BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

The place for questions about shooting with Blackmagic Cameras.
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Csaba Nagy

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BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 7:48 am

Hello,

It was going to happen at some point? right? :lol:

We are looking for individuals with experienced knowledge of FPGA development and hardware design, to advise and/or directly help with a potentially exciting opportunity. Reverse Engineering skills in USB and/or JTAG's are very useful and welcomed as well.

The hardware we want to try to interface with is the 2.5k Cinema Camera, as we now know its a Spartan 6 XC6SLX100T, the Pocket camera is a Spartan 6 XC6SLX75.

We have been in contact with some people, including some magic lantern folks. However we are looking for people a little closer to "home" and have Blackmagic cams themselves. Whether you have some insight or just plain old interest let us know. We have a spare "PCB" board for development and testing, so you can help out even if you don't want to mess with your own cam.

If you are interested in helping please leave a response and I'll contact you with details.

Regards,

Csaba and Davi

ImagePCB_Frontside by Davi Silveira, on Flickr
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Jakub Frišo

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 8:41 am

Hello, don't have any skills that you need just want to ask ... Magic Lantern for Blackmagic cameras did I read it right?


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Pavlov Kirill

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 9:56 am

Great idea! I think you can create a project on Kickstarter, many users want to see more functions in a greatest camera, which the manufacturer puts on the shelf. This will strengthen the position of cameras on the market, people stop buying Sony and GH. Let it be a movie on 50fps!
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Jason R. Johnston

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 3:03 pm

You're going to melt your cameras.
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Wayne Steven

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 4:13 pm

Look up my recent posts about camera enhancements over a few threads. That should give you ideas if a out if small camera control work related improvements that could he added to the camera. A 1080p50 mode for the pocket us desperately needed, and with new Intel/Micron like storage memories you can record uncompressed at 1080p/2160p50 16 bit uncompressed shortly. So, apart from enabling deep color HDMI recording, direct to card is possible. Recording with.the raw Bayer filter pixels packed into HDMI frames (4k packs into high data rate 1080p frames).

The little studio camera, could do with some record, viewing.and control functions (remembering, compression is soon no longer strictly needed). The video assist could he setup to record Bayer packed frames, an idea. But I suspect BM will have a new pocket solution.
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Gene Kochanowsky

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostThu Dec 03, 2015 3:11 am

I'm sorely tempted, but I try to stay completely overbooked. So no time to spare.
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Anatoly Mashanov

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostThu Dec 03, 2015 11:47 am

I doubt the success of this project. Spartan is NOT an ARM of Canon 5d mark III. It would be needed to convert the config flash to the schematics (which is achievable), then convert the schematics to the instruction set (And since the Spartan has LOTS of processor cores and they all may be different it looks problematic), then convert the firmware to the assembly language, and only then you can do something with this code.

Then, I've never heard about paid feature keys for Blackmagic cameras. So, if they tell "1920x1080x50p is impossible" I have a reason to believe that it's truly impossible.
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Grzegorz Styczen

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostThu Dec 03, 2015 4:20 pm

Don't listen to nay-sayers Csaba Nagy, if you wish to tackle it you're amazing :mrgreen:
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Lee Gauthier

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostThu Dec 03, 2015 11:28 pm

Anatoly Mashanov wrote:if they tell "1920x1080x50p is impossible" I have a reason to believe that it's truly impossible.


I think BMD's definition of "impossible" may actually be "impossible to perform safely and sustainably."

IOW, you may be able to hack the sensor to perform 1920x1080x50p, but the transport may not be able to write to memory fast enough, and the whole thing may melt into slag in short order.

That's not a reason to give up -- we'll just wait over here behind the blast shield, wearing our goggles.
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Csaba Nagy

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 12:01 am

We are optimistic, but there are realities and challenges.

This is way over and above Davi and I, we have over the past months picked up lots of information about hardware design. That doesn't make us anywhere near qualified to tackle something like this. Hence the purpose of this post.

