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Black Betty: the First Cinema Camera That Can Shoot, Edit, & Post Footage Completely Internally

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The brand new camera design is in the open (You guys are good!). Black Betty is much more than a camera. It’s a complete cinema solution utilizing an Apple Mac Mini computer with a Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini for the imager. It also happens to be the first single unit camera in existence capable of shooting, editing, and posting footage online, without the need for any other hardware.

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Black Betty weighs in at a little under 10 lbs. (16.4 when it’s built up completely), but it is the most balanced camera I’ve ever used in this price range. When you put it on your shoulder, it immediately calls to mind the small film cameras that became one with their operators. This camera is a handholders dream size and weight to keep things steady — and with a handle, you’re good to go. That’s why it was created, to completely get out of your way and let you use the wide range of 16mm and Super 16mm lenses out there. This was a passion project to create a camera that would utilize as many off-the-shelf parts as possible, while creating a completely new housing from a solid block of aluminum, which also happens to have more tapped holes for accessories than anything on the market.

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The SI-2K Mini (used extensively in movies like Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours) is a 2048 x 1152 2/3″ CMOS sensor that records DCI 2K/1080p up to 30fps, with higher frame rates at lower resolutions. It has at least 11 stops of dynamic range and operates comfortably from around ISO 160-500. The SI-2K Mini is more or less just a sensor in a small housing, and it uses Gigabit Ethernet tethered to some sort of device — like a laptop — that will then be used as the recorder. In this case, the internal Mac Mini (which also uses its own SSD) is running the Silicon Imaging software to record CineForm compressed RAW files in many different ratios, ensuring that you can save space when you need it and shoot less compressed when you want the highest fidelity. Here’s the unfinished front housing of the camera along with the lens mount, a P+S Technik IMS mount capable of taking almost anything in existence, including PL, Nikon, and more:

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The 720p touchscreen drives the Silicon Imaging software (the camera only has start/stop and on/off). Simplicity is the name of the game here. Shoot RAW, expose properly, and get beautiful shots. You can also see the standard 2.5″ SSD drive slot used for recording media in the back:

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Check out some footage from the camera. This is a teaser from Jeff Stern’s The Morning of Everything, shot on the Cooke 9-50mm zoom and Zeiss Speeds:

Here is a little bit from our exclusive interview with the creators of the project, Adam Van Voorhis, a Cinematographer and Equipment Manager at Rule Boston Camera, and Mike Szegedi, an experimental filmmaker and Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Bluefin Robotics:

NFS: So this thing actually runs a full operating system?

Adam: It boots Mac OS and Windows, and that opens the door to a lot of creative, fun stuff. The Mac Mini that’s in here is just an old Core 2 Duo, because we wanted to butcher something old first, before buying something new. But you could conceivably put a new Core i7 Mac Mini in here, boot up into Mac OS, load your footage into DaVinici Resolve, and hook up another monitor to it. Then load that up into Final Cut X, edit away, and grade your footage — all off the camera if you wanted to.

NFS: Does the footage play in real-time on the system?

Adam: Yeah, it’s not a heavyweight codec. If you wanted to you could do everything with it including surfing the internet and Chromecasting your files to your television in your living room. It can do all of that. And that’s something that is exciting, as computing technology changes, so can the camera. Even if the computer changed form factor, we could just make it fit into the housing. Because we know that wouldn’t get bigger.

Mike: I don’t know of any other camera in the world that can do that right now. I’m not saying we’re the first, but we might be — even though it’s a DIY thing. We might be the first camera that has all of these capabilities built-in, without having to hook up a laptop. [Editor's note: This is the first cinema camera that can do all of these things in one housing.]

Adam: …And obviously it’s not super practical to use the camera as your editor, grading station, or to review all your footage, but if you didn’t have another choice or you don’t have the resources, why not take advantage of something like that? Why not share your frame grabs over WiFi. Say I’m in the field and I need to get a still frame, or I need to get my footage off, and I have nothing. Sure, just upload it.

NFS: Theoretically you could upload your footage wirelessly.

Adam: You could. It would be slow, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing anything like that. There’s nothing stopping you from taking Bluetooth keyboards and Bluetooth mice, and using them to do things like trigger the camera remotely. I’ve triggered the camera from hundreds of feet away with a Bluetooth mouse and it works, and that’s damn cool.

