Current status: What the Beta can do, could do, what the current priorities are etc...
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Hello all,

I've been thinking for a little while now that it might be helpful to have a post that summarises the current 'status' of the Beta camera for those of us who struggle to read through the engineering discussions elsewhere.

It could also serve as a discussion board for future development priorities.

So, please below:

  • Summarise any recent developments
  • Summarise the current capabilities.
  • Indicate how you use/intend to use the Beta
  • Make suggestions for future capabilities you'd like to see.
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colinelves added a comment.EditedDec 28 2014, 11:27 AM

Personally speaking:

I'm a film maker so I intend to use the Beta to make films.

Initial priorities for me are (in this order):

  1. A high quality HD image in a standard output in standard frame rates (23.97, 24, 25, 30 fps) that can be recorded by any industry standard recorder.

To me high quality means: High dynamic range (12 stops plus) interpreted as a standard log image, at least 422 colour (ideally 444) and at least 10bits (ideally 12) with low noise.

  1. User Loadable Look Up Tables to be applied to the outputted image - as a 'ready to edit' alternate to the log image.
  1. Various image tools: Focus peaking, false colour, Wave form monitor, vectorscope, Zebras. Image magnification.
  1. Advanced sensor manipulation (I'm thinking of the variable DR here!)
  1. Some form of high speed output (48, 50, 60fps and above).
  1. 4K output.

I'm assuming that Number 1 is the current priority...

I'd like to see, in the future:

  1. True high speed i.e. 100fps and above. Either output continuously (although I think around 2-300fps in HD is the maximum that can be handled by current recorder technology) or buffered internally (a la the Phantom).
  1. Internal recording capabilities (HD or 4K) in some compressed format.

We plan to do a video update to post to crowd funding backers exactly for this purpose soon.

Please keep collecting questions and topics that you would like us to talk about in that update.

Bertl added a subscriber: Bertl.Dec 29 2014, 5:01 AM

@colinelves at the moment, number 0 (getting a still image from the sensor) is what we focus on :)

Or more precisely, we focus on the hardware at the moment, not so much on the software and features.

But I agree, soon some kind of Beta status update somewhere, probably with percentages for planned features will make perfect sense.


colinelves added a comment.EditedDec 30 2014, 10:57 AM

Thanks Herbert,

It would help to have a summary of the current hardware and capabilities of the Beta - as I, along with many of the other Beta backers no doubt, would like to be able to make suggestions on this front.

For example, As I have said elsewhere, I. would like to see the Beta have in l,ace the hardware needed for a high speed frame buffer (for high frame rate filming).

I worry that it is much easier to add hardware capabilities at this stage - and potentially much more difficult later on.

One other thought: It would be good to get an update on the expected cost of the Beta to backers - some of us need to start saving now to afford it!

One more thing: am I right in thinking the Beta will have no LCD, status lights or buttons on it? If so how is it switched on and off? Is simply a question of pulling the power cable or removing the battery (is this likely to damage the unit at all?).

How is the user to know that there are problems with the boot? Will the relevant status information be output via the HDMI or SDI ports for display on any attached monitor?


Also: a detailed update on the Gamma (at some point) would be appreciated. I heard Sebastian on Ogy's podcast say that the timeline for delivery is quite strict due to the European funding - so it would be good to find out what the development roadmap for it is. I'd also be really interested to find out who your development partners are and what aspects of the development they are assisting you with.


Good to see progress and a downgrading of the shaver potential!

I'm sure it's been discussed at length but I can't find any reference to internal ND's especially remote adjustable ND's using the search functions in Phabricator.

Are they prohibitively expensive? Discounted for some other reason?

From a hardware point of view I would have thought designing in onboard ND's would make useful cooling space whilst greatly increasing functionality/ streamlining the camera?


according to:

  • Indicate how you use/intend to use the Beta
  • Make suggestions for future capabilities you'd like to see.

i am a film student working on documentaries, so my general priorities are:

  1. easy and fast to operate
  2. compact size and good ergonomics (like some old 16mm cams, sony fs7, ursa mini,)
  3. reliable codec and long record time (at least three hours)
  4. dynamic range and image quality (1080p is ok but good skin tones and color depth)
  5. good viewfinder (passive lcd with optics)
  6. 2-4 analog audio in's (external preamp for the beta but is there a possibility to feed it into cameras own hdmi signal and to read audio meters inside the viewfinder?)
  7. timecode
  8. internal ND filters
  9. rainproof sealing
  10. modular flexibility

let's vote for a 'cat on our shoulder' - documentary form factor!
discussion about upright beta usage