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Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade


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#41 Sean Cunningham

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:25 AM

There are several devices that will give you much better sound than a Zoom H4n or similarly priced Tascam recorder. I own a Tascam DR-100, it's great for what it is, I've used it and will definitely use it again, but does it have the cleanest preamps out there? Hell no! These things are so compact and try to do so much that you can even listen to the SD card activity interference in some situations! If you know a thing or two about preamps you'll know these recorders' preamps are decent, but far from "professional quality" and perfectly matchable by any camera that tries to. Most of what you pay for is the firmware, card recorder, plugs, headphone amplifier, etc etc, which you already have in any camera anyway!

 

Devices, not cameras.  I'm not saying the Zoom is the best option, it's definitely good enough, as well as other purpose-built devices like it.  It's completely r-tarded to be wasting engineering and space on advanced audio for a camera when that cost, that time, that extra potential for issues would be better spent on its true purpose.

 

Single shooters can attach these compact recorders to their shoe on top. 

 

You actually complain that these compact recorders are trying to do too much yet you want to jam pro-level audio gear into a camera.  This conversation is absurd.


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#42 Bruno

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:38 AM

You actually complain that these compact recorders are trying to do too much yet you want to jam pro-level audio gear into a camera.  This conversation is absurd.

 

The cameras already have all they need to record audio: power, storage, processor, even audio recording capabilities, why have all that again in a separate recorder? It's not like we're talking about adding audio to a camera that doesn't have it at all. The main difference in audio quality is down to the quality of the preamps, it doesn't take up more space or more engineering to implement decent audio, it takes a few more expensive components, since the rest is all there already. As far as we know, the audio in this camera could even already be as good as such a device, and the only absurd thing in this post is you picking on something they did well and saying the camera didn't need it just because YOU don't need it, that's not very positive is it?


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#43 Pixelheist

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:59 AM

Ugh Fuck, spare us your baited pissing contest Sean.    :blink:


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#44 solo

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:02 AM

Meet the Bolex D16: "This is the finished camera body in the correct materials with the correct surfaces! Still a few cosmetic changes we want to update -- lighter color screws to blend better with the siding -- but you're looking at the first built camera!" --->



#45 Leang

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:49 AM

The cameras already have all they need to record audio: power, storage, processor, even audio recording capabilities, why have all that again in a separate recorder? It's not like we're talking about adding audio to a camera that doesn't have it at all. The main difference in audio quality is down to the quality of the preamps, it doesn't take up more space or more engineering to implement decent audio, it takes a few more expensive components, since the rest is all there already. As far as we know, the audio in this camera could even already be as good as such a device, and the only absurd thing in this post is you picking on something they did well and saying the camera didn't need it just because YOU don't need it, that's not very positive is it?

 

Sound schematics is not easy when trying to filter out electronic noise interference within camera.  Alexa or F65 have A/D converters almost just as good as top notch Nagra's or Sound Devices.   It's really expensive for a company to even be at the pro level for sound development.  24/96khz capture doesn't mean shit in the audio world its just marketing.  high grade converters are everything.  preamps and 48v within camera is practical but as far as db and noise forget it.  You'll always get noise or some inconsistencies when you want to crank the boost level needed.  I rather have a top line-in with an external pre and field mixer setup and a good mic.  of course all that doesnt mean shit if your boom operator doesnt know where to place a mic or know the best crop from his monitor....  hidden lavs, etc..all need separate proper audio gear.  but whatever standard works for you..


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#46 Bruno

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:00 AM

24/96khz capture doesn't mean shit in the audio world its just marketing.  high grade converters are everything.  preamps and 48v within camera is practical but as far as db and noise forget it.  You'll always get noise or some inconsistencies when you want to crank the boost level needed.

 

I know that, I wasn't talking about Apogee AD conversion quality, I'd be glad with Zoom h4n quality, which is what most people are using with DSLRs anyway, and that is perfectly possible, in fact, Joe just wrote this on their blog:

 

"The audio components were carefully selected and should perform as well as a Zoom style device."

 

He also mentioned Phantom Power and Audio Levels on the display while shooting.

