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Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - a new RAW HD camera


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#1 Drew

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:52 AM

Ikonoskop, famous for the very cool super lightweight S16mm film camera, the A-Cam SP-16, has announced its digital offering, the A-Cam dII. This new camera, styled like the SP-16 but with a side view finder, weighs less than 1.5kg (battery and memory drive) + the weight of the lense, making it possibly the lightest and smallest 1080p (2/3" sensor equivalent) HD camera in the world.
The format is 1920x1080p, 1-60fps uncompressed RAW, recorded to a 80GB memory cartridge designed by Ikonoskop. Obviously comparisons with the Red Camera will be made, since the A-Cam can also use PL as well as Leica, IMS and C-mount lenses. Unlike Red One, which uses a compressed Raw format to fit in flashcards, the Raw format of the A-Cam is just individual image files thrown into a sequence. Basically it's a 2 megapixel still camera on steriods. It even uses a Sony NPF770 battery as a powersource.
The memory cartridge records at 240MB/s but crazily it uses USB 2.0 as an output. That means it'll be deadly slow downloading 80gb worth of data, which is equivalent to 12 minutes of images at 25fps.
With the super light and small size, housing this camera will be easier than the bigger Red One. And it looks uber-cool too! Of course, there is a prototype out so hopefully it won't turn into a Red style delayed launch.
Hopefully, housing makers will see this as an opportunity to raise the bar.

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#2 TheRealDrew

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:06 AM

Ikonoskop, famous for the very cool super lightweight S16mm film camera, the A-Cam SP-16, has announced its digital offering, the A-Cam dII. This new camera, styled like the SP-16 but with a side view finder, weighs less than 1.5kg (battery and memory drive) + the weight of the lense, making it possibly the lightest and smallest 1080p (2/3" sensor equivalent) HD camera in the world.
The format is 1920x1080p, 1-60fps uncompressed RAW, recorded to a 80GB memory cartridge designed by Ikonoskop. Obviously comparisons with the Red Camera will be made, since the A-Cam can also use PL as well as Leica, IMS and C-mount lenses. Unlike Red One, which uses a compressed Raw format to fit in flashcards, the Raw format of the A-Cam is just individual image files thrown into a sequence. Basically it's a 2 megapixel still camera on steriods. It even uses a Sony NPF770 battery as a powersource.
The memory cartridge records at 240MB/s but crazily it uses USB 2.0 as an output. That means it'll be deadly slow downloading 80gb worth of data, which is equivalent to 12 minutes of images at 25fps.
With the super light and small size, housing this camera will be easier than the bigger Red One. And it looks uber-cool too! Of course, there is a prototype out so hopefully it won't turn into a Red style delayed launch.
Hopefully, housing makers will see this as an opportunity to raise the bar.



Should be interesting, maybe Red may step up the Scarlet a bit? A quicker interface and larger drive will be nice and I am sure it will all be coming. Exciting times and changes and looking forward to one of these down the road.

#3 craig

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:50 AM

It records a series of DNG files! How intriguing...
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#4 Paul Kay

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 07:18 AM

If it will take Leica M series lenses then its highly likely that an awful lot of other lenses can be used too, as well as macro set-ups I can see this being an extremely interesting tool.
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#5 Drew

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 08:50 AM

Paul, it takes the Leica M mount. The only issue is getting the housing manufacturing to fit the various different lens mounts with a port system like a SLR. I think this is where Aquatica, Sea&Sea, Subal and Seacam can come in. Sea & Sea esp will have an advantage. They've moved towards consumer housings for video but they need a halo product that says PROFESSIONAL. Imagine Amphibico and Aquatica teaming up on this one. With a 2/3" equivalent sensor, the crop factor is about 4x. So while macro will be awesome, the wide angle will be more problematic. Of course they could rely on Zeiss Digiprimes like the mock up they have. More interesting is the IMS mounts which allow for a plethora of lenses to be used including Canon EF and FD, Nikon and B4. Then the PL mount for the Arri and Angenieux and C-Mount for Linos lenses. Thinking about it makes my bank account hurt like hell.
Craig, with DNG, the recording goes down to 3+ minutes, not exactly optimal. It'll be interesting to see the Raw converter for sequences. I'd hate to see Aperture work on 80GB... it'd be tortuously slow. I hope computers will hit 1thz. I can imagine post will be done in uncompressed or HDCAM converted.
This camera is placed above Scarlet. At €7000, it's right between Scarlet and Red One, which is a great place to be.

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#6 Paul Kay

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 09:15 AM

Paul, it takes the Leica M mount.


There's a strong rumour that Leica are about to release a 50mm f/0.95 and both 21 and 24mm f/1.4 lenses - we'll find out on 15th.

There are lenses such as the 10mm designed for Leicina and R adapters (I use a 16mm R lens on my M8) and a plethora of 'X' to M adapters. (From a personal perspective) this is the first video that I would be photographically interesting to use.
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#7 craig

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 09:59 AM

Yeah, I saw that. They list RAW, DNG and TIFF where DNG and TIFF appear to be vastly larger files. They'll need more than 12 minutes at 25fps.

I think the idea with a video camera that records raw is to produce a codec that allows the output to be edited or transcoded using conventional video tools. I wonder if there's room for a tool that works somewhat differently from that? What would a tool look like that started out as a still raw converter and grew to integrate motion capability? The mind wobbles...
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#8 TheRealDrew

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:54 AM

What would a tool look like that started out as a still raw converter and grew to integrate motion capability? The mind wobbles...


Just whhen we began to think Terrabyte drives would work for just a short period of time :lol: Wonder how much computing horsepower would be needed for that.....

