Familiar with open source software? What if someone built a camera that is “open source”? Well, that's exactly what an international group called apertus° calls “Open Module” and they're announcing their new camera project today. Their camera, called the Axiom, has list of specs that are drool-worthy. What's unique is that developers and owners will be able to access the control software and hardware design and make their own features and modules – a radically different approach from what we're used to. Stay tuned for updates about this exciting new camera design.
The Axiom Open Module Concept
With our effort to build a feature reduced Axiom camera prototype (Axiom Alpha) nearing completion, we're testing variations of our concept and designs for the full Axiom camera system. Whilst the official announcement for the Axiom camera occurred back in July 2012, the world has since changed: New technologies are now available, with prior hardware difficulties and bottlenecks now much easier to overcome. In the last twelve months, the apertus° team has also grown and evolved- we have learnt from past errors in judgement and have adjusted our decisions accordingly.
In October 2013, we can see that the market for digital cinema cameras is noticeably more crowded. With strong competition already forcing it's first victims out of business, we have asked ourselves many times if what we are attempting to do is actually a good idea – we are the newcomers, emerging from an international community with no corporate funding behind us. A number of people have called us crazy and predicted that our vision will not be a success. And after opening up our doubts, our fears and examining them at length, we are still arriving at the same conclusion: YES, this is what our hearts and minds are set on and we're going to do it!
Open Module Concept
Modularity is of course nothing new: Analogue film and photographic (medium format) cameras have been built around systems using this principle for more than half a century. In the digital age, we believe our Open Module Concept not only makes Axiom 100% extendible, but that it also allows for a streamlined project management system when developing new modules for various hardware functionalities. With an open modular system, different teams can be working on separate modules in parallel, with an awareness of what each other is doing. This has the potential to encourage the sharing of designs and information, with a strong level of transparency toward the community. Disclaimer: This is a concept! What you can see below is a snapshot of our current ideas, and it does not mean everything will end up exactly like it is shown or described here. What it does indicate however, is the direction in which we are heading for the future.
Open Modules for an Open Platform
The concept of Axiom is to create much more than just a camera “product”. It is an open camera platform – ready to evolve into things we haven’t even dreamt of today. Many people are cautious of buying into a camera system due to the rapid pace at which new “products” are being announced, with state-of-the-art systems now outdated within months of their release cycle. We want to stress that Axiom will not be outdated anytime soon – it will be built from the ground up as a system that will evolve over time – as we rely on FPGA based designs rather than fixed “set-in-stone systems”. We and the entire community will be able to deliver new interfaces, codecs, firmware and significant degrees of newer functionalities all via a simple software download to the camera. It is our intention to use this to create a very powerful ecosystem around Axiom, providing long term support alongside the development of new features.
[ Via Apertus ]
(cover photo credit: snap from Apertus)