Mike Wilhelm - August 01st, 2012
There's an open source camera hitting the market soon called the Apertus Axiom, and it may make you re-think the concept of what a camcorder is.
I've never honestly thought about it before. When you break it down to its individual components, what exactly is a camcorder? Obviously it's a lens, mounted in front of an image censor, that feeds data to a small computer which processes that data to form an image file. Then on top of that there are components like an LCD screen, software that allows you to manipulate how the censor works and how the CPU processes the image data. Next there are elements like some sort of recording device, like a hard drive or a flash media reader/writer, and finally there's a microphone (or microphone input jack) which captures audio and sends it to the CPU to attach to the video file.
So now what if you wanted to build your own camera? You can go online and buy lenses, LCD monitors, hard drives, card readers/writers, microphones, and digital audio recorders. The hard part is coming up with the image censor, CPU, and software. For this level of modularity we'd want to shoot with a Red camera, right? A Red camera would definitely be modular, allowing us to add whatever component we want or need, but we want to go a step further and go truely open source.