Skip to content

SI-2k Black Betty, a camera with a Mac mini inside

Here’s a curious case of how to use a Mac mini in even the most unlikely places. For the shooting of the film Slumdog Millionaire, winner of several Oscars, Golden Globes and others, a somewhat special and very personalized camera was used, which contained a Mac mini. The fact is that the computer consumed so little that it was powered by a 12V battery and from it you could record, edit and share video.

The device that we can see in the photo above is the secondary camera that was used for the shooting of the film Slumdog Millionaire , winner of 8 Oscars, 4 Golden Globes, 1 Goya … Perhaps some of you wonder what a film camera looks like in a blog about Apple, but it turns out that this device has a Mac mini inside.

SI-2k Black Betty, a camera with a Mac mini inside
SI-2k Black Betty, a camera with a Mac mini inside

Although it looks like a 16 mm camera that was used many years ago, this camera is a model of the latest technology, totally customized to the taste of the film’s creators and unique in the world. It combines a Silicon Imaging 2k camera, with a CMOS sensor and a Mac mini equipped with an SSD with SiliconDVR running inside. Finally, and so that nothing is missing, this great camera was equipped with a 7-inch touch screen, which allowed to record, edit and upload the files from the device itself.

This highly customized camera is called SI-2K Black Betty and is capable of recording video at 2K at 30 frames per second with ISO between 160 and 500 . The thing doesn’t stop there but also has up to 11 dynamic range steps through CineForm compressed RAW files.

Now comes the million dollar question, why integrate a Mac mini into such a camera. The answer is simple. It requires very little power to operate. Only 40 watts are needed , which means that it can be powered, as it was when the film was shot, by a 12V battery .


We’d seen Macs in many places, but I personally never thought I’d see one inside a video camera, and the best thing was powered by a 12V battery. Great functionality has been given to a very small computer but it has a lot of potential inside.