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DIY Raw Video Camera campaign on Indiegogo


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Markm, the software in question is already capable (and built specifically) to handle multi-camera setups! And, like I said, I would never try to be a competitor to Black Magic...they are a fine compa

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/frankencam-diy-raw-video-camera-prototype Please take a look! It only started today! With thanks, Jarrett

Great idea!   I talked about doing something like this in the 'Blackmagic Cinema Camera gets a rival - Dan Chung shows us the KINERAW MINI' post   Wishing you all the best.   I'll be donating fo

It's an interesting idea. It might help if you reveal a little bit about your background and why we should believe that you are able to execute this project when so many others before you have failed. What qualifications do you have? What past successes have you enjoyed? And what can you show us to assure us that this is not a vaporware project?

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It's an interesting idea. It might help if you reveal a little bit about your background and why we should believe that you are able to execute this project when so many others before you have failed. What qualifications do you have? What past successes have you enjoyed? And what can you show us to assure us that this is not a vaporware project?


All good questions.

I am 40, father of two happily married(My past successes ;). I have 12 years of experience in project controls with a fortune 500 A&E company. I have been a graphic designer/forensic animator/print production manager for 10+ years. This isn't vaporware...there's no electronics anyone receives from me. The fundign goal barely covers the purchase of two sensors for vetting and the capture software (off the shelf, not custom written - meaning it works and is available already). This is a project to establish a reference design for people who want to try out a modular camera. A $1500 CMOSIS sensor camera, plus $800 capture software - capture to the laptop/mini pc of your choice.


Basically this is an exercise in creating something that removes the vapor. Swap to a new camera head as you like. Use the same capture software workflow for a decade. Use a machine vision camera designed for a 7-year, 24 hour per day, seven days per week duty cycle. There is a lot about this that is attractive, not to mention the fact that industrial f1.2, 9-84 mm zooms are less than $400. And these aren't computar security camera lenses that I refer to.

Best of all...once we have proof that the sensor is good enough, they will be in stock for people to source them on their own. They are in stock today...but people need to see it with their own eyes.

Thanks for taking the time to ask questions...I thought people would be really interested in creating a RAW camera from parts they could buy immediately. I guess we will just have to wait and see.



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Best of all...once we have proof that the sensor is good enough...


I think this may be the biggest problem with your campaign. You haven't done it yet!

You're basing it on assumptions. You don't have a product that you've developed that needs financial help to take it further, you have an untested idea and what you're selling (the manual) could be worthless if it doesn't work.


What you're asking people to pay for here is an investment that crowdfunding campaigns usually make by themselves, in order to have something to show BEFORE they start their own crowdfunding campaign.


This is only my opinion though, wish you all the best!

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You are correct of course...if I had proof in the form of raw dng sequences, i would simply put the information out. So that is EXACTLY the point of the fundraiser. I would have proof now, but the demo stack for the CMOSIS 2000 and 4000 chips is empty, and the manufacturer doesn't rent the sensors.


The chips are capable of doing what is needed. The capture app is capable of debayering the images correctly. When I referred to proof, I mean demonstrable footage. And yes, it is the weak point. It also is the reason for the campaign in the first place, to show people they can cobble it together at a decent price, and have no regrets.


It is what it is...if there's not more than 5$ worth of interest in it, I'll pull it in a week anyway ;)


Picture this conversation: "Hey honey, I know you wanted to go on vacation, but I thought of another way we could spend our tax return..."



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Maybe. This is a tricky question, because it depends on the amount of funding we get. If we hit at least $2000, then yes we will be able to procure the 2/3" sensor. If funding falls between $1000 and $2000, we will use a smaller sensor. The 2/3" chip is vastly superior, not only on specs, but the craftsmanship is like a work of art. The cheaper sensor is fine...it's durable enough. But the premium you pay to move up is immediately forgotten once you factor in the level of detail. It's just a superior camera (so says my advisor who has been a machine vision installer for many years).


Thanks for asking jg! PS, I'm looking for a baby iscomorphot to use with this camera! Wish me luck!

