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Axiom Beta (4k, RAW, Opensource) Crowdfunding Started
  • Ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to announce that the fine people of Apertus project have opened crowdfunding campaign to fund development of their second prototype - Axiom Beta.


    With their first prototype (Axiom Alpha) already operational I trust the guys can actually build their second prototype (Axiom Beta) and have it delivered into the eager hands of the crowdfunding campaign backers.


    Now, to help guide you through the crowdfunding options - this is the original announcement of Axiom Beta

    They promise to ship the camera with a user-replaceable sensor. There are two sensor choices right now Super35 (APS-C) CMV12000 and alternatively a cheaper FourThirds KAC12040

    Accordingly when making a crowdfunding pledge you need to make a preliminary choice of which camera you'd like to receive eventually. During the launch party on IRC ( the guys said that it might be possible to change your decision at a later time if absolutely necessary.

    Why am I excited about the project?

    • it's 100% open source; full freedom to hack; no need to decode firmware or anything :)

    • 4K resolution

    • full freedom of capture formats (so long as smb writes the software), including RAW

    • both sensors capable of global shutter

    • CMV12000 in pseudo-logarithmic mode goes up to 15 stops of dynamic range (10 stops in linear mode)

    • CMV12000 is LARGE - great for shallow depth of field, hopefully low noise in the dark

    • great flexibility in power solutions - they say anything DC between 5-40 Volt

    • interchangeable lens mounts

    • FPS: they promise 60 but CMV12000 can do 180 (or even 300); so if the guys develop a decent SSD interface..

    • Beta version (that is currently "sold" via crowdfunding) will be delivered to backers at manufacturing cost

    • all parts of the camera are going to be field replaceable and user-serviceable - full freedom of DIY :)

    • should you want an upgrade from Axiom Beta to Axiom Gamma when the latter becomes available (Alpha and Beta are prototypes; Gamma is expected to be commercial) you should be able to keep your sensor making the upgrade relatively cheap

    • all hardware specs and dimensions for both Beta and Gama will also be open source - it is promised that any commercial company will be allowed to make parts or cameras - with luck we should end up having a rich aftermarket for mods and add-ons and eventually a sustainable and competitive ecosystem!

    Moneywise it's EUR 300 or 350 now and another EUR 1900 or 2300 later depending on the sensor. Yeah a bit pricey - but hey it's easily going to be on par with the best cinema cameras out there!

    P.S. The way I understand it - they're going to ship the camera as a box with a lens mount. Battery/SSD/recorder/microphone need to be external. Not sure if there's going to be a display - perhaps not. Ok for rig building, but I guess I'll keep my GH3 for casual shooting. The promised delivery time for Axiom Beta is April 2015

    P.P.S. Disclaimer: I'm an eager backer of the project but not a member of the development team. I'm sure your questions are welcome on the IRC (

    P.P.P.S. Hurry up! Right now as of 12:43 GMT only 187 out of 216 Axiom Betas haven't yet been pledged for!

  • 31 Replies sorted by
    Specs wise looks very nice/ promising. Great perk... 50% off for 350€ in a 6000€ and 5000€ package it's crazy =)

    Pardom my ignorance, but I don't get why having (among other things) this:

    The promo video looks like this, darkish, hyper contrasted and with hardest of highlights' rolloff

  • It looks neat overall, but $3400 USD would make it substantially more expensive than a GH4, a bit more expensive than a BMPC, and price-comparable with an A7s with a Shogun... and each of them comes with things like batteries and (not great, but existent) microphones.

  • We have topic about this project

    The promised delivery time for Axiom Beta is April 2015

    Something tells me that this date will be much further ahead.

    P.P.S. Disclaimer: I'm an eager backer of the project but not a member of the development team. I'm sure your questions are welcome on the IRC (

    How about using email and or Skype? As IRC is not that most people use.

  • Yes but you can not shot raw on GH4 and A7s and BMC 4K has a lot of hardware and software problems. An open source and modular camera can take on the big guys like Red, Arry, Sony etc.

  • An A7s with a Shogun will be able to shoot raw - and using the S-Log2 picture profile gives it much better bit depth than you'd expect in 8 bits (and XAVC-S is already pretty good for a lot of stuff).

  • @eatstoomuchjam You cannot get raw from A7s no matter what you attach to it.

  • @eatstoomuchjam where did you read that a7s plus shogun will shoot raw?im not sure about that

  • And wouldn't you at this stage get the client to pay for a proper camera that post may have asked for to finish the job? There is a bizarre fallacy that production care what cameras or sound do - really they don't. Cameramen get hired if the PM likes them, no other reason sadly - reality in the UK TV world anyway. They have zero interest in your f 1.8 GV;s - just if they in budget and you got on with the director - shit isn't it. Offline is almost always given away free nowadays (the people who make the programme won't pay for it if you're offlining and onlining etc) Trust my me missus is a major London facility owner and it's a world of cheapest denominator sadly.

