It's been a long road for the team over at Apertus, but they've reached a major milestone: they are recording footage and are finally showing it to the public. To put this into perspective, Apertus first announced their plans to build a camera from scratch nearly 2 years ago, and in that time with just a small group of people they've got a working product. It should be noted that for testing purposes the first step is getting HDMI recording working (though they will eventually use 3G-SDI and they did show off a 4K RAW image back in January -- it's just a lot of data to handle for full motion footage and that's an end goal with the Axiom). Either way, it's a huge accomplishment, so check out the very, very early prototype footage below.


Here's a note from Sebastian of Apertus about the footage:

Please note that this footage contains the first basically unprocessed raw (not in original bayer pattern though) image samples ever recorded with the Axiom Alpha prototype. Whilst this is a major milestone, it represents only our first step through the door and into the beginning of the actual tweaking. Also keep in mind that this is TEST footage not captured with the intent to showcase the capabilities of the camera but rather to proof that it is working at all. While we think you can already see some potential in the image quality the video is simply NOT meant to be beautiful yet. As it stands, the video signal output from the Axiom Alpha still carries some flaws.

Here is the footage (some of the jerky motion is just from using a high shutter in the exteriors):

They also haven't:

  • calibrated the colours of the camera
  • calibrated the white/black point (offsets) and linearization, leading to some vertical streak/curtain effects
  • created a Fixed Pattern Noise (FPN) profile (the Alpha prototype already supports this, however we have not yet found the time to actually conduct the required measurements)
  • There are some red lines at the bottom of the image, this is due to unresolved minor incompatibilities between the Axiom Alpha HDMI output and the utilized recorder

The footage above is also recording in a strange sampling mode -- RGB 2:4:2. That is thanks to the development board they are using with the camera, but eventually all of these things will be working perfectly.

The camera is also running fixed-pattern noise correction (which all CMOS cameras deal with) in real-time at 4K, which is important for clean footage:

And the 4K sensor they are using from CMOSIS (which may be the exact sensor Blackmagic is using in their 4K camera) has some HDR features to allow much higher dynamic range:


The camera is capable of much more dynamic range with this mode (15 stops has been mentioned before), which pretty much allows you to shoot in any difficult lighting situation.

The team has come a long way, and they've still got more work ahead to finally deliver a 4K RAW camera, but this is a giant step in their process, and it means that they've taken the idea of an open source camera, and are truly making it a reality.

Read more over on their website.

Link: Moving Images from Axiom Alpha Prototype -- Apertus