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Old March 13th, 2012, 05:17 AM   #1
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Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

The Digital Bolex

Its a kickstarter, so who knows if it will really come to fruition, but its a great concept.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #2
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

Don't like the idea of an internal battery. But otherwise it looks interesting, especially at that price point.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

i want one
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Old March 13th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanjin Svajger View Post
Don't like the idea of an internal battery.
They're saying a 4-pin XLR battery (external) will be included along with the internal battery.

If they're actually calling it a Bolex then legally there must be some real
connection to the actual Bolex of the past... although the website was
a bit vague on that point, saying only that "the Bolex is back" on their
About page.

Edit: Yes, it seems the Bolex branding is indeed legitimate after all.
From their Kickstarter page: "Our current agreement with Bolex states
that we may only ship cameras within the United States. Anyone with
a US mailing address can purchase a camera."

The retro design is admittedly appealing, as are the three XLR inputs
(two 3-pin jacks for L&R audio, one 4-pin jack for power). But... what
about the image? The sensor is a Kodak CCD in appx. S16 size.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #5
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

Hmm... proposed specifications, from http://www.digitalbolex.com/products/

Resolution: 2048 x 1152 (Super 16mm mode) + 1920 x 1080 pixels (16mm mode)
Format: Adobe Cinema DNG, TIFF, JPEG Image sequences
Colour depth: 12 bit – 4:4:4
File size: 2 to 3 MB per frame in RAW
Sensor: Kodak CCD: 12.85 mm (H) x 9.64 mm (V) – Similar to Super 16mm
Pixel Size: 5.5 micron (compared to the 4.3 micron size of many DSLRs)
Framerate: up to 32 fps at 2K, 60fps at 720p, 90 fps at 480p
Sound: Balanced, 2 channel, 16 bit, 48 kHz via XLR
Viewfinder: 320240, 2.4” diagonal, with Focus Assist
Video out: 640 x 480 B&W via ⅛” video jack (HD-SDI avail in separate unit)
Ports: ⅛” video, headphone, USB 3.0, Audio XLR (2), 4-PIN XLR
Data Storage: Dual CF card slots, SSD (buffer drive)
Power: Internal battery, 12V External via 4 pin XLR port
Body: Milled steel and hard plastic
Size (body): Approximately 5”H (without pistol grip) by 4”W by 8”D
Size (grip): 5”H by 2”W by 5”D
Lens mount: C-mount comes standard; Optional PL, EF, B4
Weight: 5lbs
ISO Options: 100, 200, 400
Also in the box: pistol grip, USB 3.0 cable, internal battery, 4 pin XLR Battery, cable, video cable, transcoder/raw conversion software

...not exactly sure how a person can pull focus from a QVGA viewfinder, even with Focus Assist.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

Anyone know what the crank on the side is for?

Perhaps they're going really retro and having a clockwork generator in the camera. I know of one camera that didn't get into production, which had the option of a hand crank.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

Apparently the "crank" has assignable functions (such as ramping the frame rate?)
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Old March 13th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dean View Post
Products | DigitalBolex.com Its a kickstarter, so who knows if it will really come to fruition, but its a great concept.
Oh yeah, that was an easy decision -- I'm definitely in! (Hopefully money well spent ;^)

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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

This is a really cool concept. 12-bit, 4:4:4 color - wow!
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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

This is really cool, but the monitor resolution is surly lacking.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

I dunno -- it looks like a cute little toy but the big red flag for me is their opening statement:

Quote:
Once upon a time, motion picture cameras that created high-quality images were affordable for all filmmakers on any budget. Consumer 8mm and 16mm cameras like the original Bolex shot footage that could be projected on any movie theater screen.
which is patently false and revisionist history at best. I cut my teeth shooting docs and newsfilm on 16mm and the truth is, there were (and are) NO affordable 16mm consumer cams. About the cheapest you could get away with was about 1200 1975 dollars, which would be over five grand today. The film stock itself was grainy and crappy looking -- aside from TV news, no one shot 16mm except for underground indies and porn. It wasn't until the 1990s that film stocks got good enough for 16mm to be used in Network TV production, and by then consumers were starting to use video, even if was only VHS or Hi8.

And it is physically impossible to show 8mm film of any flavor in a real movie theatre -- the projectors weren't powerful enough for their light to actually reach the screen, even in a small multiplex theatre. We did a Super 8 film festival and had to specially convert an Elmo to use a more powerful light source -- it looked like a Rube Goldberg invention and still sucked.

So I'm leery. From their other statement it sounds like they've just licensed the Bolex name. Could be this is another RED, all promises and nothing else.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #12
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

They've reached the production start goal of $100,000. It looks like it's a go.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #13
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
About the cheapest you could get away with was about 1200 1975 dollars, which would be over five grand today. The film stock itself was grainy and crappy looking -- aside from TV news, no one shot 16mm except for underground indies and porn. .
The BBC and other UK broadcasters all shot on 16mm, including negative for their both their high end documentaries and dramas. There were also a number of successful feature films shot on 16mm, including "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

The weak link in the chain were the telecines of the time. Running that original film material through a modern TK comes up with results far better than the original transmission and the quality often surprises people.

I should add that I bought my first 16mm film camera for 40, it was an old Bolex, you don't need to buy a brand new camera with film.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 01:49 PM   #14
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re: Digital Bolex announced at SXSW 2012

+1 for Adam's post!

I, too, am skeptical. Any team that can't center their dual-mono interview tracks in post seems like they might now be laughing all the way to the bank of over-promise/ under-deliver vapor-ware. Although I'd LOVE to be wrong.

And anything smaller than S35 sensor, I'd just have no use for. Not with plenty of S35 and FF sensor options out there. Even during its heyday, aside from docos, there weren't that many great indie/underground films shot on 16mm. Was there?
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Old March 13th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #15
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Re: Digital Bolex -- nifty for geeks, hipsters and old people alike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Brown View Post
And anything smaller than S35 sensor, I'd just have no use for. Not with plenty of S35 and FF sensor options out there. Even during its heyday, aside from docos, there weren't that many great indie/underground films shot on 16mm. Was there?
What was shot decades ago on 16mm doesn't have any relevance to this digital camera. They used the reference to 16mm as a marketing tool, as indie filmmakers used 16mm a lot back in the day. Especially with old Bolexes.
But "Woodstock" was shot on 16mm. And in today's time, "When We Were Kings," "The Black Swan, " "The Wrestler" and "The Hurt Locker" are recent, notable films shot on 16mm or Super 16. So is the TV show "The Walking Dead."

And right now there is nothing even close to the new Bolex's 2K RAW, 12-bit, 4:4:4 color video, all for around $3,000. This is what the Scarlet should have been, IMHO.
That's assuming it really does get built.
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