  • @RatLabProductions and @sammy The A7s has uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 output available. One of the recording formats available on the Shogun is CinemaDNG. It won't be raw in the sense of not-yet-debayered data straight off the sensor, but that's splitting hairs. The end result should be ~14 stops of dynamic range and no compression.

  • @eatstoomuchjam , uncompressed dos not mean RAW. What exit's from HDMI is already debayered, with WB and processing applied by the camera. By RAW data we understand the image that comes directly from the sensor, like a RAW file from a digital camera. So... NO, A7s can not shot RAW, neither dos GH4 ( I wish it was LOL). A programmable camera means you don't have to pay thousands of $ or more to have an extra line code (take the example of Sony F5 and F55), and everybody will be able to make compatible accessories for it at decent prices (not astronomical ones).

  • @eatstoomuchjam

    8bit 422 is so far away from RAW its laughable. Its not splitting hairs its a massive difference. No matter what bitrate you record on whatever recording device the A7s still can only output 8bit and fitting 14 stops in 8bit is not an great solution as it leaves so little bits/stop. External recording will result in a better image than internal but it is far far from RAW. You need to do some more reading about RAW, bit rate, codec and colour space. Its clear you don't understand it the way you think you do.

  • On the contrary, I understand it all just fine in theoretical terms. It's extremely poor grammar to capitalize raw, by the way, since it isn't an acronym. It's an adjective.

    I will still maintain that you are splitting hairs because the end effect is likely to be exactly the same for nearly all practical purposes. In fact, I have slightly less ability to recover shadows/highlights from my BMPCC footage shot as CinemaDNG than I do when shooting raw on my 5D Mark III or using S-Log2 on my A7s. The A7s also looks (to my eyes) a little more detailed than the BMPCC, though that could be argued after sharpening is applied in post.

    Anyway, there's absolutely nothing I've ever seen to indicate that a raw image must contain a Bayer pattern image straight off of the camera's sensor. If there is, I can name several products which violate that by outputting in DNG format despite that they have absolutely no access to the image straight off the sensor (or in some cases, because they're not even operating on a sensor with a Bayer pattern to speak of).

    You can argue/split hairs about theoretical differences all day. I'm more interested in practical outcomes and I will maintain my assertion that if you're looking to drop $3,000+ on a camera, there are at least 3 choices that you should probably consider before one which won't ship for months and when it does, won't even include a battery. If you want to donate money to supporting an open source project, then more power to you.

  • "end effect is likely to be exactly the same for nearly all practical purposes. "

    Likely, exactly, nearly. but NOT the same so you can't make a statement like 'The A7s with shogun will be able to shoot raw' because it can't which was what I pointed out. Nearly is not the same.

    Pointing out my grammar mistakes with raw yet posting a complete factual mistake is funny. I'd rather have poor grammar than poor facts.

    Your A7s has more DR than the BMPCC mostly allocated to highlights which makes easier recovery. Raw isn't all about DR and won't make a 12stop sensor into a 14stop. no one is saying that. Your A7s has far less colour information and can do far less with colour in post before it falls apart due to 8bit xavc. That is where raw is important as you know from shooting 5D3 raw.

    The A7s is a great camera (save for terrible ergos and RS) and produces a great image. This Axiom is not for you but others want raw just like everyone wanted raw on the 5D3. If it didn't matter than why are you shooting raw on the 5D3? Its worth the tedious workflow & data sizes for the end results to most users and that also is what attracts people to this axiom project and what attracts people to the Black Magic products.

    I don't care to muddle this thread with stuff that has little to do with the topic so I'm out. Just trying to clear up clearly wrong information.

  • I'll be out after saying that raw on the 5D3 is the difference between a lousy internal codec which makes a soft mushy image with terrible DR and a very sharp image with excellent DR. If it made internal images that looked like the XAVC-S coming from the Sony, it would be only on very rare occasions that I went with raw.

    Also, my mistake, if there is one, is less factual and more in considering anything that produces visually lossless CinemaDNG output as being "raw" enough to count. :)

  • @eatstoomuchjam , you are confusing term badly, RAW date is what sensor outputs before debayering (if it has a bayer pattern) and processing.

    A7s outputs RAW data only in picture mode LOL, the 8 bit 4:2:2 what you get with an external recorder is already per-cooked. Just record some normal scenes in Slog 2 with skies and then grade that 8 bit madness and see the "beautiful" banding appear...

    The RAW acronym is very well understood everywhere:

  • @Eno I understand the term perfectly, thanks, and there's nothing about the DNG format (or CinemaDNG for that matter) that specifically says that it must be a Bayer pattern image and that demosaicing must not have been performed yet and I remind you again that raw is not an acronym. It's an adjective. It frequently is used to refer to the bit pattern coming directly from the sensor, but it can also refer to a file format which stores all data available to it.

