Funding Complex R&D Without an Existing Product Line

Recently a rumor that Aaton has (at least temporarily) closed its doors while looking for more funding has spread around the internet. This is a personal story for me, both because I have loved using Aaton cameras in my past, and because of my current venture with Digital Bolex.

This is Jean-Pierre Beauviala and his camera…

The following is an email that was sent to the CML (Cinematography Mailing List) by Martin Euredjian, founder of eCinema Systems, discussing the situation with Aaton and the plight of small imaging companies. I asked permission before I published it here. It’s long, but very important for everyone in our industry, or learning about our industry, to read. Continue reading “Funding Complex R&D Without an Existing Product Line” »

Kish Lenses Daylight Test

Our last tests were a little rushed and we didn’t have time to take any shots outside. So we did another lens test this week using natural light. And to our surprise, the most flattering lens was the 38mm, which was our least favorite lens in the earlier test. We think this is because of the color temperature/CRI. We’ll be running more precise tests soon, and Kish is constructing special testing equipment to help finalize that process.

We shot these tests at Pershing Square in downtown LA from about 4PM to 5PM. The white box denotes the S16 frame, everything outside is the micro 4/3 frame.

This is the 10mm:

Continue reading “Kish Lenses Daylight Test” »

Pomfort Software Demo at NAB

We’re at NAB! And we’re so excited to show off everything we’re working on tomorrow. For those of you at the show, you can find us at the Pomfort booth, C8441, in the Central Hall. Come on by and check us out!

One of the reasons we decided to team up with Pomfort for NAB was, of course, to show off the new transcoding software they’re building for the D16. We have the first version of the software up and running, and it’s looking great.

If you remember from the first blog post about the software back in January, we’re separating the functions of transcoding into four “rooms” – Copy, Organize, Color, and Export (with Edit coming later). Here’s a quick look at how the software actually works: Continue reading “Pomfort Software Demo at NAB” »

Cameras at NAB

Mike arrived a few hours ago with the cameras. I had gotten a report last week that we had finally conquered the frame buffer, and we were now piecing together the four quadrants of the sensor and tweaking the final image. The engineering team told me that image wasn’t quite perfect, but looked OK. I wasn’t sure what they meant, I guess I pictured something that was kinda flat or grey that could be pushed in post, after all we’re shooting raw!

What in fact was going on was a strange kind of vertical streaking and a quadrant problem. When the camera was still the problem wasn’t obvious, but when the camera was moving a lot you could see it.

Last week I was so excited, We were going to have working cameras for NAB, Illya had committed to getting a prototype of the PL mount, Lumatechnic had agreed to lend us some amazing S16mm PL lenses, our Kish lens prototypes are ready for display, Hive lent us a plasma light, and a cool new company called Model Box made us a unique D16 display.

I was up all night basically torturing myself with this question: Do we show the not so good images tomorrow? On one hand the images show how far we have come and how close we are to our goal, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that we can’t. There would simply be too many eyes on those images. We have come so far, even since SXSW, and I know that the people who have followed our progress would understand that the image will improve, but I don’t think everyone else would understand. I don’t want their first impression to be these imperfect images.

The reality is we have chosen the longer road, the path less traveled. The CCD sensor we are working with looks more natural to our eyes than most CMOS sensors, but its elements are much more complicated to design. Making the many changes to the camera that our backers requested made the D16 into a much better product, with amazing potential and capabilities as a long term investment camera. This is a long term project with a long term commitment, one tradeshow is not the measure of it.

It was really one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but in the end I decided to hold off showing images till they’re right. For some the goal is to make something that is good enough and get it out quick, but we don’t want to make a camera that is good enough, we want to make a camera that is great!

So we are going to wait to show footage till it is as good as we know it can be. I spoke with our Canadian team late tonight and they are more committed than ever to making this happen as soon as possible, and we already have some leads on ways to crunch the delivery time to a matter of weeks. I hope you all understand my position on this. And if you’re at the tradeshow please come by, we’ll be there, partially working cameras will be there, and a beta version of the software too!

And for all of you that can’t come I wanted to show you how awesome the Hotrod Cameras PL mount really is…

Thank you all for your patience and understanding,    Joe and the entire Digital Bolex Team.

D16 Glider Accessory

Hi Digital Bolex Enthusiasts!

We have been keeping very quite about an exciting new accessory we have been developing for a long time. This accessory will make the D16 capable of completely unique shots that no other camera can. The accessory was inspired by one of our hero’s, a true inventor, Leonardo Da Vinci.

That’s right the D16 Glider Wings!
The wings are made out of light aluminum alloy. Their unique shape is inspired by the wings Da Vinci designed.
They mount from the bottom, and the wing is perfectly balanced for the camera with a small C-mount prime lens.
As you can see this is a finished well thought out concept. We will have prototype units at NAB next week!
Warning the safety of your camera cannot be guaranteed during flight and upon landings.* Please follow included instructions very carefully.

I hope you’re as excited as we are, thank you for reading, The Digital Bolex Team 🙂