Digital Bolex gives filmmakers 2K RAW cinematography in a classic 16MM body

digital bolex 1

There are some projects happening where people are attempting to convert analog photographic and video equipment into digital versions designed for modern use, such as the Nolab Super 8 camcorder. Another product that’s actually come into fruition is the Digital Bolex D16. Retro-looking on the outside – down to the pistol handgrip – the Digital Bolex has a Super 16mm-size digital sensor (1-inch Kodak CCD) that can capture 2K RAW video (up to 32 frames per second instead of compressed video stream), utilize interchangeable lenses, audio capture via XLR mic inputs, and record onto a built-in SSD drive and dual CF card slots (full specs here).


The Digital Bolex old-school styling is rather deceiving, as it’s really a prosumer cinematography camera in an easy-to-use form factor that delivers film-like aesthetics. Starting at $3,299 for a 256GB model, it’s targeting indie filmmakers who are looking at professional products like those from Blackmagic, Canon, Sony, and RED, but slightly more affordable (as Boing Boing points out, Blackmagic’s Pocket, which is less expensive, might be more competitive). But its creators also wanted to make a camera that consumers might want to use too, and there’s clearly interest for the Digital Bolex as it more than doubled its target goal on Kickstarter.

The Digital Bolex outfitted with a cinema lens and rig.
The Digital Bolex outfitted with a cinema lens and rig.

“Since our Kickstarter ended, we have made hundreds of changes to the camera based on feedback from our camera backers, accomplished cinematographers, and industry veterans, resulting in a far more polished and professional tool than we originally envisioned,” its creators said. 

If the name Bolex sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the name of the Swiss company that makes popular 16mm and Super 16mm motion picture cameras. While the Digital Bolex was developed by cinematographer Joe Rubinstein (and his company Cinemeridian) in the U.S., Bolex is partnering with Rubinstein to create and market the digital version.

(Via Boing Boing)


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