Cinematography : DIY cinema camera by Chris Hackett

Chris Hackett

DIY cinema camera

I have been for some time working on a diy cinema camera. Using off the shelf parts and some knowledge of pc build and design I'm about to finish the first version of my cam. It's mostly incredibly simple and requires no soldiering. Making it battery powered is significantly harder. Which led me to some thinking, what if a kit was sold. Mostly it'd be a frame for a cinema camera, you could either buy the parts the kit is made for or try modifications. An upgraded kit would have battery options. Basically you could still use ssd hard drives/ flash media, whole system is fully upgradeable (even the sensor) and lots of third party software and hardware could integrate. The axiom apertus is as close as I see to this but that's still very closed loop. So the item would be a frame that is or is not pre assembled with parts already and whatever lens mount atop that. Does this have a place in the market?

Omer Aa

Do you know of Digital Bolex? http://www.digitalbolex.com/ . I suggest you read what they posted along the way towards the shelf product they own now. And what about some detailed post about your camera? specs and pics?

Chris Hackett

The cam I have now is based on a flea3 camera from point grey. 8.8mp with up to 4k resolution. it uses c mount lenses and is usb 3. There are a ton of other sensors out there with stock software to capture and tweak the image. Beyond that it's just a regular pc, well a regular medium to high end pc. I have heard of the bolex, the apertus is more open than that. Black magic was one of my inspirations as well. The sensor I have cost near $800 or so, if you add computer parts you can near about $1200 and have a working camera. what I'm asking about is a kit that can combine these items in a form factor for filmmakers. so you won't have to be locked to any brand. also it's fairly easy to change the lens mounts for these things so offering different mounts is possible with some adaptation .

Omer Aa

Sound like there can be a demand for that sometime in the future. I remember watching a video about a future smartphone made in a way that makes most of it's parts replaceable - a modular phone that can be upgraded.

Omer Aa

Here's a thought: many of us still own professional dv camcorders, pal or ntsc res, with great optics and functionality, and no modern use. what if someone would come with an easy solution for replacing, or adding an external part, that would adjust a modern sensor to the old build?

Chris Hackett

I've seen that somewhere. it was a mod for a cam whose optics and sensor were easy to separate ( loosely use the term easy, easy relative to other cams) and it's impossible with how many different ways manufacturers made cameras. reusing those parts is also an amount of soldiering hell I would never want to traverse. my first idea was to reuse a ccd sensor. my bread and butter was a dcrvx1000 and upgraded dvx100 later on. so I appreciate the sentiment for that tech.

Chris Hackett

that phone I think is project ara, it's ugly but definitely interesting. it however requires third party builders to deal with a proprietary spec. or at least a spec that isn't everywhere else at this point. my cam would be able to use micro itx boards and whatever processor you need for what you are doing.

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