Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apertus, the Open Source HD Movie Camera

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-that's-a-project dept.

Input Devices 152

osliving writes "This article takes a tour of the hardware and software behind the innovative Apertus, a real world open source project. Led by Oscar Spierenburg and a team of international developers, the project aims to produce 'an affordable community driven free software and open hardware cinematic HD camera for a professional production environment'."

cancel ×

152 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Big names supporting this? (2, Funny)

akirapill (1137883) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417758)

Oh silly me, I read the summary as "Led by Oscar [winner Steven] Speilburg..."

Re:Big names supporting this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418202)

Oh silly me, I read the summary as "Led by Oscar [winner Steven] Speilburg..."

Reading comprehension is hard, isn't it Sparky?

Re:Big names supporting this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418566)

Well, the name "Apertus" suggests it's supported by both Aperture Science and Hogwarts.

Open hardware? (3, Interesting)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417768)

Is open hardware really that big a problem? It's not like opening a Fab is cheap.

Re:Open hardware? (1, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417944)

I think there's fear that any Indie film that makes it semi-big will be hit with large fines from MPEGLA since they're using the mpeg encoder in the cameras in cheap cameras.

Re:Open hardware? (1, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417998)

And MPEG-LA would lose in court. You cannot enforce a license like that. Its like Ford saying i cant use my vehicle for commercial purposes or I would have to pay Ford special commercial use tax.

Re:Open hardware? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418214)

And MPEG-LA would lose in court. You cannot enforce a license like that. Its like Ford saying i cant use my vehicle for commercial purposes or I would have to pay Ford special commercial use tax.

Never underestimate the insanity of modern intellectual property law.

Re:Open hardware? (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418376)

I think you are wrong. In "GENERAL TALKING PICTURES CORP. V. WESTERN ELEC. CO., 304 U. S. 175 (1938)" [justia.com] the SCOTUS found that a patent holder CAN authorize a manufacturer to only manufacture for a particular market (home use vs commercial), and that any subsequent purchasers only get the same authorization that the manufacturer had. For example, if MPEG-LA authorized Canon to use MPEG patents in consumer cameras only, and you bought one of those cameras and used it for commercial use, you are infringing the patent.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419400)

I think you are wrong. In "GENERAL TALKING PICTURES CORP. V. WESTERN ELEC. CO., 304 U. S. 175 (1938)" [justia.com] the SCOTUS found that a patent holder CAN authorize a manufacturer to only manufacture for a particular market (home use vs commercial), and that any subsequent purchasers only get the same authorization that the manufacturer had. For example, if MPEG-LA authorized Canon to use MPEG patents in consumer cameras only, and you bought one of those cameras and used it for commercial use, you are infringing the patent.

Would you care to say how, I, as a hypothetical consumer using a purchased good for commercial use would be infringing on a patent by use of said good when I was not a party to the original patent license? I'm not a party to the license agreement therefor it does not apply to me as an end purchaser and owner of the final product.

If I were to encode the final video product in MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 and attempt to sell it then I would require a commercial license but not for using a camera.

Re:Open hardware? (3, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420236)

You need authorization to make, sell, offer to sell, or use any patented invention. If a manufacturer has a license to use a patent for a specific thing (say home use), and you have that manufactured thing, then you automatically have authorization to use that thing for it's intended purpose (patent exhaustion). If you buy the thing and use it for a different purpose (say commercial use), which the manufacturer had no license for, then you have no license. It does not matter if you were a party to the agreement (the manufacturer does need to inform you that the product is only licensed for certain use), because in the absence of specific authorization you have no authorization.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33420690)

You didn't read the fine print on your bill.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33421148)

If I am not party to the license agreement whereby firm X grants firm Y the right to use part Z of X’s “intellectual property” under condition C, it does not mean that I have the right to use Z disregarding C just because I’m not party to the agreement.

Instead, the law says that I _don’t_ have the right to Z in general, unless allowed by an explicit exception in the law or granted a license by X, the “owner” of Z. (Read: beneficiary of the state-granted monopoly on the use of Z.)

What you *might* mean is that patent law in the US (AFAIK) specifies that you can’t make and sell devices that use a patented technology without a license; I think using such a device when made by someone else would be legal, but IANAL, and you didn’t quite say that. Also, cameras contain software, and you might only be given a limited license to use that software; that is, if you make professional use of a camera sold for “home use” you might be infringing your software license via copyright law. (I honestly don’t see how copyright law can be invoked if you’re not copying the software nor did you install it on the camera, but IANAL and “US law surprised me in the past” would be an understatement.)