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Thanks for reading Bruno! I have seen that camera when I was researching this project. Something tells me the rental price would be more than the price to build your own! But, yes, it was one thing that led me to believe that this was possible. I have no interest in selling cameras. I am hugely interested in building a community of people that use modular cameras. I think it's the most cost effective way to stay in the game. Machine vision sensors are often higher tech than consumer sensors, or at least the high end sensors seem to find their way into industrial cameras before they hit the consumer arena. Moving to 4K with this camera would simply mean swapping a head (figure 2k$ in 18 months) and adding a boatload of external hard drives :)

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I really appreciate the idea. But I can see many problems with this project. I'll give my opinion.


You aren't selling any actual camera's/parts. The DIY idea is nice, but still, $1500-$2500 seems quite a bit of money for a product with a small sensor that you have to hook up to a separate recording device. We are almost talking BMCC money here. What is the advantage of a Frankencamera over a finished product like that?


Developments are going FAST. By the time something is announced it's hot, when it is actually available it's already outdated in some ways. Look at the Digital Bolex. Not saying it is outdated, but when the project started it was an amazing idea and a steal for the money and there weren't any alternatives. Yet, it still isn't available, there is a BMCC now at a similar price point and who knows what's coming in the next half year?


I see you dropping the name CMOSIS here. Interesting! Why not tell in the project that this is the Belgium manufacturer that produces the fullframe sensor for the new Leica M? It sure gives me confidence knowing you're sourcing sensors from CMOSIS. Much more than not knowing anything about the supplier - especially after the BMCC sensor problems. 


The 'proof' is a problem. So you say the sensor exists. If CMOSIS is actually producing it, there must be a way to find some kind of images out of it. Seeing actual images, seeing an actual concept of a camera, that would make people enthusiastic about this project. You say CMOSIS doesn't rent sensors, but how about finding someone or some company that actually uses the sensor? How about asking CMOSIS to provide some raw files?


If I understand correctly, the funding is basically ment for you to gather the parts and turn the concept into a working camera. I don't have anything against that, but it is a completely different approach from most successful crowd funding campaigns, where by pledging you actually buy something.


How can you know for sure/guarantee that your build will work? If you can, why not invest a bit for the first prototype yourself, impress us with something. Even if it only works half way. I just strongly feel this project needs a bigger basis and I'm sure the investment will pay off. If it doesn't, at least you have your own unique frankencamera :)


Again, don't get me wrong. I love the idea. It's something I've been thinking about as well. If there was a DIY guide for turning something like a Flea3 4k camera into a mini awesome cinema camera I would be in line. How about a GoPro 3HD with manual controls and a interchangeable C-mount. I'd buy that! I have actually modified a Sony Bloggie cam myself, took out the lens and glued a C-mount onto it (It is a very sloppy job and gives funky images, It was an idea that I wanted to explore more), just for the sake of trying it.


You don't ask much of an investment. But you also don't offer much prospects right now. I don't think the project isn't very likeable at the moment. If you could show something, I think it would be more successful.


Anyway, I would be happy to see you succeed and I look forward to the outcome.

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I will think a lot about what you have said. You make excellent points.


I looked into the flea. It would work, but the pixels are very small compared to the cmosis. It is actually a cmosis sensor in a ximea camera. Another problem with the flea is that you cant get the 4K to 24 fps. You CAN get 3K appx at 24-40. So remember that 4K is merely a preview of where we are headed with these sensors. It's very close.


I wanted to do this project to prove to people they could make their own camera. As you probably know, the 3000$ cameras are hard to get, or have not appeared at all. I was hoping to show a prototype that would encourage people to make the initial high investments in the software and camera sensors. I believe that in the long run, these are much cheaper to operate.


Yes, it is a different approach to other crowdfunded cameras. I had hoped that would be a benefit. They kick in 5$, read the book, watch the footage, and realize they can get into RAW shooting without having to wait on pre-ordered cameras that may never arrive or back ordered cameras.


Like I said, if no one is interested in the next few days, I will pull the plug. If you want to know the camera that is going into it, go to Ximea.com and look at their USB 3 cameras. It is quality workmanship.


