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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 company with a good product. But getting one is very difficult, and will be for quite a time, I think. Plus this camera can delete clips in camera, as well as format a drive. As far as I know, the BMCC cannot surf vimeo, or post to twitter, either :P

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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

As I read your ideas I get a lot of questions :)


I assume you'd use the small HD monitor as the mini-PC monitor, right?

However, would it be controlled by touch screen in the monitor itself?

Have you found a ready made OS that would run in that computer and be able to run the required image capturing software and be controllable by the monitor's touch screen capabilities (if that's possible) instead of a mouse and keyboard?


You mentioned the Ximea cameras, but you said you'd use different sensors, do those cameras have easily replaceable sensors? Would the sensors you have in mind work right off the box with those cameras?

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No, the computer is controlled by a mini keyboard. A touch interface could be used, but it would push the price out of the range for an entry product. Once people see that the camera is capable of the quality they desire, they will find all sorts of ways to control it. The capture software is fully able to use macros though, so the mini keyboard can map the function keys for all sorts of purposes.


There is some confusion when I say "sensor" and "camera". That is my fault for not being clear. The ximea cameras use the cmosis sensors. When you upgrade the "unit" for lack of a better term, you would swap the camera, not the sensor. These cameras are 1.25" cubes! Remember this is the ideal camera sensor, and it costs $1500. There is a fallback camera sensor that costs $1000, if the project does not gain full funding. I would prefer the ximea because the pixels are 2x-3x the size (need to dig out the calculator to get an exact measurement) of the cheaper camera sensor, and the ximea is global shutter as opposed to the rolling shutter of the cheaper version. Also, the workanship on the ximea is amazing!


And, thank you for the questions! The smallhd serves two purposes beyond the obvious one of monitoring: A) the mounts on the sides let you mount the camera head on a magic arm so you can aim it however you want. B) the focus peaking will let you check focus ;)


Of course you could use a cheaper lilliput or whatever you already have on hand, but SmallHD has kindly lent me a monitor for the build phase of the project! Great guys, and just north of me across the NC border!

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I am hoping people will build new front ends for cameras like this, but rather than trying to add development of a touchscreen interface (to a monitor that would definitely NOT have focus peaking) I opted to solve it with a 20$ mini keyboard with a track point. Sometimes you can lose track of your final goal (fantastic imagery) and get sidelined by something like this...I chose not to. There would be ample room for people to homebrew front ends for a system like this as well.

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So you're basically saying that you'll buy a camera that already exists (ximea) and then write a manual on how to make it work with a laptop or a mini computer, which is how it is supposed to be used anyway. You're not giving people a choice of sensors, you're browsing through different camera models with different sensors. The way I understand it, you're not building any camera at all, just playing with how you can use an existing camera, which might be misleading. You're referring to different camera models as "sensors", which is not accurate.


I think you should be clear about it and state that in your campaign. Basically it looks like you want funding to research how you can hook up the Ximea cameras to computers and laptops in order to use them for filmmaking, that is different from building a DIY camera IMO.


Also, I think your campaign lacks commitment, since you don't even yet have one of these cameras yourself. You mentioned how it would be hard to justify spending money on such a camera instead of going on holidays, well that doesn't show much confidence in the project in the first place! I understand you're not trying to make a lot of money out of this, but you must understand that such a proposition is not very appealing to the people on this side.


Then there's the price of all this. If you could get a working system that costs less than $1000, people could be interested, but when you start talking about a $2500 or $3000 system, then what's the point? You mentioned $1500 sensor upgrades, when in reality what you actually mean is getting a new Ximea camera model in 2 or 3 years (assuming they will have one). Well you can buy a BMCC now for $3000 and in 2 years sell it for $1500 and pay another $1500 for the latest model, same costs, no risk or doubts whether or not it will be feasible, so you're not offering any advantages here either.


I might be missing the point here, but pledging money in exchange for a manual for such a system is not appealing to me at all.