Re:Open hardware? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419436)

using the mpeg encoder in the cameras in cheap cameras.

I hate to tell you how to mod since I clearly don't know how to type, but "-1 redundant" is intended to express distaste for redundant concepts that are found in prior posts, not grammar-nazi distaste for redundancy in sentences.

Re:Open hardware? (4, Interesting)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417988)

Now that there is Ogg, WebM, HTML5 video, the 'Ubuntu' video editor for Gnome and the Kdenlive video editor for KDE4, all HD camera's are still recording to h.264 by default.

This is a huge problem for free software because it not only involves patents when dealing with h.264, but also a license.

Now you might think: *yeah well license... bla bla bla bla bla. Free software doesn't concern me.* But if you knew what kind of a threat this poses not only to free software, but also to you; you'd be very, _VERY_ concerned. (unless you wouldn't mind George Orwell scenarios, but in any case you asked what the problem was...)

You see the license you get with your camera, even expensive proffesional camera's, basically sais; all your base are belong to Mpeg-LA, even when converted to another format. This sucks, but oh well you can alsways buy a different camera because capitalism rules! But in this case it doesn't; try finding HD camera's that do not shoot in h.264 first.

For more info Google is at your service ;)

Re:Open hardware? (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418274)

So not open source = George Orwell? Are you really that much of a blind zealot?

Re:Open hardware? (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418314)

> So not open source = George Orwell? Are you really that much of a blind zealot?

When you play with someone else's ball, they get to dictate terms.

You don't have to be a "zealot" to understand this. HELL, the film industry fled the East coast over this very nonsense.

That is why there is a Hollywood to begin with.

Re:Open hardware? (3, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418666)

MPEG-LA basically claims certain financial rights over your project in exchange for the right to use the h.264 codec. This means that if you shoot a scene in h.264, but switch to something else to release on the web, they still have rights over you. If a contractor shoots in h.264 but sends you the video in a different format, they still claim rights over you. As far as I know, pretty much all HD cameras shoot in h.264.

Some of this is definitely winnable in court, some isn't. But if you're an independent filmmaker, you don't have the money to go against one of the biggest legal groups in filmmaking.

So yes, this particular situation is a bit Orwellian.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418858)

There is no possible way that provision is enforceable. Have you noticed how it has doubtlessly been violated all over the place? Not one lawsuit from the MPEG-LA. It's not going to fly and they know it.

Re:Open hardware? (0, Redundant)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418982)

There is no possible way that provision is enforceable. Have you noticed how it has doubtlessly been violated all over the place? Not one lawsuit from the MPEG-LA. It's not going to fly and they know it.

It's enforceable as far as you have the financial means to say that it isn't.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33420346)

What. First you claim this is some wild exaggeration, then you claim it's too ridiculous to enforce.

Make up your goddamn mind.

Re:Open hardware? (3, Informative)

Abu Hurayrah (953237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419238)

This is not correct. I am not defending MPEG-LA, but I think it's important that we get the facts straight. Once video has been converted from H.264 to another format, MPEG-LA cannot assert anything over it. This e-mail exchange which I archived on Libre Video [librevideo.org] explains this point using their own, documented words.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420222)

They can indeed enforce it if they can prove the camera it was shot on originally encodced the video in an MPEG-LA codec.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33420662)

They take you to civil court, they don't have to prove a damn thing. Its a preponderance of the evidence. And here is the preponderance, all cameras use H.264 now pay us, unless you have millions of dollars to pay your lawyers and years before this thing gets sorted out. Oh I hope your little indy film is still relevant by then because its not seeing the light of day until their judge says so.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

Abu Hurayrah (953237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33422822)

They can indeed enforce it if they can prove the camera it was shot on originally encodced the video in an MPEG-LA codec.

They would have to also prove that you did not have a license to convert it in the first place. I encourage you to read the (unfortunately rather lengthy) post I referenced in my previous comment where you can see that they have no rights after the video has been encoded.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418508)

You see the license you get with your camera, even expensive proffesional camera's, basically sais; all your base are belong to Mpeg-LA, even when converted to another format.

That's just FUD OSnews has been spreading. The license of one of the contributors cameras stated that only a noncomercial license was included. That basically includes encoding and decoding as well as all the other stuff the MPEG LA doesn't want money for, like putting it on the internet or selling 100k records. It doesn't include a broadcast or large scale distribution license, but if you are doing that the people broadcasting it or authoring and pressing the discs pay that anyway. Nothing in the H.264 license agreement prohibits conversion to another format for distribution and soon after OSnews released the article claiming that an MPEG LA representative confirmed to Engadget that it isn't true. OSnews later decided to add a small paragraph to their three page rant saying that yes, the MPEG LA said their interpretation of the license is wrong, but they don't believe them anyway.