Mike: Since it’s an Apple device, you could probably use Apple devices to trigger it.

Adam: Sure. Anything that you can do with a Mac Mini, you can do with the camera. It’s simple.

Mike: ..but powerful.

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Right now Betty is being positioned as a rental camera, and you’ll be able to get it from Rule Boston Camera. We’ll have more from Mike and Adam, so stay tuned, and if you’ve got questions, it might not be a bad idea to hold off and ask them once the full interview has been posted, as there will likely be more than a few questions answered.

Link: Black Betty Cameras

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 166 COMMENTS

  • Props for innovation!

    • ^Exactly. I would never ever use this but I LOVE when the small guys go toe-to-toe with the big guys. Everyone wins from new ideas. Except for the small guys with terrible loans who can’t afford rent.

  • What an interesting, interesting camera. I would definitely try this out. And the footage looks beautiful!

  • Great innovation. When the 35mm sensor version hit the market I’ll be interested.

  • Awesome. I gotta admit, just recently I was watching Miami Vice and thinking about how cool that movie looks. I went and looked it up, found out it was shot with a 2/3 sensor (Viper). I realized that a some of my favorite 2000-era films are marked by that 2/3 look… Miami Vice, Zodiac, Public Enemies, Speed Racer. So excited to find out a new camera being released with that sensor size.

  • cinematographer1 on 08.29.13 @ 12:45AM

    Speaking for all indie film makers, the question on all our lips is:

    - How much will it cost?
    - Will it be cheaper than the BMCC?
    - When will it be released?

    • Kevin Marshall on 08.29.13 @ 1:06AM

      The article says it’s likely rental only right now. That aside, if it were to be sold, I *highly* doubt it would be cheaper than a BMC. The SI-2K Mini alone would probably go for more than a BMC, let alone the Mac Mini inside, the custom housing, and the labor involved in making it (especially since it’s essentially a bespoke camera, not mass-produced in any way).

  • EOS HD recently had a piece on some guy in Germany who put together his own camera. But it looked definitely like a one-off. This one should be capable of a lot of mods and upgrades.

    • Anthony Marino on 08.29.13 @ 5:44AM

      Funny I was trying to look that up during the first post. I’d like to see how far that guy is now, looked interesting indeed.

  • Just looking at some of the features, I see some pros and cons with this camera.

    The footage is beautiful, the design of the camera looks comfortable, and the concept of having a mac mini behind the sensor is awesome.

    The dynamic range isn’t very great, only getting up to 30fps at 2k/1080p, and the cropped 16mm(?) sensor which most competitors seem to have these days.

    Although this isn’t a camera I’ll be getting, it will be interesting to see how well it does compared to the Blackmagic cameras, the Digital Bolex, and DSLRs. I hope similar looking cameras come from this though.

    • That’s one of the goals really. These guys want to raise awareness, that cinema cameras don’t have to be made like camcorders or DSLRs. This size and shape is something a lot of people desire (and more may desire once they put it on their shoulders.)

  • Well, she ain’t much of a looker but definitely one of the more interesting cameras that’s come about in awhile. Was hoping for a higher res/super 35mm but that’s what I get for building up a mystery cam in my imagination. Definitely interested in this one. Will probably be moreso once a price is announced.

  • “It also happens to be the first single unit camera in existence capable of shooting, editing, and posting footage online, without the need for any other hardware.”

    They may need to get legal protection on that idea. Looks like a steal-able concept. And yeah, if it can be stolen pretty likely it will be. Got a good lawyer?

  • The idea of zero upload time to a computer is nice!

  • I really need XLR inputs on any of these (visually) awesome cameras. Please?

  • Only 11 stops? Ouch.

  • “It also happens to be the first single unit camera in existence capable of shooting, editing, and posting footage online, without the need for any other hardware.”
    uhhhh you forgot about the billions of iphones……..

  • This so cool! I love this project not only because I am a frequent customer at rule and live in boston. But this is an extremely cool and interesting camera. I will be renting this ASAP! Follow me on Facebook, I should be doing a review and some testing.

