Bringing Sexy Back

Hey Everyone!

First thing Saturday morning I received a Fed Ex alert text, my package had been delivered…

Inside the box…

This is the first thing I pulled out…

Our final CNC model has arrived!

There are a few minor tweaks left to the body & crank, but visually and materially this is almost exactly what our Kickstarter backers will receive in a few weeks! We made a few aesthetic changes that we hope you like.

So here it is, the new Digital Bolex look…



My friend Joe Berhosky, an extremely talented photographer who is about to graduate from Brooks Institute, shot the model for me.

What do you guys think?

Thank you everyone so much for your support and participation, we never would have made it this far without all of you!

Joe and Elle

BTW we put up a little BTS video as a Kickstarter update if you want to check it out: Kickstarter Update 25

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joerubinstein

About joerubinstein

Joe Rubinstein is one of the founders and CEO of Digital Bolex. At Polite in Public, a photo marketing company he also co-founded, Joe was the Chief Technology Officer who worked with electronics developers and software developers to create the Polite in Public Photobooth which helped define modern photo marketing services.

101 thoughts on “Bringing Sexy Back

  1. I think it’s really retro attractive look that is very unique today.
    I am wondering if the handle comes off to mount on a tripod or if the tripod threads are on the bottom of the handle, or even if this is tripod mountable at all.
    The looks are no doubt really striking. Great job you guys.

  2. I’m selling ALL my video cameras this week – hope to switch over to yours ASAP.
    Obviously will need lens or lenses – what’s the one in the photo? – any recommendations?
    Well done – can’t wait!
    S

  3. Wow it looks really great. I’m geeking all up inside. Looking forward to hold it in my hands. The subtle changes make a great difference.
    Just a clarification, the final camera or handle won’t be chrome but brushed right?

    And also, what made you decide to go with shoe mount rather than 1/4-20 ?
    What are the advantages of show mount vs.1/4 ?
    In my mind shoe mounts are more fragile but perhaps it’s just a misconception.

    • Hey Analog,

      Yes the final camera panels will be a more matt surface, we are looking into options now. The handle will probably be very similar to what it looks like in these pictures.

      As far as 1/4″ vs cold shoe, we saw that most of the EVF’s and many microphone mounts came with native cold shoe connections and 1/4″ required extra adapters.

      And these are Very very strong! You might not be able to tell from the photos, but our cold shoes are not after thought add ons, like on some cameras, they are actually part of the body structure. So the cold shoe is integrated directly into the frame. These will not be fragile :)

  4. Very nice, if you can what looks like a matt anodized coating of paint to the front of the camera try and give it a few coats as people will be screwing lenses and adapters into the front and we wouldn’t want to chip the paint or scratch such a lovely camera.

    Lovely design, any chance of a picture of the camera mounted on a tripod without the handle ? what size tripod plate do you recommend.

    2k Super16 here we come . . .

    • Hi Jade,

      Yes you guessed correctly, it is actually not painted at all, it is a matt anodized aluminum, meaning that it is much harder to scratch than paint, and if you do manage to scratch it, there is just more black underneath for a bit.

      This camera will work well with most video / motion picture tripods that accommodate cameras over 6 lbs.

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  7. Looks good, just one question: Why would you put the XLR connections and hot-shoe mount on the left side aka the operator side. I am sorry if the question has been asked before and answered, but I do a lot of handheld personally. Aside from that it looks excellent!

    • Hi Kim,

      We think people will use the crank features with their right hand, and hold the camera in their left hand.

      Either way they make 90 degree adapters for XLR and HDMI so hopefully if it get’s in your way you will find a way around this.

      We spoke to several DP’s during the design stage and this is what they suggested.

    • Cinema DNG RAW
      16bit A/D conversion down sampled to 12 bit for storage.

      4:2:2 is a color space, so it doesn’t really relate to raw, this is a decision you make in post with raw.

      Retail price $3299!

  8. I love this camera and can’t wait till pre-orders.

    When taking the handle off will you will be able to put the camera on rigs and sliders? I might have read this wrong too, but no Pro Res?

    • Yes the camera will work well on most rigs, tripods, and sliders.

      For now no Pro Res, we may add it later, but in camera debayer is not great these days unless you have a very very expensive camera.

      • Actually, I think it would be preferable, for those who want to work in ProRes, to shoot in raw Cinema DNG, and just have software copy and convert the Cinema DNG files to ProRes. Could software like this be made available?
        I think it would always be best to shoot raw if you can! The least compressed files are always preferred by archivists, and it seems any footage coming out of this camera (especially documentary and event type) is worthy of archiving in terms of picture quality!

        • Yes we are creating software like that to include with the camera right now. My next blog post will be about the software we are making to convert the Cinema DNG files into ProRes and other formats.

  9. Hi Joe and Elle,

    I’ve been thinking about the c-mount and how you are offering the Pl of EF mounts optionally. Is there a possibility that you could get the c mount and an additonal PL and swap it out yourself? I’m leaning towards the c mount myself but I have access to some 16mm PL mount lenses so it would be fantastic to have the extra choice.

