Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

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Troy Murray

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Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostSun Mar 17, 2013 10:27 pm

I feel like there are enough people on here that know a good amount about programming and the likes. I say we ask for open source firmware, really unleash the beast and lets us create the best software out there. It would be a huge step forward just in business model. It's time.

Troy
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DavidJames

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostSun Mar 17, 2013 11:26 pm

+1 I love this idea. Look what opensource has done with CHKD and Magic Lantern......ok they are hacks but hacked by an opensource type community.
Opensource would be even better if supported by the manufacture.
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Noel Sterrett

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostSun Mar 17, 2013 11:41 pm

Blackmagic has SDK's for several products. You can download them from their site.

Blackmagic could really shake things up if they released an SDK for the camera.

Cheers.
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MrHolman

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 5:09 am

This would be awesome.
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Aaron Scheiner

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 10:35 am

It's highly unlikely they'd do this... they use several IP cores from other companies (ProRes for a start) which are not open source/licensed. They'd probably also consider the release of their source as a loss of their intellectual property, which other manufacturers could then steal.

So far BM has given very little indication of their shipping data despite significant delays and much protest from their customers... would they release their source code, which is far more important than their shipping data ?

Companies are very protective of their source... even the Raspberry Pi's GPU is still a closed-source system - Broadcom simply won't open it up.

That said... if an open source firmware project reached maturity... it would be AMAZING. Pretty much all BlackMagic products are based on FPGAs, which means the room for customisation would be far beyond anything in the DSLR space (DSLRs use ARM CPUs coupled with DSP/ASICs, so all the processing is hard-coded).

I'm sure it'll happen eventually.
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Steve Lee Jean

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 2:39 pm

As utterly awesome this would be, especially with all the very talented programmers out there that have been above to provide proven and reliable "hacks" I agree with the above. I just don't see it. I believe in Open Source as the future, but I can't see a niche product of this magnitude ever becoming open source, especially when so much of us don't even have our cameras yet.

Instead, I'm happy with the way companies like Panasonic have handled themselves by listening to their customers and doing their best to avoid the dreaded "product tier/protection" scheme that we're all so used to.

But in the future, who knows?
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Alex Mack

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 2:45 pm

innerspark wrote:I just don't see it. I believe in Open Source as the future, but I can't see a niche product of this magnitude

I do see it.
Especially because of the 'niche' element, and how nimble and awesome BMD tends to be.
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sean mclennan

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 4:07 pm

What is the benefit to the manufacturer?

Do you sell a product with no warranty? If the firmware is open, things could be done to damage the camera. Remember, as a hack, you are not supporting the altered firmwares. You are voiding your warranty. If they sell the product with an open firmware, they have to cover themselves from responsibility of damage. You also have no control over the user experience anymore and you have that Android-like nightmare for support...so do you waive support for your camera too?

I like Canon's way of dealing with it....on the 5D they decided not to prosecute the Magic Lantern guys because their hack didn't interfere with Canon's sales strategy. However, they purposefully stated that they would sue them if they touched the 1Dx, to unlocked the features the 1Dc had. (basically turning an $6K camera into an $11K camera with firmware hack)

I would much rather just have the manufacturer listen to their audience and give them the best camera they can.

I love how everyone was blown away by the amazing BMCC, with it's cinematic RAW output at an unbelievable and unheard of $3K price...and now so many people are complaining they "need" more in that package, at that price!
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Alex Mack

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 4:18 pm

Yes, installing said open source firmware would void the warranty. Countless numbers would still prefer this firmware anyway, because of the enormous benefits...

In any case, it is a user freedom matter, you would not have to do anything you personally don't want to, and there would be no extra work for BMD (in fact - a lot less). Additionally, they could learn from the open source project, and borrow freely from open code to expedite and improve official firmware development. So, all things considered, this is a good thing. No worries.
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Steve Lee Jean

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 4:32 pm

Canon's response to Magic Lantern is pretty much status quo right now. Magic Lantern hacks haven't really unlocked any game breaking features on most of Canon's DSLR's, just features that lots of people felt were sensible things to have in the first place, i.e. focus assists, zebras, audio meters, agc disable, etc. Canon is notorious for protecting their products, and as long as the hacks don't result in decreased sales, everyone agrees to let each other be.

On the other hand...

I really like where the GHx community has done with the GH1, and GH2. This is one situation where a hack (or "firmware reinterpretation" as some would like to say :D ) has benefitted the consumer. Panasonic's response has been so good that many, including myself, feel that the GH3 doesn't really need a hack. Vitaly/Driftwood have done so much for that community that Panasonic simply had to respond. But I think the same doesn't apply to the BMCC. So much has been given at this price range that its mind boggling. I remember several months back that I nearly had to pay $500 to get DnXHD gradable on Resolve, thank goodness I waited. Sometimes I forget whats coming in this package, i.e. BMCC comes with resolve/scopes with free dnxhd support, all for free!

I feel that BMD, Digital Bolex and Kinefinity have opened the floodgates for affordable raw, so much so that the industry landscape will be very different in a years time, heck even by this NAB. More support for products in this range will arise, and competition will mold more feature packed products.


Well, I hope at least, sorry for my babble
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sean mclennan

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 5:46 pm

Alex Mack wrote:Yes, installing said open source firmware would void the warranty. Countless numbers would still prefer this firmware anyway, because of the enormous benefits...


Yes, but that's very different if BM supplies the camera with an open firmware. When a 3rd party provides a hack, Canon has ZERO liability over the outcome....if you sell a camera with an open firmware, you would be open to a lot more liability issues. That's all I'm saying.
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Alex Mack

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostMon Mar 18, 2013 7:01 pm

sean mclennan wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:Yes, installing said open source firmware would void the warranty. Countless numbers would still prefer this firmware anyway, because of the enormous benefits...


Yes, but that's very different if BM supplies the camera with an open firmware. When a 3rd party provides a hack, Canon has ZERO liability over the outcome....if you sell a camera with an open firmware, you would be open to a lot more liability issues. That's all I'm saying.


I see what you're saying. I feel you

They could issue a 'Terms of Use' with the SDK, removing any question of their liability for what we do with it.
The SDK would be supplied via the web, separate from the cam, which would still come w/ the official firmware
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xen01

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Re: Start the movement: OPEN SOURCE FIRMWARE

PostFri Mar 22, 2013 10:55 am

I think this is a great idea and also that would at least compensate the delays a bit, giving the customers a way to forgive blackmagic after this tense process of waiting for cameras..

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