    Caleb Camera

  • Seems like a hackers camera to me. It sound cool in practice, but I dont really see the need to cut inside the camera, and even color grading is a stretch (even as a last resort). Props for innovation, but it seems rather unecessary and more than likely not worth the price of admission. If i want a cinema camera I can spend a couple grand for a rig and a couple more for the a bmcc and for around $5k have a kickass cinema camera. Not to mention that it won’t be mass produced by a big company so it might be hard to support it properly since its so DIY, if something go wrong then what. And the IQ at this point, is a little behind the times. But I applaud the effort in developing something like this, and would love to see a more throughly devloped s35 or ff version of this maybe based around a dslr sensor with 13-14 stops, and with a fully developed interface. having a computer inside the camera might make this feasible and very powerful. And the form factor is of course a plus for some situations.

  • How does this thing fit comfortably on the shoulder?

    • Because the balance is exceptional. Having a pad or a towel can’t hurt for long periods, but it just sits there nicely.

      • Well-balanced or not, 7.5kgs is a lot of weight to have on your shoulder all day…

      • Sorry but this isn’t a ‘new camera’…the designers say it themselves. Editing in camera? Who is going to want to lug around that camera to edit? Most shoots dump&go w/ perhaps some basic cuts from the editing bay/laptop, not edit then shoot more.

  • I don’t really understand how the SI-2K Mini works. Without this set up how does it traditionally capture? i.e could you hook one up to a Ninja? I’m not sure how this camera is any better or worse compared to any existing way of using the censor. Does it give a different image? Record for longer? What are the USB ports for? Is there a mic?

      • So, if SI decides to put out a 4K camera, one could almost change the front end? Alexa has a modular (Alexa M) piece but it’s hefty $140K. There’s Modula, a German company. The new Sony Honami smartphone is modular. I wonder if one could rig those two pieces together.

        • Dave Kendricken on 08.29.13 @ 2:39AM

          Someone already has put out a 4K camera, and one with a “10 Gb/s computer connection so you can capture the camera’s output.” Mac Mini accepts Thunderbolt :) It would take some figuring out, for sure.

          • Well, initially, my thought was that the secret sauce was in their software (and it still may be) but, as been pointed out by Elle, a similar rig with the Mac Mini has been done before. I assume there’s a difference somewhere along the way but (@Ben Prater, et al), if they had made it open source, then pretty much a lot of folks could put this together and the BB ROI would come to a solid nil.
            .
            BTW, as I was perusing the net, there have been other modular systems recently beside the soon-to-be announced Sony. (I know this is not news to many of you) There’s been a Ricoh, a South Korean and the German projects, etc. A more daring attempt here, IMO, would have been to take apart an off-the-shelf $500 dollar camera like D5200 or a58 and write a clever codec to turn it into a 4K cam for the extra cost of a Mac Mini.
            .
            PS. As to an exoskeleton type mounting – check this out. And the guy has an iPad live recording too!
            .
            [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzC87VSk7pw]

            My take is that soon there’ll be a fairly autonomic robot-like rig (won’t be cheap, obviously) that could do pretty much everything a human operator could do without getting tired of logging a 30 lb rig all day. The director and the DP would then control him via a joystick pad and Google Glass.

  • This is amazing and has redefined my idea of what a camera can be. I would use this right now if I could. God damn. Gimme.

  • More like Hipst-a-Matic.

  • I think the SI2kM is about $20k all by itself, so this may not be a low-cost option. The concept is interesting though. At some point somebody will Frankenstein some great parts together like this with zero unique components — a complete off-the-shelf bolt-up — and then all kinds of innovation will occur. It will be like building a PC from scratch. Who wouldn’t want to have an entire Mac available? It does not mean you need to run everything on it. The BMCC guys would kill just to see how much space is left on an SSD — that is not a problem with a Mac as the brain.

  • Seriously though, if they put in something like CMOSIS Super35 sensor and give it a little more old Aaton look – I’m in. Fun.

  • I’m glad you like it Joe.
    I hope this camera works out for them. Having worked extensively with the SI2K I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy so perhaps they’ve straightened that part out (I owned one for exactly 10 weeks). When the original SI2K was launched it was supposed to be a game changer. Not so much. It ended up being a niche camera, and the ones Radiant Images have rehoused are fantastic for certain things.
    As to the form, I loved my old CP, and my SR2, but do I want a new digital cinema camera in that shape? Hell no.
    I LOVE the DSLR form factor (which took 60 years to evolve), and after seeing what Bloom achieved with the Pocket and an old Angenieux lens, I know I’ll be even happier with that. I’m not an ENG guy. A camera on a tripod is essentially just a box. If I need handheld we put cameras on rigs and we do just fine. I want SMALL. Portable. Powerful.
    While I respect their effort, and the images look ok, there’s an element of those old phone handles in funky colors that people plug into their iphones in this. I don’t want the tech I went to war with 20 years ago – I want the new tiny gun that is 100 times more powerful.
    To me, the best thing along these lines would be something like the Pocket, that you then inserted somehow inside a shoulder mount exoskeleton that you printed out yourself at home on a 3D printer, with a couple rosettes and a V Mount battaery as ballast. In fact it just occurred to me we should try doing exactly that. :-)