This opportunity more or else came as a result of Davi having access to a spare BMCC PCB processor board. Something to test and hack.

We have reached out and have been helped by a some reputable sources, We were however looking for people who have access /experience with Blackmagic Camera's and happen to be hardware / software engineer's in the mix of it.

That's what a lot of the people we have reached out to don't have. The cam hardware itself. With the BlackMagic being an FPGA based platform, that makes this more difficult than something like ML, which was a software hack on standard hardware and code. ( Not do downplay ML, the BM approach is just different. )

We make no promises or have any real goals in mind, that stage is still so far off in the progress we have made so far.

Nevertheless, we are still looking for experienced people who are willing to help.
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Lee Gauthier

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 7:04 pm

If BMD were really smart, they would help you, after getting you to sign a waiver of all liability and warranty.

If you guys came up with an unstable and dangerous hack that added features, they would sell more cameras. They would also get even more cred as the indie camera company.
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Steven Abrams

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 7:19 pm

Lee Gauthier wrote:If BMD were really smart, they would help you

I love that this suggests that unless BM do what you say, they're not really smart. :roll:

Without knowing what goes on internally at BM, that's a silly thing to say. It could be a smart move, OR it could be catastrophic and the dumbest decision they could ever make. You have so little perspective on the business side of what they do compared to BM that to guess is foolish. And from what they've already done so far its very clear that they're not just "really smart", but really really smart.
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Michael Redden

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 7:52 pm

Steven Abrams wrote:
Lee Gauthier wrote:If BMD were really smart, they would help you

I love that this suggests that unless BM do what you say, they're not really smart. :roll:

Without knowing what goes on internally at BM, that's a silly thing to say. It could be a smart move, OR it could be catastrophic and the dumbest decision they could ever make. You have so little perspective on the business side of what they do compared to BM that to guess is foolish. And from what they've already done so far its very clear that they're not just "really smart", but really really smart.

I agree, Steven. As much as I would love 50p on my BMPCC, endorsing a hack isn't the smartest thing to do from a business standpoint. The ML hack forced Canon to catch up with filmmakers but BMD has consistently proved that they are already way ahead of the game. They've been able to do that because each of their products has a very specific target market, whereas Canon has more of a blanket approach. If BMD were to change this way of thinking, their products and the quality would suffer. Now with that said, if someone develops a stable hack that won't brick my cam or set it on fire, I'll be one of the first in line to download it. But I wouldn't expect them to endorse the hack because nothing they've done thus far has shown that they intentionally cripple their cripple their products, ala Canon, Panasonic, and Sony.

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Gene Kochanowsky

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 8:00 pm

I also agree with Michael and Steven. But I gotta wonder what would be the point even if BM cooperated. I suspect that by the time an ML like group achieved their first stable release BM would have already gone through at least two generations of cameras.

The original ML hack was successful because Canon was asleep at the wheel.
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C.A.M. Gerlach

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostFri Dec 04, 2015 9:36 pm

As a long time ML user and a big fan of open source development, I wish you the best, but the challenges people have mentioned seem quite valid. Even though Magic Lateran was a non-manufacturer approved firmware addon, none of the default features, and few or none of the modules really push the camera hardware beyond its design tolerances; rather, they mostly develop or exploit software features that can be reasonably accomplished within the already existing hardware parameters for the camera. Although it is technically possible, though rare, to brick a camera from ML (and when it happens, ML related or not, ML can actually help recover a camera from a bricked state), the vast majority if not all production cases of this occurred due to really sloppy code on Canon's end. However, it seems likely that the same is not the case for "overclocking" the sensor for faster read rates which seems to be the most desired feature. Some other things, like LAN-C and codecs, might or might not require new hardware to implement depending on how the cam is configured.

