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The Digital Bolex is finally out!


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#1 Giovanny Infante

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:19 PM



http://www.digitalbo.../d16-ship-week/
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#2 Chris Millar

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:09 PM

LET THE CAMERA SPEAK


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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:03 AM

Thoughts after watching about 1/4 of that.......

When we were young,  running around hand holding our Bolex cameras,  making art frame by frame (clunk, clunk,  clunk) we thought we were rebels.  These digital Bolex folk may feel that they have inherited that spirit.....But this camera doesn't remind me much of the 16mm Bolex.  It seems styled or designed from the outside (as do they) rather than engineered.  The 16mm Bolex felt like a camera styled accidentally by a sewing machine engineer.  I don't know if one can make a distorted affectation of that or a superficial cultural reference to that and still feel or act like it's cool.  But of course one can.  And they do.

 

The original 16mm Bolex remains a valuable tool for artists who want to work in film. 


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 12 December 2013 - 02:05 AM.

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#4 Chris Millar

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:22 PM

My problem lies not so much with the camera or the appropriation and attempts at association of the Bolex tag (the difference is clear, so what's the point complaining other than perhaps to rhetorically ask what is the point in the first place...). It's more with the 'me', 'I'm worth it', 'everyone gets a trophy' tosh that is presented in these um, ...  marketing (?) videos that get tweaked and pushed out again and again.

 

I feel like I've said this in another thread, but the subtle (but clearly evident to those of a different generation) self-agrandizing is bordering on mockumentary level

 

In that first 1/4 that I managed also (the rest gets a cursory scan):

 

~we get an awkward self-introduction from the production coordinator

~we hear about the 'photo-booth ...  ugh ...  scene'

~and perhaps most tellingly: 'when I ... uuum  ...  we ...'

 

Maybe it actually is some self-aware piss take ?  

 

If you sniff around on the internet for about 30seconds you find links with 'Bruce Parker Kent' (super-hero alter ego names) who by the way I suspect is 'Giovanny Infante' (infante >> 'heir apparent') and film group that call themselves 'Pretentious Pictures' (no joke) based in NY.

 

And yet, a camera and set of interesting lenses may have (anyone?) turned up in the middle of all this.


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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:16 PM

The promo piece by nature is certainly pretentious (over 5 years experience!) but I do have to hand it to them for creating this camera from nothing.

 

I reserve judgement until I've shot with it.

 

I was excited about the Black Magic Cinema Camera until I actually used it, then it's limitations become painfully obvious. (No time remaining counter? WTF? My SR1 can tell me that!)


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#6 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 01:16 PM

So It's a 2k RAW Camera in the form of a 16mm Bolex? When I was a student I used to have a telephone in the form of a duck! It was Fun for a while!


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#7 Chris Millar

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

Yeah, dont get me wrong - there must be a bunch of committed individuals/engineers in the mix, and good on them...

 

Ah, well here they are:

 

20121019-IENSO-183-1024x505.jpg

 

(note that the hair straightener ratio is relatively low)

 

Anyhoo...  time to get mack to my own stuff  ;)


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#8 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 07:25 PM

That washed out, bluish look they portray is so played out at this point. That and this camera are just more pretentious hipster novelty.


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#9 Matt Stevens

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

That washed out, bluish look they portray is so played out at this point. That and this camera are just more pretentious hipster novelty.

 

We don't know that yet. It hasn't been used and reviewed by pros. I will; be and then we can make some judgments. The idea of this camera excites me. We don't need 4k, we just don't. Is it nice to have? Damn straight. But there is zilcho reason why a 2k camera with no rolling shutter cannot be used to create stunning images. 

 

Maybe they hit a home run. Maybe they hit a double. Even if it's just a single it means someone else will score better down the road.


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#10 Will Montgomery

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:52 PM

How good this camera looks will come down to how "good" you are at Resolve (or your colorist is), what lens you use, and what you actually shoot. The good news is that this camera shouldn't get in the way of making a good "film."


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#11 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:37 PM

I think it is interesting that they were able to pull off a mini red roll your own camera, I like that it has a Kodak global shutter CCD instead of a rolling shutter CMOS chip and it's relatively cheap at $3.5k. It will be interesting to see how it is once people start working with it.

 

I do wonder why the CEO is wearing some kind of leather bondage gear for his interview..... It's a free country I guess.... :blink:

 

-Rob-


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#12 Matt Stevens

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:25 PM

They really do need to hire a spokesperson. More than anything, they need to get the camera into the hands of someone like Bloom or any of the other ultra blogging shooters who are damn good at what they do.


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#13 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:45 PM

That washed out, bluish look they portray is so played out at this point. That and this camera are just more pretentious hipster novelty.

I see this look a lot so i'm assuming it was intentional. Or maybe it's just inherent of a lot of HD video?

 

How good this camera looks will come down to how "good" you are at Resolve (or your colorist is), what lens you use, and what you actually shoot. The good news is that this camera shouldn't get in the way of making a good "film."

