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NEWS CAPTURE & PRODUCE
by Will Strauss
I n the digital age, cameras are essentially computers with bits of glass on the front. OK, that is a
simplistic description but you get my point. Software engineering is married with lens expertise and
a rugged camera-shaped body to capture amazing visuals (in the correct hands of course).
So, the fact that Rogue Element Films is going to bring the open source Axiom Beta camera to the UK
(see page 13) is interesting all on its own. Having the ability to modify, alter or replicate the parameters
and components of a camera - and freely develop modules and peripherals for it - is very exciting
and a natural extension of the ‘camera as computer’ metaphor. But this versatility is only the tip of the
iceberg. Many camera people I speak with are frustrated that they are forced to use closed, proprietary
systems to shoot pictures. They want to look under the hood, learn how things work and make
changes as they see fit, like they could, if they wanted to, before cameras were computers. This would
allow them to dream up their own cameras, ones that fit their requirements: changing the sensor as
required, adding a module as needed or attaching a specific lens mount so that a favourite piece of
glass can be stuck on the front. In theory, they would never have to buy a whole new camera.
The introduction of open source cameras kicks open a door to potentially change the way all cameras
work. Most cameras out there can do most things but the companies that develop them just give
users what they want to give them. It’s presumably part of their technology roadmap. If open source
cameras become popular, that could force the ‘big boys’ to let operators tamper with the parameters
on their cameras too. It sounds unlikely but it is possible.
While the Axiom Beta isn’t even on the market yet, it is still a fantasy of course. But one that has huge
potential should it ever become reality.
Awards The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has
been recognised with the 2014 Bill Vinten Guild of
Television Cameramen University Award. Course
leader at UCA Claire Barwell said: “Too often the
reward and recognition goes to the directors and
the films rather than the crew, so this award is
especially important to us.“ Vince Knight from
Bournemouth University won the individual prize
for his work on The Domestic Life of Mollusks.
The awards were presented at the University of
York’s Heslington Studios on October 22 2014.
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www.bluebell.tv 06 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 95 NOVEMBER 2014