However, it might be beneficial to open the firmware up to third party developers, so that add-on software features people are requesting (and perhaps some we haven't thought of) can be implemented through non-official builds, which if tested and vetted could be included in the official distribution. Going about things in this manner would avoid the pitfalls of reverse engineering a complicated system and being forced to work without a proper API or documentation, both greatly accelerating development and improving reliability. Furthermore, third parties could design firmware addons that would allow the camera to work with third party peripherals attached to the USB port, generating a whole ecosystem of product development dedicated toward supporting BM's cameras. Will it happen? Up to BM, but I'd like to see them try out this model.
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Lee Gauthier

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 06, 2015 8:43 pm

Steven Abrams wrote:
Lee Gauthier wrote:If BMD were really smart, they would help you

I love that this suggests that unless BM do what you say, they're not really smart. :roll:

Nah, you're taking this too seriously. It was rhetorical. Untwist your knickers.

It's sad how this board has declined. It used to be that differing opinions were treated like differing opinions. Now it degenerates into personal attacks and a lot of chest thumping.

You folks are entitled to disagree, and pretend that you know how to run a multi-million dollar camera company. I hold fast to the opinion that it would be pretty neat for all concerned if BMD helped the hot-rodders to experiment with their cameras, provided that they protect themselves from liability.

I wish the hackers/hotrodders much luck.
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Wayne Steven

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 13, 2015 10:34 am

It is probably better to take small steps. Most of my suggestions are control related, and easier, and very very useful and productive. As for external controls, in the pre BM, Red and SI days, guys where aiming to use USB keyboards and keypads to control, and there are other such control panels that use USB (depends on if camera uses it). Same as WiFi or bluetooth. So apart from reconfiguring the onboard buttons there are little options on the BM cameras. What we really need is assignable buttons and controls that can be stuck on where you wish, and a way to put on a near field controller. I thought I found such buttons, but it turns out different unfortunately.

Now going back to non control issues, not much needs to be done that can't be done in software. Auto balance color and exposure adjustment on button push, that is software level stuff. If there was a standard format that recorded adjustments in meta data alongside the raw compressed data, that would be good as playback and transcoding can automatically apply to the footage, if you hand it off to the news room and such forth. But that has to be programmed in, likely a lot of hardware fpga programming.

The one other thing is to get 1080p50/60. As I understood the sensor in the pocket used the 1080p100 technology. Now I don't know what the heat profile of the sensor is at p50, but let's just assume it isn't a problem at the moment, but running the compression engine at double the data rate might generate twice the heat or more, unless you redesign the FPGA circuit to use a more easy to compress codec, which can be too complicated as people are saying. But instead, why not push 1080p50 (or whatever maximum frame rate that can be done without overheating) at the maximum data rate in prores that is reliable. It might be doable. Sure it might not be as high quality as you want, but now it becomes an issue of reconfiguring how the circuits are used, which is easier than programming a new codec engine.

But what about 1080p50/60 raw. The problem has been also the data rate the SD cards would do. Now these cards are going much faster, but are prone to heat issues affecting performance. Micron and Intel saves the day though. They have developed an alternative to flash that is cheaper, many times faster and lower powered. Write speeds are much better, which was an issue under flash due to all the unreliability in speed and patching up bad parts of the memory array, in the background then shoved onto market. It can be used as a primary memory. This is not the only new memory too.

