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NO!!! Digital Bolex has stopped making cameras!


Dave Maze
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36 minutes ago, Justin Bacle said:

You can contact a rental place and offer your gear as available for lend. They'll be happy to add them to their catalog and contact you if someone asks to rent your gear.

It's pretty easy plus you don't have to deal with insurances as the rental company will use theirs.

Don't think there is such a place where I live. There are few rental shops and most costs more than shooting film.

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On June 28, 2016 at 0:12 PM, roxics said:

 Which meant that this camera was really just a niche hobbyist camera from the start for people who wanted to use something retro looking on the exterior.

I have to disagree - $3k is only for very well-heeled hobbyists. This is a specialist's camera - someone doing primarily music videos, a pro who also does abstract/experimental stuff, someone who does lots of work in beauty/fashion. I think DB overestimated the market for simply beautiful footage. And I think they blew it with features - doing beauty and abstract work really screams to at least have the ability to do slow motion. I've shot a lot of music video stuff at 30p for a 24 timeline - doesn't look "slow motion" but gives everything a little more "weight" or gravitas. And 60p I'd see as an absolute necessity for that work as well. So even as a rental, it wasn't a good option for the sort of work it should have just excelled at.

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9 minutes ago, M Carter said:

I have to disagree - $3k is only for very well-heeled hobbyists. This is a specialist's camera - someone doing primarily music videos, a pro who also does abstract/experimental stuff, someone who does lots of work in beauty/fashion. I think DB overestimated the market for simply beautiful footage. And I think they blew it with features - doing beauty and abstract work really screams to at least have the ability to do slow motion. I've shot a lot of music video stuff at 30p for a 24 timeline - doesn't look "slow motion" but gives everything a little more "weight" or gravitas. And 60p I'd see as an absolute necessity for that work as well. So even as a rental, it wasn't a good option for the sort of work it should have just excelled at.

Unless they are not telling the truth, what I understand from their statement is that they are stopping making cameras not because the d16 did not sell well. They sold enough cameras. However, they realized they could not make a second generation camera that would be meaningful for filmmakers as the d16 was.

Basically everybody who wanted a d16 already bought it new or used after those years that the camera is in the market. In order to keep going, they would need to strike again with a new camera. It seems that they realized that with the current sensor market and their company size, they could not do that. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

we have an arabic saying here ''Lama tamot ttahawl ela rasol monazal'', meaning, ''when you die, people see you as a God's messenger''. 

It's not ALL the reason why we are praising the CCD technology or d16. But a big part of it!

There are a few benefits like rolling shutter elimination. 

But to be honest, the d16 is a camera to be shot at 200 ISO. Fix your camera at that and try shooting that way. You will not be able to. Unless you bring master lights or solely shoot in daylight. 

This is an inherent flaw to CCD sensor technology, not to mentional the horrible videoish vertical light streaks, plus just hugely more expensive sensor thus more expensive cameras. 

A CMOS? Is built for much lower cost, can vary sensitivity from 100 to 5000 ISO without image penalty, has no vertical streaks, has faster readout speed (for lower cost), and has the ability to also eliminate rolling shutter using global shutter readout mechanism. It's simply better. Don't link CCD to great cameras and believe it's the reason behind the greatness of these cameras. The Digital bolex image colours comes from Kodak filmic colour science on sensor filter array level plus the raw image processing of the signal, it's a colour science that can be built into other CMOS raw cameras shall they want. 

The Arri Alexa, Pocket camera, 2.5k cinema camera, 1DC, Varicam 35, 5D raw, are pure scientific proof CMOS is not the devil, it can make images the mimic negative film and produce filmic colour science. 

Why is DB shutting off? 

Let me ask you this: how many of us were posting topics about it, or even mentioning the name in comments, buying them, discussing its settings/limitations? Just after it's dead we take note now. 

The current market for it is low, the numbers they sell are low, they're forced to shut down unless a thousand pre-order is placed tonight. Otherwise keeping it would destroy all the profit they have collected in making the DB project and more. 

So it's because nobody is buying, why is nobody buying? 

1- POOR Lowlight performance
2- POOR Lowlight performance
and, 
3- Poor Lowlight performance, 

VERY VERY few shooters are willing to buy a camera that shoots at 200 ISO. 

4- Sensor size, deep DOF aesthetic when production standard is s35 now, so a niche sensor size for a niche number of users who want to use s16 vintage glass, about a dozen people :)

5- Lens mount (Canon Active IS) IS KEY in camera sales. 

6- Lack of production ready and friendly codecs, just raw, and even cannot be done to recorder until recently, so raw only camera? This excludes a WHOLE punch of buyers

7- No EVF, very small fixed LCD for settings, and the notion of internal batteries and internal memory terrifies directors/producers (no matter how good/bad they are)

8- The hipsterish feel and vibe the digital bolex team send to the audience, just killing the camera. THE reason behind the failure is not hiring ''professional'' marketing team that can introduce the DB to people all over the web as a production camera that comes in a professional case (not a handmade leather bag) and show the camera being used in actual productions including features, sports, travel, facebook, just better marketing than that hipster toy vibe they gave to the camera which deserves more. 

