Modularity is of course nothing new: Analogue film and photographic (medium format) cameras have been built around systems using this principle for more than half a century. In the digital age, we believe our Open Module Concept not only makes Axiom 100% extendible, but that it also allows for a streamlined project management system when developing new modules for various hardware functionalities. With an open modular system, different teams can be working on separate modules in parallel, with an awareness of what each other is doing. This has the potential to encourage the sharing of designs and information, with a strong level of transparency toward the community. Disclaimer: This is a concept! What you can see below is a snapshot of our current ideas, and it does not mean everything will end up exactly like it is shown or described here. What it does indicate however, is the direction in which we are heading for the future.
The concept of Axiom is to create much more than just a camera “product”. It is an open camera platform - ready to evolve into things we haven’t even dreamt of today. Many people are cautious of buying into a camera system due to the rapid pace at which new “products” are being announced, with state-of-the-art systems now outdated within months of their release cycle. We want to stress that Axiom will not be outdated anytime soon - it will be built from the ground up as a system that will evolve over time - as we rely on FPGA based designs rather than fixed “set-in-stone systems”. We and the entire community will be able to deliver new interfaces, codecs, firmware and significant degrees of newer functionalities all via a simple software download to the camera. It is our intention to use this to create a very powerful ecosystem around Axiom, providing long term support alongside the development of new features.
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.