Thanks for your comments!


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I think this is a massively powerful idea. as radical as the 5dmkii was if not more so.


this is not about providing a "product". jarrett is not trying to capitalize - he is trying to democratize. this project is not capable of producing vapor - it is about paving the way and laying down the initial groundwork for a whole new way of thinking about image-capture. 


i dont care if the money i put in is scooped up and taken on vacation to disneyland; im in. and not because i want to recieve ownership of something in return, but because i believe in Jarretts ideology. my desire is for this mindset to proliferate, and for that reason alone i support the project.


good luck jarrett.

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I think the idea is great. But something about the extended timeline makes me wonder. We can build cameras now. The ximea are up to the task. I'm sure the delay has to do with writing capture software, at least in part. I just don't think I would rely on open source software...what if your main programmer suddenly can't continue because of their day job? The reason I'm ok paying half the price of the camera software is because I know these guys livelihoods are depending on it being very good and very robust. I hope they succeed but I believe you can build a great cam for $2500 that you can upgrade to state of the art every three or four years for an additional $1500. It would make sense or them to delay to reduce their overhead per camera...they'll need the margin to build infrastructure. I just don't really think we absolutely have to have that infrastructure. I wish them well, though. There needs to be competition even in open standards!
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I think the problem with apertus is that they are running on an outdated business model. they want a structured hierarchical relationship with the world and a revenue stream that flows through that hierarchy. and that is something we've already got plenty of. i really doubt the world can sustain "just another camera manufacturer".

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I admire what you are doing but this has already been done much better by Black Magic.

I think you need to have an outboard recorder Although it would be kinda cool if you had a laptop as a centre of operations with the ability to switch from camera to camera and edit as you go but I think then you're into professional territory where money is not so much an issue. The problem with 30 foot cables is people will trip over them. They will get snagged and they will be in the way if a lighting cable lies underneath and the camerman suddenly moves Arrgh.

What might take you into NEW territory is if you could design a Five camera heads 2/3 / 16mm 4/3 / S35 / Full 35 that all fit the same recorder body.
The five sensors should slip cartridge like into the camera body and further along a slot for the SSD drive. This way you could have one Do all PL mount at the front Or maybe your own design mount with five different mounts for each of the formats. Or maybe just make a mount body for each sensor!
I think though once you have bought the main camera the sensor accessories should be as cheap as possible. Maybe a £1000 a go.

Anyway good luck I'm sure your enthusiasm will get something made regardless of anyone else!
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Hi markm! Like you said, cables are a problem. The initial goal here is to prove to people that the camera that you can buy for $1000-$1500 can provide fantastic image quality, even in comparison to the other commercial offerings. Once that matter is settled, there are a number of ways to deal with the recording.


1) Laptop - this is good in controlled settings, like studios, greenscreen setups, high speed recording

2) Mini PC - these are as small as 4"x4" and in that case, your hdmi cable only needs to be 2"-3" long, as the pc would be reverse mounted to the monitor (I suggest smallhd monitors as they have the accessory arms for articulated arms (magic arms, friction arms) on the sides, bottom, and top. From there I would mount the camera to the top of the monitor via a friction arm, for the ultimate in camera aiming possibilities...straight up, straight down, and anywhere in between.


The laptop provides it's own power. The mini pc would need a battery pack like a tekkeon that would fit in a carrier bag or in a backpack. Still the whole package would be smaller than many dlsr setups. i am going to experiment with a steadicam that mounts the battery pack as well. The smallhd monitor receives it's power from a canon style battery, so the tekkeon battery pack would only be tasked with powering the i3 mini pc, which, having only an mSata hard drive, and integrated hd 4000 (dont laugh, it's the same graphics in a macbook pro retina!) is very low power draw. The camera itself only draws 1.8w off the battery!


So, since this is the beginning of a new concept in cameras, we start with image quality first, then move towards portability.

Thanks for reading about the project! I just had an email of someone promising $200, so that puts the project at 5% funded in a little over 2 days!

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