    Its looking amazing!

    Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes! If you look at the pictures there is a removable front piece that contains the lens mount. The entire thing comes off and can be replaced with other lens mounts. It is an interchangeable lens mount system!

      • Ahhh very cool so will I need to purchase the mounts through you guys or is it a more universal thing? Will you be able to ship the additional mounts with the first backers or will it come later?

      • That’s great, Joe!
        I was wondering about the possibility (as I mentioned to Elle awhile ago) of an Arri “B” mount, perhaps in the near future?
        I have an Arri-to-C mount adapter, but I would prefer not to use it unless necessary.
        Thanks so much, and please keep us updated when you can!
        – Mike

  10. Dear Joe and Elle,

    I’m not sure if this is mentioned already on the site, but I was wondering what image sizes / resolutions on the Digital Bolex can be safely covered by regular “Standard 16″ lenses (such as the Angenieux 12-120). For example, would this Angenieux lens “cover” the area on the CCD for at least the 1080 X 1920 image size?
    (or if it’s already in the forum, sorry, just let me know…)
    Thanks again.
    – Mike

  11. I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT!

    • Hey Steve,

      This is not yet a working model. We know everyone wants to see footage, we will post some as soon as we can, promise! We have the sensor board working, and the back end making Cinema DNG files (with some small meta-data issues, but Lars from Adobe is helping us with this). The next step is to connect the front end sensor boards to the back end FPGA and start calibrating the sensor.

      We have completed menu designs, but the GUI is not programmed yet so I don’t want to post pics just yet, but they will come in a future post!

      Audio will have meters and be monitored by headphones.

      Thanks for your questions, Joe

  12. Sorry for my English.
    A small question … Have you thought about a kind of lens hood for the “viewfinder” I think more precisely something that could be folded and removed easily as viewfinders Rolleiflex camera.

    • Yes I came up with an idea and am running it by the guys this coming week. It is a hood that looks like a quarter of a circle from profile and contains a mirror inside at roughly 45%. This makes it so if you put it on top of the camera it will reflect the viewfinder so that you can better see it when holding the camera at eye level. This would of course flip the monitor over so there would need to be a menu setting for mirroring the image and menu.

      Also the monitor is a high contrast LCD and the image is in B&W so it should be viewable in daylight even without a hood.

  13. Congratulations for creating a so beautiful Camera. I really like the design!
    The grip makes the whole thing perfect ;)
    I have read through some comments here and on the Kickstarter page, but did not find Information about this: How can you control the audio gain/levels with the digital bolex?
    Is there a Waveform overlay for the HDMI output?
    Thank you!

    • Thank you!

      If you look at the two pictures of the camera in which the lens or front of the camera is facing right you will see a two small pots near the back of the camera. These are level adjustments for the XLR inputs. Line level and mic level are selectable in the menu. And yes we are working on audio meters for the internal monitor and the HDMI output.

      Thanks again, Joe

    • Currently we don’t have plans to incorporate luma or scopes. The D16 is meant to be used like a film camera, it might take a little getting used to for people who are used to shooting video, but I think knowing your exposure through a light meter is better than through scopes.

      You can tell me I’m wrong, but this is my opinion :)

      • Yes, Joe, I agree with you!
        I think camera people should get used to using an INCIDENT LIGHT METER to determine exposure settings. I did this (with no assistant) all the time when I was filming wildlife with my 16mm cameras and ended up with great exposures most of the time. (And if I can do it, anyone can!)

  14. Hi
    Congratulations for your project!
    I’m surprised nobody asked: the camera will have also Bolex Bayonet mount?
    (I’ve noticed you used the Bolex logo and history on your project site)
    Another question: The retail price includes any drive?
    Thanks

    • Yes I would like to offer the Bolex Bayonet mount eventually, but there are far fewer lenses than the other mounts like PL, EF, and MFT so we will get those mounts out first.

      Yes the retail price includes a 256gb internal SSD. You cannot remove this drive, but if you don’t want to shoot to CF cards for some reason, you can shoot to the internal SSD and then dump from the camera directly to a computer using USB 3.0.

  15. Hello guys!
    A big congratulation on the camera it really looks grate.
    One think crossed my mind when i so the XLR inputs on the side of the camera.
    When you are shooting hand held with any shoulder mount support you have all those XLR cables hanging just beside you’re face, is not going to be comfortable. The cold shue mount on the side is a grate idea, I cane see a lot of
    third party manufactures making supports for EVF’s .
    most of other cameras have XLR at the back or on the right side of he camera. Is it to late to change the design or this is final?
    All the best guys and good luck
    Valon

    • You can get 90 degree XLR plugs to send the cables down and out of the way.

      We know traditionally video cameras have had the plugs on the right side, but we are looking for a more ergonomic way to hold this camera. If you give it a try we think you’ll like it.

      And yes it is definitely too late to change the sides of the camera right now.

      Thanks for your suggestions though! Joe

    • This is not a digital render! This is a real life CNC model made mostly of magnesium aluminum alloy, anodized black where it’s black, which is the same materials the final camera will be made from, so the final camera should look very similar to this model with a few small changes!