Now, let's get realistic, pulling 1080p50 in and shoving it out is not very processor intensive,.it is not such an issue. Compressing it and using flash to record is a much bigger issue processing and flash wise. So recording raw uncompressed with the new memory hopefully should not be such an issue, as long as the data path (and SD card interface chip) supports the data rate. I don't see BM not using something that does not have a fast controlling processor? Frankly, we are at a stage of not needing FPGA in a 4k camera and making it cheaper. When the AMD arm based APU, and arm based server chips from different groups, become available it will make sense to use that, realising you might get long term supply of the chip off a server part and have chip family level upgradability in the supply chain. At the moment the latest Nvidia chip is probably enough to make an 8k camera main board real cheap, I mean really cheap. The embedded board is less than $500 and has camera interfaces that can pull in over 40fps accumulative 8k worth of data. A descent deal can see that done a lot cheaper. The shield Android TV unit goes for $199US retail, and was recently discounted to $149US. I can get a Android 8 core (I think) media player that could maybe be made to process 4k data for around $50US. But you use these today and next year who knows if they will be available, or changed with different varying performance requiring a re-optimisation of the software, external hardware changes. The vast consumer Android market pushes a lot of short term product, butna manufacturer like BM needs consistent long term supply of compatible parts that don't vary in various electrical timing performance characteristics (things can run faster, but interface and timing has to be reliable). Often you will spend a lot of time optimising for a chip to get the most out of it and reliable timing. Often the chips are stretched so you have to do this more. Getting an 8k capable chip and running it on a 4k camera will require less optimisation. Now a finale thing is that chip technology is running out of advancement space under current technology, we are within a generation or two where decreases in chip feature sizes will yield no more increase in performance per watt (unlike the past) due to higher and higher power leakage producing heat. We are facing a temporary future were decreases in size will yield hotter chips unsuitable for smaller devices. We can hop over to less leaky GA instead of silicon and get maybe a double performance, until we get some other alternative future tech (give it till 2020 or so). So if you get an 8k pocket camera, it might pay to look at if to hold onto it, it might be a little while until something better comes. The ingress of data is not the issue, the compression and processing is.

So doing a little that achieves a lot should be possible, doing more might not be worth it considering we might see a 4k pocket like camera (just seen two more cameras, one sub $1000, and there is a several lens like camera that allows you to do 3D and change focus in post) and lots of people will start wanting things like that instead. So concentrating on control, software features, gui and adjustments might be a better target for a BM lantern. I however, think it is morally reprehensible to not do things like 1080p50/60, controls and color correction options, a bit better latitude or frame rate if newer sensors allow it, if you can easily, the customer can get a fast enough SD card if they want to use it.
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Michael Odhiambo

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 13, 2015 2:12 pm

Am downloading and archiving old firmwares :geek:
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Soeren Mueller

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 13, 2015 8:37 pm

At first I really wanted to refrain from posting on this topic but can't help it - to be honest I'm extremely pessismistic. The whole FPGA programming is basically one or maybe even THE main core of Blackmagics IP... in no somewhat realistic scenario I can think of it would make any sense from them to open source it or make it public somehow. Let alone the big issue of patents when it comes to image/video compression.

Like you already found out yourself the whole Magic Lantern thing is totally different.. simplified it's more like the programming of a computer who in turn controls a bunch of specialized chips to do the work and making use of some undocumented functions/parameters etc, also it was greatly helped because of the presence of function names in some firmwares plus that one was a little easier (compared) to disassemble.

An FPGA firmware is more like a compiled binary more importantly for a computer achitecture that is also being described in that binary - plus nowadays it's also highly encrypted.

I wouldn't say it's completely impossible - just so very hard that it will require so much manpower that we woudn't see it in time before newer cameras for probably a cheaper price point come out that already do everything you could achieve with the current BM hardware.
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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostMon Dec 14, 2015 12:45 pm

Lee Gauthier wrote:If BMD were really smart, they would help you...


:lol: So you think it would be smart for BMD to invest money/time into a project to help some hackers while not having control over the project? I personally would feel less confident in a company that makes financial decisions like that.

Most features folks want (like higher fps) are available at the same price in a different camera offered by BMD (BMMCC). BMD already offers very capable and professional cameras at an insane price point.
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Wayne Steven

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostTue Dec 15, 2015 4:51 am

Soeren Mueller wrote:At first I really wanted to refrain from posting on this topic but can't help it - to be honest I'm extremely pessismistic. The whole FPGA programming is basically one or maybe even THE main core of Blackmagics IP... in no somewhat realistic scenario I can think of it would make any sense from them to open source it or make it public somehow. Let alone the big issue of patents when it comes to image/video compression.