 

So it really is possible after all! :)



#47 OzNimbus

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:09 AM

Meet the Bolex D16: "This is the finished camera body in the correct materials with the correct surfaces! Still a few cosmetic changes we want to update -- lighter color screws to blend better with the siding -- but you're looking at the first built camera!" --->

 

Looks sexy as hell.  The first thing I'd do with it is put my Bolex 8/19 anamorphic on it!  I love the idea of global shutter &  vintage glass availability.  I just hope they actually get one working for real.



#48 Xiong

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

I think this looks pretty damn great, people are to ready to grab pitch forks. If it flops it flops, if it soars it soars. This isnt some crippling of technology through software, this isnt a company thats been around for ages with a huge fan base. This is a small group of up and coming camera developers, lets give them the benefit of the doubt aleast. What wrong with having good audio out of the box? Didnt know 3.5 mm mic jack was what people wanted...

 

Trends these days...



#49 markm

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

Meet the Bolex D16: "This is the finished camera body in the correct materials with the correct surfaces! Still a few cosmetic changes we want to update -- lighter color screws to blend better with the siding -- but you're looking at the first built camera!"

Is it a working prototype?



#50 Leang

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

I know that, I wasn't talking about Apogee AD conversion quality, I'd be glad with Zoom h4n quality, which is what most people are using with DSLRs anyway, and that is perfectly possible, in fact, Joe just wrote this on their blog:

 

"The audio components were carefully selected and should perform as well as a Zoom style device."

 

He also mentioned Phantom Power and Audio Levels on the display while shooting.

 

So it really is possible after all! :)

 

Zoom is crap.  I think this effect happened when DSLR video started getting popular at an underground level and become a trend to using a product particularly meant for the audio industry for musicians wanting a recording device without breaking the bank.  Apogee is another music recording related device.  Any audio interface in the semi-pro industry needs to sell their unique preamp technology and market the  flavor off the pres or market as super transparent.  Apogee went downscale because of their converter technology and decided to sell in a compact route.  Edirol, Sound Devices, Marantz, those are the best imo for low noise field recording at an indie level.   You can crank the gains and you still get a clean sound.  Aside from the recording device an additional field mixer does the job even better with getting unwanted highs or lows.  but whatever works for whoever.  I choose the best low noise latter.



#51 OzNimbus

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:54 PM


Is it a working prototype?

No. That's been my point all along. Its a very nice looking non-functioning body.

they didn't even shoot the "meet the d16" video with a prototype. .. that was shot with a 5d2!

#52 Bruno

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

Edirol, Sound Devices, Marantz, those are the best imo for low noise field recording at an indie level. You can crank the gains and you still get a clean sound. Aside from the recording device an additional field mixer does the job even better with getting unwanted highs or lows. but whatever works for whoever. I choose the best low noise latter.


We're going around in circles here, if you'd read my posts you'd know I'm talking about shooting situations where you can't afford sound guys and you don't even have time to properly set up the sound yourself, and having one less device to operate would be a huge help. These situations are not as rare as many people think. If you have a sound guy, even if just one, you probably won't be using in camera sound, I was not advocating the use of in camera sound for every purpose.

#53 sugartown

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

Audio recording in camera is a modern reality. A fair amount of production work relies on this, which is why these cameras DO include audio (unlike the original Bolex or Arris). Expecting a documentary, or run and gun shooter to settle on inferior audio while upgrading the picture leaps and bounds reflects on a lack of production experience. Anyone who has ever attended a film market can also testify that quality audio is everything, and it's often more important than clean picture.

 

Yes, in a perfect world you should employ a sound mixer AND a boom operator....and you should be feeding them, alongside your focus puller, and camera operator....but in this day and age, people pull their own focus, and hand hold themselves....and yes, they set rough audio levels too....that's life. The days of double system and shooting entirely on Prime Lenses aren't gone, but they are a luxury, that's overkill in many cases, thanks due to the available technology. The technology is available!!! Why cripple the product!? Attaching a mini recorder, or XLR convertor just to record audio is akin to expecting someone to attach a video light to get an exposure, and thinking low light isn't important, because you should be using real lights. 

