely programmable from say 8-54fps (we are still validating the rates)
the frame rate is Any Rate programmable so you could have 23.567fps if you want but during recording its fixed to what ever you set it to.
there's a phase advance feature that adds 0.25fps to your programmed fps setting while you hold this button (during recording) we could allow people to freely program the phase advance frequency - say you want 25fps when pressing record but then have 50fps programmed as alternate speed which can then be activated immediately on the fly while recording by pressing that button.
basically imagination sets the limits.
we have not measured the ambient noise in dB yet this is on our "to do" list.
I feel I need to point out that our camera is a commercial product NOT a DIY kit we do not want people to do anything with it other than filming. We provide open source only on our remote protocol as there might be creative people out there who can do a better job on the app side we don't want people hacking our camera or swapping motors (why would you!?) - perhaps I'm missing the obvious.
Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:05 PM
Great information. This continues to give me a woody.
Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:53 PM
Thank you Lasse.
Too bad the shutter angle is fixed, I feel variable shutter is a must in a pro camera.
When I said "modular", I did not mean "hacking", but simply have different options to adapt different needs. I think when you're in such a niche, a product needs to be more "custom tailored"... For example, having swappable motors on a 1:1 shaft would permit some user to put a time lapse specific motor or a high speed one to go up to 100 fps. A lot of 16mm and 35mm cameras from before 1970s had this feature.
I'm just thinking out loud here. I find your adventure interesting, even if I don't really see the point. I think there's a great part in the pleasure we find in filming in 8mm to use some finely made gear with stylish retro design. I can safely say that for most of 8mm user their camera weights a lot in the affection they have for the format. We must not forget that there's already some very fine designs which can be purchased for the fraction of what this camera will cost. I already own the legendary ZC1000, and if you want me to buy a newer camera, I feel it should have at least as many features, i.e. up to 72fps, variable shutter and optical viewfinder (sorry, I really don't like the LCD, I don't want an 8mm camera to feel like digital). The whole point to me is to feel in your hands a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, and I have the impression you insist too much on not so pertinent features at the expense of overall build quality and design.
I may sound very skeptical, but I actually really hope you'll find some customers, since you're making in your way the Super 8 community alive. I just fear you're not heading in the right direction. But I sincerely hope you prouve me wrong.
Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:56 AM
As far as I understand the fixed angle is chosen for the cost of the system.
Nobody needs the motor shaft systems seen in the Bolexes, as well as motor changing options seen in the Arriflex 16St (S), 16M, and Bolexes, etc. in the past, these days. They are bulky for today's users and the new generation.
If you want higher speeds then you gonna have a camera accepting magazines for the bulk stocks as I have mentioned in my early posts.
I have owned and used ZC1000 "New" in the past, and was more than happy to sell it immediately. I prefer to use the term "legendary" for the Beaulieus. The Fujica line was never consisted of robust cameras. By the way, I have a full kit of Z800 now. I never try to compare my Nikon R10 even...
Lasse's camera is planned as a blimped production camera for the most available stocks of today, not for crash testing...
Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:07 AM
I see your point Erkan, but to me it still would be a cool feature, and I'm convinced that it could be done in a very compact way, like for the ACL. I agree with you that a small compact camera is to be preferred, but Lasse's camera is already much more bulkier than your average 8mm camera. Call me crazy, but I always thought it would be cool to have the possibility to hand crank my camera or to put a clockwork motor, and save some batteries since most of the time I don't need pinpoint speed stability. I know I'm just daydreaming, fact is we all have a different idea of the perfect camera. I'm just throwing some ideas, who knows...
Your experience with the Fujica is intriguing to me, because I feel the exact opposite ! I own a couple of Beaulieu 4008xx, and I got my hands on most of the top cameras like the Leicina, the 1014 or even the R10, and I always felt none of them has the combination of features and build quality of the ZC1000. My 4008 feels cheap to me...
But I don't listen to me, I guess I'm too "romantic" with 8mm !
Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:43 AM
I see you very well, my colleague! C'est genial.
I have respect your ideas. You are a fan of ZC1000, because of the manual effects, rewinding, top speed capabilities, and finally pressure plate due to the Single-8 system. I prefer some of those for 16mm not 8mm. I also have an ACLII and a Scoopic 16M set.
As far as I know, the re-manufacture was planned by the Wittner in Germany of the Beaulieu 4008 and 7008 PRO some years ago, but postponed...
Only time will tell! I don't want to write further before the Lasse's camera is released... What we saw is a couple of prototype pictures, the final camera might look different! But you, Tom, too, are right, if you leave the cosmetic appearance and design to the technicians only, it will be probably a monster for a camera using the small cartridges...
Lasse is right, too much manipulation can cause postponing the releasing time and confusion for the project. The best thing for Lasse and the team behind it, having made limited quantity first, then distribute to the several rental houses and selected filmakers to be able to get the pros and cons feedback.
Edited by Erkan Umut, 21 November 2013 - 08:44 AM.
Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:49 AM
Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:58 AM
I'm assuming that aside from the fixed 180 shutter, there will still be an option for an open shutter, or time exosure during single frame shooting? I saw that time lapse looks to be programable, but was unclear if "exposure time" was referring to time intervals or actual exposure time?
Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:00 PM
What does the Digital Bolex have to do with anything? I am all for that camera and crazy curious to see if it successful, but it's not relevant to this discussion.
Edited by Matt Stevens, 21 November 2013 - 12:00 PM.