OSnews article: http://www.osnews.com/story/23236/Why_Our_Civilization_s_Video_Art_and_Culture_is_Threatened_by_the_MPEG-LA

Re:Open hardware? (0)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418718)

"That's just FUD OSnews has been spreading."
Just for fun; get your camera manual and read what it says.

Sure, Mpeg-LA publicaly stated that they would not sue you or take you data, but it _does_ belong to them. And right now you might not need a license. Sure you're totaly right.

But to call this debunked? I wouldn't. I couldn't. I could and would not because whenever Mpeg-LA changes their mind then you don't have a single something to stand on.

Three characters:
1. M
2. P
3. 3

Does that ring a bell?

And not to piss of Germans, because they have nothing to do with the past, and not to compare Mpeg-LA with mass murder and hate crimes against humanity, but if Hitler would have told Stalin that "I will not try to screw you. Realy you have my word!" then would you have bet on that?

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33419188)

I read the manual liked in the article before I posted. That's why I'm saying it's FUD. I don't see how anyone would assume that a license clearly limited to the H.264 codec in the camera would apply to any content after format conversion, especially when the H.264 license itself is limited to the format. It's FUD just like your claim that the MPEG LA is asserting ownership to my data is FUD. They want a cut from encoder, decoders, broadcast and payed distribution in their formats, which I disagree with because I'm against software patents, but that doesn't change that your claims are pure fiction.

Yes, MP3 rings a bell. Fraunhofer came out with their submarine patents after the fact and wanted fees for encoders and decoders. They didn't want anything for distribution and didn't assert ownership on the content as your post seems to claims.

Since you already have to resort to invoking the Nazis it's all to clear that your arguments are thin and you instead resort on demonizing your perceived enemies.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420538)

The problem is that you need a license to do the format conversion, and you only have a noncommercial license for that, too (or no license at all if you're using OSS tools). So even if the end product isn't covered by patents, they can still sue you. Naturally, when they sue you for doing the patented format conversion, the amount they will demand as a settlement will just happen to be at least equal to the amount they would charge if you were distributing a patented end product.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418564)

Yo' know, I don't mind George Orwell scenarios as much I mind Franz Kafka scenarios.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418968)

Now that there is Ogg, WebM, HTML5 video, the 'Ubuntu' video editor for Gnome and the Kdenlive video editor for KDE4, all HD camera's are still recording to h.264 by default.

Of course they are.

Just about the only place you will find WebM video is on YouTube. Transcoded from H.264.

HTML5 doesn't specify a video codec.

H.264 is used in such applications as players for Blu-ray Discs, videos from YouTube and the iTunes Store, web software such as the Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight, broadcast services for DVB and SBTVD, direct-broadcast satellite television services, cable television services, and real-time videoconferencing. H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [wikipedia.org]

H.264 is mobile devices. The cell phone. The Flip pocket HD camcorder. H.264 is industrial and security video. The world is larger than the web - and H.264 has been out there for almost ten years.

A casual search of Google Shopping for "H.264" will return 42,000 hits.

127 pages of relevant results.

 

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33419136)

all HD camera's are still recording to h.264 by default.

No, only consumer cameras are (mis)using h.264.

The workflow for pro cameras is ArriRaw / RedCode for capture and encoded to ProRes or DnXHD for editing.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419162)

I'd like to agree with you, but you seem to think "HTML5 video" is a codec.

Re:Open hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33421174)

Nikon DSLR's don't.
They're deliberately using older tech. (read that as patent expired)
Which is why Nikons can be used professionally, where Cannons cannot.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 4 years ago | (#33421784)

Nikon DSLR's don't. They're deliberately using older tech. (read that as patent expired) Which is why Nikons can be used professionally, where Cannons cannot.

True, if you want to take a photograph, a cannon isn't very useful.

Having said that, many many professional photopgraphers use Canon equipment, so please stop talking out of your ass.

transcoding? (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33422934)

Is there efficient transcoding from h.264 to WebM? The two codecs are so similar that it may be possible to transcode without decompression and the associated quality loss.