7- The introduction of the Pocket Cinema Camera, a s16 solution for s16 vintage glass with raw and as filmic of an image at third the price and able to shoot at 1600 ISO and ProRes all flavours (pocket camera) even if it's much better, it's all about perception of buyers. 

Just to sum it up, most people in industrial video prod. Want s35, high isos, evfs/lcds, IS lenses, compressed codecs that look good, interchangeable media/power, and 4K resolution at many times, the market is just not big enough for Digital Bolex to sustain a successful business. Or else, they would have either 1- continued production of the DB 2- Invested into a V2 model (there are a lot to be improved in a new V2 model: Internal bigger LCD & EVF, Internal compression option, better high ISO performance, external battery, Direct CF/ast recording, design tweaks like a stronger firmer, clicky crank, button  illumination, a bigger LCD with a shipped loup would be a good idea, on top or left side, do their best to crank out 60p, etc

But apparently, there isn't enough to invest in this or even continue production of V1. So quit while you're ahead and made some good profit to invest in something else. 

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14 hours ago, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

5- Lens mount (Canon Active IS) IS KEY in camera sales. 

While I think your point is valid (event if not my personal thoughts), I don't think a Canon EF mount is a plus.
m4/3 is a much better option as there are more adaptable lenses available out there. (Anything with a shorter flange distance than EF/M42 cannot be adapted).

And you can still use EF & PL glass if you want.

Of course m4/3 will not give you access to full frame ... but I think it's overrated anyway :D S35 is just fine 

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15 hours ago, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

8- The hipsterish feel and vibe the digital bolex team send to the audience, just killing the camera. THE reason behind the failure is not hiring ''professional'' marketing team that can introduce the DB to people all over the web as a production camera that comes in a professional case (not a handmade leather bag) and show the camera being used in actual productions including features, sports, travel, facebook, just better marketing than that hipster toy vibe they gave to the camera which deserves more. 
 

Imo the design is more professional and look more like a real cinema film camera. But people like DSLRs. Same thing when the BMCC came out. People and reviewers ripped on a cinema camera not being designed as a stills camera?? strange imo.
Regarding the "toy" design of the box etc, that is the same graphic design that all professional Bolex cameras have had, always. They just stayed true to the legacy.
And no, it did nor come in a leather bag, it came in a box, nothing more.

But I agree with you. They didn't do the best of marketing. If it was me I would have let the team step back and hire some snappy gents in suites for the publicity. Also I would have lended it to reviewers, they didn't. The only reviewer was PB who bought one and he is alway (imo) very unclear and doesn't have a broad perspective. So the pro use got lost in his review since he compared it to a F55, like everyone owned one of those.

(BTW, "Hipster" as far as I know means "I dont know what this is and feel embarrassed so I call it Hipster to hide my insecurity". Just saying ;) )

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3 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Imo the design is more professional and look more like a real cinema film camera. But people like DSLRs. Same thing when the BMCC came out. People and reviewers ripped on a cinema camera not being designed as a stills camera?? strange imo.
Regarding the "toy" design of the box etc, that is the same graphic design that all professional Bolex cameras have had, always. They just stayed true to the legacy.
And no, it did nor come in a leather bag, it came in a box, nothing more.

But I agree with you. They didn't do the best of marketing. If it was me I would have let the team step back and hire some snappy gents in suites for the publicity. Also I would have lended it to reviewers, they didn't. The only reviewer was PB who bought one and he is alway (imo) very unclear and doesn't have a broad perspective. So the pro use got lost in his review since he compared it to a F55, like everyone owned one of those.

(BTW, "Hipster" as far as I know means "I dont know what this is and feel embarrassed so I call it Hipster to hide my insecurity". Just saying ;) )

What I find kinda strange is that they recently lent one to Noam Kroll for a short he is working on, so it would seem that this decision to close shop is fairly new and abrupt. 

I, actually, don't like the design of the camera body. As you said, they stayed true to the traditional Bolex packaging, yet they went with the traditional Beaulieu body design instead of the simple Bolex design. 

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5 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Imo the design is more professional and look more like a real cinema film camera. But people like DSLRs. Same thing when the BMCC came out. People and reviewers ripped on a cinema camera not being designed as a stills camera?? strange imo.
Regarding the "toy" design of the box etc, that is the same graphic design that all professional Bolex cameras have had, always. They just stayed true to the legacy.
And no, it did nor come in a leather bag, it came in a box, nothing more.

