2K Camera Provides Next-Gen of HD Cinema

Silicon Imaging (SI), with a little help from CineForm and Intel, this week unveiled a 2K digital cinema camera system for motion pictures and other HD production. The SI-2K captures footage directly to disc, at either 1920 x 1080P or 2048 x 1152, running on motherboards integrated in the camera (or a laptop equipped with a Intel Core 2 Duo processor).

SI said content is immediately editable with CineForm's Prospect 2K visualization/colorization software. Completed projects can be directly encoded for theatrical distribution to digital cinemas or for VOD Internet downloads.

SI credits the start of the transition to digital cinematography to George Lucas's "Star Wars: Episode II" (the fifth movie in the dual-trilogy). The need for film or tape at any stage in the production process has been totally eliminated, SI said, editing can be done onsite while each shot is taken, and a final production can be distributed within weeks--rather than months--following a shoot.

The SI-2K streams images as uncompressed, raw "digital negatives" over a standard GB Ethernet connection. An Intel Core 2 Duo processor-based computer embedded in the camera (or tethered to a laptop up to 300 feet away), processes the digital negatives, where they can be developed and colorized for preview using the cinematographer's desired "look" for a given scene.

The digital negatives and look metadata are simultaneously recorded to a 2.5-inch hard drive using CineForm's "Raw" codec. SI said up to 4 hours of content can be captured on a single 160 GB notebook drive--or the equivalent of 14 reels of 35 mm film.