#9 Drew

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:45 AM

The data rate is pretty staggering. Raw at 60fps is 210MB/s. Raw processing? 210MB x 10 sec= 2.1GB for a 10 sec clip.
I just timed Aperture to process 16 8MB Raw files to 4mb jpeg (sort of HDCAM SR compression ratio of 2:1) on a 2.4 MBP... it ain't purdy but it's workable. Sure could use 10ghz computers with 80GB RAM with a fsb of 1thz. :lol:

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#10 craig

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:16 PM

So far Apple hasn't impressed with their image processing offload to the graphics card but jobs like this may prove that approach a winner. There's got to be a reason for all that graphics horsepower we get whether we like it or not!

I think there's a whole world of opportunity to discover now that video cameras can give us everything they capture rather than just the 10% they decide not to throw away in their rush to write some crap out to a low bandwidth tape!
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#11 Drew

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 01:20 PM

Aperture may suck for speed but it has the best noise reduction and sharpening tools of the raw converters I've used. I still like C1 Pro the best but it's SLLOOOOOWWWW and C1 4.1 while very fast, has terrible noise control and the curve controls are too basic. Great for quick and dirty jobs though.

Going back to video RAW of the Ikonoskop, it'll be interesting to see what ISO settings they have per se, noise reduction etc. It's really compact so I'm assuming a lot of that will be done in post, much like a real film camera, except you get to choose the film speed of course.

I did manage to get a few housing manufacturers to look into it and one has even offered to design a housing if I provide the camera and lenses. Slap a digiprime 5 and 7mm or even the Zeiss DistagonT*XP 6 and 9.5 and this baby will rock underwater. It'll also cost 25k. Red shoots 2k at 120fps and 3k at 60fps but not in such a small package and not in uncompressed RAW files. Will be interesting to see if Ikonoskop will use a Bayer filter on a CMOS sensor.

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#12 Drew

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 01:55 PM

Here's a video of the prototype in the hands of Ikonoskop co-founder Daniel Jonsäter. He fudges on the specs a bit but it is IBC so you can't blame the guy for being exhausted.

http://stopmebeforei...e/#comment-1578

The memory cartridge seems to be 5x 16GB solid state memory cards in a RAID 0 config. It must the latest UDMA cards which have up to 45MB/s write speed. And now even Canon and Nikon mount? December launch! Woohoo

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#13 craig

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 03:41 PM

Aperture may suck for speed but it has the best noise reduction and sharpening tools of the raw converters I've used.

What raw converters have you used?

I auditioned Aperture for the third time recently but it is so bug-riddled I couldn't complete basic tasks. The loupe shows nothing but junk on some my imported images and my machine locks up for minutes at a time. It can't figure out from metadata what camera I'm using and I see no way to disable raw processing in order to do a good icc profile. It's a current, purchased Aperture with all updates applied and I tested it with supported cameras within the last 3 weeks.

Aperture has better sharpening tools than Raw Developer? How are you evaluating this?

I don't know how to evaluate noise reduction in raw converters since it's hard to tell noise from quantizing errors. Even the programmers confuse the terms. All I know is that ACR has problems with shadow areas. Aperture is better there from what I've seen but it is not better than RPP or RD. When I'm convinced that noise reduction is a task best performed inside the converter I will care more. For now, I'd just like the converter to stop smushing all the details. That's why I've decided to stop using ACR.

I can't even figure out what working space Aperture uses internally.
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#14 jonny shaw

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 04:18 PM

That's a pretty cool camera, especially for the price 6500 euro's with a lens.

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#15 Drew

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 05:21 AM

More from IBC:
The camera's sensor is the new Kodak CCD with global shutter... no rolling shutter issues! It records ONLY in RAW wrapped in DNG (no TIFF). Seems like Adobe will have a head start then. They've sold out the first batch already. Next week they'll have a workshop with the prototype in Stockholm. Very tempting to go!

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#16 TheRealDrew

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 05:56 AM

just timed Aperture to process 16 8MB Raw files to 4mb jpeg (sort of HDCAM SR compression ratio of 2:1) on a 2.4 MBP... it ain't purdy but it's workable. Sure could use 10ghz computers with 80GB RAM with a fsb of 1thz. smile.gif


I still remember being being so excited when I got my first machines that broke the 100mhz barrier. When it comes to these things it is always a variation of the better mouse trap - we get our faster computers then they come out with things that need even more. Do like the specs you proposed though for the new computer :uwphotog:

More from IBC:
The camera's sensor is a CCD with global shutter... no rolling shutter issues! It records ONLY in RAW wrapped in DNG (no TIFF). Seems like Adobe will have a head start then. They've sold out the first batch already. Next week they'll have a workshop with the prototype in Stockholm. Very tempting to go!


Stockholm is a great city, you might as well go. I am seeing a new toy in your immediate future :)

#17 Drew

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 12:29 PM

This is the sensor Ikonoskop will be using:
http://www.kodak.com.../overview.jhtml

The workshop is in 2 weeks, not next week. I guess they need to rest after IBC. I'd love to party at Birger and Sture again but since I'm not single, it's just not the same. :uwphotog:

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#18 Drew

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:10 AM

Ikonoskop is now developing an eSATA connection for card download. Woohoo!

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#19 Drew

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:55 AM

Ikonoskop has released some clips from the A-Cam DII. Look at the bottom right of the page for links to more clips in H264. All compressed but it gives you an idea of what it can do.
http://www.ikonoskop.com/dii/footage/

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#20 John Doe

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 12:32 PM

the latest on this interesting camera........

http://provideocoali...i_user_footage/