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More details on global shutter and possible Blackmagic sensor supplier CMOSIS

Andrew Reid

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Though it cannot be 100% confirmed I am pretty sure the Blackmagic Production Camera uses a sensor supplied by CMOSIS, which if true would be very good news as it is the latest technology and already in mass production.

Here are your sensor questions answered...

[url=http://www.eoshd.com/content/10091/more-details-on-global-shutter-and-possible-blackmagic-sensor-supplier-cmosis]Read the full article here[/url]
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One of the factors limiting frame rates is the overall bandwidth that the camera can handle. Red used to rate things RedCode 28, RedCode 36, RedCode 42, etc., with the number signifiying the approximate overall data rate in megabytes per second. Assuming the sensor could handle a particular higher frame rate, either each frame had to be compressed more or the RedCode number had to increase. Of course, due to a number of factors, there was a  maximum a model could reach without overheating or otherwise failing.


If the same is true of BMD's 4K camera, why won't they consider a lossy compression format like CineForm RAW? By reducing the data per frame, more frames per second should theoretically be possible, and at 12 bits, the CMV12000 can do 90 fps.

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Interesting read. Also the job positions at CMOSIS are really interesting. Sadly I'm not a sensor engineer or Master in Electronics. But those positions sound sweet :)


Who makes the current BMCC sensor? I thought it was not CMOSIS.


John Brawley on the Pocket Camera sensor:


The sensor is exactly the same generation as the 2.5K BMCC, but it’s active area is 12.48 x 7.02mm, close to Super 16.

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The Blackmagic reps are saying it is a new sensor and not the same one as in the BMCC. That sensor was rumoured to be supplied by BAE / Fairchild Imaging. It was an sCMOS - http://www.eoshd.com/content/7969/blackmagic-cinema-cameras-sensor-has-global-shutter-made-by-bae-systems

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By the reps do you mean the guy in that video from newsshooter.com? Or are other people saying that?


I kinda find it hard to take the word of the guy. He's saying the Pocket Cinema camera can't do raw on a SD card as well. I rather believe the Blackmagic website on that (even if it only comes 'later')


Also every time Canon introduces a new 600D, 650D, 700D with the same old shit they say it's 'a brand new sensor'. Not saying the sensor in the BMPCC is old shit, but the specs are similar to the BMCC sensor, except for the active image area, so it would make sense I think?

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I was talking to the engineer on my team off and on all day yesterday about the sensor. And yes after a whole day of back and forth you've done an excellent job of posting all of the information here.


So then this will be very interesting, the M43 is in beta testing mode, while I await my camera to arrive, I wonder if July comes and it still hasn't gotten to me if I should just cancel it and get a second 4k camera as well. For now keeping my place in line. They better pray they deliver on time otherwise they'll be done in the camera world. I'm just happy to see them kicking the ridiculous 1DC to the curb because I'm sick and tired of seeing Bloom and LaForet constantly shooting on those cameras ONLY now. It's like they're the best thing since sliced bread at $12,000.00


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Kinda looks like this:





Based on the CIS2051 (which is 5,5 megapixel, so could be the BMCC sensor?)


Google CIS1021:

Found a 42 page pdf about it: http://alliedscientificpro.com/wp-content/uploads/MAN-0103-CIS1021-Datasheet_RevA.pdf


2.1 MP HD CMOS Image Sensor

  • 6.5 μm square 5T active pixels
  • Diagonal 14mm (Type 1/1.2”)
  • High resolution imaging array: 1920(H) x 1080(V) HDTV format
  • Extra 32 dark rows (16 dark rows on top and bottom edges)
  • Extra 96 dark columns (48 dark columns on left and right edges)
  • Extra 16 border rows and 16 border columns enclosing the active ROI
  • High speed operation: 100 fps in Rolling Shutter, 50 fps in Global Shutter mode
  • Low noise: 1 e
  • RMS @ 50 fps in Rolling Shutter readout mode
  • High peak quantum efficiency: > 50% at 600nm
  • High intra-scene dynamic range: 90dB (30000:1)
  • Two 11-bit output channels per pixel via dual column amplifiers
  • Column parallel 11-bit A/D conversion
  • Programmable shutter modes: Rolling Shutter and Global Shutter
  • Programmable Region of Interest (ROI) readout
  • ROI indexed by individual row vertically
  • and by 16-column wide blocks horizontally
  • Seamless integration time change in Rolling Shutter readout mode
  • On-chip temperature sensor
  • Power consumption ~ 0.8 W in dual channel 100 fps operation to ~ 0.3W in single
  • channel 50 fps operation
  • Protection against black-sun image artifacts


What do you think?


