Not all exciting announcements come out at NAB. Craft Digital Systems has unveiled a truly unique camera that allows you to add modules to create the kind of camera you want.
The heart of the Craft Camera's design is its Video Elements (modules), which can be added or removed to become a studio, action, or cinema camera. Video elements come in two versions, 4K and HD, and have features like a Super 16mm and 35mm CMOS sensor with global shutter, high 120 fps frame rate, and 13 stops of dynamic range. Oh, and with all of the elements you could possibly add to it, this thing costs less than $3K.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/163181999
Craft hasn't released a full list of specs quite yet, but the ones they have shared so far are definitely intriguing, especially considering the fact that they come built into a modular camera that lets you essentially built your own camera according to your specific needs.
HD Video Element, Super 16mm CMOS Sensor with Global Shutter (1920x1080, 1280x720)
4K Video Element, Super 35mm CMOS Sensor with Global Shutter (4096 x 2160, 1920x1080, 1280 x 720)
Fast and slow frame rate speeds at intervals up to 120fps
Speed Mount for MFT, EF, or PL
ProRes and CinemaDNG
Craft Camera doesn't just include elements for video, but for audio, data storage, power, and LCD screen as well. There are also plenty of accessories you can add, like a handle, ND sled, speed mount, control link, and additional batteries. The price varies quite a bit depending on which elements you decide to incorporate, as well as which version of the Video Element you choose, but the HD version of the Craft Camera with all the additional elements will cost you $2000, and the 4K version will cost $2900.
The first batch of Craft Cameras will be shipped in December to those who have reserved one.
Very interesting, this announcement left me with more questions than answers. Not the least of which is how does one shoulder mount this camera if all the inputs and outputs are on the left side of the camera body?
April 18, 2016 at 3:43PM
Switch it to the other shoulder if the cables block your view. But either way you need to have an external monitor with a magic arm since the "built-in" LCD looks similar to Sony's FS700 that is badly positioned (middle-top-behind of camera). Sure more blocks with variations in LCD and input/output orientation will come - hopefully.
April 18, 2016 at 4:16PM
Oh, just "switch to the other shoulder" he says. BUT I'M A RIGHTY!
Obviously the external monitor is essential, ( as it seems to be with every camera these days ). I just worry about wires being all up in my personal space.
April 18, 2016 at 4:53PM, Edited April 18, 4:53PM
Mount the camera upside down ? :-)
April 18, 2016 at 5:28PM
Yeah, I/O positioning makes this an almost instant no-go for me. But maybe it takes great images. A bunch of the sensor head modules hooked up to a console seems like a great way to outfit a studio. Certainly more cost effective than the new Canon box.
April 18, 2016 at 4:58PM, Edited April 18, 4:59PM
Craft does not have a working prototype, but claims it will start shipping this December.
Does this story sound all too familiar?
RED showed a working 8K camera last NAB.
It got carried all around the floor recording and demoed to folks.
RED has over a decade under their belt and a state of the art design and assembly operation,
yet they barely got two handfuls out the door last December.
(This is not a knock on RED. I mention the above to provide perspective)
What about BMD delivering products almost 2 years later with lower specs then promised?
It is completely unreasonable to expect Craft to get anything out this year.
They don't offer any proof of a working prototype, let alone more specs then "4K".
The price list is almost comical by itself; $49 for "battery".
The dimensional drawings look to defy physics.
If folks are out to save money, best order a RED Raven before the price goes up this Friday 4/22
April 18, 2016 at 8:56PM, Edited April 18, 9:11PM
"How does one shoulder mount this camera if all the inputs and outputs are on the left side of the camera body?" - Kenneth Kotowski
hahahaha, i just got that!!
(guess I'm not having a smart day)
April 18, 2016 at 9:19PM, Edited April 18, 9:20PM
This is an intriguing idea for a camera system. They definitely have the "slick" factor of the design both the camera and their site/visuals. But it doesn't seem particularly ergonomic or easy to shoot with. or what kind of beating all those connections can take in the field.
And most importantly, until we see images from the sensor, it's just a shiny box to look at. That's the 2 most important things for a camera. How easy/dependable is it to when used and does it make pretty pictures.
The price is nice though.
April 18, 2016 at 4:04PM
I think this camera is more "game changer in the near future" then the Lytro Cinema Camera that still seems to be in a PoC phase and well out of reach for many film makers budget wise. If the price range in Craft is what they say... you might actually see couple of these being used.
April 18, 2016 at 4:20PM
This thing will never come out.
April 18, 2016 at 6:45PM
Yup, i'd wager a 6-pack you're right.
April 18, 2016 at 9:14PM, Edited April 18, 9:14PM
here their address - Craft Digital Systems, Inc., 4355 Cobb Pkwy. Suite J109 Atlanta, GA 30339.
google maps shows a UPS store???
been at it for one year, no prior systems or company info listed.. 1st project ?
more public info i found
CRAFT DIGITAL SYSTEMS, INC.
Georgia Domestic Profit Corporation · Updated 3/14/2016
Craft Digital Systems, Inc. is a Georgia Domestic Profit Corporation filed on August 24, 2015. The company's filing status is listed as Active/Owes Current Year Ar and its File Number is 15083338.
