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NO!!! Digital Bolex has stopped making cameras!


Dave Maze
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I developed the color science and did all my tests with the camera on Windows. There's the free HFS explorer tool, or you can buy HFS drivers for Windows for 20 USD.

If we were to make other cameras, I think a D35 and a D16 mk II based on EMCCDs would be my preference.

The D16 mk II would hopefully be based on the KAE-02150. So 30fps, 14+ EV of DR without any of the highlight reconstruction. That's without any noise reduction in the circuitry of the sensor or in the software, so it'd keep the same mojo of the D16.

The D35 is more of a dream camera for me. Nothing like it currently exists. I actually made a list a while ago and posted on our user group that Joe was actually on board with had the funding been there to pursue it. It'd basically be an EMCCD version of our sensor, but double the dimensions and resolution horizontally and increase the dimension vertically enough to achieve 16:9.

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On 7/1/2016 at 3:48 PM, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

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. 

Google shows no results for 

Lama tamot ttahawl ela rasol monazal

Is that really a saying?

I typed your translation into google and almost is a christian verse from the bible. Almost.

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2 hours ago, iaremrsir said:

I developed the color science and did all my tests with the camera on Windows. There's the free HFS explorer tool, or you can buy HFS drivers for Windows for 20 USD.

If we were to make other cameras, I think a D35 and a D16 mk II based on EMCCDs would be my preference.

The D16 mk II would hopefully be based on the KAE-02150. So 30fps, 14+ EV of DR without any of the highlight reconstruction. That's without any noise reduction in the circuitry of the sensor or in the software, so it'd keep the same mojo of the D16.

The D35 is more of a dream camera for me. Nothing like it currently exists. I actually made a list a while ago and posted on our user group that Joe was actually on board with had the funding been there to pursue it. It'd basically be an EMCCD version of our sensor, but double the dimensions and resolution horizontally and increase the dimension vertically enough to achieve 16:9.

Yessss!!! Get DB back to Kickstarter Eddie? I would be incredibly interested in either of those! A D16 with 30fps for that slight slowing, better DR and better lowlight would be a dream. Seriously, sounds like Matthias and I are signed up :P

Is this the sensor you are talking about? It appears to see in the dark!

 

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18 hours ago, Kurtisso said:

Yessss!!! Get DB back to Kickstarter Eddie? I would be incredibly interested in either of those! A D16 with 30fps for that slight slowing, better DR and better lowlight would be a dream. Seriously, sounds like Matthias and I are signed up :P

Is this the sensor you are talking about? It appears to see in the dark!

 

That is, in fact, the sensor I'm talking about :grin: the KAE-02150. So, so nice. If you read up on EMCCDs, you'll see the higher the gain, the lower the amount of noise. It works by varying voltages in a special gain register and the electrons collide with each other and a phenomenon called impact ionization happens. More electrons are created! And electrons are our signal! So more gain = more electrons = more signal = less noise

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55 minutes ago, iaremrsir said:

That is, in fact, the sensor I'm talking about :grin: the KAE-02150. So, so nice. If you read up on EMCCDs, you'll see the higher the gain, the lower the amount of noise. It works by varying voltages in a special gain register and the electrons collide with each other and a phenomenon called impact ionization happens. More electrons are created! And electrons are our signal! So more gain = more electrons = more signal = less noise

Super cool! If more gain = less noise, would that mean a higher base ISO? This with some sort of built in or easily swappable (like the mythical kraft dinner camera) ND would be pretty unstoppable!

Also, is it possible with the EMCCD to do something like "dual gain" to increase dynamic range? I get really jacked up about anything not CMOS. QuantumFilm looks pretty amazing too.

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2 hours ago, iaremrsir said:

That is, in fact, the sensor I'm talking about :grin: the KAE-02150. So, so nice. If you read up on EMCCDs, you'll see the higher the gain, the lower the amount of noise. It works by varying voltages in a special gain register and the electrons collide with each other and a phenomenon called impact ionization happens. More electrons are created! And electrons are our signal! So more gain = more electrons = more signal = less noise

Fantastic! The filmmaker comunity really miss CCD/EMCCD camera :)   

Eddie has dramatically improved the D16 in the last year, his name is a warranty. I will be happy to support a new EMCCD camera project.

+1 for kickstarter

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22 hours ago, Kurtisso said:

Super cool! If more gain = less noise, would that mean a higher base ISO? This with some sort of built in or easily swappable (like the mythical kraft dinner camera) ND would be pretty unstoppable!

Also, is it possible with the EMCCD to do something like "dual gain" to increase dynamic range? I get really jacked up about anything not CMOS. QuantumFilm looks pretty amazing too.

Since it's based off of the 5.5 micron design, without the EMCCD we'd see a base ISO of 200. But since the sensor has what they call "intra-scene switchable gain" (this happens in the analog realm, not digital like the ALEXA and BMDs), we would likely see a base ISO of ~1600 when using the intra-scene mode. In determining this, I'd basically have to find the operating point of the sensor to see what would give the most even distribution of dynamic range vs noise vs sensitivity.

I agree QuantumFilm looks really good spec wise, but based on what they have built into the sensor, I think I'd want to change a few things because I'm a control freak with these kinds of things haha It's a shame that they aren't doing S16, S35 sized sensors. I think we'd actually try CMOS if it were QuantumFilm sensors.

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4 hours ago, iaremrsir said:

Since it's based off of the 5.5 micron design, without the EMCCD we'd see a base ISO of 200. But since the sensor has what they call "intra-scene switchable gain" (this happens in the analog realm, not digital like the ALEXA and BMDs), we would likely see a base ISO of ~1600 when using the intra-scene mode. In determining this, I'd basically have to find the operating point of the sensor to see what would give the most even distribution of dynamic range vs noise vs sensitivity.

