Apertus AXIOM Beta – Your Open Source Camera. An Update and Recent Footage

It has been a while since we last reported about the status of the apertus AXIOM beta camera, so last week I took the opportunity to meet and talk to Sebastian Pichelhofer who is acting as AXIOM’s project leader, association chairman and one of the software developers, in order to find out what is new and in what shape and status the project currently is.  


AXIOM Beta Developers kit

It was nice to hear and see that this unique open source/open hardware motion picture camera system venture is really moving forward to the point where developers and early adopters alike can now already get their kit. Mind you, if you are an “end user” like me, then the camera is NOT YET ready for us as the enclosure and actual  operating system of the camera are still under development. Without those, operating the camera can be a tedious work.

I hope you will take a moment and watch our 21 minutes long interview with the friendly Sebastian, but if you don’t have the time, here are the main discussion points:

  • Over 500 people backed their successful Indiegogo campaign
  • Magic Lantern was assigned to develop the “color science” behind the camera
  • The camera will actually have a few “color science options” to choose from, making it possible to change “film stock” at the click of a button
  • The philosophy of building a “Lego-type camera” hasn’t changed. One will be able to mix and match between different components like lens bayonets, sensor types and such
  • Two kinds of camera enclosures are in the making: a “Lite” 3D-printed version for users who need it now, and a robust version made of aluminium that will serve the majority of future users
  • The guys at Apertus are looking at an SD RAID recording solution for their camera, where users can swap the cards according to their needs themselves
  • EVERYTHING is open to the community to inspect and check, from cost of materials to the actual development status. See full details at the Apertus site here

AXIOM Beta – Camera bords and sensor

I would also recommend heading to this page to watch and download both graded and ungraded sample footage clips taken with the camera.

Guys, what do you think? Is this open-source camera project still as relevant today as it was when it started a few years ago? Or has the current development and offering of modern cameras by various manufacturers made it less desirable? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Eric Wu Reply
Eric Wu June 13, 2017

I almost forgot about them. Thanks for updating.

Bruno Palmieri Reply
Bruno Palmieri June 13, 2017

Ricardo olha que legal, uma camera modular…. espero que de certo esse projeto

Ken Rodriguez Reply
Ken Rodriguez June 14, 2017

The longer they wait the less relevant it becomes.

Back when it was announced, the philosophy AND specs were absolutely groundbreaking.

Camera tech innovates at such a rapid pace. The specs are just okay now. Philosophy of a modular camera still cool, but now it’s more about just having something different, rather than having the best for the cheapest.

Kevin Luiz Reply
Kevin Luiz June 14, 2017

Agreed, but given the weight, this is still very relevant for drone usage. Imagine this on a lightweight quad with repeatable motion control such as the 3DR Solo. Again, this widely depends on weight. A super 35 4K DCI with 10 bit or raw would not entirely exist on the market, but yes… they do need to push this a little faster.

Bart van den Boogaard Reply
Bart van den Boogaard June 14, 2017

This whole idea is crazy awesome and gives the power back to the people on a new level. First we had super expensive camera’s and production costs and people that could afford it decided what’s worth watching. Decisions were strongly influenced by supply and demand. Then DSLRs/phone cameras and youtube came and everybody was able to produce content at very low cost. It let to an explosion of creativity as everybody can decide what’s worth producing and worth watching.
Still on the manufacturers side a few specialists decide how images should look, what camera innovation is and what features to present to the market next. Cripple cameras to increase sells for instance. Apertus Axiom opens up everything and creates a platform where everybody can contribute. Every single aspect of what a camera is will be questioned and innovation can take place on many levels.
If this project is embraced by a huge and diverse community, we will see innovations that are just impossible to think of by the few specialists from the major brands. Ideas can come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures and personal experiences and people can contribute just on a single tiny aspect of the camera.
Well done Apertus and I hope this will be a huge success. This is open source at its best.

James Whitehouse June 14, 2017

I think this is a great idea if it’s offering great colour science, dynamic range and robust codecs at a fraction of the cost of established companies. It would need a great OS too, and all the usual refinements to really compete.

Alejandro B. Martin Reply
Alejandro B. Martin June 16, 2017

this is a joke, the are since more than 5 years in existence, but they never never sold any camera, they are all time delaying, saying new approach, saying a lot of things, but close to a decade, without any produxt.
People like me that know about the apertus and Sebastian, know what I say, so basically forget about this people

Martin W. June 29, 2017

Nope, that is simply not true. you can actually buy a unit now. https://shop.apertus.org/index.php?route=product/category&path=63
If this was a joke, this would most definitely not be an open-source project. Don’t expect them to release a complete camera anytime soon, as open-source development is really slow. But hey you can join the team if you want and help to speed up their process (PS: anyone can join the team).

Jose Lagos June 21, 2017

If they manage to make this, it will be awesome for all of us, yes they are taking a lot of time to make, but once is done it will give a level of flexibility that any manufacturer will give us, most of the cameras right now are limited by software mostly, hopefully, this camera will hit the market someday, keep the work AXION!