But I agree with you. They didn't do the best of marketing. If it was me I would have let the team step back and hire some snappy gents in suites for the publicity. Also I would have lended it to reviewers, they didn't. The only reviewer was PB who bought one and he is alway (imo) very unclear and doesn't have a broad perspective. So the pro use got lost in his review since he compared it to a F55, like everyone owned one of those.

(BTW, "Hipster" as far as I know means "I dont know what this is and feel embarrassed so I call it Hipster to hide my insecurity". Just saying ;) )

"Hipster" has a pretty specific meaning: the forced-retro aesthetic, the vintage or thrift-store fashion sensibility, most of Etsy.com, the Bettie Page bangs, martinis & Mercury astronauts, graphic designs that ape early 60s magazine ads. In short: inauthentic and store-bought, appropriated wholesale from an earlier era, just like the Bolex name they licensed from Bolex International. (That, I though, was frankly obnoxious.)

Of course, this has nothing to do with the camera, but it tells me a bit about how a company perceives itself, and that their priorities might be a little skewed. Certainly enough to make me second guess a $3000 investment.

Here's another startup going down that same hipster path:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/294564710/mercury-the-worlds-first-universal-camera

As for the box, I get what Ebrahim is saying: only one of these looks like a toy:

 

$_57.JPG

BOLEX-EBM-ELECTRIC-H-16-EMPTY-BOX-SWITZERLAND.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

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This is a total pipe dream and probably will never happen, but I think if the D16 were reincarnated with the same sensor, but with super 35 lens coverage via a built in speed booster/focal reducer with an active EF mount and a more professional looking less stylized design it could have a ton of appeal.

The built in speed booster would solve the lowlight problem and I think S35 EF glass would make it more accessible to a lot of people. If you made it a straightforward black box design and added more industry standard battery/recording media options like V Lock and CFAST rather then non standard internal options people might be a little more willing to look into the camera. Internal prores with Bolex Log would make it a killer workhouse camera as well and make people a lot more willing to consider it.

It'd still be only 1080p, but the C100 MK1/2 show that an incredibly solid 1080p image can still be very relevant in todays world. If it was priced around $4-5000 and spat out a prores image with awesome color science and an easy workflow then it could be a very relevant camera IMO.

 

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49 minutes ago, WyattMaurer said:

This is a total pipe dream and probably will never happen, but I think if the D16 were reincarnated with the same sensor, but with super 35 lens coverage via a built in speed booster/focal reducer with an active EF mount and a more professional looking less stylized design it could have a ton of appeal.

The built in speed booster would solve the lowlight problem and I think S35 EF glass would make it more accessible to a lot of people. If you made it a straightforward black box design and added more industry standard battery/recording media options like V Lock and CFAST rather then non standard internal options people might be a little more willing to look into the camera. Internal prores with Bolex Log would make it a killer workhouse camera as well and make people a lot more willing to consider it.

It'd still be only 1080p, but the C100 MK1/2 show that an incredibly solid 1080p image can still be very relevant in todays world. If it was priced around $4-5000 and spat out a prores image with awesome color science and an easy workflow then it could be a very relevant camera IMO.

 

I think that sounds like a cool camera, but it's not really in the spirit of the D16. I also question the rationale of changing a great camera? They never said they were stopping production due to lack of interest. To me, the message seemed more related to obtaining the materials in a cost effective way. A lot of people think the camera was overpriced, so if they couldn't source that sensor at a smaller or equivalent price, then it would really be overpriced.

I get it... a lot of people do not like that vintage aesthetic, but if you go to their site or their Vimeo page and look at their Westerns that show off the D16 and the Kish lenses... I can easily argue that, dollar for dollar, the D16 is the best camera on the market!!!

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I just don't get why people care about looks. Blackmagic, Canon, Red, they all look like absolute crap. But they do their job so I couldn't care less. My only interest is in usability and image.

Here is the manual from one of my Bolex Film Cameras that I use today. Does this mean that its an unusable camera and that I should trash everything I've shot?  Should I call the lab and cancel the develop? Should I sell the all my rolls of Fujifilm? No, it doesn't mean jack.

P1030182.md.jpg

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The difference between the Bolex H16 and the D-Bolex is that the original one utilized a form-follows-function philosophy, while the Digital Bolex was the opposite. The Bolex looked that way for a reason, and I believe that it is one of the most elegant cameras ever made. Everything on it has a purpose, and they were a joy to use. I spent many hours with one in my hand back in school, and I never stopped getting a kick out of loading Ektachrome in broad daylight, and winding up that crank.