Like you already found out yourself the whole Magic Lantern thing is totally different.. simplified it's more like the programming of a computer who in turn controls a bunch of specialized chips to do the work and making use of some undocumented functions/parameters etc, also it was greatly helped because of the presence of function names in some firmwares plus that one was a little easier (compared) to disassemble.

An FPGA firmware is more like a compiled binary more importantly for a computer achitecture that is also being described in that binary - plus nowadays it's also highly encrypted.

I wouldn't say it's completely impossible - just so very hard that it will require so much manpower that we woudn't see it in time before newer cameras for probably a cheaper price point come out that already do everything you could achieve with the current BM hardware.


I agree Soeren. A decade ago there was a bunch before Ted, and maybe where Red one came out of that wanted to do a FPGA camera even though there were open source camera FPGA designs and walet from memory they could use, but I think were not, I advised against it as they lacked expertise and it would be very difficult (and it was distracting from another deal) however they were gun ho, and maybe go the good fortune of a big investor to push it through. So doing this sor of stuffbcan take so long BM will be using an asci by the time you explore it fully. It can also be harmful.

So it is much better to concentrate on what you can do in software with some published interfaces to do some things only and access to the FPGA locked out. That is what BM could do. However, it is simpler for BM to.implement most of the simpler request in a firmware iodare now, and not need a lattetn project. However the potential from a lantern project maybe enough to prompt them to release a firmware with such features quickly. There is no reason to lock a camera down below these things that should be available through the firmware base on all cameras. Come on BM, it is the merry season, you can make a joyful decision to start. :)
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Gene Kochanowsky

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 2:51 am

I just came across this:



https://www.apertus.org/

Magic Lantern is working with this group to produce an open source 4K video camera. I'm not crazy about the gamma concept, but the beta concept looks good.



Apparently Apertus was at NAB:



I wonder who is gonna get their camera out first, BM or Apertus.
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C.A.M. Gerlach

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 6:33 am

A bit old news, but yeah. They estimated their initial ship date for the preorders around the same time as BM or a little before, which later has gotten pushed way back due to the usual issues as well as due to moving up their timetable for the gamma and working on it more instead. However, the big difference between their situation and BM, and their main selling point in fact has been transparency, openess and constant communication; they post constant, detailed updates about what progress has been made, what setbacks have happened and what is yet to go and have monthly in depth update videos where they answer people's questions and demo things and such.

The beta seems very appealing to the same folks who love ML'ed 5D3s with raw video, and its specifically stated to be a cam for early adopters and developers rather than a production machine like the gamma, which looks to compete with the "real" cinema cams. On the other hand, though, its a lot like a stripped down BMPC4K with the same base sensor (CMV12000), active EF or passive MFT mount, pretty similar ergonomics, and without the screen or onboard recording (does do 4K raw etc out via HDMI). Although it may be the same base silicon, though, they are promising to get up to 15 stops off the sensor in RS mode via some sort of dual readout "HDR" feature and other off-die tricks, as well as potentially higher frame rates off the sensor (up to 300 fr/s theoretical) and mostly limited at this point by their current 3x 1080p60 HDMI 10-bit 4:4:4 I/O shield, which could be switched out for others in the future. The other main benefit is a completely open software environment that anyone can develop for, which the ML team will be helping build, to allow the community to help add features that people want with no limitations other than hardware, and potentially opening up some interesting workflow options.

However, for anyone who hasn't already contributed to the Indegogo, they are really going to have to deliver on the above and more or it will be a pretty tough sell compared to the Ursa/Mini. They estimate a retail price of 5kEUR+ for the beta, which could easily buy a 4.6K mini in a far more complete package with a superior sensor, internal recording, audio recording, massively better ergonomics, a screen, controls, etc, etc, not to mention two BMPC4Ks or 4K minis with the same sensor. As for the gamma, the open, modular/upgradable concept could certainly develop into something interesting along the lines of RED and might actually be economically viable, but given its price was stated to be more than the beta even, that puts it at the cost into full size Ursa PL territory, and by the time it comes out (no sooner than late 2016 or early 2017 at the earliest, and even longer for maturity) it will be about as outdated as the CION and will need a massive price markdown to survive. I'd love to see it thrive, and without BM it certainly would have a good shot, but it seems unlikely to be more than a very niche product at best along the lines of the 4K V1 big Ursa. Its only real shot at relevance will be its modularity, upgradability and flexibility with both hardware and software but it will need a very strong first, second and third party development community to make that happen, which brings in a bit of a chicken or the egg problem given the alternatives.
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John Brawley

