An entry level low price version of the Axiom
Open, WishlistPublic


An entry level camera with a cheaper sensor but essentially the same hardware->software interface. This would be great for those of us operating on a shoe string budget, to get up to speed hard- and software-wise. We could test out the waters without risking bankruptcy. I sincerely hope this will be possible at some point. A price similar to the Blackmagic Pocket Camera would be great.

derkiki created this task.Dec 9 2014, 5:52 PM
derkiki updated the task description. (Show Details)
derkiki raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
derkiki claimed this task.
derkiki renamed this task from A entry level low price version of the Axiom to An entry level low price version of the Axiom.
derkiki added a subscriber: derkiki.
Bertl added a subscriber: Bertl.Dec 9 2014, 5:58 PM

I think for the AXIOM Beta this is already accomplished with the MicroZed 7010 (~200 USD) and the CMV2000 sensor (~200 USD) plus maybe 300-500 USD for the remaining parts.


Would you be willing to pass on sensor diameter, resolution and throughput for the cheaper price?

Of course. A smaller diameter sensor could even be useful for some applications. Maybe 16mm or even 8mm. The throughput would automatically be lower then, I suppose. Resolution should be HD at least.

sebastian triaged this task as Wishlist priority.

The "shoestring" version could have a sturdy but very light plastic case - for lightweight applications such as quadcopters or cheap motorized gimbals.

allan added a subscriber: allan.Dec 26 2014, 9:48 PM

Even for those that can afford the full camera, an "expendable" solution makes sense. A case that survives in most cases, for the time when risking the main rig becomes too much of a gamble. Bonus for making it light.

The main problem with this suggestion is that there is already two very good 'low cost' cameras in the market:

I've got a GoPro 4 that cost me about €400 and shoots 4K and 120fps HD and is small and robust enough for me to put anywhere (I stuck on on the tail of a plane, for example).

Sure, it's terrible in low light, has no dynamic range to speak off, suffers from some hefty compression artefacts and can't be graded heavily, but...

I've also got a Black magic pocket. Which also cost me around €400. It also small and robust enough to put almost anywhere but has 12 stops of DR, is good in low light and is extremely grade able shooting 12 bit Raw and 10 but Apple Pro Res 422.

To be honest I find it (very) hard to see how a bare bones Axiom could even begin compete with either of those on price point of on capabilities.

If we're talking about Axiom's place in the market, I just don't think 'cheap' is the home for it - as that arena is already pretty much covered.

Those are great cameras but they are not open source / customizable.

No, they're not - at least not at the moment (I wouldn't put it past Black Magic to release the firmware of the black magic cameras). But they are both incredibly cheap - and I doubt there is much that can be done to the Beta to make it cheaper, except what is already on offer (ie a cheaper sensor).

However I do think it is important for them to be thinking about market positioning, which is what you're essentially talking about, and what makes the Beta uniquely sellable in an already crowded market. Personally I think differentiln by price point is a bit of a non-starter (for the reasons I outline above) and while being Open source is definitely a point of difference it's only relevant (in terms of why people might buy the Beta over any other camera in the market) solely in terms of what being open source allows the camera to do and what it allows the user to do with it.

To this end I worry that chasing a low price point will mean crippling the camera's capability - and given that the Beta is already crippled relative to the black magic and the GoPro, in that it cannot record video internally, let alone 4K, or 120fps, think trying to do so is a bit of a fool's errand.

I also think, at this stag, the developers have enough to focus on developing two new cameras (the Beta and the Gamma) without worry about a third.

GoPro is a good example. However, 4K at 120 fps, will need a really big amount of money to be able to make an interface fast enough to write to an M.2 SSD, and a fast enough CPU to take the input and store it as RAW file. About $3000 MFT camera like DJI Zenmuse X5R can record in Lossless RAW 4K at max 2.4 Gbps, but it is not open source and for professional use, it would not perform really well in low-light.

Well actually a low priced camera like BMPCC can record 1080p RAW at 30fps which is budget and good enough.

Bertl added a comment.Oct 9 2016, 2:46 PM

Didn't know that BM decided to make the PCC FOSS/OH ...

Anyway, given the big success the AXIOM Beta has, I'm sure there will be cheaper FOSS/OH camera solutions for the entry level in the future.


anuejn claimed this task.Aug 15 2018, 10:24 PM
anuejn added a subscriber: vup.
anuejn added a comment.EditedAug 15 2018, 10:47 PM

Some updates on this front:
Last ccc @vup @leftshift and me decided to build a cheap development version of the Beta.
We wanted to have a cheap camera to be able to develop soft- and hardware for the Beta without the need to invest a lot of money.
Research was done, the cheapest Zynq FPGA development board was found, the cheapest suitable CMOS with okayish documentation was picked and we designed a first Interface PCB to connect the sensor to the FPGA dev board. We build FPGA designs and wrote some software and in the end we had the first still images. The first prototype of the AXIOM micro was built.
However, the initial PCB was quite rough and had major problems (we were doing serious PCB design for the first time in our lives).
This led us to the creation of a second revision, which now is able to shoot moving images, has a proper lens mount and some case.

Now, about half a year later, we are testing and doing software for the current (second) hardware revision. When it works, we might build some more micros or do another revision. Anyways, r2 of the micro is already a useful working development tool :).

DIscalimer: the micro is not meant to be a camera for serious filmmaking. Its preimary purpose is to develop hard and software for the beta.
Specs wise, it can be seen as a digital super8 camera: consumer grade but not too shitty. Moreover, we are not the main developers of any other Apertus project, so no development time was lost ;). Only new devs were agitated :)

More info:

i like your approach a lot!
the super8 idea ist great, especially for artists and hobbyists who want to get in touch with AXIOM.
Also this has the opportunity to get people on board because it is a low threshold first contact to the project.

Do you have foto-documentation of the build process online? And/or footage?
I would love to see your 3d prints and early assembly's :)

anuejn added a comment.Sep 3 2018, 4:27 PM

Do you have foto-documentation of the build process online? And/or footage?
I would love to see your 3d prints and early assembly's :)

There might be a blog post in the future, when we have more to share ;)
Moreover, we will post updates, when things happen and when footage is produced