Black Betty Camera

black betty camera

It looks like a 16mm film camera, but it’s a custom-designed housing that includes a Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini Camera Head and an Apple Mac Mini. The camera head produces digital cinema class 2048×1152 resolution. This SI-2K Mini camera head has been used as a second camera in films like Slumdog Millionare and 127 Hours. The small form Mac Mini has an HDMI video port and measures 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thick. The SI-2K Mini’s filmic 2/3? CMOS Imager has 11 stops of dynamic range, and a workable ISO range of approximately 160-500 ASA.

The camera is called Black Betty. She only has two physical buttons: on/off and start/stop. Everything else is done with a 7 inch Xenarc 720P HDMI touchscreen. Black Betty has an interchangeable lens mount 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 even use a lightweight 16mm zoom lens.

The camera runs Windows as well as Imaging software called SiliconDVR from an internal solid state drive.

This camera is a project of two guys: Adam Van Voorhis, cinematographer and maker who works at Rule Boston Camera as the Equipment Manager. And Mike Szegedi, experimental filmmaker and maker, who works at Bluefin Robotics as Senior Manufacturing Engineer.

The idea came about when they were discussing a better kind of camera for documentary work. As Adam says “I missed the run and gun cinema approach that I could operate efficiently by myself with a 16mm shoulder camera and zoom. What an unnecessary pain in the butt DSLRs and the like had become with rigs full of bits of gack, shifty shoulder pads, and counterweights.” It took them two years, but they created a very interesting alternative, the Black Betty Camera.

Does the world really need another camera? I don’t know, but I surely like this one. You can’t buy this camera yet, but you can rent it through Rule Boston Camera. Read the fascinating story of the camera at Adam and Mike’s website.


Keep Reading...

2015 Oscar Nominations

2015 Academy Award Nominations

2015 Academy Award Nominations, Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Cinematography, Short Film, Editing, Screenplay, et al.

Read More
Great example of a short business video

A Great Business Video From LLBean

Sometimes simple is better. This is the kind of business video you could do for your clients. It’s effective and relatively easy to produce. There’s no fancy graphics or After Effects work. A simple sound track with VO and one instrument music. Most of the lighting was available light. But just because the video seems […]

Read More
Facebook Video is Viewed Without Sound

85% of Facebook Video is Viewed Without Sound

Every day some 8 Billion videos are viewed on Facebook, but most of them are viewed silently. As you probably know, video on Facebook plays automatically, but the sound is off by default. And most people really do not want to turn the sound on. So if you’re trying to promote anything with a video […]

Read More
How to Get a Grant For A Documentary

How to Get A Grant for A Documentary

Learning how to get a grant for a documentary is one of the first skills a documentary producer must learn.

Read More




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award