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Pick-a-Brick: Build Out an Open Source Camera

Axiom Open Module Concept

There seems to be a never ending growth to the number of cameras available on the market. In the days of film, silver halide crystals suspended on a thin strips a flexible substrate, cameras were most definitely platforms of optical imaging modules. A filmmaker was able to swap out parts and pieces to build the rig that was most beneficial to what they were shooting. The simplest way to look at this is to think of interchangeable lenses. A camera back functions with a consistent optical workflow, swapping out the lens results in a different image. The swap and go functionality of film cameras is present in the world of digital video and cinema, but not to the extent it was during the pinnacle of the film era. As always, times are changing.

The Axiom Open Module Concept

The apertus° project is committed to creating an open source digital cinema camera that is both affordable and for use in a professional production environment. Earlier today apertus° announced the apertus° Axiom, a prototype they are developing in order to seek crowdfunding for producing the camera. The Axiom is being built as an open module concept, meaning that users will be able to pick which parts of the camera they need for the functionality of their choosing. Think of it as a collection of Lego bricks. You start with one brick that features the lens mount and the camera sensor, then depending on what functionality you need, you add those blocks onto the camera as you need them.

Need RAW output and extended battery power? Put those bricks on. Need to have XLR audio inputs? There’ll be a brick for that. Want to do high speed videography with high frame rates? Take the brick with those capabilities and add it onto the camera. It sounds like a scalable camera platform that is adaptable to the videographer’s needs.

Tech Specs

Currently, nothing is written in stone. This is a project that is in development but is attracting a lot of buzz and seems ripe with potential.  The goal is to create a platform that creates an image with 4k resolution utilizing a super 35mm sensor. The lens mount is projected to be a Nikon F-Mount. There is a push for Cinema DNG Raw recording and to have a module built for high speed recording. The goal is to set a price point that is well below $10,000. For the quality of image apertus° wants the Axiom to generate, this sounds like a bargain.

Chris "Ace"
Gates
October 07th, 2013