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Don’t forget about Digital Bolex!


Dave Maze
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I was director and DP for a small budget commercial shoot yesterday and I chose the Digital Bolex as my camera of choice over the 1DC sitting in my bag. 

I put it on the MoVI M5 for the first time and it was a ton of fun having a sexy global shutter while getting gimbal shots! 

I honestly believe that if you light for it, the D16 creates some of the most stunning, rich colored footage I’ve ever seen. 

I had the option to rent a full RED Dragon kit, but I CHOSE Bolex with MFT mount. Shot using the rokinon 12mm MFT lens on the gimbal to keep the weight down, and the rest shot on old Super 16 Zeiss Super Speeds PL’s. The 9mm and 25mm were my favorites. 

I’m excited to put the edit together and show you what I got. All I can say after shooting with it all day yesterday is, it’s still a relevant camera for 2017 and creates stunning images that are truly unique. 

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1 hour ago, cantsin said:

Well, it should be said that this camera is no longer in production and that the company who produced it went out of business.

Thats not what happened but you are correct that the D16 isn't made any more.

Will you be going around to all the threads mentioning the fs700, c100, gh4, etc and say the same thing? ;)

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Such a pity for D16. As they said, it was hard to make a profit without increasing their margins & price. I would love to see a D16 v2 even with the same sensor but in my opinion it would be nice to have:

- removable battery

- EVF, either build it or detachable. 

- Some compressed codec with backed in LUT support. 

- Half the size (XLR inputs can be a detachable module, no crank , V90 SD card support)

- Half the price :) 

Maybe they could sell their rights to a Chinese company ...

Such a wonderful sensor, look at this color:

 

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The other camera with this Kodak super 16 sensor was the Ikonoskop

A good place to find them used is here -

http://www.rawcinemashop.com/used-gear-market-place/

Might be worth looking for some on eBay as the prices may have come down quite a lot.

https://www.eoshd.com/2012/11/ikonoskop-a-cam-dll-vs-blackmagic-cinema-camera-first-impressions/

The Digital Bolex and Ikonoskop look was one of the most unique I've ever seen from any digital camera.

Limitations and all - all part of how special it looks.

https://www.eoshd.com/2013/03/ikonoskop-a-cam-dll-versus-blackmagic-cinema-camera/

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18 hours ago, Don Kotlos said:

Such a pity for D16. As they said, it was hard to make a profit without increasing their margins & price. I would love to see a D16 v2 even with the same sensor but in my opinion it would be nice to have:

- removable battery

- EVF, either build it or detachable. 

- Some compressed codec with backed in LUT support. 

- Half the size (XLR inputs can be a detachable module, no crank , V90 SD card support)

- Half the price :) 

Maybe they could sell their rights to a Chinese company ...

Such a wonderful sensor, look at this color:

 

Man I so badly want to have that camera. I have the GH5 and have to keep reminding myself that the look is only 1 part of the equation. The shortcomings of the DB and the virtues of the GH5 are impossible for me to ignore for telling stories. But I just really really really love that image. It's like an onion... makes me cry. Why oh why can't someone put that sensor in a dslr sized body. And, can a manufacturer return to CCD tech? Is a 4K CCD possible?

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22 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Thats not what happened but you are correct that the D16 isn't made any more.

Unfortunately, this is what happened:

"Digital Bolex will no longer be producing cinema cameras after this month, and we will close our online store effective June 30th. Cameras will still be available to purchase until 11:59PM, PST on that date, and we still have cameras in stock. So if you’ve been eager to purchase a D16 for your project, consider this last call."

https://www.digitalbolex.com/thank-you/

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7 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Man I so badly want to have that camera. I have the GH5 and have to keep reminding myself that the look is only 1 part of the equation. The shortcomings of the DB and the virtues of the GH5 are impossible for me to ignore for telling stories. But I just really really really love that image. It's like an onion... makes me cry. Why oh why can't someone put that sensor in a dslr sized body. And, can a manufacturer return to CCD tech? Is a 4K CCD possible?

  1. Take your GH5 and take a picture of that image.
  2. Take the GH5 copy and the original into any tool which does shot matching.
  3. Perform the shot match operation.
  4. Test and tweak further to get both images to match as close as possible by eye.
  5. Save out the resulting 3D LUT.

To generalize and automate this process, so the resulting LUT will work better in the general case, use machine learning to train a neural network to create an optimized LUT based on GH5 input and <target camera> output :) 

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10 minutes ago, jcs said:
  1. Take your GH5 and take a picture of that image.
  2. Take the GH5 copy and the original into any tool which does shot matching.
  3. Perform the shot match operation.
  4. Test and tweak further to get both images to match as close as possible by eye.
  5. Save out the resulting 3D LUT.

To generalize and automatic this process, so the resulting LUT will work better in the general case, use machine learning to train a neural network to create an optimized LUT based on GH5 input and <target camera> output :) 

You will need to shoot the original real life image though ;) 

I do wish they would allow baking in 3D LUTs with the GH5. So much potential. 

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8 minutes ago, Don Kotlos said:

You will need to shoot the original real life image though ;) 

I do wish they would allow baking in 3D LUTs with the GH5. So much potential. 

Yeah, that would be better; if the D16 is capturing an accurate image of real-life, then the resulting 3D LUT might still be helpful. Panasonic is listening to customers: on a GPU a 3D LUT operation can be very fast. Not clear if the GH5 has builtin 3D LUT hardware or GPU level processing cycles available.

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