Our First Camera

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SI-2K Black Betty is not really a camera at all, but most people look at it and say: “Is that a film camera?”

Betty is a custom camera housing that combines a Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini Camera Head and an Apple Mac Mini into a cohesive, portable camera system.

It shoots 2K Cineform RAW Quicktimes with 1:1, 3:1, or higher compression to removable (off the shelf) 2.5″ SSDs.

The SI-2K Mini’s filmic 2/3″ CMOS Imager has 11 stops of dynamic range, and a workable ISO range of approximately 160-500ASA.
(You can get a little extra love out of it with Dark Energy.)

Betty was designed to include all the little practical features that filmmakers who were nurtured on 16mm know and love.
You don’t have to build it up to get it on your shoulder. Its one piece and well balanced.

Betty only has two physical buttons: on/off and start/stop. Everything else is driven thru a touchscreen.

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Stripped, Betty weighs only 9.8lbs. She is 8.5″ tall and 12″ long.
Built up with a prime lens, monitor, battery, solid state drive, and Arri hand grip, Betty clocks in at 16.4lbs.
The camera (complete with the monitor) consumes an average of only 40 watts.

Betty has tape hooks, rosettes for hand grip mounting, a simple 15mm rod support, a carry handle, and enough threaded holes on top to please any camera assistant.

cambottom     topholesagain     VCT

Betty’s undercarriage takes a VCT style locking plate, or an Arri 16mm bridgeplate.
It also accommodates large, medium, and small O’Connor, Sachtler, & Manfrotto quick release plates.
All the threads just line right up; we made sure of it.

Betty runs on a cleverly recessed Anton Bauer mount, providing onboard 14.4V power for any and all accessories.

She even has a Fischer 3Pin RS stop/start port for hand grip or remote on/off control.
The adventurous can alternatively use a bluetooth mouse as a remote switch.

ssdmodule2     ssdeject2

Betty has an interchangeable lens mount (PS Technik IMS) that can accommodate PL, B4, Nikon, C, PV, and BNCR, to name a few.
The SI-2K Mini’s sensor is easily covered by 16mm and Super 16mm lenses.
You can put to use 16mm lightweight zooms with wide zoom ranges!

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Betty is driven through a 7″ Xenarc 720P HDMI touchscreen.
She runs good old Windows and the Silicon Imaging SiliconDVR software off of an internal solid state drive.

A USB port connects the touch interface. By tacking on a miniature USB Hub, it can double up as a single system audio interface, and/or accommodate other crucial USB devices.
A secondary HDMI connector provides a monitor out for client viewing.

Betty can be undocked. The SI-2K Mini head has its own small camera cage which allows for fitting the camera head into tight spaces. It detaches from the Mac Mini housing by unthreading four captive screws. The camera is then tethered by plain old ethernet to the recorder.

Betty has WiFi connectivity, and you can even use the camera to upload and download frame grabs of footage wirelessly.

A lot of people have never heard of the SI-2K Mini, but it has been embraced by recent films like “End Of Watch” and “Bellflower” (who built their own amazing camera rigs and tiny camera rigs as well).

The SI-2K Mini has been on the digital cinema market since 2006, quietly making its mark as a secondary camera in films like “Slumdog Millionare“, “127 Hours“, as well as a primary camera on 3D Features.

We think she’s a pretty awesome gal!

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