Digital Bolex, the small independent camera manufacturer of the D16 cinema camera sadly announced the end of camera production. In a Thank You post published yesterday by one of the founders, Elle Schneider, she describes what led to that decision. Elle is openly describing the hurdles small business face, let alone a business in our very competitive industry. With so many open questions surrounding their camera manufacturing line, the team at Digital Bolex decided to no longer produce cinema cameras after June of 2016 or as Elle describes it: After much deliberation, our team has recently decided that, for us, it’s the responsible decision to leave the table before any of those questions begin to affect our company and our customers. It is important to stress that Digital Bolex is promising that their “website, forum and help section will continue as a resource for existing customers and those renting the camera from private owners or rental houses who need assistance.” When I last talked to Elle during NAB 2016 I would not have imagined that it’s the last time we were talking about their bold venture, which raised more then $262,000 during a very successful Kickstarter campaign. All of us at cinema5D are sad to see the end of a dream and the fate Digital Bolex is facing. We truly wish the dear people behind this project to recover fast and come back with new, fresh ideas for the benefit of the filming community.Read more
It isn’t exactly news that Digital Bolex have decided to be jazzy when it comes to naming their firmware updates. February saw the release of 1.4 or Dirawong as it is known under the new naming convention. Previous updates also saw some retroactive naming love—respectively named Amarok, Basilisk, and Cyclops. See the pattern? Johnnie spoke to Elle Schneider from Digital Bolex to get her perspective on Dirawong. Image courtesy of Digital Bolex. Digital Bolex D16 firmware: Dirawong Elle explained that Digital Bolex aims to release firmware every 3-4 months so that they can squeeze the maximum amount of usability from their camera. In doing this, the company hopes to make their products all-encompasing—stopping their customers from needing to repeatedly drop their money on new cameras and peripherals. Dirawong, or version 1.4 for traditionalists, brings some features that D16 users and reviewers have been requesting for a while. It appears that Digital Bolex have gone to great lengths with this firmware update to ensure that it is a big hit. They’ve gone as far as to hire a user as a color scientist, to assist in optimizing the color (for those familiar with the D16, that means they got rid of the magenta issues that the camera previously had). Dirawong features Version 1.4 is a fairly massive update, and almost every D16 owner will be chuffed with the work that has gone into it. Some of the main features that the firmware brings include: ISO 800 & 160 Dead pixel correction White balance optimized to remove magenta issues Four further white balance options Audio playback Gamma control in raw Switch between frame guides and black bars In short: D16 owners rejoice! Digital Bolex distribution We also asked Elle about the distribution of the camera, which has been improved greatly since the turn of this year, thanks to a deal with One Source; this has brought cameras to stores outside of New York and LA so that they can “try before they buy.” The future of Digital Bolex When asked about the future of the company, especially with regards to future products, Elle was rather candid. Until they have completely exhausted the capabilities of the CCD sensor of the D16, they’ll not be releasing new cameras. Can you hear the collective sighs of relief from D16 users? I can, because it means two things: more free firmware updates and less money spent. New 2TB camera announced and where to get version 1.4 for your existing D16 If you are interested to find out about the newly announced D16 2TB head to Digital Bolex site. If you are after upgrading your current camera’s firmware to v1.4—sorry, Dirawong—you will need to use the Bolex Update Utility. Fortunately, they’re both available for free at Digital Bolex’s download center. Enjoy!Read more
SlimRAW is a new app that lets you compress cinemaDNG files quickly and helps you save disk space. It works with Canon 5D mark III RAW footage as well as other RAW cameras like the Blackmagic cameras, Digital Bolex or Sony FS7. Remember the days when we shot RAW on the Canon 5D mark III? These days are not over and many people still use the Canon DSLR’s as RAW shooting machines with the Magic Lantern hack. We have an up to date guide on how to achieve this. SlimRAW takes a folder with cinemaDNG or regular DNG files and converts them in seconds. This saves you a ton of space. In our test the resulting files were reduced to 37.8% of the original size. We tested this with a 1 minute 5D mark III RAW sequence on a Mac Pro (quad) and it took 17 seconds to process. Workflow with 5D RAW: Shoot RAW with your camera. We created MLV files with our 5D mark III as per our tutorial. Convert the MLV files to cinemaDNG with the RAWmagic app (yes, the usable full version costs money) [UPDATE]: Apparently as of a few days ago, the newly updated RAWmagic app has lossless cinemaDNG output also. Choose the folder containing the cinemaDNG files as source and target folder. (This will overwrite the old files) We selected “overwrite” and “Premiere CC compatibility” and clicked “Start Job”. Imported the resulting cinemaDNG sequence in Premiere CC via the “Media Browser” tab. That’s it. Start editing and grading your losslessly compressed files natively. Since the firmware updates of the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras that now support losslessly compressed internal RAW recording, the app might not be so efficient for those cameras, but SlimRAW says that “slimRAW will generally achieve a bit better compression ratios since it is not limited by in-camera processing.”. The SlimRAW app costs $39 and is available here: www.slimraw.com Compress cinemaDNG with the following supported cameras: Digital Bolex D16 Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera (pre-firmware 2.1) Canon DSLR Magic Lantern raw (converted to CinemaDNG/DNG) Sony FS700/FS7 raw recorded through Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q/7Q+ Ikonoskop A-Cam dII Kinefinity KineMINI 4K, KineMAX 6K, KineRAW Indiecam indieGS2K and indiePOV (uncompressed 12-bit CinemaDNG video as exported by Indiecam Instant-RAW software) uncompressed DNG frame stacks from Fastec Imaging TS and HiSpec series cameras (10-bit in a 16-bit container and 8-bit) most other standard compliant uncompressed 8-, 12-, 14- or 16-bit CinemaDNG footage.Read more
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