In our first post about the Axiom Open Module Concept (made in Fall 2013), we proposed a solution explaining how different modules could be combined behind the camera head to form a wide range of camera hardware compounds. Now we have prepared an extension to this concept, dealing with the same issue surrounding the components in front of the camera head. Here, it's not so much about allowing for new combinations but rather to allow for easy access to these parts and for changing and/or replacing them when required.
You know the drill already: This is a concept! What you can see below is a snapshot of our current ideas. We want to emphasise that not everything will end up exactly like it is shown or described here. What all of this does indicate however, is the direction in which we are heading for the future.
The Axiom Alpha prototype with the CMV12000 image sensor is just the beginning, we want to offer a wide range of different image sensor modules in the future. Whether it be a Super16, Four Thirds or Full Frame Sensor or a module that allows fine-tuning the sensor alignment shift for Stereo 3D, there are so many possibilities. And since we rely on FPGA based designs for image processing, the camera head (Axiom core) will less likely be a limiting factor for processing the data of a different image sensor.
We plan to utilize the IMS Mount system from P+S Technik, allowing us to mount: PL, Canon EF, Canon FD, F-mount, B4, C-mount, Leica M, Leica R, panavision and BNC-R lenses to the Axiom. But it doesn't stop here - We also want to make the lens mount base itself interchangeable. This will mean that anyone can manufacture their own lens mounts (utilizing CNC mills or 3D printers as an example) or buy existing mounts from various sources. The distance between the image sensor plane and the lens mount (the so called FFD will be kept extremely short so as to allow for maximum flexibility with a range of lens mount systems.
To make this system both as flexible and as economic as possible, we have decided on a viable compromise that will minimise costs in construction, but then also reduce the ease at which you may be able to quickly swap components "in-the-field". What this means is that when preparing the camera for a planned shoot, we would advise you to swap certain components - such as the sensor module - at your office or within an enclosed environment, and not outdoors shortly before a sandstorm is going to rear up in the middle of the desert. Would you consider this compromise to be a viable balance or a big No-Go? How often do you think you will want to swap these front modules? Let us know in the comments below!