There's A Professional Grade Digital Cinema Camera Powered By Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 24 June 2019 at 12:25 AM EDT. 37 Comments
Digital camera startup Octopus Cinema has been designing the "OCTOPUSCAMERA" as a digital cinema camera that's professional grade yet is an open platform with removable/upgradeable parts and this camera platform itself is running Linux.

The OCTOPUSCAMERA supports up to 5K full frame recording, weighs less than 1kg, and is powered by Linux. It's a rather ambitious device and they aim to be shipping in 2020.

The OCTOPUSCAMERA runs x86_64 Linux and leverages an Intel NUC motherboard inside each device while adding in parts like an MX200 sensor module from XIMEA. The camera housing is in a CNC milled aluminum housing and manufacturing is done in London, UK.

In communication with Octopus Cinema, they shared their current prototypes are running on a modified Ubuntu 18.04 LTS stack but they are currently evaluating Intel's Clear Linux platform for offering superior performance. Among the modifications they are doing right now are making use of the real-time kernel option and various throughput/latency tuning. They also are relying upon Paragon's commercial NTFS driver for greater performance to SSDs and CF cards.

Recording is hardware accelerated using Intel's VA-API up to 10-bit HEVC. Image processing on the camera is done using OpenCL with the Beignet driver stack.

Those wanting to learn more can visit
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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