    If we're using wikipedia references to prove our point...

    "Digital Negative (DNG) is an open lossless raw image format written by Adobe used for digital photography." So... anything which is capable of outputting clean HDMI in such a way that an external recorder capable of recording in the DNG format can save the output is capable of some form of "raw" video.

    Have you actually shot anything in S-Log2, graded it, and found banding? Or are you just talking out of your ass. In my experience, even the XAVC-S 1080p stuff seems to hold up pretty well when graded.

    The point remains that this camera is completely overpriced unless your goal is to support open source.

  • Hiya, EatStoom!

    I decided to come back here for a bit.. Not that I hope to convince you :) But I'd like to drop an example.

    I've never used A7S. I'm sure it's a fantastic camera. I feel even much more so after watching Philip Bloom review it. His night shots are absolutely incredible. However this hilariously funny guy makes one complain about A7S and I would like to confirm it if possible. He says that A7S allows you to record in S-Log2 only if your ISO is 30'000 or higher. Is that true? Did I understand him correctly? And if I did understand him correctly - can you already see where I'm driving at? :)

  • Not ISO 30000. ISO 3200, but now we're radically off topic for the Axiom 4k. :)

  • Not ISO 30000. ISO 3200

    Thx a lot! Makes more sense now

    but now we're radically off topic for the Axiom 4k. :)

    Bear with me for a moment.. What do you think of the decision not to use S-Log2 bellow ISO 3200?

  • It seems like a weird decision, but there may have been a technical reason for it. Either way, it just means I have to use 5 stops more ND filter than I would if shooting at ISO 100. It's not really a big deal.

  • Well my point was that this is an example of a random decision by a camera-maker that we the users have absolutely no chances of having overturned. Yes perhaps there was a technical reason. But maybe the threshold could be dropped to ISO 2400? 1200? Maybe we the users could live with the kind of technical consequences that would follow the application of S-Log2 encoding at ISO 200? Or maybe there was an altogether different way to fix the issue. Who knows? We don't have the freedome to choose.

    And this is precisely the kind of thing that is impossible in the Open Source world. If there is a nagging issue concerning many users there will be one who will go and fix it. Or you can complain to the developers and they will fix it.

    Very often you like the camera overall but want some little thing improved. Manufacturers may supply great hardware but not allow you to use it to its full potential. Sometimes they're protecting their business in a higher price segment. Sometimes they don't want to incur the cost of re-testing. Sometimes perhaps they just don't care?

    I think that open source is great not because it's "fair" but because it allows a lot of things to be fixed much more easily.

    Neither do I like being locked into a particular brand of accessories, batteries, etc. I think it's great when everybody and his dog can make accessories for your camera. I do hope that Apertus project grows into such a full blown eco-system.

    Re Axiom Beta I indeed feel that the price even for the crowdfunding backers is a little bit too high. But then I trust the guys that if they can make a saving on the parts it will be passed onto us. They said on multiple occasions that price for us may end up being lower.

    And I do believe that some extra features are needed above the bare box. There should be a decent way to attach a Sony NP-style battery to the cam and an internal or easily attachable M.2 format SSD. However my enthusiasm over this project is such that I'm happy to overlook these issues and get the desired features a bit later after the release of the camera itself.

    Re the SSD I believe it might be worth talking to the guys more or even perhaps getting a Picozed board and playing a bit while they play with their toys. I have particular hopes on Samsung XP941 512Gb. Anand measured its sequential write to be at 600MB/sec and if my math is correct Axiom Beta 4K RAW@30fps requires just about 480MB/sec.

    Lastly at least for me the big magnet which attracted me to Personal View was that it was (and is) the place of network presence of the guy who created the highly regarded GH2 hacks. I was hoping then for a GH3 hack.. If my assumption is correct and many other folks came here for the same reason then the idea of Apertus should have a lot of appeal here since it's so closely related to Personal View pedigree.

    Anyway my fears seem to have been without much substance. The campaign has already reached 43% of the required funding and if it completes successfully - that's all I want. No need to convert others into my "religion". My only wish is that enough people get the word so that the truly crazy among us would lend their support to the project :)

  • I'm pretty sure I already said (twice, if I'm not mistaken) that it made sense to me to support the camera if you love open source, but if your only goal is to get a camera capable of shooting 4k, there are cheaper/price-competitive options available and you can start using them today.

  • Me? :) I don't even need 4K, HD is fine, and I already have GH3 which will cost me no extra money and which I can use today. Yet I expect the subj to turn out pretty nice and useful. Open Source here is a means not the end in my view.

  • !! Funded !!

    EUR 100.9k and steady as she goes, 3 days remaining.

    Now interesting which of the stretch goals get hit