Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SiOnyx Announces Consumer Black Silicon Camera

SiOnyx presents Aurora action camera based on Black Silicon image sensor that it will be launching on Kickstarter on April 20th:




14 comments:

  1. Are these slides vaoprware if it is being launched on kickstarter on April 20th - meaning mechanical CAD renderings of the product concept, and probably video taken with a different camera or even simulated. I think they ought to disclose this to potential kickstarter investors. Since there are a number of VC firms that have already backed this company, going to kickstarter seems weird if the business plan for this camera is solid. As far as I know, the underlying device technology is solid.

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  2. Albert Theuwissen - Harvest ImagingMarch 28, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    I keep on singing the same, old song : "Numbers please".

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  3. Products hitting kickstarter, at least the ones that are sound and solid are often demoed as complete prototypes with major features and hardware implemented. The kickstarter is only there to help mass produce the product, make molds, etc, not for R&D.

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    1. Another use of Kickstarter is to gauge the customer interest. If many people subscribe, their investors would give them more serious R&D money for that project.

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  4. They have two stops advantage over a GoPro HERO 5 with an F/1.4 lens.

    What's the sensor size (optical format) though?

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    1. If that's true then it would account for most of the observed difference (assuming a similar sensor size)

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  5. All good info on Kickstarter thanks. I still want to know if the illustrated camera exists or if those are just CAD renderings. And if it does not exist what was used to make the video comparison?

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  6. Why is something like this put on kickstarter? It seems more suited to pay for mass production of mechanical items than a chip manufactured with a new process.
    Gauging interest might be a thing - but this technology in a phone would be a USP and worth probably half the yearly phone production worldwide.
    It's a breakthrough and that belongs in the mass market, especially given the production cost structure of a sensor.

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  7. GoPro hero5 aperture is 2.8, while this one is 1.4 which means 4 times more photons.

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    1. And it has only 1280*720 resolution. Pixelsize?

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  8. This is great. Without pricing on this I can't decide if I want one (so to paraphrase Al's request, "pricing please"). Shallow depth of field issues with a f/1.4 lens aside, I'm really curious how the enhancement of the NIR region of this will play when covered with CFA. For me, I'd love to have a monochrome option with an NIR optimized lens for my low light needs that would supplement my GoPros. This is using the SiOnyx XQE-1310 image sensor (so Al can get all his numbers here: https://sionyx.com/sensors/).

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  9. I think I have an inkling as to why the Kickstarter... in my view, it is a cynical move by the marketing department, betting on the fact that the Kickstarter crowd is not as sophisticated in the field of image capture as a properly staffed and managed VC firm would (or should) be.

    I am guessing the Kickstarter crowd is younger and more gullible than the VC's (or than the readership of this fantastic blog!) Hence the totally unfair (but "sexy") split screen comparison video of the GoPro and the SiOnyx. It's like lining up a Prius with a drag racer in a quarter mile and then bragging about the drag racer!

    The SiOnyx has a F1.4 lens and a 5.6u pixel.
    The GoPro has a F2.8 lens and a 1.5u pixel!!!

    Not only does the SiOnyx get 4x the photons per unit area, but has a nearly 14X advantage in pixel area! The SiOnyx camera system ends up with a ~55X light gathering advantage over the poor GoPro!

    Given these numbers, the fact that the GoPro can still see anything in these conditions is a testament to the GoPro, not a credit to the SiOnyx (whose marketing department should be ashamed of itself).

    My $0.02.

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  10. Anyone knows how they put color filters in this stuff?

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  11. Black Silicon typical enhances the IR sensitivity by doting the material. And extend over the 1100nm limit. This is useful for mono in starlight, but not with a CFA and IR block above 670nm. Maybe they use one clear pixel instead of green and doing color tone mapping? Where is the advandage in this use case?

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