The Registered Agent on file for this company is United States Corporation Agents, Inc. and is located at 1420 Southlake Plaza Dr., Morrow, GA 30260. The company's principal address is 376 Seminole Dr., Marietta, GA 30060.
View Related Trademarks
Company Name: CRAFT DIGITAL SYSTEMS, INC.
File Number: 15083338
Filing State: Georgia (GA)
Filing Status: Active/Owes Current Year Ar
Filing Date: August 24, 2015
Company Age: 8 Months
United States Corporation Agents, Inc.
1420 Southlake Plaza Dr.
Morrow, GA 30260
376 Seminole Dr.
Marietta, GA 30060
April 18, 2016 at 8:32PM, Edited April 18, 8:49PM
I looked up that UPS address too! And if you go to their twitter, hundreds of people tweeted this identical, spam-y message about Craft Cameras the past few months. This has swayed me away from a pre-order. I bet these 3D models are all that Craft Cameras has so far, but at that price point I'd love to be proven wrong.
April 18, 2016 at 9:41PM
I have been waiting for this types of cameras for a long time. I think it is a good idea changing parts of your equipment instead of buying a new one. It is just like BMD tried to do with URSA and it's interchangeable censor. I specs good things from this product, let's see what time will make out of it.
April 18, 2016 at 8:35PM
Intriguing yes, but would you take it on a paid gig? Not without another camera on hand that's for sure
April 18, 2016 at 11:32PM
The idea is fine but it would be better to see a working prototype if they want to be taken seriously.
April 19, 2016 at 12:28AM
It's all about general image quality and color science. My guess is both are subpar, because out-of-nowhere camera makers almost always get this super wrong (even Red did when they first started out), but we will see.
April 19, 2016 at 12:41AM
If people put down money on a camera that only exists as a piece of CG design, then we've reached peak stupid.
April 19, 2016 at 4:13AM, Edited April 19, 4:13AM
Looking more closely at the spec, it literally does everything people want - built in ND, 4k, variable lens mounts, 120fps, ProRes or DNG, 13 stops DR, modular... AND super cheap.
It's pretty much the exact wishlist people have been discussing for the past couple of years... which makes it even more likely that this camera is currently more concept than actual.
April 19, 2016 at 7:52AM
Of course it's the exact wishlist (well, not exact -- should be global shutter with at least 15 stops of DR). Why spend millions to develop yet another camera that doesn't do everything on the wishlist? Even if they hit the specs they've listed, the wishlist is a moving target. Unless they're done most of the development, they probably won't release in December. By the time they do, and fix all the boo-boos, it may be too little too late. Nonetheless, I wish them well.
April 19, 2016 at 9:56AM
I love amount of possibilites. You can do everything with this camera. I wish I could afford it.
April 19, 2016 at 7:13AM
If this thing is real, they need to put a few prototypes in to the hands of some experienced DP's and get some footage online ASAP. Otherwise, just seems like NAB vaporware. A CAD model spinning around on a web site is not as impressive to me as website with staff, office, manufacturing and support details.
April 19, 2016 at 7:33AM
Concept - interesting. Futureproof? Swap modules for what you want/can afford or if new improvements become available? Sounds good. I guess you will be able to buy extra firmware stuff like RAW output? Maybe even S-Log/C-Log profiles etc?
But - no working prototype? No stills/video samples from the sensor? Not even full specs or pictures of actual camera (except 3D renders).
I would love for this to work and succeed, but they will burn through a lot of cash first before they establish themselves in the market. Also, success will depend on community and features as much as quality of images that it can produce. E.g. RED has ton of extras that you can buy from them for your cam, including software. Also they offer certified training etc. Craft will have to create mini eco-system for themselves to show that they are willing to support users for years to come, like any other camera manufacturer.
April 19, 2016 at 8:18AM, Edited April 19, 8:18AM
I'm still 100% convinced that this is a scam! I sure hope I'm wrong for those who pre-ordered it. But honestly who the hell would do that without even having sample footage? Maybe they all forgot what's more important in a camera...
I sure hope I'm wrong everything looks decent enough and the designs look very cool. But may I remind you that the https://apertus.org/ Apertus Project has been around vfor a while and not even they have a working modular camera ready yet!
April 19, 2016 at 11:08AM
Sounds like proprietary Axiom concept.
April 19, 2016 at 11:15AM
Look it this is a 3D computer only design not a real camera. If the genuine people at Blackmagic Cannon And Red cannot get all these feature to work right out of the gate and they require years of know how sweat equity and time to get it right then this is either a scam or grandiose wishful vapor ware. And just because they say you get your money back does not mean you will folks! Remember all the Kickstarter folks who never did. They will use this money for development and production and when they run into trouble and go bankrupt good bye deposits people.
Don't be a sucker Use your minds. You can make the choice to wait.
April 19, 2016 at 8:36PM
my interest is peaked, that being said im waiting till some of the big reviewers take a look at it and give it the ok before i order
April 20, 2016 at 6:45AM