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
I received an exciting email this morning from the Digital Bolex team, The D16 camera is ready for release and they will start taking fresh pre-orders next week. This news has been eagerly awaited since completion of the Kickstarter campaign in March 2012. Backers of the project will be excited to know that their orders will be processed as earlier as this week. Here’s what Digital Bolex has announced: “We’re pleased to announce that the Digital Bolex D16 will be shipping to backers starting this week. If you are a backer, we will be contacting you shortly to verify your shipping addresses and contact details, so please make sure that emails from digitalbolex.com will clear your spam filter. For those of you who are not backers but are interested in purchasing a camera, we are also announcing our first official pre-sale for the next 500 cameras! This pre-sale will open on December 16th at 10am EST through our website with a retail price of $3,299 for the 256 GB camera, and $3,599 for the 512 GB camera.” The announcement also marks December 16th as the opening to their online store. So if you’re interested in the brand outside of a camera purchase head over on this date. Purchase requires site registration as a member; you can do so now via the Digital Bolex website. We look forward to obtaining the camera to provide you with our own thoughts, as well as the steady flow of user footage we’ll see in the public domain over the next few weeks. The specification and focus on aesthetics has raised a lot of eyebrows; it’s a camera that’s taken a unique approach to image reproduction and how it prioritise specific aspects, straying from the current trend of pushing resolution as a main focus. Here’s the specification list one more time: 2k Cinema DNG RAW Digital Bolex Global CCD Sensor 24bit 96kHz audio with phantom power via XLR Enterprise Class SSD HDMI output Interchangeable Lens Mount Removable pistol gripRead more
Things have been very quiet over in the Digital Bolex camp. In March 2012 the Kickstarter campaign kicked up a lot of fuss (pun not intended), promising 2k raw DNG via a camera in form of a Digital Bolex, with a CCD global shutter. Since then little has been said, and Black Magic has taken to the stage with release of 4 competing cameras. (which ironically are not much farther ahead of Bolex in terms of public release). Apart from a specification list and clean cut branding, we’ve only had prototype pictures to lust over. Until yesterday when Joe Rubinstein of Digital Bolex posted the first sample DNG images from the camera. The images can be seen below, taken with a collection of vintage primes (in descending order) a 15mm Elitar Soligor, 26mm Kern-Paillard Pizar AR, and Canon 50mm 0.95.Read more
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