/Edit: Or this one: http://fairchildimaging.com/catalog/focal-plane-arrays/scmos/cis-1910f

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Andrew said: "The reason for this is that the electronic global shutter mechanism is incorporated into every pixel on the sensor thus taking up more room, leaving less room on the pixel to capture light. The photosites are smaller as a result and therefore less sensitive and slightly nosier."


Interesting. So the fact that global shutter tends to lose a stop or more of light is because of the additional physical space taken up around each photosite for the global mechanism? Does anyone have any photos/instructional images/articles that can explain more about the compromises that global shutter requires? I'd like to learn more!

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From my years in audio, PLL is phase locked loop, and in short, it's a way of removing noise (as in junk data) from conversion stages (analogue to digital, like light to digits or electrical signals produced by audio into digits). I assume its the same here...


From my understanding Phase Locked Loop replaced crystals for timing of electronic circuits, so to me if it is saying on board PLL it just means the timing circuit is on the sensor board.

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Andrew shutup!  Canon, Sony and RED might buy up all the sensors or try to shut CMOSIS down to delay my camera! lol


But seriously, thanks a lot for this, I hope you're right.


And thanks Julian, your post convinced me to pull the tigger on the pocket pre-order, if there is even a chance it has this sensor I want it.

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This all looks wonderful, but from a business standpoint it's not good.  There are customers still waiting for the original BMCC who ordered it 6 months ago and the original still apparently has fundamental deficiencies that should never have been there in the first place, even after two software updates (e.g. cant delete clips in camera).  To stay in business, its no good announcing new products if you cant manufacture or correct issues in the previous model.  You need to take time out, sort out your supply chain/manufacturing issues, make some product, generate some solid revenues and then and only then invest in new designs. 


For me, all of this is a disappointment. I absolutely love the image quality of the BMCC, sub-20K there is little or nothing that comes close detail and latitude-wise (this is real HD!),  and I can live with many of its other shortcomings.  But thats no use to me at all if I cant get hold of one and I need something by mid-may at the latest with a mount with good adaptor availability (MFT/PL/E or whatever).  So sadly, despite having the cash sitting in the bank ready to go today, I dont think its eventual destination will be Black Magic

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From my understanding Phase Locked Loop replaced crystals for timing of electronic circuits, so to me if it is saying on board PLL it just means the timing circuit is on the sensor board.


Yes you've got it, I mixed up the tech there. It's removing noise and clock jitter from sampling rate timing rather than the actual signal.

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So sadly, despite having the cash sitting in the bank ready to go today, I dont think its eventual destination will be Black Magic


Same here! I´m quite a bit clueless now. I make my bread with graphics design, animation and some video work (corporate film, etc...).

I´m in a situation where I don´t want to spend my money on a FS700, but want something significantly better than my GH2. But there is a big gap between these cameras.


Blackmagic won me as a customer and lost me at the same time because of their stupid strategy to reveal cameras, that are going to exist somewhere in the future - maybe. I think they are losing more potential customers than they are gaining that way. If I were Panasonic or Canon, I would thank BM for their impatience, because they give me enought time to think of how to react to their future products. The fact that they can´t even satisfy demand and do reveal all details and specs of their non-existent cameras beforehand makes it even easier to find the right answer...

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Raw 4k for $500 more than a 5D MK3 body price... This is my Bye bye to Canon... My 5D mk2 replacement is postponed and my Canon lenses will be used on this new beast.

Regarding BM I am sure they will deliver this time. I was surprised by their announcement... Almost hungry... But thinking a little bit... I can understand their point. The original sensor supplier almost destroyed their efforts in the camera business but now looks like they have serious partner that is, by chance, also working with another very serious company called Leica that does not compromise (At a price...) on quality manufacturing.

As most of the big corp outsource their production to hardware production specialists (Including lenses...), with good design it is possible today to revolutionize the market in a way it was unthinkable some years ago. Exciting...

Regarding the 1080p full sensor size output I wonder if this achived by a smart selection of pixels in the global shutter reads. Maybe this is a way to avoid huge scaling cpu loads and loss of definition.

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The original BMCC sensor came from a reputable supplier, I think it was more due to the lack of cinema camera experience at that supplier in terms of quality control methodology and problems at the glass supplier.


I find it hard to believe that dirty glass was the only issue, maybe they had dead pixels to solve as well.


I think Blackmagic are using Fairchild Imaging again for the Pocket Cinema Camera sensor but it is a different version of the sensor. Similar spec but different model.

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