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Could this be the perfect sensor for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera Mark II?

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#21
Andrew Reid

Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

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Got a reply back from the nice people at CMOSIS.


"As you can read in the our press release is the CMV12000 mainly targeting industrial vision alike application. This is mainly due to the presence of the global shutter architecture which is a requirement when capturing moving objects (like in production lines, traffic cameras…). The sensor has a global shutter only, not a rolling shutter. There's indeed an image quality trade-off when choosing for global shutter and this is mostly a penalty in dark noise and dynamic range compared to rolling shutter only sensors.

However we see indeed that a lot of interest is coming from the broadcast industry as well because of it's resolution and reasonable pricing. I would rather not provide the full price list but can tell that the sensor sells for less than $1700. The exact reasons why the CMV12000 is so attractive is probably because there are not tot much alternatives but I guess that people like Blackmagic Cinema Camera can probably elaborate more on this."

#22
TC

Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

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@cameraboy Nice links. Yes, looks like the Blackmagic sensor really does have superb dynamic range, presumably due to the dual gain readout, as in Arri's sensor. It's almost like a HDR mode built into the sensor - applying high gain for the shadows and low gain for the highlights, then recombine in the digital output.

@Andrew Great that you contacted CMOSIS. I hope they are watching the camera industry closely and working on sensors aimed less at scientific applications and more at cameras.

#23
Andrew Reid

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

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bmc sensor is much better than CMV12000...
it uses same Dual Gain Architecture technology as arri alexa sensor (http://www.arri.com/...xas_sensor.html ) and even in global shutter mode beats CMV12000 in DR ...
http://www.cmosis.co...oducts/cmv12000
https://docs.google....fcHpGpQFhB6bgnQ


Interesting stuff about dual gain architecture (DGA). The Blackmagic Cinema Camera's scientific sensor shares this - how do we know? They should put it on the marketing material, that is a big thing. No wonder the highlights are so good.

I think the industrial sensor industry has so much to offer cinema.

Their main market is scientific because that is where the money is. Cinema cameras would be a smaller niche but they wouldn't stay niche for long with image quality and pricing like this.

#24
cameraboy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

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now we can be 100 percent sure that BMCC use fairchild CIS 2051 ( only sensor in the market with BMC sensor spec) ...
http://www.andor.com...s-dynamic-range

#25
FilmMan

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

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Got a reply back from the nice people at CMOSIS.


"As you can read in the our press release is the CMV12000 mainly targeting industrial vision alike application. This is mainly due to the presence of the global shutter architecture which is a requirement when capturing moving objects (like in production lines, traffic cameras…). The sensor has a global shutter only, not a rolling shutter. There's indeed an image quality trade-off when choosing for global shutter and this is mostly a penalty in dark noise and dynamic range compared to rolling shutter only sensors.

However we see indeed that a lot of interest is coming from the broadcast industry as well because of it's resolution and reasonable pricing. I would rather not provide the full price list but can tell that the sensor sells for less than $1700. The exact reasons why the CMV12000 is so attractive is probably because there are not tot much alternatives but I guess that people like Blackmagic Cinema Camera can probably elaborate more on this."

Less than $1700 for the sensor.

As some fluff talk:

Let's say the CMV12000 could be had in quantity for $1200. Maybe less? And other parts for a camera cost $1200. $2400 for a 4K camera? Retail for $5000?

The interesting thing, is the Hero3. Probably costs to sellers, $240 to $280. Then retails for the $400. Perhaps GoPro could put together a 4K interchangeable video camera for sub $2000? Only speculating.

#26
Andrew Reid

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:25 PM

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Well here's a thing...

Raw doesn't need as much processing as compressed footage.

Yet GoPro have the processing power in their $400 camera to deal with 4K and 2.5K.

The reason the Digital Bolex project has the affordable price tag it does (was it $2500 or so?) is because they're keeping it simple on the image processing side. I.e. raw.

I see no reason why someone cannot buy this sensor in quantity, around $1200 per part like you say, add $200 worth of processors to the back of it and build a camera. $5000 retail on $2400 is a nice margin. To grab market share you need to be less comfortable and more aggressive, take a bit of a hit. I can honestly see this sensor in a 4K camera for $3500 in less than 1 year.

#27
galenb

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:50 PM

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Does anyone know what size sensor is inside the GoPro?

#28
zephyrnoid

Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

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Fabulous news. I've been waiting for breakthoughts like this, to help push things in the right direction.
It has been my contention for a while that S35 is THE sweet spot for ideal sensor compromises in the service of video and even most stills ( in hybrids). What I doubt is that BlackMagic Cinema's reliance on a certain SSD as making them the ideal host. They are not and I wager that once the BMC SSD drive is rendered obsolete, the field will be wide open for hosts.

