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Old Oct 8, 2008, 12:44 PM   #1
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...what would you want?

I have a project that I am working on right now, and would like your input! You have to operate within my design parameters though.

1. Flash Memory (what type, size limit?)
2. Remote CCD sensor/lens (like a bullet camera, but >580TVL resolution)
3. Built to IP66 weatherproof standards
4. Operating voltage <5V but has +12VDC direct input. Li-Ion rechargeable, or AA/AAA batteries?
5. This will record 720p and 1080p at 30fps and 60fps, but will be limited by the resolution of the image sensor (provided separately by the user). MPEG4 AVI format.

This specifically is for portable, mobile, body-worn/POV applications like motorsports, action sports, military, and security.

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Old Oct 8, 2008, 1:09 PM   #2
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Greetings James:

I'm not fond of bullet camcorders.

So I will not comment on your message.

But if you will do another project whereby you will create a new HD pocket

camcorder, then count me in.

I would be very interested in being in a project for a HD Pocket Camcorder
made from scratch.

Regards Robert
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Old Oct 8, 2008, 1:16 PM   #3
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It's been done before, and greatly improving...Aiptek, DXG, and Kodak all have really good stuff for the consumer market at a great price. The biggest issue is durability of a consumer camcorder in the environments and applications that the clients will see, and need to be able to put a remote/bullet camera (2"x3/4") in a place where even a small camcorder cannot go.
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Old Oct 8, 2008, 1:35 PM   #4
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Greetings James:

I've already posted once on a forum thread that if we, the forum members

group toegther, we could build an awesome camcorder.

There is a lot of professional expertise in this forum that it would

surely be very helpful.

The awesome demonstration videos of Fishy Comics is one good example.

We have others who can find us manufactures in China or Taiwain

to produce these camcorders.

James I'm from Montreal Canada, where are you from?

Regards Robert

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Old Oct 8, 2008, 2:25 PM   #5
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this is the place for that I am sure. we mentioned over and over and even went out of our ways to show exactly how we can build, ad an addition to the previous cam

and now we see it in Models released

all is Good and never bad.

I if wanted an addition it be a wide angle lens a internal lens cap, Solar panel door, programable buttons for settings and als o software to adjust features and functions. i am sure my ideas are now not mine :G
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Old Oct 8, 2008, 2:37 PM   #6
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- 16:9 and 4:3 auto-selectable depending on resolution for recording.
- 1080P at 30fps (1440x1080, since 4:3 chips are much cheaper than true 16:9)
- 720P @ 60 and 30fps (1280x720)
- SD 480P at 30 and 60fps (640x480.. NOT 720x480)
- At least 5 or 6 megapixel stills (no interpolation! there's softwaree for that)
- ideally, OIS, but EIS will do to keep the size/cost small.
- CMOS chip, if stabilization is available, otherwise a CCD (adds to cost)
- MIC input with perhaps visual levels (at least digital, on screen display)
- Bitrate shouldn't be an issue even at 9Mbps if compression is H.264
The H.264 compression method is much more efficient than older codecs, so the quality is similar to older formats using less bitrate.
- Perhaps direct video-out from the CCD/CMOS VIA HDMI? (no audio necessary)
- Video-IN (the usual SD 480P)
- Autofocus, manual stepping focus and lock function
- The usual WB and shutter speeds.
- Ring adapter to perhaps add lenses?
- SD memory based of course. Maybe 32GB tops? but 16GB will do just fine.
- 5X optical zoom I would say
- NO DIGITAL ZOOM!!! is a waste and never useful imo

All I could come up with for now.

Oh yes, with the size of my Xacti CG65 perhaps? =)

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Old Oct 8, 2008, 4:16 PM   #7
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Here is the plan--

Casing size is already set at 3.75" x 2.5"x0.8", rubberized plastic.
LCD size is 2.5" and 720x240, but may increase to 3" if there is space. Screen cover.
It will likely house an NP-120 battery at 2000mA. I don't think I would sacrifice the usability of a good rechargeable battery over AAA's or AA's, which personally annoy me but that is what this thread is for, to see what the users want.
1V p-p analog signal (VIDEO), small 4-pin locking connector, for bullet camera
Stereo Mic input 3.5mm
+12VDC, screw-in terminals
USB 2.0 (mini)
Wired remote control (LANC-type v1.4 and v1.6)
Remote trigger on/off from Data Acquisition devices, for synching.
HDMI 3.5mm
Analog AV out 3.5mm
+12VDC out (max 300mA) via 4-pin locking connector, shared with Video In.
Audio out 2.5mm

Rubber caps/panels with retainers over openings and connectors
Cover for SD memory card to prevent vibrating out

No provision for still pictures (video only), unless users really wanted it.
Conformal coating for water resistance on PCB, hot-melt on larger components and all I/O connectors for durability. This prevents breakage due to use/vibration.
EIS for bullet cam
Clear and simple UI
English, Spanish languages (should I add French, etc.?)
Video settings: adjust Brightness, Contrast, Color temp, etc.
Internal Stereo mic
Audio gain controls (internal + external mics), ability to record up to 120dB without clipping.
640x480 at 30fps (and possibly 60fps if the chip will do it, need to research)
720p at 30fps and 60fps
1080p at 30fps
4:3 and 16:9 modes
Up to 32GB SD memory cards, no limit on file size (this was an issue with another project, Microsoft-based program would stop at 4GB, buffer and restart a new file...no fix for this, even 3 years later!).
Loop Mode--- continual recording over old file.