    • > “While I respect their effort, and the images look ok, there’s an element of those old phone handles in funky colors that people plug into their iphones in this.”

      Ha, this is exactly how I feel about it!

      Very interesting indeed this post is on NFS, but not for me. Small ftw.

  • First I thought, it is a joke.

    We should applaud these guys for their idea. Hire their camera and support them so that they can further refine it with a version 2.0

  • Don’t miss the story on how this camera was created, pretty interesting: http://blackbettycameras.com/building-betty-2/

    As a filmmaking and a software programmer, I’d love to have access to the data coming from an image sensor. This camera does this, sorta — it’s a sensor piped into the common Windows OS on the Apple Mini. The RAW hacks on the Canon series are for super bright hackers. However, if someone would design a camera and give average programmers easy access to the data, they might come up with something interesting things. This project might inspire someone.

    Here’s a simple example: I’d like to write software that would allow me to put a 2-second delay on the sensor feed to the HDMI output. Then I can act in front of camera, turn to the monitor and immediately watch the “replay” to see if I got what I wanted.

  • ” It also happens to be the first single unit camera in existence capable of shooting, editing, and posting footage online, without the need for any other hardware. ”
    Except the iPhone…

    • Rodrigo Molinsky on 08.29.13 @ 12:41PM

      “None of which are RAW-shooting cinema cameras with interchangeable lenses.” (MARINE, Joe)

  • There’s a 4k USB 3.0 camera called the Flea3 made by Point Grey for machine vision. http://ww2.ptgrey.com/USB3/Flea3 It costs $900. It’s software is Windows only, but you could always load that onto the Mini. Only does 21fps at 4k, but it can do higher fps at lower res. They also have one model that can do max res of 2080 x 1552 at 60 FPS. The 4k might be able to do the same rez and fps but I’m not sure.

    They also have a camera that’s CCD and global shutter, but does 1920 x 1440 at 26 FPS. Their cmos global shutter does 2048 x 2048 at 90 FPS. http://www.ptgreystore.com/grasshopper3

    Some body on one of the BlackMagic forums was making their own version of that setup, but I’m not sure the cam and now I can’t find the thread. Either way, you can have a working setup for less than $2k.

  • To me it does feel more like a film/16mm, tanks to a SI-2K Mini, which does it job on 5+, compare to what you get with BMCC, rather a very digital felling/look. The only problem that is not mass produced and only rental… I think we need more people to come up with more cameras around this SI-2K Mini sensor…. I would be happy to pay for, anything under 5k range.

  • Looks like they just commercialized Danit Sigler’s rig with a fancy shell? http://www.danitsiglerdp.com/my-rig.html She’s been shooting on something less polished but essentially the same guts for a long time.

    • Excellent find Elle!

      Does anyone know how much SI-2K Mini cost?

      • At least $15k, not sure off the top of my head.

        Their camera looks cool, don’t get me wrong, but Danit’s rig is the very first result on Google for the phrase si2k “mac mini”, so I would find it hard to believe that these guys didn’t see it when doing their initial research into whether this had been attempted before. Danit’s been a commercial DP for a long time, shoots some high profile music videos, and works with Zacuto pretty often, always using this particular setup.

        • I guess the issue is more with their claim that they invented this mac mini setup which isn’t true, and they probably knew that because they must have done some research at some point during their process. But if there are multiple models of this that get made I’ll definitely try it out, the footage from this setup looks great.

          • hmmmm…question is who was first

          • She’s been shooting on it since 2010…

          • Peter, here is a thread from 2010 where her husband explains exactly how Danit’s camera was set up: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-475134.html

            • I think it’s worth pointing out that they aren’t claiming to have invented the idea of pairing a Mac Mini with an SI-2K Mini, and in fact are absolutely part of the community of modders who are doing interesting things with the SI-2K. They simply took what is normally a bulky and tedious setup, and fit it into their own custom-machined aluminum housing (and did some other hardware tweaks internally), to create an all-in-one system that is solid and easy to use.