#29
Per Lichtman

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:17 AM

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The specs are certainly high end for digital cinema well into Red Dragon / Arri Alexa territory.


When I read that, I was prompted to write this blog post, so I hope you'll take my disagreement in the light-hearted tone it is intended rather than as something personal. I enjoyed reading your post, it's just that line didn't seem to come our right. :) I agree that the sensor has potential for a low-cost 4K S35 camera and that it would be a good thing to have more competition in that area.

http://perlichtman.c...aracterization/

I've adapted my thoughts from my blog into this forum post. I think I understand the spirit of what you were originally trying to say, but it was only partially accurate in terms of the specifications. The CMV12000 actually competes more with Red Epic/Red Scarlet/Red One/Sony F55/FS-700/Arri Alexa/C500/original BMCC depending on what specs you are looking at and how you approach it. The Red Dragon clearly exceed it in terms of dynamic range/resolution combinations, both native and extended. But more on that below.


Above is the CMV12000 scientific sensor by European company CMOSIS – it has amazing potential in a cinema camera.

  • Super 35mm / APS-C sized
  • 4K raw at 12bit (90fps) and 10bit (150fps)
  • 4:3 anamorphic 4,096 x 3,072


Max Horizontal Resolution

- BMCC: 2.4K
- Arri Alexa: 2.88K max horizontal resolution.
- Sony FS-700: 4K expandable with 1.92K at release.
- Sony F55: 4K max horizontal resolution (4096x2160).
- Canon C500: 4K max horizontal resolution (4096x2960 RAW max).
- CMV12000: 4K max horizontal resolution (4096x3072, higher vertical resolution than the Sony F55 and slightly higher than C500).
- Sony F65: Greater than 4K.*
- Red One/Red One MX: 4.5K max horizontal resolution.
- Red Scarlet: 5K max horizontal resolution (but 4K max horizontal resolution at 24/25/30P).
- Red Epic: 5K max horizontal resolution.
- Red Dragon: 6K max horizontal resolution.


*As for the Sony F65, I don't want to get into that can of worms. With it's 20MP sensor, let's just say "easily 4K, probably more in the future" but not get too far into it.

Global shutter


Out of all the cameras mentioned above, the only one implementing global shutter like the CMV12000 is the Sony F55, so that's definitely a potential marketing point in favor the CM12000. Neither the Alexa nor Epic uses a global shutter (and I haven't seen one mentioned for the Red Dragon yet but I don't know one way or the other about it).

The frame rate at maximum resolution is a mammoth 150fps but that also needs huge power on the image processor side. At this frame rate bit depth drops to 10bit from 12bit. It goes to 90fps with the full colour gamut.


Max Framerates at 4K and Highest Resolution

- BMCC: Cannot do 4K. Max 30P 12-bit log at 2.5K.
- Arri Alexa: Cannot do 4K. Max 60P 12-bit log at 2.88K in 16x9 mode.
- Red One MX: 30P 12-bit at both 4.5K and 4K.
- Canon C500: 60P 10-bit at 4K.
- Sony FS-700: Upcoming 60P at unspecified RAW bit-depth in 4K.
- Sony F55: 60P 16-bit linear 4K.
- Sony F65: 120P 16-bit linear 4K.
- CMV12000: 90P 12-bit or 150P 10-bit at 4K.
- Red Scarlet: 30P 16-bit at 4K. 12P at 5K.
- Red Epic: 150P 16-bit at 4K. 120P 16-bit at 5K.
- Red Dragon: Unknown 4K (expected to meet or exceed Red Epic at all framerates but guaranteed 120P at 5K). At least 85P 16-bit at 6K.


There’s an on-chip HDR mode which works in a similar way to Red’s. This boosts dynamic range from 60db to 90db
...
60db is around 11 stops of dynamic range. 90db is over 15 stops (similar to the new Red Dragon sensor).


Native DR

- Sony FS-700: Untested in RAW.
- CMV12000: ca. 11 stops official (maybe a little more)
- Red One (not MX): 11.3 stops official.
- Canon C500: 12 stops official. (though the highlight roll-off has been garnering praise)
- BMCC: 13 stops official.
- Red MX (as used in MX/Scarlet/Epic): 13.5 official. (Some sources measured at under 12 but I'm not invested in one measurement over the other).
- Arri Alexa: 14 stops official.
- Sony F55: 14 stops official.
- Sony F65: 14 stops official.
- Red Dragon: Over 15 stops official.

So the CMV12000 has the lowest native dynamic range of any of the above current cinema cameras. Once again, it does have global shutter (and the only other camera on the list that has that is the F55) but the native dynamic range is around 2 stops lower than a ca. $3,000 BMCC.