If there is efficient transcoding, that would greatly reduce the problem.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418106)

They're not manufacturing their own sensors, or really even any hardware components as far as I can tell, apart from the support system which is ultimately optional, and probably a lot simpler to manufacture than electric components. The project is really more about shoe-horning various devices together into something that's more modular and extensible than the commercial alternatives, and aside from the weak imaging element (which is kind of critical), they're doing a great job. Stick a camera with a 35mm-sized sensor that can do HD at 30fps on the front of it, and it would be a really great camera to shoot a film with.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418570)

Is open hardware really that big a problem? It's not like opening a Fab is cheap.

The optical and mechanical requirements of a production-grade camera are demanding. Three - large - HD sensors are the norm. I don't see the savings here.

Re:Open hardware? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419594)

It's not like opening a Fab is cheap.

This is one, but not the only, reason why I oppose patents on hardware.

Falcon

Free or Open (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33417776)

community driven free software and open hardware

So it isn't open source, just community driven? Oh, that's right... the "community" can't agree on a term.

Re:Free or Open (1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417836)

I never understood all the hate towards open source by trolls here on Slashdot. Like anything, the way the open source community operates has flaws just like any other community....but what about it butthurts people so badly that they have to troll about it?

Re:Free or Open (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33417866)

Could be the utter scorn the OSS community heaps upon anyone who actually wants to make money on their products.

Re:Free or Open (1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417936)

In OSS, if everyone can't agree on something, it either stalls or splits projects into forks which isn't always a good thing. Stalling means you can't rely on whatever the group is/was working on, and forks means the workforce of the old and the new forked project has been split too, sometimes leading to the death of the original, the fork or both.

In a company, someone or at least a group usually has the last say in how something should be done so that things can move forward. Like Oracle buying everything left and right and closing doors to projects used world-wide. Oh wait...

Re:Free or Open (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419284)

Pretty much every closed source software is in it to do business. That doesn't mean they always play nice when maximizing profit like lock-in and forced obsolescence, but most of the time they're looking to satisfy the customers because it leads to more sales and being able to take higher prices. The project shapes to meet the demands of the users. Open source on the other hand, for the most part goes in whatever damn direction they feel like, and being a user gets you essentially very little say-so. You want it? Fine, you code it or hire us for $$$ to do so. And if the people behind it lose their motivation, it's unlikely someone will come up with enough cash to change their minds.

Hiring a good developer at market rates is expensive - maybe short term in the financial crisis you can get something good for "cheap" but it's certainly the exception. Just think what your own contract rates would be, and you won't get many hours work on GIMP before you could have bought Photoshop for less. For most people on their own desktop hiring people to code something custom for them personally is completely out of the question. That's the problem, there's not one person willing to pay $100 (that'll get you less than two days at minimum wage, and the contractor still has to cover expenses and social costs) but there's probably 100 people willing to give $1. Except there's no working micropayment system and it turns into a waiting game hoping someone else will pay.

That's the big difference between closed and open source. Open source is free if it already does what you want and ridiculously expensive if it doesn't. With closed source software, you're paying even if you only use features they've had for years. That cash goes into funding development so the costs are spread among more users, not that the first user must pay everything. The first person gets the pleasure of trying to plow the road, everyone else just follows.

Re:Free or Open (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418246)

I never understood all the hate towards open source by trolls here on Slashdot. Like anything, the way the open source community operates has flaws just like any other community....but what about it butthurts people so badly that they have to troll about it?

The fact that they don't have to participate in it if they don't want to has never stopped the less-enlightened from railing against something and hoping it fails and ceases to exist. It's not good enough for them that they don't have to participate; they cannot rest until no one else may participate either. This is by no means limited to Open Source, software, or computing. It was in fact a huge driving force behind movements like Prohibition.

Re:Free or Open (0, Offtopic)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418962)

Um, no. I think very few people here have a beef against the idea of open source. I use some open source software when it suits my needs and works well enough. If it does what you want it to do, why not?

I think the anger is lashing out at the FOSS community. While some are level-headed, some are not and come off like raving zealots. I've never seen tech zealotry on the level of a FOSS fanatic. Even the most obnoxious Apple yuppie fanboy can't hold a candle to the lunatic ravings of the FOSS nuts. It's sad, really, because we get some good stuff out of the FOSS community, but there are just too many asperger's-riddled neckbeards who refuse to budge on the smallest, stupidest things and will sure as hell let you know it.

It's not open source we mock. It's the hardline element of the open source community.

Re:Free or Open (1)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419272)

A casual perusal of any open forum on the Internet will readily show that zealotry just as intense is plenty rampant. See: Politics, sports, cars.

