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Matthew Kane

Open source camera--Apertus Axiom

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Ok, somebody needs talk to me about this. An open source 4k cinema camera. I believe they'll be releasing the plans this summer, and perhaps selling prototypes.

 

http://axiom.apertus.org/index.php?site=alpha

 

I've been wondering when the open source hardware movement would find its way to the camera world.

 

I'd be amazed if this project didn't flop (the beta version they want to sell via kickstarter seems more like an interesting paperweight than a working camera), but man, I would love to beta test. Perhaps someone else will pick up where this group leaves off.

 

So. The topic is, will you someday be building your production camera out of off the shelf parts, like a PC? My position: it will be possible, but it'll be more of a hobbyist pursuit, and the heir to Epic, Alexa, etc will have features the home builders still can't touch. Perhaps there will be a few models developed (like Redhat Linux) that are more widely adopted in professional applications.

 

The first professional cinematographers had to build their own cameras, y'know...

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Well, I guess that's what these guys are attempting to do right now, not someday.

"Off-the-shelf" parts already include the sensor and associated chip sets.

Even so, the amount of engineering required to put it all together into a reliable,
working camera is substantial, as evidenced by the scope of this group effort.

For a solitary hobbyist to tackle at this level, the obstacles seem overwhelming.

If one day it evolves into a kit of some sort, well that's different. All the heavy lifting
is already done.

Like yourself, though, I'm quite intrigued by it. Still, you have to watch out, because efforts
like these can become careers in themselves. A long time ago I embarked down a similar path,

wanting to build a 35mm motion picture camera. It necessitated becoming a machinist first, which

led to a career for awhile in the machine tool industry, before I actually ended up with a camera

that could contribute to my ambitions as a filmmaker.

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Yeah, at some point, you wind up just reinventing the wheel. Which is why I'm glad other people are breaking the ground!

 

The dynamic range knob is a pretty novel--and it's an exciting idea that I might be able to swap my sensor as easily as I swap a graphics card. It'd be especially interesting if somebody with capitol got really interested, and soaked up the R&D costs for the chance to sell kits, prefab hardware, upgrades, accessories, etc.

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