Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Build Your Own Progressive Scan Camcorder!?


We've covered some pretty neat DIY stuff in the past: Matchbox pinhole cameras, home-brew video game consoles and even a radio made from household odds and ends, but what kind of guy would whip up a 25 fps tapeless progressive-scan camcorder in his spare time? Dan Vance, that's who.

The VanceCam25P was developed to shoot The Shivering Earth, an 88 minute Indy sci-fi feature film. Dan Vance's one-off camera captures footage digitally on an internal hard drive. It uses a high-quality industrial video camera module with "frame integration" mode that allows progressive-scan image capture. Vance initially used a liquid crystal shutter in front of the CCD, but discovered that he lost a massive 2 1/2 stops of light. Instead, the final unit uses a rotating mechanical shutter like a motion picture camera. Of course, this requires precise synchronization to ensure that the CCD only attempts to capture an image while the shutter is open. Anything but perfect synchronization would result in optical disaster.

VanceCam panel The camera outputs a component video signal which is fed to an analog component-to-firewire converter (ADS Pyro A/V link) which passes the DV signal directly to a Laird CapDiv hard disk recorder, resulting in a clever tapeless recording system. An audio preamplifier is built in to boost a microphone input for capture by the recorder's A/D converter line-level input. The viewfinder is a re-purposed Sony DXF-501CE, while the lens is a Fujinon pulled from an old Ikegami HL-79A camera.

So how does the footage look? You can check out the trailer at The Shivering Earth site. I thought it was remarkable considering it was captured with homebuilt equipment, but it still looks like sterile camcorder footage to me. I guess I'll just have to wait for the RED One digital camera to hit the market.

More details and pics of the VanceCam


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...