Re:Free or Open (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419750)

Aw. come on, RMS isn't _that_ bad, is he?

Re:Free or Open (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420818)

It's not open source we mock. It's the hardline element of the open source community.

The hardline is entirely the point of it for a lot of people. And to me, it makes sense. The defining characteristic of being a vegetarian is not eating meat. The defining characteristic of open source is not being closed. You don't compromise on your most central reason for being, you work to advance it.

Re:Free or Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418994)

Or it could be that you implied everybody who isn't a fan of open source is less-enlightened and your general bullshit attitude like mac fans. Bitches love to bitch, haters love to hate, and bitches and haters aren't just open or closed source.

Re:Free or Open (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33421306)

Or it could be that you implied everybody who isn't a fan of open source is less-enlightened and your general bullshit attitude like mac fans. Bitches love to bitch, haters love to hate, and bitches and haters aren't just open or closed source.

I actually don't think you're trolling so I'll answer this.

There are reasonable people who can decide that something doesn't suit them. They don't also feel a need to make negative posts all about how something is terrible for everyone else merely because it does not meet their personal needs.

As a contrast, there are the less-enlightened. It's not good enough for them that they don't have to use whatever it is that doesn't suit their needs (be that Open Source or anything else). No, they also have to hate the fact that anyone else would use something that doesn't suit their needs. That's what a fanboy is.

I very much enjoy and appreciate Open Source. If asked, I can help someone to better understand both the philosophy and the software to the best of my ability. If it's relevant to a discussion, I might weigh in with my opinions about it. However, I acknowledge that for various reasons, it is not for everyone. The freedom of others to do what they wish with their own property (computers/hardware they own, in this case) is more important to me than any personal admiration of Open Source I may have.

That's why I am not a "fan" in the sense of viewing everything in terms of "my team vs. everyone else". That's a mindless and in my opinion, childish way to look at the world.

So no, I did not imply that everyone who doesn't like Open Source is less enlightened. You may have a strong desire to read that into my message but it is not actually there. You are supplying that all on your own. What I described as less-enlightened are those people who are not content to do what works for them; they have to also convert the other guy. Try reading my post next time. If you did read it, try addressing your issues with reading comprehension.

Good luck with that... (3, Interesting)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417822)

Didn't I read someplace that MPAA, in collusion with camera equipment manufacturers and the camera operators' unions, is looking to place patents on these devices so as to preclude competition?

Re:Good luck with that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418442)

The device supports also supports RAW which MPAA will not be restricting.

CODECs? (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417880)

In terms of video codecs the camera supports .mov, JP4 RAW (requires post production conversion), .ogm, and JPEG sequence plus optional tags like geo information/GPS coordinates.

Last time I checked, .mov was a container, not a CODEC.

A .mov file can use a lot of things. Quicktime 7 gives me PNG, JPEG, JPEG 2000, DV, DVCPro, Apple Pixlet, MPEG-4 and H.264 as video CODEC options. Older Quicktime versions would have offered me older CODECs too.

And what's JP4? Never heard of it. I sure hope they don't mean their camera runs on jet fuel [wikipedia.org] .

Re:CODECs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33420594)

Hi!

About JP4 please check: http://wiki.elphel.com/index.php?title=JP4

http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/Linux-For-Devices-Articles/Elphel-camera-under-the-hood-from-Verilog-to-PHP/ search for "Color processing in Elphel cameras"

http://blogs.elphel.com/2010/07/jp4-workflow/
Regards

Re:CODECs? (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420792)

I, for one, would only buy a camera if it ran on jet fuel.

Re:CODECs? (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 4 years ago | (#33422184)

In terms of video codecs the camera supports .mov, JP4 RAW (requires post production conversion), .ogm, and JPEG sequence plus optional tags like geo information/GPS coordinates.

Last time I checked, .mov was a container, not a CODEC.

.ogm is a container too. It's made by the same company that made vorbis (audio) and theora (video).

Is your quote from the article? If so, they just don't know anything about AV.

Open source camera? (3, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33417946)

Unfortunately, while the camera will have some interesting features and can do some things well, it will be hampered by an interface that only a CS grad student could decipher. Further development on future models will come to a standstill as the developers engage in fierce, unyielding debates about minutia. Eventually the camera will be forked into four different projects, with only one making it to market and carrying the same flaws as the first.

Re:Open source camera? (2, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418008)

You think they'll actually get one to market? Overly optimistic of you!

Re:Open source camera? (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418284)

Unfortunately, without a profit motive, this tends to be the case.