In terms of extended dynamic range modes, the CMV12000 (over 15 stops), Red Epic and Red Scarlet (both 18 stops) all have them. The Red Dragon is also on track to feature one but with over 15 stops native, as long as the Red Dragon implements any form of HDRX the Red Dragon will easily outperform the CMV12000 in their respective HDR modes without the slightest challenge. It would have to decrease in dynamic range not to.

So your quote should say "the HDR mode would allow it to approach the official native dynamic range of the Red Dragon" because otherwise it doesn't give a correct idea of the respective performance of each (and completely ignores HDRX on the Red Dragon).

The Arri Alexa has not implemented an HDR mode, so there's no issue if you want to emphasize the CMV12000 HDR mode outperforming the native dynamic range on the Alexa. Of course, with both of them in native mode, the Alexa has a 3 stop advantage.

The CMV12000 has some great features on paper (anamorphic 4K and global shutter) but it is outperformed by the Red Epic in every specification (by varying amounts) other than global shutter. The Arri Alexa outperforms it in dynamic range, but has a mechanical shutter option instead of global shutter. The Sony F55 matches it in global shutter . And the Sony F65 and Red Dragon outperform it in every specification by a wide margin, except global shutter (with the F65 available with a mechanical shutter option instead).
Per Lichtman
Freelance Composer, Photographer, Director, Audio Engineer, Consultant, Instructor
http://www.pasadenapulse.net

#30
Per Lichtman

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

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Also, Happy Thanksgiving Andrew. Thanks for being one of the first places to mention a lot of technology and for all the effort that went into the recent BMCC comparison. :)
Per Lichtman
Freelance Composer, Photographer, Director, Audio Engineer, Consultant, Instructor
http://www.pasadenapulse.net

#31
Andrew Reid

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

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Thanks for the analysis Per. Global shutter has a trade off in terms of dynamic range and noise which is why it is 11.5 stops. The high-speed readout reduces image quality. But in terms of everything else it is certainly seeming like a high end sensor in cinema terms. It is of the same generation of their Leica M sensor and likely shares a similar pixel design. It is this aspect of the sensor which has become most important.

2 stops of DR is a sacrifice I'd be willing to make for global shutter. The 16mm Ikonoskop which uses a CCD sensor with global shutter is also an option well below the price of the Sony F55. But this is a 2K camera, no Super 35mm sized chip and it doesn't have any high speed frame rates.

Important to remember that we don't really know what the image quality or real world performance is of this sensor, so a lot of my article is speculative.

This is a sensor which costs less than $1700. It's pretty good for the money. Yet to see what image quality is like. On paper it is high end.

#32
Bruno

Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:17 AM

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I see no reason why someone cannot buy this sensor in quantity, around $1200 per part like you say, add $200 worth of processors to the back of it and build a camera. $5000 retail on $2400 is a nice margin. To grab market share you need to be less comfortable and more aggressive, take a bit of a hit. I can honestly see this sensor in a 4K camera for $3500 in less than 1 year.


That's very optimistic to say the least. BMD had a finished camera 6 months ago after at least 2 years of development and they're still not available. Actually they're having problems with the only thing that was available off the shelf!
Also, a BMD camera costs 3k and I doubt its sensor costs anywhere near $1200, so with $1700 sensor I doubt you'd see a camera below $5k at the very least.

I'd rather see BMD figuring out a way to use its sensors' global shutter mode and 60fps before they start thinking about developing another camera. Even if the image quality is lower, if the sensor supports it then I'd like to have the option and decide depending on what I'm shooting at each situation.

#33
Andrew Reid

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:50 AM

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I agree it is not just a case of adding $1700 to the price of a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (minus the cost of their existing sensor).

The processing power for 4K would also add to the cost.

Software development - erm Resolve already handles 4K.

Labour, testing - yes that has to be factored into the R&D. But they will absorb those costs pretty quickly with a 4K raw camera at $6k because they will sell tons of them.

#34
Bruno

Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

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Also don't forget that BMD already had most of the technology in one form or another. Would be much more expensive and time consuming if they were starting from scratch, which would be reflected on the camera price.

#35
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:00 AM

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Why the hell would they be starting from scratch?

Swapping the sensor and using a different lens mount on a new model is not exactly starting from scratch. They already have all the expertise to do it and the software side in Resolve, and the image processing hardware, and the codecs, and so on.

#36
Bruno

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:18 AM

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I see no reason why someone cannot buy this sensor in quantity, around $1200 per part like you say, add $200 worth of processors to the back of it and build a camera. $5000 retail on $2400 is a nice margin. To grab market share you need to be less comfortable and more aggressive, take a bit of a hit. I can honestly see this sensor in a 4K camera for $3500 in less than 1 year.


Why the hell would they be starting from scratch?


You said "someone", you didn't say BMD, and neither did I.

#37
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:22 AM

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Ah right. Sorry, wasn't clear.




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