Apertus AXIOM Beta Open Source Professional Digital Cinema is Built around MicroZed Board

Orange Pi Development Boards

Apertus AXIOM Beta is a professional digital cinema camera built around FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and open hardware licenses. The project started around year 2011 with AXIOM Alpha camera, and AXIOM Beta is the latest iteration powered by MicroZed development board based on Xilinx Zynq 7020 ARM + FPGA SoC, and running Arch Linux ARM.

Developer Kit – Click to Enlarge

AXIOM Beta developer kit (planned) hardware specifications:

  • “Linux” Board – Xilinx Zynq 7020 based MicroZed board
  • Beta Main Board – Hosts two external medium-speed shield connectors and two high-speed plugin module slot connectors.
  • Image Sensor – 12MP CMV12000 (Used for research and development) via CMV12K ZIF Sensor Board
  • Lens Mount Passive E-mount
  • Ports – USB / USB UART / JTAG / Gigabit Ethernet
  • Modules and Shields
    • Single HDMI Full HD (4:4:4) output at up to 60 FPS
    • Dual 6G SDI output (in development)
    • 3x PMOD debug module
    • LED matrix debug module
    • Genlock, Trigger, Timecode, LANC shields (in development)
    • 4K Displayport/HDMI (in development)
  • Power Supply – 5V/5A via power adapter board; Other voltages provided via Beta Power Board
  • Dimensions -111.76 x 74 x 65.1 mm (devkit)
  • Weight – 319 grams (devkit)

There’s also a Beta Interface dummy board that acts as a bridge between the image sensor board and the rest of the camera.


The camera will run Arch Linux ARM on MicroZed board, support common network protocols (SSH/FTP/SCP/etc), and be configurable via a web interface. Features will include global shutter capture, output of 4K RAW experimental HDMI/Displayport outputs over 1080p60, remote control, WiFi connectivity, support for  motion tracking via various sensors for image stabilization, as well as image processing with Look-Up-Tables (LUTs), matrix color conversion, dead pixel compensation, and so on. However, audio recording is not currently supported. Many more software and hardware details can be found in the Wiki.

Click to Enlarge

A compact enclosure is also planned for the production camera that will be called AXIOM Beta Compact, and while the timeline is unclear, you can register your interest for what is planned to be a 5,990 Euros camera. Some of the development kits pictured above have been shipped last summer, and can still be ordered for 3,990 Euros ex. VAT. FYI, the image sensor represents around 2,000 Euros out of the total cost. Visit the product page for more details.

Rendering of Expect Final Product (AXIOM Beta Compact)

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