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Basically this is the way I see it:


There are people who would build their own camera if someone could show them that it is going to give them the result that they want. But those people aren't willing to take that risk on their own. Those same people would probably would not mind settling that argument in their mind by putting out a minimal investment ($5 in this case) to see if these small cameras can in fact produce or not. There are a lot of people who bought a $2500 camera , sight unseen, that still has not shipped. when I saw the footage coming from the BMCC, I loved it. I went to their website to buy one. They weren't available. I looked on ebay...they were $4500.


DIY maybe a term you and I don't agree on. When I think of putting a 1" cube camera together with a capture system and a lens and an audio capture solution - that says DIY to me. You make great points, of course, but as I said, this isn't probably going to be aimed at the BMCC target...those guys have likely pre-ordered already. This is for people who think that in the long run, we may be able to out these things together on our own, and do it in a short time. Most DIY projects I have seen involve combining known pieces of equipment into a design that the parts were not originally intended for. I think this fits that bill.


People would have choices in camera heads. There are hundreds available. finding one that hits all of the important specs is difficult, though. I think the ximea fits the bill. The software is not proprietary...it can use most name brands, including the 950$ pt. grey usb 3 flea!


Most of these cameras come with a rudimentary sdk that will allow raw image capture. Theoretically, you could get in the game with only the $950 investment from Pt. grey. Their tech person told me verbatim that the free sdk software would captuer dng that are editable in Premiere. I am not totally sure they are correct on this, as I have heard reports to the contrary. But the fundraiser was designed to source two to three sensors, and find out the answer to that question. Maybe we DONT need the $1000 capture software after all...but there is a fallback, and that software is very robust and can handle 3d/multi camera capture, which will be beyond the scope of most sdk/homebrew products.


The bit about the holiday was a joke. Sometimes I forget that text carries no body language or tone with it. I will strive to be more clear in this regard.


The manual is a perk...a reward for backing a project that someone thinks is worthwhile. If people are willing to help out...I think it's nice to give them something back!


I do appreciate your feedback...it helps me fine tune my message. With luck we should be at 10% funding by Monday.

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dudes, this is not a project designed to produce a product. jarrett is not going to form a company or even really a capitalistic endeavor here.


there is absolutely no reason capture needs to be built into cameras these days. nor monitoring. its an added cost that we all have to absorb every single time we upgrade or use a different camera. capture technology does not change, and when it does its is in the form of a software update. imagine a world where "getting that full frame look" doesn't mean paying for a 5dmkii with its screen, viewfinder, AF, light meeter, card readers, battery, psu... just that sensor and an image processor...


this is just an experiment to find a methodology for taking existing products and making them work in a way that we desire. It may not be something that competes with the BMC - but its not supposed to be! this is simply about showing people that there is an immensely powerful toolset available that can be made to work to our exact specifications, and its available NOW. and to use it you dont have to pay for years of development on something like a live AF system or an auto-lighting-optimizer or scene modes... JESUS!


it may not yield a true alternative to a camera like the BMC or even the gh2 right NOW, but for me, this is just about getting the ball rolling.

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 imagine a world where "getting that full frame look" doesn't mean paying for a 5dmkii with its screen, viewfinder, AF, light meeter, card readers, battery, psu... just that sensor and an image processor...


Dude, a 5DmkIII costs $2700, the mentioned Ximea camera brain alone costs $1500, needs a computer/monitor/etc. and has a tiny sensor, good luck making it slightly useable with less than the cost of a 5DmkIII. And even if you do, it will not look like a full frame camera.


Just raising questions many people are probably raising themselves. Jesus.

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These are good questions. There are going to be alternatives to any new project...the MkIII is one...but all of the reports I have seen on it have been that it did not live up to the expectations related to the performance of the MkII. The ximea camera does have a 1" sensor (on the cmosis 4000 version) that is a square sensor. The cmosis 2000 version is basically the same 2048 pixel wide sensor with at roughly half the height. The pixels are the same 5.5um.


Let's be cordial guys. This isn't a project about making a product that can compete with a foreign assembly line...it's just something to give people options. The point about rebuying monitors each time you buy a camera is a good one, though. Over time, there can be a cost savings.

