The Sitina 1 is a full-frame open source mirrorless camera

Sep 1, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The Sitina 1 is a full-frame open source mirrorless camera

Sep 1, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

We’ve seen a lot of DIY camera projects here on DIYP. Usually, though, they’re either Raspberry Pi-based or modified Game Boy Cameras. It’s rare we see a digital camera being built completely from the ground up.

But that’s what Wenting Zhang is doing with the Sitina 1. It’s a full-frame open-source camera that uses an off-the-shelf Kodak CCD image sensor. Now, it’s not a fancy sensor, at only 10.7-megapixels. But being CCD, it’s got a global shutter.

YouTube video

The project is still in its extremely early days. It’s a little project Wenting’s been working on for a little while, and there’s a lot still broken, although it’s come a long way. He describes some of the challenges he’s faced and how he arrived at the component list for his first prototype in the video above.

Sitina 1 – Not for the faint of heart

Wenting goes very in-depth in the video into the technical side of what’s going on. This isn’t a video for end users, and you’re not going to be able to make this with some toner-transfer PCBs in your shed. It’s a very complex topic.

So complex, in fact, that by the end of the video, we can see that Wenting is capturing an image from the Kodak CCD sensor, viewing it on an LCD and saving it out to a raw file, but it’s far from perfect. It’s prone to noise from the power supply, and the refresh rate is pretty slow (largely due to the old sensor – it tops out at 28fps and doesn’t shoot video).

Sitina 1 needs you!

But it’s an exciting starting point for others to jump on board and help take things further. The project has been published to GitLab, including all of the schematics (you’ll need KiCad) and firmware, as well as code to help you post-process the raw files.

I’m tempted to let this one distract me from other projects, but I really shouldn’t. Perhaps I’ll have a play with it in the future once things are a little more refined, though.

But don’t let that stop you. If you want to get involved, head on over to Wenting’s GitLab page.

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

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

One response to “The Sitina 1 is a full-frame open source mirrorless camera”

  1. Robert M Avatar
    Robert M

    Seems easier to buy a used CCD camera.
    They cost very little money these days.