Octopus Camera
Octopus Camera. Image courtesy Octopus Cinema.

While the Octopus Camera is in the very early stages of development, Octopus Cinema has built this prototype with the intent of it being a very upgradeable system.

The system uses non-proprietary hardware and software. Its Linux version runs with an 8-core i7 Intel CPU. The SDK enables for full usage of the camera’s CPU. So, for instance, if a Unity3D AR project containing CG asset were deployed to the camera, that would allow for real-time camera-tracked visualization of VFX without the need for any extra hardware.

Here’s some sample shots from the Octopus Camera from Octopus Cinema:

There are two versions in the works

Right now, Octopus Cinema is working on two different versions of the Octopus Camera. The first version will use a 5K full frame sensor. The other version will use a 4/3″ 4K sensor.

However, where Octopus Cinema really differs from other cameras is it isn’t tied to one single image sensor. The camera supports a range of image sensor modules from third-party sensor module manufacturers. Developing a camera that isn’t tied to a single sensor is a very interesting concept. It’ll allow the users to upgrade the camera to their liking and their production needs.

Octopus Camera's specs
Octopus Camera’s specs. Image courtesy Octopus Cinema.

What we know about the camera so far

Right now, the prototype uses XIMEA’s 1.1-inch and Full Frame image sensor modules. XIMEA’s modules can be interchanged, allowing the Octopus Camera to have a fully upgradeable image sensor.

The Octopus Camera records lossless compressed 12-bit RAW 4K into CinemaDNG format. For longer record times, the camera also records high bitrate (900mbit) 10-bit HEVC. All sensors are capable of full losslessly-compressed 12-bit RAW at 4K 30 fps. 10-bit HEVC and lossy RAW allow for higher frame rates depending on the sensor.

Also, the camera has SSD and CFast 2.0 options using the SATA III and USB3 ports connected to the main board. Additionally, the camera measures just 110 x 110 x 110mm, weighs 900g, and is made out of CNC Milled Aluminium.

More than Monochrome shooting

According to Octopus Cinema, “fine detail in shots is preserved with no moiré or artifacts at all – even when pixel peeping.” The camera’s native ISO of the monochrome sensors is over double the color equivalent. The 1.1-inch native monochrome sensor has an ISO around 2000ASA. The sensor also includes downscaling for the frame vertically by 2 while also keeping the full-width resolution. It doubles the maximum frame rate and halves the frame’s RAW file size while the vertical resolution reduction shouldn’t be noticeable.

You can learn more at octopuscinema.com.

Image courtesy Octopus Cinema