              At this point the camera is not intended to have a production run. Right now it’s a one-off that will be a rental for the foreseeable future. It’s just another option for people who want to shoot a certain way.

  • I’m all for the camera. Did anyone else crap themselves with fear when that bear came to life in the trailer? Maybe it’s because it’s 3am and I haven’t slept in awhile… Freakin bear!

  • finducinema on 08.29.13 @ 6:01AM

    If the price isn’t in a comparable bracket to the BMC, this camera will be as dead as the Digital Bolex already is.

    • Anthony Marino on 08.29.13 @ 8:53AM

      How do you know are you the camera genie? Psychic? You’re entitled to your option but really? You sound silly

      • No, silly, he’s just being rational. By the way: Are YOU the camera genie ?

        • Anthony Marino on 08.29.13 @ 10:28AM

          Rational? Bashing a product you never touched is not only rude but stupid. And NO I’m not a camera genie, I’m a camera king, I can make anything look good and can back it up. Where’s your work?

        • neither of you are camera genies, but you certainly sound incompetent by making wide spanning claims about companies that are making money. you are not making that money, they are, and they are for a reason. the digital bolex completed its kickstarter for a reason, there were enough people that wanted one. and then they kept changing it and making it better. before you throw them out, realize that they are profitable. i’d certainly like to see either of you pull a new camera idea and design out of your hat the way these guys have

      • Uh, it’s not all that silly. Blackmagic is now offering 2K for $2K and 4K for $4K. I mean, all cameras have their place, but Blackmagic (even with their delays) is absolutely going to clean up the indy film crowd if these companies can’t start legitimately competing. That’s just obvious.

        • Anthony Marino on 08.29.13 @ 1:06PM

          cheap shots are silly and rude. These people are a part of this community, fellow filmmakers that deserve some respect. Whether you like their product or not they’re offering a tool that will continue to democratize the industry. Like blackmagic and that camera is much further from perfect than the DB so it should be embraced not bashed. It’s as silly as saying your craftsman wrench isn’t as good as my snap on when both can be used to build an engine. Plus how can anyone be a good filmmaker without some compassion? The DB people have worked hard, they went through hurdles to get this far, at least give them a chance before you go and throw them under a bus. Hell the dude even managed to insult 2 people just trying to offer something most novice filmmakers can afford. That’s gotta be worth something. If nothing else show some respect to Ryan, Joe and the NFS team for bringing us this info. I love in between my edits or on break I can enjoy some great articles about an industry I eat, sleep, breath and kill myself for. It just grinds my gears when I hear silly statements like “this camera will be as dead as the Digital Bolex already is”. It’s a ridicules statement and needed to be addressed. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing, show some respect and maybe you’ll get some back.

          • I see what you’re saying now, I misunderstood where that was being directed. Fair enough, and I agree with you. No need to hate on DB, personally I like what I’ve seen from them. Are they dead in the water? Absolutely not.

          • Seriously, man…..It’s the internet.

        • What Blackmagic has done is nothing short of awesome, BUT cameras are not all specs sheets video reels. If you ever watched the Zacuto Shootout, it doesn’t matter what you shoot on, you can make any camera look good, it’s just how easy is it to work with and how cheap. Blackmagic has Raw, but that brings up color correction( time and maybe money) storage( you need alot) and absolutely no way your using their audio. Expecially the pocket camera. My t3i records audio internally fine with magic lantern. Blackmagic Cameras have their flaws. I think the Digital Bolex will have it’s place. This Camera not sure, I need more information about it.

  • Chris Lambert on 08.29.13 @ 6:10AM

    Anyone else thinking that eassentially lugging a mac around on your shoulder that wasnt designed for handheld operating/ the inevitable rigos of production etc may not have good long term prospects?

    • As long as there is a SSD and not a traditional HDD, I don’t think there would be any issues.

    • Hast anyone thought about power consumption, reboot everytime you change batteries, updates,…
      I’d prefer to have a sensor/camera unit and my smartphone as recorder/monitor… should be possible!

  • Anthony Marino on 08.29.13 @ 6:13AM

    Seems perfect for programmable stop motion animation tracking, you use the camera to control pan and tilt, as well as exposure for each frame via bluetooth. Hmm could be a winner for at least that market.