That "intra-scene switchable gain" sounds really kick-ass!

From the ON Semiconductor site:

"The KAE-02150 deploys an innovative output circuit design that enables high-dynamic range imaging by allowing either conventional CCD (low-gain) or EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be utilized on a pixel-by-pixel basis within the same image. Charge from each individual pixel is measured and the signal level is compared to a user selectable threshold in the camera system to determine where each charge packet is routed. Pixels from very low-light regions of the scene can be selectively routed to the EMCCD output, while pixels from bright regions of the image – which would typically saturate an EMCCD register and distort the image – are routed to the conventional CCD output amplifier. With this intra-scene switchable gain feature, signals from both outputs can then be re-combined, allowing one camera to properly render bright regions in a dark field of view and enabling dynamic compensation under changing conditions such as headlights entering or leaving an extreme low light scene."

Based off of this, and your previous part about identifying the optimal higher base ISO to get the best in DR vs Noise vs Sensitivity, would it be possible to dial in different "sensitivity range modes" for different lighting situations? For example, you're shooting a horizon and it's not the optimal time of day so your forested hills are very dark and the sky is blown, would it be possible to have say a larger range like ISO 200 for higher charge values and ISO 3200 or 6400 for lower values? But then later when the the sun comes down, be able to close that range off to get a cleaner signal to noise ratio? I hope that makes sense... Haha

 

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For me In order of importance for a digital bolex II:

1) Fine Color discrimination (like the original DB, glorious colors)

2) Eddie's Bolex Log (it is very flexible and easy to use)

3)  dynamic range +2 stops with the new EMCCD

4) I don't ask for crazy high iso... the last firware update has improved the digital bolex in that regard, noise is very filmic. OK, Blackmagic does 800-1600 iso, I love the BMPCC but its sensor show IR contamination in low-light scenarios (think, for example, a documentary scene in a street with tungsten light need a lot of work in post to correct the color, but the problem is not easy to fix most of the times) while the digital bolex doesn't present this problem..

5) A modular design for portability. Do you want to cage the camera? Do you want a light hanheld camera with a hand-grip? it's up to you. Remember, CCD cameras are the only global shutter camera in the market now :)

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21 hours ago, Kurtisso said:

Based off of this, and your previous part about identifying the optimal higher base ISO to get the best in DR vs Noise vs Sensitivity, would it be possible to dial in different "sensitivity range modes" for different lighting situations? For example, you're shooting a horizon and it's not the optimal time of day so your forested hills are very dark and the sky is blown, would it be possible to have say a larger range like ISO 200 for higher charge values and ISO 3200 or 6400 for lower values? But then later when the the sun comes down, be able to close that range off to get a cleaner signal to noise ratio? I hope that makes sense... Haha

 

The maximum gain we can have on the EMCCD register is 40x at 0°C (threshold of diminishing return) which is about a 5.3 stop boost. The problem with going that far is that we'd likely end up getting more noise in the midtones since we'd have to use more of the low gain signal. We would technically extend our dynamic range by a stop and get better SNR in the deep shadows, but that gives way to noise in the middle. So at default it'd be a 4.3 stop boost on the EMCCD at normal operating temperature. And we'd be able to get around 14.8 stops (based on well cap and read noise RMS) without any highlight reconstruction. You'll be able to see pretty far into the dark with this sensor (it is designed with surveillance in mind after all). There's also the EMCCD only mode, where we could use high gain and get around the same dynamic range as the current D16, but cleaner.

My main thing with this is that we haven't had any FPN. So on a sensor with 14+ stops (without HR) that doesn't have FPN :glasses:

I also forgot to mention that the sensor can switch to "Normal mode" (11+ EV DR) instead of the intra-scene switchable gain to achieve 60fps at 1080p.

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57 minutes ago, iaremrsir said:

The maximum gain we can have on the EMCCD register is 40x at 0°C (threshold of diminishing return) which is about a 5.3 stop boost. The problem with going that far is that we'd likely end up getting more noise in the midtones since we'd have to use more of the low gain signal. We would technically extend our dynamic range by a stop and get better SNR in the deep shadows, but that gives way to noise in the middle. So at default it'd be a 4.3 stop boost on the EMCCD at normal operating temperature. And we'd be able to get around 14.8 stops (based on well cap and read noise RMS) without any highlight reconstruction. You'll be able to see pretty far into the dark with this sensor (it is designed with surveillance in mind after all). There's also the EMCCD only mode, where we could use high gain and get around the same dynamic range as the current D16, but cleaner.

My main thing with this is that we haven't had any FPN. So on a sensor with 14+ stops (without HR) that doesn't have FPN :glasses:

I also forgot to mention that the sensor can switch to "Normal mode" (11+ EV DR) instead of the intra-scene switchable gain to achieve 60fps at 1080p.

MAN. No FPN on real global shutter, rich colour depth, 14.8 stops DR and ability to crank to 60fps?  Seriously Eddie, how do we make this happen?!!!!

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  • 5 months later...

 

Thought I would show some new footage that was recently posted in our user group by Olan Collardy. Processed in Resolve with Bolex Log.

On 7/19/2016 at 10:58 AM, Kurtisso said:

MAN. No FPN on real global shutter, rich colour depth, 14.8 stops DR and ability to crank to 60fps?  Seriously Eddie, how do we make this happen?!!!!

User demand (lots) and time. And of course, no guarantees of anything until it comes from the head honchos.

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15 minutes ago, kaylee said:

 

i love this footage... theres another thread right now about what "filmic" means.... hard to find a digital camera that beats bolex on filmic imo

I'm likin' the colors, the film-like graininess. Camerawork's a bit hyper, though. 

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