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nerd filmmakers gone wild.


trying to justify ''image quality'' as being the solution to film making is the worst excuse for an individual trying to be a filmmaker.  like given a holy template so to say ''hey look my images are so close to Hollywood style I know what I'm doing'''


it's literally ''invest and try to create a RAW! camera at your own risk.  As I said before it's great that many think that image quality will save the lack of creative filmmaking.  therefore my opinion doesn't matter!   B)

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You're right in that filmmaking is very different from image quality. The classics of the black and white era were made with tech that looks ancient to us now. That being said, hollywood moved on from that tech as well. This project isn't necessarily aimed at people who are filmmakers for their full time jobs, at least not yet. Investing is definitely a risk, and I wouldn't want anyone to spend 5$ and feel cheated. Some people had to spend $2500 to feel cheated...I'm not a fan of doing anything but what the project states...seeing if a camera constructed from a machine vision camera can deliver quality raw files for use in post.


Trust me, there are a LOT of people who are still laughing at BMCC and DLSR filmmakers as unserious amateurs. Those people were short sighted and elitist. The DIY community (sorry for co-opting the term Bruno) is neither of those things. It's about experimentation, but in a controlled way that risks little to the individual. Shared risk - it's a more sensible approach to the unknown.


Personally I think a good round of Hitchcock would serve most people well when it comes to filmmaking...but then I'm biased.

Thanks for getting into the conversation Leang...the more the merrier!



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If you really had the ''insider'' and confidence that it would effectively work you would have already instantly invested in it yourself before promoting your concept camera.  Physically building the camera and sourcing the parts is one thing, but then you have the biggest challenge and that's to write the software and interface which if you want to compete as ''breakthrough'' would take just as long as complaining about the limited availability of the BMCC, which by then ver. 2 would probably announced...  You said it needs a keyboard as a basic input for operation for who knows what, and as others have mentioned its obviously ideal to at least have dials or buttons of some sort for quick navigation.  anyone can vouch that skimming through dslr style inputs is of no problem, and each to his own speed.


The security style barebone-cam has been around for a while.  what's hard is to write the software and navigation.  I think you have a great idea, but let's be honest, you know its risky which is the reason why you're asking for the funding.  $3K or whatever isn't much for an adventurist.  


If you build it they will come.

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I know they will. I'm 10% of the way there. I like looking at things positively. I didn't begin the project to be an adventurer, but to tart a community of like minded individuals. Into complaining about bmcc availability...just stating a simple fact. As far as the keyboard...I'm pretty good at using one...I like the interface mostly because it stays constant over time. The biggest problem with building cameras that you sell to people would be liability, not software writing. That's the true nightmare. Hey, I'm glad you're offering your thoughts...combative responses are the norm when it comes to people having any sort of unconventional vision these days. And yes, it is risky. What isn't? I choose to be positive, I can't control how others decide to look at things! I have seen the footage from these cameras...since indiegogo funds as you go, I'm going to buy the camera as soon as the funds hit$1500, then there will be footage.
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Kabuto it's a good idea, and I had thought about it, but since I am not sure which of the two camera heads would be judged to be the best, it made it impossible to price! Believe me, I tried to figure out a way - it's how the really successful campaigns get so high...by providing shipping units. It's also how campaigns fail after the fact, when they realize their pricing was too low.


This campaign is unconventional...in that it was planned to minimize risk (as Leang concisely pointed out). The numbers of kickstarter campaigns that havent delivered (in all categories, not just electronics) is astounding.


My primary goal was in making people not regret their decision to join. I may retool the perks this weekend. I could add a naysayer category...for people who just dont believe it will work, and would like to go on record as thinking the idea is nonsense. I kid.

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Dude, a 5DmkIII costs $2700, the mentioned Ximea camera brain alone costs $1500, needs a computer/monitor/etc. and has a tiny sensor, good luck making it slightly useable with less than the cost of a 5DmkIII. And even if you do, it will not look like a full frame camera.

This is not a project to compete with ANYTHING currently on the market. At the moment there is no full frame sensor head that could actually compete with a 5dmkii or even a 1dc, and there never will be until the demand is there. But you know damn well that camera users from web producers to Hollywood DP's would most certainly throw down for something like that if it were available.

What jarrett is working on today is just an early early stepping stone towards a vastly different future later on.
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