Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

As a proof of concept we created the AXIOM Alpha in 2013. This was an FPGA and CPU combination based on the Zedboard, and by using off the shelf components we interfaced the Super35 4K image sensor with an HDMI linked external recorder. The Alpha featured a Nikon F-Mount and was encapsulated in a transparent, laser-cut enclosure to offer the internal components some protection.

It was mainly intended to prove that, in the simplest way possible, everything could be made to work, but the system worked so well in fact that it’s still used by the community for workshops and shooting small projects today.

One such workshop took place at the 37th Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival where students and film makers got to explore and utilize the camera first hand.

Other projects involved attaching the AXIOM Alpha to a cable camera at Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna or shooting Macro Shots of Insects. Essentially though, the AXIOM Alpha was used to gather feedback in typical shooting scenarios so that ideas could be incorporated into a future, more modular, kit version aimed at developers and early adopters – AXIOM Beta I, but this prototype was the culmination of years of cooperation dating back to 2006.

4K raw image (Photographer: Rainer Ressmann, processed by A1ex from Magic Lantern)

Here is an interview by Johnnie Behiri from Cinema 5D with Sebastian Pichelhofer from the Axiom project. Web site here


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “Build your own cinema camera…the Axiom

  1. I like the picture of their rig.
    I guess they could have use battery power to get rid of the 220V power strip!
    I hope they can reduce few item on the computer size too!
    Nice post

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