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 11:47 am

C.A.M. Gerlach wrote:. However, the big difference between their situation and BM, and their main selling point in fact has been transparency, openess and constant communication; they post constant, detailed updates about what progress has been made, what setbacks have happened and what is yet to go and have monthly in depth update videos where they answer people's questions and demo things and such.



Kind of I guess...

Rumoured to be based on the exact same sensor as the CION and the Blackmagic 4K camera....

In development from BEFORE BM announced their 4K camera...that means more than 2 years....

And still not really shipping.

To those that say open source and ML as a way of fast tracking development that BM should follow, look no further than the difficulties of building a camera than these examples show...

CION seems to be still born...despite the rave reviews about how much better it's form factor is (something I don't agree with either but that's another thread)

Apertus isn't yet shipping anything...

BM have at least got cameras in the market, now with a new iteration of body (Ursa Mini) and the Mark 2 sensor in the Ursa and Ursa Mini.

JB
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Jason R. Johnston

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 4:10 pm

And Blackmagic doesn't need an IndieGoGo.
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Gene Kochanowsky

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 6:53 pm

I don’t see the Apertus Gamma going anywhere. The project is still in the conception stage and is already behind the cost/feature curve. Not to mention that their modular hardware design concept has some serious flaws and will just exacerbate the lag. The Beta is an interesting camera because it could become the homebrew platform of choice for experimenters and makers, possibly the Arduino of the video/maker world. IMHO, it won’t go anywhere if they do not leverage to the hilt existing open source projects like android.
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C.A.M. Gerlach

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 8:52 pm

Rumoured to be based on the exact same sensor as the CION and the Blackmagic 4K camera....
This is established fact, not a rumor, which I stated above, at least for the Axiom and the BM 4K cams. No one's sure for the CION.
To those that say open source and ML as a way of fast tracking development that BM should follow, look no further than the difficulties of building a camera than these examples show...
I'm not sure if you are implying that I meant this, but to clarify I did in no way do so, either the fast track part or that BM should follow it. The advantage of transparency is not necessarily speeding up development, but rather keeping your customers and partners informed and engaged while you wait. On the other hand, BM is a private cooperation and can't be expected to publish every detail of the process to the world. Its a different business model. While I wish they would be a little more communicative on what's going on with the 4.6K, nowhere do I suggest they adopt the same development paradigm as Apertus/ML, nor do I imply it would speed anything up; rather, that it just makes the wait more tolerable for that particular project.
CION seems to be still born...despite the rave reviews about how much better it's form factor is (something I don't agree with either but that's another thread)
Indeed. But I'm not sure how its relevant to the points you make above since that cam is perhaps even more of a blackbox than the BM cams, though again I didn't disagree with your points in the first place. And I've never argued that BM has been more successful than Apertus thus far; they have already progressed well beyond where the beta will be at even if it ships in most areas.
Jason R. Johnston wrote:And Blackmagic doesn't need an IndieGoGo.
Of course not, they are a different business model and value proposition. The whole point of my post above was to explain some of that very fact as well as Axiom's non-viability in the mainstream marketplace, not in any way argue that they shouldn't be.
Gene Kochanowsky wrote:The Beta is an interesting camera because it could become the homebrew platform of choice for experimenters and makers, possibly the Arduino of the video/maker world.
Perhaps maybe for the original backers, but even with the voucher the price is ~100x that of an Arduino, and ~200x that without, compared to other cams using the same sensor and far more capable that are the same cost or cheaper. It'll be very, very niche at best, since it is such a significant investment, and yet the benefits for developers and the community in general are only realized if follow-up products are produced on a significant scale. Which again, brings up the same chicken or the egg problem mentioned above.
CAM Gerlach (Christopher A. M. Gerlach)
I am not an expert; take any advice I give with a grain of salt.
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Gene Kochanowsky