  • Joe: “but it is the most balanced camera I’ve ever used in this price range.” could you elaborate further on the price range, please? I did not find it anywhere of the sites listed. Thank you.

    • Blake Z. Larson on 08.29.13 @ 8:19AM

      According to their website the camera has been conceived as a rental only camera, available from Rule Boston Camera.

  • Cool idea… Definitely a lot of possibilities with this concept.

    Nerd to be careful, Mac Mini’s are not suited for GPU intensive tasks: Davinci Resolve would barely work if at all.

  • Interesting idea. Not sure about the practicalities of it though.

    • MEH

      ALSO THE SI-2K was not a cheap camera, rental package would probably the only thing for this camera and they probably would have to market the h3ll out of it or donate it for projects to keep the concept alive.

  • this is so hilarious……..huauahauhauahuahuahauhauhauhauhauhauh

  • Conceptually, I think this is Brilliant. I don’t much fancy the form factor, though. Also, I think, if they should collaborate, with a few people, to get the costing, and features, right. I would love to be a part of this (maybe designing it perfectly, keeping the ergonomics and portability, in mind).

    Also, I think, that, instead of this being the Final work station, for post (maybe, except for small Indie Filmmakers), this could help save time, in transcoding, or maybe, basic editing, and for checking technicalities, would seem too far fetched on a regular monitor).

    This, IMHO, is MUCH bigger than 4k, 6k, or all the other Ks, put together.

  • Reminds me of the ARRI 16mm vibes. I would love to have a proper form factor like that again. My five cents is if these guys put together a DIY package that you could assemble, at a reasonable price, this would be an interesting prospect. Honestly why can’t someone rehouse the BMC into something like this.

  • I’m really digging the fact that someone is thinking. I own the FS700 and a Mark iii. My biggest complaint is holding em. When I have them all rigged up with literally thousands of junk they are easy to hold and hard to use. I love things in a nice little package with everything you need. This is right up my alley. No more to buy… May not be the perfect camera yet but a great step in the right direction. So great what people have come up with in the last few years!

  • I think Anthony Dod Mantle used a similar setup. He had a mac mini in a backpack while he hand held the camera head for the running shots through narrow streets in “slumdog millionaire”

  • A really great idea! With the Mac Mini running the system, the camera can be upgraded as time goes on. Also the software can encode with different codecs!

  • Meh, cool idea but nothing i’ll be able to use anytime soon.

  • Sooo..the new macpro plus the BM4K comes to mind…solder them together and voila! A camera that will sit on your shoulder and record lots of stuff /RAW+Proxy thru the thunderbolt cable.

  • Oh, Rule – I’m so glad I just moved back to Boston.

  • Opens the door to a lot of post capabilities. I wonder if the camera could simulate a chroma key on set. Also wonder if you could attach a potentiometer device to the Mac Mini and record the camera’s XYZ position for motion tracking.

  • You could have the camera automagicly publish to a mac mini hosted server at http://www.macminiworld.net. It would be a 100% mac mini based solution from end to end!

    Dustin

  • This idea is genius, i wish they could put assembling instructions for a DIY project,

  • I’m less interested in actually using this camera than I am in what could be the response from other companies (if they even take note, that is). I love the image quality and specs from a lot of the cameras on the market, but having to build up to be ready to shoot annoys me. Competition to get the new camera out is so hot that they send it out without it having all the essentials (although one could make the argument that it’s cheaper adding all these things on from third parties anyway). I just want what these guys wanted from a camera, something that is ready to go out of the box.

  • Take an iPad throw in a SSD, 8 gig ram, that would make it about 2 in. thick. put a M43 mount on one end, microphone input, headphone plug. hdmi , thunderbolt…..etc.etc. Man amazing time to be a filmmaker.

  • Matthew Groves on 08.29.13 @ 12:46PM

    This is will be the Linux of film cameras…all the features I wanted in a camera, and if there are not there, it is already “Hacked” for add-ons. DIT could be wireless, wireless preview just went from $2000 to $35, all the parts i might need could be at any best buy or camera shop. WOW WOW WOW!!!!

  • john jeffries on 08.29.13 @ 1:42PM

    The GPU on a mac mini is awful though.