There are some really nice Sony HQ1-based 1/3" CCD's that work really well and are 580TVL, and even those that have manual optical zoom/focus. They are not cheap, but work well. They are not as small as the bullet cameras that I am using now (2"x0.75"), but with a 90-deg or 120-deg fixed lens those can be useful as well.

The only reason I am planning on using the COACH 10P is that I know the cost, have firmware architecture already in place from my other projects (using the COACH 8M and 9P). The ZORAN currently uses DivX AVI files, the COACH 8M was recording at 4000kb/s and 640x480 at 30fps in another project with fair amount of artifacting but good progressive video, but we need higher bitrates and HD video these days.

The last project took about 15 months to complete, but as we have done a lot as basework for this one, I am being quoted 2-3 months to final build.

I actually like the idea of a small solar panel (like a calculator), if there was room for a capacitor to maintain some charge in case the battery failed or even came out of its housing, the file would not be lost.

I have not decided on which 4-pin locking connector will be used for video in/power out, I have used miniDIN in the past as semi-locking but the surface-mount connector is really big and puts a big "hole" in the case. 3.5mm 4-conductor worked on another project and was inexpensive but too easily popped out. There are really nice MIL-SPEC pieces but they are very cost prohibitive. Thoughts?

Also, what about cables being right-angle versus straight in?

Please add anything you can think of to this list of potential features. Thanks!

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Old Oct 8, 2008, 4:27 PM   #8
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Why no 720x480? In a previous project (a solid-state MPEG2 to Compact Flash recorder), the other engineers demanded it. My other project is limited to 640x480 but it still looks great on a CRT TV. Is there any special application (broadcast tv, DVD authoring, etc.) that would benefit over one or the other for Standard-Def recording?

As much as I like H.264 MOV files, I am a PC user and I would have to say that most of my clients are PC users, and do not like having to purchase QuickTime Pro to do minimal editing/cropping of their videos. Thoughts/comments?
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Old Oct 10, 2008, 9:27 AM   #9
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James, I have been involved with other DIY camera projects and would like to know more details about all your stuff.

I am really not up to commenting on your project health and time wise, But I can give you some pointers.

The alternative imaging forums over at dvinfo (and underwater, and whatever sports bullet cam forums) are good places to ask.

Elphel security camera do solid state HD camera, the alternative imagine forum has a digital cinema camera thread for it. Sumix is also a cheap supplier of industrial cameras. Uses Micron (Aptina).

Micron does an HD sensor modules for various applications, this is the bottom end used in many of the HD hybrids here.

Ixcon, or something like that, are HD bullet cameras in your sort of spec for professionals. I think there are at least two companies doing this, one uses an altasens, and as it is likely the professional version, should be quiet good.

The new Sony sensors they use in the SR12/12, might give the altasens a run fro it's money (because they are much cheaper).

Unibrain does a really cheap Sony firewire bayer sensor board, webcams etc. I do not know if they have gone to HD yet on the cheap boards.
The Canon TX1, will only do 720p30, but they are going out cheap and work on mpeg1.

planet82 is the best sensor, but no HD yet. You could sell this one as night vision equipment also, it is that good (Samsung I think, is selling a VGA security camera based on it form something like $3-7K. I m hoping the price will coke down sometime.

Security cameras, all you need is the recording/compression device. Some Mpeg2, soon ambarella might help with h264. But the Analogue Devices jpeg2000 codec chips are good, especially using two to get higher quality. For highest quality, or high quality action footage, anything below 100 mb/s is not going to be optimal at maximums pixel rates on a intra codec, unless it is advanced wavelet, h264 intra, or the MS derived jpeg replacement standard. Flash is getting so cheap, that this is practical. Second quality try 50mb/s latest intra, 50mb/s mpeg2, or 24mb/s h264 inter.

I used to be interested in making a camera myself, but I aim to get a production digital cinema camera next year. I am still getting a cheap low powered processing part that could be used for it this year or early next for use in a non camera project. Of the designs, I can get a professional quality camera manufactured and sold for maybe $100US (mind you the lens and storage is going to cost heaps and heaps more). Maybe I would do one if I had somebody to take it over.

Depends on how much market volume and money you have. For high quality at less data rates, try cineform bayer video codec their engineer developed in relation to the digital cinema camera projects. There is FPGA circuit being done, and a PDA style recorder. You might not want to sample at full sensor resolution, but bin/down sample and convert the frame to bayer and run cineform on it. David at cineform knows about it, I suggested it enough times.

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Old Oct 28, 2008, 11:54 PM   #10
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I am wondering, is this going to be a bullet camera connected to the recording/display device? If so, I have some input, as I am joining the military.

1. Waterproof and Dust Proof.
2. CCD Sensor, so there is less/no jitter.
3. Ability to connect an external power source.
4. Ability to turn on/off lcd display (to save power).
5. Stereo sound, and if possible, an external mic port.
6. No lights on the Bulletcam itself, only on the recording/display device, although, I have seen one that has a laser diode on it to show where the camera is pointing, this would be a nice option so you don't always have to check the LCD, you could just press a button or something and the laser would shine.

This is in addition to the stuff you already mentioned.
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