 

The technology exists to partner with companies who specialize in such engineering. We're talking about a camera with an on-board battery. Certainly clean on board audio recording must be a priority.

 

The form factor of this Bolex is a little Fisher Price Pixelvision for some reason, but I'm confused why anyone would want it box shaped instead. Cinema cameras like the Eclair, Arri, and Bolex were never box shaped, in part because of how they needed to be balanced. The pronounced back end should be more ergonomic for a heavy lens.



#54 pask74

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:49 AM

Please keep on behaving as cynical haters - that will leave more cameras for those recognizing a honest, transparent, user-centered and - yes - somewhat idealistic project that is very close to turn into one of the coolest indie film-maker's tool(set).

I'd be surprised if the first camera batch is not produced before Q1 this year.



#55 pask74

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

BTW, the form factor makes much more sense to me than the BMCC. The fact that the camera is usable out-of-the-box is a plus in my opinion and you'll be able to rig it anyway.

 

Sound: a true analog gain stage with knobs is a very nice feature. XLR or balanced jacks don't make a huge difference - just make a proper cable and you're set.

H4n may not be the ultimate recorder but I was told by a friend of mine who works for a major post-prod company that it's what they use a lot as it's sound image is very much surround-systems compatible.

 

All in all, I'd better invest my money in a small company of passionate film-makers growing a true community, than in a "regular" profit-oriented company. To each his own.



#56 jgharding

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

H4n's strength is the stereo field. It's increrdibly noisy, and the built-in mics are pretty harsh, but it is one of the best for stereo atmosphere tracks on a decent budget.

 

The preamps are surprisingly nice given the price.

 

I wouldn't really entrust dialogue to it, I'd hire some nice Sound Devices or similar for that.

 

***

 

I think I prefer the look of this to BMD cam, just seems more tactile and ergonomically sensible.


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#57 Bruno

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

Audio recording in camera is a modern reality.

 

Sure, but so are single shooters, doing everything on their own and coming up with pretty damn unique work too, which wouldn't have been possible before DSLRSs or if shooting with crews, no matter how small. Of course using a Zoom h4n or equivalent is a compromise, but it's not as big of a compromise as using the camera audio from a Canon DSLR. It's also a modern reality to have the vast majority of your audience seeing your best work on tiny YouTube or Vimeo windows, with highly compressed image and sound...

 

This all goes back to how many excuses can you get to not got out and shoot your best ideas just because the tools are not quite there yet...



#58 jgharding

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

I have pretty high standards when it comes to audio myself, in fact I recorded an album for a fellow last year, and traveled with the Benchmark ADC1 and DAC1 because I didn't want to use any other converters. Though i got them as bargains, to get the modern versions on the street that's three grand just for stereo conversion, nothing else. But it's pretty amazing conversion...

 

So seeing statements like "we bumped up to 96kHz 24-bit" seems a bit silly. Regardless of sample rate, a convertor is a convertor. I'd take my Benchmark at 44.1kHz over a SoundBlaster at 192kHz for example!

 

As long as it's a nice enough circuit in this camera though, I'll be happy. Because I can't always get Sound Devices or Edirol on set (I've never used a Nagra, but touched one at a trade show once), in fact I've even used the Beachtek adapter to get audio into an SLR. A bit dirty, right?

 

Even if your standards and ear tuning are both very high (I spent a decade doing audio mixes etc before touching a camera) sometimes practicality wins over...


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#59 jgharding

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

On the visual side, one of the less talked-of parts of CCD structure is the off-chip ADC, so it'll be interesting to see if you can adjust and programme things at analogue to digital conversion stage from the sensor.

 

High-ISO cleanliness is still a worry though, what with CCD and  small chip size... let's wait and see...


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#60 Bruno

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

It's the same sensor as the ikonoscop it I remember correctly.

Audio wise, of course I'm all in favour of having the best possible quality, which means getting additional qualified people and equipment, but that's not always possible. Amazing works like Undercity or Hell and Back Again would simply not have been possible with a crew bigger than one single person, and I'm all in favour of making it easy on such artists so they keep coming up with more and better work.
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