    And the fact that it is rental only and in Boston only (and not LA) just makes it lose any hope of ever gaining significant market/mind share

  • Young Pizzy on 08.29.13 @ 3:05PM

    Wow!!!!! Interesting……but I don’t think its capable for rugged shoots, I may be wrong tho….but with the Mac OS and all, btw its a lovely piece! I like it, sounds amazing

  • Nick Hiltgen on 08.29.13 @ 3:21PM

    They say you can grade your footage in camera with a Mac mini i7 and davinci. Did black magic just release an update because the last time i tried to load davinci on my i7 macmini it wouldnt let me because of the limited intel 4000 graphics (or something)

  • The concept is there, cool. Implementation has a long way to go.

  • the NSA will watch what you are filming

  • Terry_Mickie on 08.29.13 @ 4:08PM

    Just when we think we’ve seen the best there is to offer….BOOM someone throws a new hat in the race. I’m curious about the costs. Will mass production ever be in the plans?

  • Reading about the building of this system is even cooler!

    http://blackbettycameras.com/building-betty-2/

  • How much the black betty costs? Please email me .

    Lou

  • FWIW, given the global trend toward the miniaturization of electronics, one should be able to get an All-in-One, sans on outboard monitor/recorder, type of a rig fairly soon. Sony took a major step with RX-1, when they squeezed a full frame sensor camera into a compact “point&shoot” body. RX-1 weighs one pound, a half of 5D MK III. The Black Magic Pocket Cam weighs even less, at 12.5 oz (355 g) clean. The lens and the kit obviously add size and weight but the overall trend is fairly clear.

  • Why not a KickStarter campaign to make the full 50 units or so and see where it goes from there?

  • Roald Christesen on 08.30.13 @ 6:01AM

    Congratulations for the excellent integration of the components in a very practical looking housing. I startet a very similar development and my opinion to the topic is:
    The components are excellent … but they are not optimal in combination. For example is a Mac mini a good all in one small computer, but it consumes to much power as a cpu in a camera. The cpu will get used to the limits at higher resolutions, it is not as reliable as an well developed FPGA solution.
    But the camera is great … and i hope their will be good movie cameras like this one in the future. All the best for the team behind it.

  • emilio murillo on 08.30.13 @ 6:42AM

    put the battery in the back and kit will work from both sides

  • Very similar concept:http: http://vimeo.com/73306600

  • Wonder why they didn’t go for this more shoulder-friendly shape:

    http://blackbettycameras.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/cardboard.jpg

  • It looks like an antique 16mm movie camera? Is this deliberate?

  • trackofalljades on 08.31.13 @ 6:44PM

    Seems like a pretty much all-inclusive digital era version of the Lumiere Cinematograph, in terms of shooting and “processing” and projecting all in one (just add HDMI cable to projector, right?). Good show. Would love to see more attempts at this, for the notebook-or-less lightweight filmmaking crowd.

  • http://www.ptgreystore.com/zebra2-28-mp-color-gige-hd-sdi

    OK, machine vision camera with HD-SDI output. Global Shutter CCD, max res of 1080p at 26fps, costs $1500.

  • Anyone knows, will SI-2K mini work with Raspberry Pi? Since Mac mini is sort of cumbersome.

  • So what happened to the Ikonskope DII? It did not sell enough at $7k to keep the company going, and it was a much nicer looking camera than this one. Do I really want an OS in my camera? to crash, to take forever to boot up? 16mm lenses, the Ikonskope was designed for that format, and most people use a ENG camera for the amazing lenses for a 2/3″ chip, about the same size. The real innovation is S35 and larger sensors in a very small package, IE DSLR’s and other cameras. The 16mm market is well served by 2/3″ ENG cameras.

    M

  • The SI2k could always do all those things, it runs on Windows after all – and it’s original body (designed by P+S Technik) is a much better and more functional design than the Black Betty.

    So what’s the innovation here?

    http://www.siliconimaging.com/DigitalCinema/SI_2K_key_features.html

  • Really amazing converging of technology. I do not see the need to edit “in camera” as someone who works in studio post production. What would be more amazing is if the system had Cortex or Scratch or Color Front (Cortex is the best in my opinion) that would scan and see when ever a new shot was taken. Take the new shot and transcode right away to a specific template of deliverables (h.264 for viewing, DNX36 or ProRes for editorial etc) which then was transfering them to a server. No need for a DIT, just an ae who is seeing foldes update.

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