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 9:48 pm

I certainly do not expect this particular open source project to directly compete with any existing camera. However, if Apertus manages to mostly finish the beta then it will be out there. People will use it. Tinkerers will extend it. Somebody will come out with a low cost dev board. I don't know when, or how, but it will probably happen. Because that has been the way things have been going in tech for the last 20 years.
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John Brawley

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Dec 27, 2015 10:18 pm

C.A.M. Gerlach wrote:
Rumoured to be based on the exact same sensor as the CION and the Blackmagic 4K camera....
This is established fact, not a rumor, which I stated above, at least for the Axiom and the BM 4K cams. No one's sure for the CION.


Blackmagic have never themselves confirmed which sensors they use. So I'd say it wasn't established fact. Rumoured or assumed is all we really say.

Not only that, there are many many ways a sensor can be customised from a "stock" product on a website.

C.A.M. Gerlach wrote:
To those that say open source and ML as a way of fast tracking development that BM should follow, look no further than the difficulties of building a camera than these examples show...
I'm not sure if you are implying that I meant this, but to clarify I did in no way do so, either the fast track part or that BM should follow it. The advantage of transparency is not necessarily speeding up development, but rather keeping your customers and partners informed and engaged while you wait.


I wasn't implying you were advocating open source, but we are here on an open source thread and you gave them props for being open and communicative.



C.A.M. Gerlach wrote:
CION seems to be still born...despite the rave reviews about how much better it's form factor is (something I don't agree with either but that's another thread)
Indeed. But I'm not sure how its relevant to the points you make above since that cam is perhaps even more of a blackbox than the BM cams, though again I didn't disagree with your points in the first place.


Again, in this thread we're discussing the lack of communication. We're comparing other companies, and I think it's pretty interesting that using some of the same basic hardware, two other companies, one with similar resources to BM and the other open source, haven't managed to make a go of it.

So while you might be frustrated, at least they're shipping something that people are buying.

Blackmagic have their own culture. It's not the same as other companies that embrace openness. That's frustrating. But they have survived and are arguably thriving in a very very difficult market. When we hold them up to companies or projects as we are in this thread, I think it's worth also looking at the flip side.

JB
John Brawley
Cinematographer
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lee4ever

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSat Jan 12, 2019 8:42 pm

as it looks, the 6 pins on the board with the calculation "JT1" are a standard Xilinx JTAG-HS1 (?).
Has anyone tried to read any information from it? What that is, one can perhaps learn more from here https://tcengineering.wordpress.com/201 ... do-i-fpga/
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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSat Jan 12, 2019 10:02 pm

Good on you Lee, I was going to suggest here as a place to find like minded people.
Often people deceive themselves so much they do not understand, even when the truth is explained to them.
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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Jan 13, 2019 3:07 pm

Csaba. You don't mention a link to your work on personal view, or damaging your camera?
Often people deceive themselves so much they do not understand, even when the truth is explained to them.
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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Jan 13, 2019 3:58 pm

In the Blackmagic firmware version (I think) 2.1 the firmware can be found as bin files:
data-bd8e.bin
data-bd9a.bin
data-bd9f.bin
data-bd73.bin (->BMPCC ?)
data-bd75.bin (->BMMCC ?)
data-bd89.bin

Maybe they can be somehow unpacked and adapted...has anyone tried that on your part, dear Csaba? Someone has tried here: https://reverseengineering.stackexchang ... s-firmware
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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Jan 13, 2019 4:05 pm