Re:Open source camera? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418306)

meanwhile apple will sell millions of iPhone 5's where you personally have to ask Steve Jobs permission any time you use it

Re:Open source camera? (1)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418848)

...hampered by an interface that only a CS grad student could decipher.

Score:5, Truth [xkcd.com]

fir-St (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33417974)

task. Research metadiscuusions

Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (4, Informative)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418052)

Reading through the article, I'm loving just about everything about this camera, except the most important part of all...the sensor, which is absolutely tiny. Forget about a camera for cinema, with a sensor that size you're going to be struggling to get it not to look like a webcam video. Looking at the company that makes the actual camera element, though, it looks like they also sell a model with a more reasonably sized sensor, but it can only do 5fps. If they really want to pass this thing off as a motion picture camera, they need to find a solution that will give them a big sensor at a respectable frame rate. Hopefully that will be possible in the near future, because the rest of this project looks downright awesome.

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

Thagg (9904) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418176)

bieber is absolutely right. What makes the Canon 5D Mark II amazing is the large sensor (even larger than 35mm motion picture film), enabling good control of depth of field. No matter what you do, with that sensor it's going to look like phone-cam video.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419796)

bieber is absolutely right. What makes the Canon 5D Mark II amazing is the large sensor (even larger than 35mm motion picture film), enabling good control of depth of field.

The Mark II only captures 29 seconds of video though. Because of the sensor size, 35mm full-frame, I've thought about getting one. That or a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, but that's more than twice the price of the 5D Mark II.

Falcon

Re:Canon EOS 5D Mark II (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420174)

29 seconds? It's more along the lines of 12 minutes, iirc. If you're shooting something staged and controlled, 12 minutes continuous recording shouldn't be an issue. It's worthless for live video, since it can't even give you a clean video out signal, but for controlled recording it's really quite spectacular for the price.

Re:Canon EOS 5D Mark II (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420470)

29 seconds? It's more along the lines of 12 minutes, iirc.

That's what I thought I read in early reviews, but a review on photo.net [photo.net] says it can record 12 minutes in HD or 29 minutes, 59 seconds in SD. Being able to record 12 minutes, you should be able to break up scenes into small enough segments to record all of it, so maybe with the right accessories maybe it can be a decent movie camera.

Falcon

European taxes on camcorders (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33421856)

That's what I thought I read in early reviews, but a review on photo.net says it can record 12 minutes in HD or 29 minutes, 59 seconds in SD. Being able to record 12 minutes, you should be able to break up scenes into small enough segments to record all of it, so maybe with the right accessories maybe it can be a decent movie camera.

The EU defines devices that can record 30 minutes or more of continuous video as "camcorders", and subjects them to special taxation [philipbloom.net] . This is the reason for the 29:59 limit on SD.

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418276)

yea, and it's using C-mount lenses, this thing is obviously not designed to compete with full sized sensors and cameras...

Racking focus on a c-mount can be tough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33421076)

A screw-mount lens ain't necessarily the one you want for production. On the other hand, there is some very nice tiny glass they make in c-mount.

This thing sounds like a video Kras [k3camera.com] . But with so many low-end video options, who needs something like that?

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

Wescotte (732385) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419414)

I've been watching the Apertus/Elphel project for some time now. I too wanted a larger sensor to allow a nice shallow DOF. However, the more research I do the more I realize it can still be achieved. The digital cameras that were used to shoot the Star Wars prequels were 2/3" and they achieved a very cinematic look. The C-mount means you can get lens that are capable of doing this at a fraction of the price.

Really, the only true advantage of a larger sensor is having potentially larger pixels. This allows each photosite to capture more light and thus work better in lower light conditions. Think of a bucket capturing water. The larger the bucket the more water you can get.

Now, right now nobody seems to be manufacturing a full frame sensor that does what you need and is cheap enough. Once they exist I'm sure the Elphel/Apertus team will start using them.

Here is another interesting camera project that seems to debunk many of the perceived size sensor limitations. It' called "Drama" and is designed to be a camera capable of uncompressed video. http://dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=219424 [dvxuser.com]

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419860)

Really, the only true advantage of a larger sensor is having potentially larger pixels.

It may not matter to you but resolution does matter to some people. Better signal-to-noise ratios is also important to some.

Falcon

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (2, Informative)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420308)

the only true advantage of a larger sensor is having potentially larger pixels

Not at all.

The large sensor gives you long focal lengths, which give you small depth of field, which is extremely important for cinema.

While this camera may be a very interesting project, and may end up being useful for certain things, it doesn't look like it's real use will be anywhere in the realm of professional film making.