The Digital Bolex was just weird. I loved the image that came out of it. It certainly looked the shit. But how do you handle it? That tear-drop shape has no logic to it, you had to get an external viewfinder just to put it to your eye the way Bolexes were meant to be used, and didn't anybody learn from the FS100 that having a built-in monitor on top of the camera is pointless? And a built-in hard drive? What happen if it fails? You don't want to know how many memory cards I have to toss away at work. Outside of professional media like Codex drives or Sony SxS cards, it's a very touch-and-go situation. The off-the-shelf SSDs are not reliable enough in my opinion, which is why Convergent Design builds their own, and why I want to smash these Atomos recorders on the floor along with they're Samsung SSDs which were built for laptops, not cameras.

I think that there is room in the market for a retro-style 16mm digital camera. But it will need a much more functional design, and a lower price tag. Something like a Super 8 camera crossed with a Handycam.

That said, I wished that they would have gotten to release a super 35mm camera. Maybe one inspired by the Eclair Cameflex, another timeless camera design. A Digital Cameflex if you will. Complete with Kinoptik-styled prime lenses and a Franscope anamorphic adapter. Now that's a camera I would pay the going rate for.

C'est la vie.

 

francois-truffaut.jpg

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On July 2, 2016 at 2:36 PM, Mattias Burling said:

I just don't get why people care about looks. Blackmagic, Canon, Red, they all look like absolute crap. But they do their job so I couldn't care less. My only interest is in usability and image.

Yes!

Seriously though, why do most mirrorless cameras being made today still follow the form of SLR's? 

 

Also I would urge most people who haven't tried the D16 but seem to know a lot about it to actually try it. It is an absolute joy to use. There is nothing that can do what it does at that price point. Don't even start with bmpcc ballwashing. It's a great cam too, but they are NOT the same beast. I'm sure Mattias can attest to that, he actually has tests with both!

Also, s16 and 16mm are lovely formats. So are s35, ff35 and medium format. I wouldn't cut sushi with a hammer, but I wouldn't say a hammer is useless. Aranofsky makes some pretty cooool films no?

PS: I think super shallow depth of field needs to retire with wedding videos from 2012. Her eyes are in focus but her nose is soft, and everything is a giant piece of high shutterspeed jello... why man...

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I think when designing a product, think well about sensor size, and which optics that people have !!! !!!
For me today the economic product, the better it is S35 sensor to E-mount or m4 / 3... (people want to be free), and the world is not retro.

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The D16 isn't retro, the A7, X-T2, GH4 etc are. They look like old film SLRs. The D16 looks like a Cinema Camera :)


Any who, its all just a shame. Ive seen it happen with other cameras as well. People get hung up on some pseudo thing and it doesn't catch wind.
The BMCC and BMPCC did as well.
Before the "Fire sale" they where the most hated and talked down cameras on the internet. Totally trashed by reviewers because of their "odd shape" (non retro/DSLR). "Where is the viewfinder", "No stills", "NO bla bla bla".
Then the price drop and people actually used them, the rest is history.

I just hope we get another cinema camera that is as complete and low cost in the future. Sony, Blackmagic, Red, etc have all failed so far. They can deliver cameras with a good image and some cool features. But not all at once.

Luckily time and technology moves on so there will be plenty of cameras to love and hate in the future :)

 

 

 

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I see my previous post on this discussion has been deleted, so will list the hight points. No one up to this point has mentioned this, but this camera only works with Mac Computers. Apple computers represent 4% of the world's users and less than 1% of world software use. So making a camera that 94% of the world cannot use (Windows software has aprox 94% world usage to Apple's 4%). That fact alone I am sure is responsible for its lack of acceptance in the market place. Its limited range of light  to shoot in, lack of slow motion, having to use c mount lenses and high price all contributed to its demise. I understand that ignoring the World's windows users was a strategic marketing strategy that failed and certainly cost them one customer (me) also too little features for too much money and I am not sure at all there was anything they could have done about that.

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41 minutes ago, Jed I. Clampett said:

I see my previous post on this discussion has been deleted, so will list the hight points. No one up to this point has mentioned this, but this camera only works with Mac Computers. Apple computers represent 4% of the world's users and less than 1% of world software use. So making a camera that 94% of the world cannot use (Windows software has aprox 94% world usage to Apple's 4%). That fact alone I am sure is responsible for its lack of acceptance in the market place. Its limited range of light  to shoot in, lack of slow motion, having to use c mount lenses and high price all contributed to its demise. I understand that ignoring the World's windows users was a strategic marketing strategy that failed and certainly cost them one customer (me) also too little features for too much money and I am not sure at all there was anything they could have done about that.

The  proprietary software by Pomfort works with Mac only, but any software that can extract the DNGs from the cards will work... With Windows too.

Look at of pg. 38 of the manual. 

http://www.digitalbolex.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/d16-user-manual-1.0.pdf

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9 hours ago, Jed I. Clampett said:

I see my previous post on this discussion has been deleted, so will list the hight points. No one up to this point has mentioned this, but this camera only works with Mac Computers. 

Not true. I used it on a PC all the time.

Works in the exact same way as it does on a Mac.

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