apertus° Axiom Alpha is the name of the apertus° Axiom prototype that is more than just a proof-of-concept. It is planned to already meet the demands of some real world applications like being used for film production to some extent. We are certain though that while it will not be the answer to all our prayers and not the goal of all our dreams yet it will be the first step to embark on a journey to that place where we want to be one day. The main motto with Axiom Alpha is "Keep it simple!". The features are reduced to the absolute essential core. No luxuries. So for example we chose the lens mount that is the simplest and easiest to implement from a technical point of view but allows manual aperture control: The Nikon F-mount. The full Axiom camera will have a wide range of lens mounts available.
A development platform - Not just a prototype
Using an inexpensive Zedboard as development platform opens up many new possibilities. It's widely available for a reasonable price and FPGA development can now easier be split among remotely separated developers. And the Zedboard has other interfaces already built in that we did not aim for so far (Gigabit Ethernet, VGA, Audio In/Out, etc.) and the same FPGA series will also be used in the final Axiom hardware, so some of the VHDL code that we create now will be reusable later on. For more progress updates see below.
|Lens Mount||Nikon F-Mount|
|Image Sensor Diameter||Super 35 / APS-C|
|Video Resolution||1920x1080 (down-scaled from 4K)|
|Video Frame Rate||25|
|Inputs/Outputs||Power In (12V DC), USB 2.0 (Serial Console), Ethernet (Camera Control), HDMI Out|
apertus° Axiom Alpha will utilize the same image sensor from CMOSIS that will be used in apertus° Axiom. The CMV12000 image sensor has 4K resolution and Super35 dimensions with a global shutter.
Axiom Alpha though will down-sample this resolution internally and output a clean uncompressed Full HD signal. Axiom Alpha itself will not record footage though. You can capture single still images in full resolution in raw uncompressed format. We will not install an optical low pass
filter in front of the sensor yet and camera control will at this point only be possible with a USB 2.0/Ethernet interface to send commands to the camera and receive information back.
Axiom Alpha will not record sound and will not at this point be able to record RAW Video. You can use any HDMI recorder of choice though and most of these also have audio inputs.
By using a debayer algorithm that generates RGB values of a single pixel from a 2x2 photosite (RGBG) block we go from 4K to 2K and from raw bayer-pattern to RGB in a single processing step
(see illustration below).
Comparison Chart: Full Featured Axiom vs Alpha Prototype
|Axiom||Axiom Alpha Prototype|
|Development||after successful crowdfunding||in progress|
|Goal||full featured camera||extended proof of concept prototype|
|Video Resolution||4K||1920x1080 (downscaled from 4K)|
|Supported Video Format||uncompressed RAW||RGB|
|Lens Mount||Interchangeable Mount System||Nikon F-Mount|
|Frame Rate||up to 150 (4K)||25|