Starlight Cameras

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Ammonite Starlight cameras are based around a high resolution and sensitive image intensifier coupled directly to a 1920 x 1080 HD chip.

They are capable of filming in real time, in starlight, moonlight, or with infra red. The images are black and white, and can be grain free (full moon or infra red) or grainy (in starlight).

The amount of grain is a function of the amount of gain that is controlled on all the cameras by a single manual knob. Even in starlight, many of the cameras aren’t at maximum gain, and the quantity of grain is usually removable by noise reduction techniques.

The cameras are sensitive to most visible light, but are also highly sensitive to infra red light. This means they can be used in the field with small infra red battery powered lights instead of large generator driven lights. With a correctly set up spot light, the starlight cameras can see a lion at 2 kilometres.

Starlet

The Starlet is the world’s first self contained,  fully portable, variable framerate (including 23.97, 25 & 29.97 fps) Starlight Camcorder capable of recording uncompressed HD video directly to an internal hard drive. This is the easiest to use and most ergonomic starlight camera to date from the creators of image intensified Starlight camera technology.

Technical Specifications:

  • Uncompressed 12 bit .AVI recording
  • 1920 x 1080 HDMI output for monitoring
  • 1-30 FPS variable framerate (including 23.97 & 29.97 fps)
  • Internal Recording [No Nanoflash / recording device required!]
  • Recording file size: 3GB/minute
  • Dual USB output for downloading footage

Starlight Mk7

This camera uses the same chip and intensifier, but there the similarity ends. It is slightly more sensitive and slightly sharper than the MK6, as it records an uncompressed AVI signal to a laptop computer. We have worked hard to make the laptop recording system lightweight, flexible and easy to use. The advantage of this system is that since the original images are uncompressed, it is possible to get a better quality image after post processing than with the MK6 camera. This camera can’t record sound, but can record at any frame rate from 2 fps to 32 fps – as well as 23.97, 25, 29.97. The frame rates are locked, so that separate sound recordings can easily be synced up later, as long as a clapper board or hand clap are used. The clips are automatically stamped with the time of day of commencement, so can easily be connected with a free running time coded audio device such as the H4n zoom.

The AVI files that are created in the computer are quite large in size, about 3 gigs a minute, which means that the laptop has enough space for 2 hours of recording time. We can supply extra field USB 2 hard drives if necessary. The base plate also carries a small 6″ monitor. Both the camera and the monitor are connected to a laptop in a small shoulder bag, and both are controlled by a switch on the camera.

Starlight Mk6

 

This camera outputs HDSDI at a true 1080i 50. We have an XDR Flash to record to, at 100 mbps. The XDR Flash allows audio input.

Associated Lenses

The standard Starlight kit comes with:

  • 8mm f1.4
  • 12.5mm f1.4
  • 35mm f1.4
  • 50mm f1.2

For normal use, the cameras are set up on a special base plate which can take any lens from 8mm  (24mm in full frame 35mm terms) to 1000mm (3000mm in 35mm terms). Ammonite offer a wide selection of additional fast primes and long lenses which work beautifully on the starlight cameras. Visit the Ammontite Lenses page to see our full range.