All I can say is that I was so relieved to say goodbye to Magic Lantern when I bought my Pocket 4K. It was a massive pain to have to convert mlv's to cdng just to be able to use it in Resolve. To me Blackmagic is what Magic Lantern could have been if they had money, resources and actually listened to the needs of production professionals.
>>Kays Alatrakchi
Filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA
http://moviesbykays.com
Resolve 16, Mac OS X 10.13.6 (High Sierra), i7 8700k, 32Gb DDR4 RAM, Dual GTX 1080ti, Decklink Mini Monitor, USB 3.1 RAID
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lee4ever

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Jan 13, 2019 4:17 pm

Kays Alatrakchi wrote:All I can say is that I was so relieved to say goodbye to Magic Lantern when I bought my Pocket 4K. It was a massive pain to have to convert mlv's to cdng just to be able to use it in Resolve. To me Blackmagic is what Magic Lantern could have been if they had money, resources and actually listened to the needs of production professionals.


You only mean codec, of course BM is golden, that's what makes BM Cameras so special. But it's more than just a codec, like more FPS for the BMPCC :) viewtopic.php?f=2&t=84451 Or maybe turn off the LCD to save battery power or generate less heat and much more... What would be possible could only be found out when BM makes the abandoned firmware available openly. Let's hope.
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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostSun Jan 13, 2019 5:02 pm

Re-edit: Whoops, wrong thread.

Problem is, with FPGA you could really stuff things up more easily. With hardwired hardware, you can build a certain level of safety and stability in to limit the effects of over zealous parameters. This is why I advocated years ago, for BM to implement a limited play area where people could implement software and hardware through interface layers that protected the system. Like a virtual machine. Most of the time you don't need much top line performance on these cameras, as they already do it. However, if this latest unlikely rumor turned out to be true, about the pocket 4k really having an quad Bayer 8k sensor binned, then a discussion on modifying that might pale this conversation.
Often people deceive themselves so much they do not understand, even when the truth is explained to them.
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Kays Alatrakchi

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 10:22 am

lee4ever wrote:You only mean codec, of course BM is golden, that's what makes BM Cameras so special.


What I mean is that the ML guys never actually wanted to listen to anything about the actual needs of professionals, instead showing only interest in tinkering with Canon low level functions out of pure nerdy curiosity. Was it their prerogative? Absolutely. Was it frustrating as f*** for the rest of us? Absolutely. With their arrogance and contempt they managed to alienate a lot of really smart people who only wanted to make ML better and more useful for actual productions.

Unlike ML, the Blackmagic team actually understands the needs of professionals and listens when issues are brought up to their attention.
>>Kays Alatrakchi
Filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA
http://moviesbykays.com
Resolve 16, Mac OS X 10.13.6 (High Sierra), i7 8700k, 32Gb DDR4 RAM, Dual GTX 1080ti, Decklink Mini Monitor, USB 3.1 RAID
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lee4ever

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 4:16 pm

It's a cycle.
And some people from Magic Lantern.... complain about Blackmagic and that they are glad to have chosen Canon. They also find reasons to say: "Blackmagic doesn't listen to customers and professionals..."

It seems that some filmmakers with their own favourite camera are just as masculine as with other things like "who has the largest"...
Some people get really mad when people say "your camera sucks".

It's important that everyone is satisfied with their camera, what the others say doesn't matter.
I still have a wish and this is 48, 50 or 60fps for BMPCC. :)
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Valentin Remy

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 8:48 pm

I 100% support this ! Wishing you the best for this project.
Never hurts to push the boudaries, and it might even give ideas to Blackmagic.

I have no idea what you could add tho, but I can't wait to see !
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haseebdistorxian

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Re: BlackMagic Lantern - Development Recruitment

PostTue Jan 22, 2019 4:34 am

why dont you develop something for the classic Ursa 4k Major body has got so much potential to put an add on like create a third party software which could let u put all those new functions that 4.6k minis have or if for hardware develop some kind of advance turret, i believe the body of ursa major can hold the load

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