The small sensor is an essential drawback. The C-mount for lenses is absurd (that was used on "high-end" Super 8 cameras, and amateur 16 mm. cameras several generations ago. Good luck trying to rent modern C-mount lenses...), etc.

Looking at the photo in the article, I also notice a ridiculously large monitor, none of the usual accessories on the camera, and the whole thing screwed onto a tripod for stills photography. The people who set up that camera in the article's photo are certainly not thinking of professional cinematography, or if they are, they don't have a clue.

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33421092)

The large sensor gives you long focal lengths, which give you small depth of field, which is extremely important for cinema.

I never understood this - if you want small depth of field, why not just open up the aperture?

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33422108)

Because when your lens is already wide open, that isn't really an option. For instance, with a 28/2.8 lens on my 20D (appreciably smaller than 35mm sensor, but still much larger than a compact digital) I can get somewhat shallow depth of field at f/2.8 at close range. If I mount it on a 5D Mark II, I can get that shallowness at a much longer range (still wide open), and when you get in really close it's just remarkably shallow.

Re:Cinema on a Sensor that Small? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420140)

Ouch, the sensor size is a limitation, you can get a new Canon camcorder with a sensor about that size for about $700 from a reputable shop. Sure, it won't have all the same features but that puts the whole thing into a bit of a perspective. The kit in question is above the base price of a 5D Mk. II, the saving grace of the Apertus is maybe access to less expensive lenses. I see some features that make it more useful in a production environment, but the sensor size is a major limitation.

While the interface looks intriguing, I think an off-the-shelf SLR with modified firmware m be a better bet for indie filmmaker needs. There are firmwares for Panasonic's micro four thirds cameras that nearly double the standard bit rate. With cheap lens mount adapters, a micro four thirds camera can accept just about any lens mount system.

Lens Not Included? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418088)

I don't get it. The crux of image acquisition is the lens and they don't include one?

I don't see how that contraption could possibly penetrate the production side of entertainment industry. What is the market for this device?

Re:Lens Not Included? (-1, Flamebait)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418238)

What is the market for this device?

Richard Stallman and those like him. It doesn't matter how godawful the product is. If it's open-source, they'll use it and extoll its virtues despite other products being superior in every other way.

Re:Lens Not Included? (3, Insightful)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418404)

That's because in serious cinema (and still), there's no such concept as "the lens." It's "whichever lens is best for this particular lighting situation/distance/position," and you have a bag full of them that you swap out at will. While you can buy some SLR (and possibly cinema, I'm not really familiar with that world) cameras in a package deal with a lens, experienced users generally won't, unless the package just happens to include a lens that they want to have at a discount for buying it with the camera. Shipping a single lens with every camera would just be foolish, and turn away buyers who either already own or just don't want whatever particular lens you chose. Besides, at this point the entire camera has to be purchased piecemeal and assembled, so even if it were standard to include a lens with a camera purchase, it wouldn't exactly be the single issue standing between them and market dominance :/

Re:Lens Not Included? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419912)

Prosumer (I hate the word too) level cameras tend to be offered with or without a lens. Often there's two packages, a camera body+battery+remote, and a full kit with all that plus a lens, a bag, and a crappy cleaning kit. So it is slightly odd for something at this level (in small sensor land) to not be offered with a lens, but it's not really that big a deal.

Re:Lens Not Included? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420722)

While you can buy some SLR (and possibly cinema, I'm not really familiar with that world) cameras in a package deal with a lens, experienced users generally won't, unless the package just happens to include a lens that they want to have at a discount for buying it with the camera.

That made it sound like they were bad. The primary reason is that they're all generally bundled with an all-round lens and if you already have an SLR - which is pretty much a requirement for being called an advanced user - you already have it from your last camera. Unless they are changing lens system, which for a professional photographer is a huge decision not taken lightly. The best lenses are never bundled as far as I know, it's more of a "starter kit" for people that don't have any lenses already.

Re:Lens Not Included? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418506)

because even amateur photographers have a few lenses

which one you use depends on your location, lighting, etc

Re:Lens Not Included? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419376)

Whatever lens you get with the camera isn't going to be a very good one. Good lenses can easily cost more than the camera itself, so of course that's not what they're going to bundle with it.

Once Upon a Time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418188)

There was this startup called Red (http://www.red.com/)....

The weakest link ... (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418204)

I love how the article uses crappy low-res, heavily compressed flash video to demonstrate the quality of the camera.