True that, but i think this camera is attracting a lot of armatures who will be responsible for grading it themselves. I think it can look like pretty good HD video if done right. It also seems like people are into this camera with the expectations that it will look like film, even the spokesman. And that's what bugs me. Promoting an analog looking exterior somehow implies analog results. Truth is it looks more like most HD video, for better or worse we shall see. Someone graded the downtown LA footage to look like film, and it does... in an old VNF ektachrome kind of way. Apparently it took a lot of post grading. It seemed to be what everyone wanted and talk of a possible plug-in was mentioned. So it comes down to heavy grading or a plug-in to meet the film like expectations. At the end of the day you end up with a different set of hassles and cost of the camera to replace the real thing with just one outdated film look.


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#14 Robert Lewis

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 04:49 AM

I have tried to understand the thinking and apparent enthusiasm for this, but I struggle.

 

I find myself not able to get away from the thought that it is rather like designing a horse and cart and fitting the most modern and powerful engine into it so that it whilst it looks like a horse and cart it is really a car which happens to look like a horse and cart. What is the sense behind it?

 

Bolex is an icon of cinephotography, and I cannot imagine many, if any, Bolex enthusiasts are going to be impressed with or buy this camera because whilst it "borrows" a name which is really only known for its association with film, it appears to have no substantial manufacturing connection with this Company and does not work with film. I think this, in turn, raises the question as to why this topic should be listed under the Forum "Cameras Systems and Formats - 16mm"? It is a camera, a system and a format, but it is not 16mm as that term is generally understood.

 

Are those who are wishing to buy a video camera really going to buy this camera because it looks a little like a Super8 camera or despite the fact that it does? I have some doubts.

 

 

 

 


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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:48 AM

 

I do wonder why the CEO is wearing some kind of leather bondage gear for his interview..... It's a free country I guess.... :blink:

 

-Rob-

 

Looks more like slightly strange lederhosen to me but I'm sure they would prefer the bondage comparison more as it seems more edgy! :) Actually I think he was going for more of a Johnny Depp look, and that's understandable as Johnny Depp is great. :)

 

I have to say I think this video really doesn't come over that well. If they got Andrew Bujalski to direct it, it could have been a hit at the festivals in fact! ;) It's a shame tho as our CEO friend comes across really well in earlier interviews as he bought a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to the table. This video makes the mistake of trying to be a corporate style video or something. I'm the CEO, I have 5 years (Oh dear!) experience etc. They should just try and be themselves more and go with that! Look we made this whizzy camera and it can do this and this and this. In this video they all sound kinda bored, not just with the camera but with existence itself and the human condition etc.

 

Also I think the camera is quite interesting both because of the lens options, the strange hand crank but most of all because of the CCD sensor. I've found that CCD sensors always tended to produce footage that looks a lot nicer than their CMOS counterparts. Whether it will be a success or not remains to be seen but some people must be into it or they wouldn't have been able to get the kickstarter together and get it all up and running.

 

I like the digital bolex project myself. The biggest problem I have with it tho is it just makes me want to get hold of a real bolex and shoot "the real thing". ;)

 

Freya


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#16 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:01 PM

Well interestingly enough Phillip Bloom actually invested approximately $3000 in the Digital Bolex project when it first started.  He would not post my initial questions on his blog regarding official Bolex authorization. Bolex did eventually respond in the affirmative to my separate query and also responded separately to Phillip. Apparently Phillip owns two Bolex cameras but such is the frantic life of the Digital illuminati. 

 

They really do need to hire a spokesperson. More than anything, they need to get the camera into the hands of someone like Bloom or any of the other ultra blogging shooters who are damn good at what they do.


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#17 Richard Jura

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:21 PM

there's two things I tell the students, with film you need vision with the other formats you just need a television.

Only in film do you actually capture a moment in time, everything else has to reconstruct your image when you want to view it.

 

Rich


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#18 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

To some, 4K is overkill but for an extra $600 you can soon get this camera http://www.blackmagi...ductioncamera4k

It uses a global shutter and shoots RAW but with 4K ability. The RAW samples for the Blackmagic look a lot better than this digital Bolex, and the corrected images look amazing. I hardley ever shoot video. but if i did, I'd use the Blackmagic.


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#19 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:19 PM

I predict that there will be a deluge of $3-4,000 cameras with 2K and 4K specs this year, BMD, GH4 etc. I think it will be tough for the D-Bolex not to get lost in the downpour. The BMD camera looks ok on paper but if it's anything like the original one I wouldn't want it.

 

-Rob-


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#20 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

Sorry, but I don't see the appeal of the Digital Bolex.  Some of the samples seem to have a milky 16mm look combined with that pristine, digital cleanliness I cannot stand.  If I want to shoot digital, I'd shoot on a Red.  Why is everyone continuing to try to reinvent the wheel when the end result still comes up short?

 

If you want a 16mm look, shoot on 16mm film.


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