Canon XF300/XF305 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33418260)

http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=3407

Canon XF300 / XF305 Camcorder. BBC approved broadcast quality camera. $7000.

SOLD.

I don't see much of an advantage... (3, Informative)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418262)

This thing is trying to compete with the RED camera system and the 5D Mk. II. As others have said, the sensor is already behind. Everyone doing 2K on the cheap is using the 5D Mk. II as a video camera - it has a bigger, better sensor than anything anywhere in that price bracket, plus Canon's awesome lenses. The next step up is the RED system for 4K, which is just on fire right now because of its revolutionary modularity. This thing is pretty small potatoes compared to either of those two. It might be good for student filmmakers though. A school could buy a batch of them.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (2, Informative)

theJML (911853) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418582)

I'd also like to add the T2i or the 7D. It's "Good Enough" for 1080p, continues to use great EOS lenses, does it cheaper than the 5D mk II and is $1k or less. As TFA points out, the cost of the system their pitching has a camera that STARTS at $2k and "More advanced sensor frontends could drastically increase this price". To me, Drastically increasing $2k puts you closer to a RED camera, and not quite so drastic, the 5D mk II, so the $2k camera is close to the same as the T2i or 7D and they cost quite a bit less, have chdk firmware (or will soon) and are proven systems with support lines and easily found warranty replacements. Because the last think you want to do is shoot a few perfect takes and then find out that the 'open source hardware' wasn't quite up to snuff.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (3, Interesting)

Taxman415a (863020) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418654)

Well the not being hemmed in by the MPEG-LA's patent trolling would be one big advantage. "It's a shame your film has made some money or become famous, let's talk about damages."

Being limited to the C or CS lenses seems like a pretty big thing when the 5D has a large range of interchangeable lenses, and apparently the Red One can use Nikon and Canon lenses with adapters and even have full electronic control of them. The people developing the Magic Lantern firmware [wikia.com] seem to be a fan of the 5D's larger sensor compared to the Red One, etc to the point where they are reverse engineering the camera to add some cinematic improvements to its firmware. That's pretty hard core.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (1)

Wescotte (732385) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419696)

Adapters from C/CS to any other mount are cheap. Going the reverse is expensive.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (2, Informative)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420410)

the Red One can use Nikon and Canon lenses

You can do that, but in practice you almost never do it, except for some very special single shots. These are photo lenses which are not well suited for cinematography. The RED has a standard PL mount that takes any of the standard film camera lenses (Zeiss, Cooke, ...) from your local renting company.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (1)

Art3x (973401) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420880)

Being limited to the C or CS lenses seems like a pretty big thing

But they're not. There are adaptors for just every other lens mount. The video clip at the bottom of the article uses an adaptor for SLR lenses.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#33421400)

Maybe a better solution would be to find an existing camera that's A.Cheap B.Good enough for amateur cinema work (the target audience here) and C.Hackable.

Then you go and produce a custom firmware that only records into non-patented formats.
MPEG-LA comes knocking on your door, you can show them that the footage was NEVER encoded in MPEG.

Re:I don't see much of an advantage... (1)

Taxman415a (863020) | more than 4 years ago | (#33422864)

Maybe a better solution would be to find an existing camera that's A.Cheap B.Good enough for amateur cinema work (the target audience here) and C.Hackable.

And that camera would be...? The whole point of the effort in this article and the Magic Lantern is that no such thing exists, particularly at HD quality. This effort is trying to put the hardware together from scratch and Magic Lantern is trying to hack existing hardware that has the features they want. However you should read up on the things they have to do to decode the Canon firmware just to have the chance to try to improve it. And that's for one of the cameras it's possible for.

Is it just me? (2, Interesting)

bracher (33965) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418308)

Or is this really the Elphel opensource/openhardware camera, and how Apertus hopes to add things around the edges. The camera is Elphel, as is the sensor and the software. The only thing that seems to be community-designed/built is the "rod" packaging, and maybe the battery rig.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Interesting)

Abu Hurayrah (953237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33419900)

The homepage for the Apertus project is cinema.elphel.com [elphel.com] .

several "open camera" software projects (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33418572)

The one that intrigued me was Stanford's computer science professor Marc Levoy Camera 2.0 Project. [scientificcomputing.com]

too big, not intuitive enough (1)

dh003i (203189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33420802)

So...it has the size of a medium format or even large-format camera...but the resolution of a DSLR that is 5 years out of date. Doesn't seem too impressive to me.

Now these points of data make a beautiful line (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33421188)

I can't be the only one reading the name Apertus and humming that tune, right?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?