      • Wow I love the fact that you provide specific info on the sensor. You guys/gals stand out above the rest in your willingness to share the make up of your camera. (confidence!) Many companys will not tell you where there sensor is from nor provide you with the spec sheet straight from the company that designed it. I want this camera so bad!

        • Thank you, we hope that the future of business looks more like this. We love small companies that find their niche, operate with transparency, and are validated through things like crowd funding! Hopefully one day the world will be made up of thousands and thousands of companies like this instead of a dozen or so huge conglomerates that currently dominate many market places.

          People like yourself are the way to get there too!

          Like my dad always says, “Your dollar is your vote. Buying things with your hard earned dollar is one of the most powerful things we do, so make sure you use the power for good”. And other stuff like that :)

          Thanks for your support, Joe

  16. Considering that we have one month left before promised beginning of shipping, can you please tell us how things are going regarding dates? I saw your post where you’re saying that you’re almost finished and few things left to do, but still I’m just interested regarding exact days.

    Also I asked somewhere here but seems it was lost in threads – camera specs saying we can shoot in JPG – will it be any usable? I understand that this is not the same process as BMCC shooting in ProRes.

    • Hey Nikita,

      I don’t think Sequential JPG will be available at launch, but we can integrate it later if it is something people want. You would have to compile the frames to be able to play them.

      We don’t have exact dates yet, I will be updating everyone in October with a more locked down schedule hopefully.

      We are over most of the major hurdles. We have all of the boards designed, most have been spun and are being tested now. The one really big step left is integration of the different boards. Hard to tell exactly how long this will take.

      We are having minor issues with metadata in the Cinema DNG files, and we are also working through sensor calibration.

      We are doing our best to get this product market as soon as we possibly can and we appreciate your support.

      Thanks, Joe

  17. The handle is the highlight, again there’s a nature born hand held video camera. handy and with amazing picture quality. But from practical side, there will be better protection for the cables and connectors if the XLR connectors can down tilt around 45degree.

  18. Hey There!

    I was one of your kickstarter backers who will be getting one of the first 100 pre-sale cameras. I can hardly wait to take it for a test spin! This post mentions that it’ll be shipping in a few weeks (from Sept 19th) and I’m dying to know when it’s going out. Any info would be great. Thanks! Josh

    • Hey Josh,
      Thanks for your support, I am heading back to Toronto Oct 17th. Hopefully I’ll have a more solid date for the kickstarter camera deliveries when I get back!

      Thanks again for your support and your patience, Joe

    • Hi Phil,

      We have not tested with AVID, but we did have a long conversation with AVID about how we could work together and make sure our product works with theirs.

      It will take a little while, but both sides are interested and motivated!

  19. I’m so sick of new cameras. There seems to be more hype surrounding what camera you use rather than what content you make.

    With that being said, the look of this camera made me have a little excitement accident in the front of my pants.

    Nice work!

    • Hahahaha,

      I hear you, and it feels like every time someone releases a new camera we all have a couple hours of online reading / watching to do afterwards.

      Thanks for you kind words about the look.

      Hopefully you’ll like the finished product as much :)

      Best, Joe

  20. Cool stuff. I have been occasionally checking this site over the months, and I have to say it’s awesome to see all of your progress! I myself am getting tired of using my t2i for gigs and thinking about moving up to something like this. Technology is pushing the limits, man! CinemaDNG seems to be awesome! Have you guys decided whether you’re moving forward with the SD cards or sticking with compact flash? or maybe even SSD ;)

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      We are committed to CF cards at this point. There is an internal SSD and a USB 3.0 port so you can dump directly to a computer from the camera if you choose, but using the internal SSD and two CF cards gives you in camera redundant back ups!

    • Not 100% set yet, we are hoping for end of this year for the first 100 kickstarter cameras, then we will have another pre-order after the first 100 are delivered, and those would be delivered early next year.

      Pre-orders will be limited though!

  21. One more quick question. Since the camera uses CCD sensor rather than CMOS, can we assume there it will be free from the usual bad stuff (most importantly “Rolling Shutter”)? This would be amazing

  22. I love the aesthetic updates.. last time I looked at this camera it looked like a toy. Now it looks so much more worthy of its capabilities .

    Thank you so much for making a camera that emphasizes handheld form factor. It’s a problem that none of the established companies seem to want to address for less than $7k/unit. You’re doing a great thing.

  23. Dear Joe:

    Your digital model and handle are similar in appearance to the 8mm, P1 Reflex and accessories which my uncle gave to me 49 years ago. The design pedigree lives on thanks to your company.

    The lap dissolves, fade effects, even the zoom lens offered by the P1 were unmatched by Bell & Howell, Kodak, and other competitors of the era. They left a big impression on a wide-eyed kid who had never used such technology before.

    Best wishes for your company.

    Bob Choderker

    • Hi Bob,

      We intentionally designed the handle to mimic many of the design ideas in the P1 handle. Thanks for noticing :)

      I hope what we are doing will leave an impression on you and other wide-eyed kids ;)

      Thanks for your wishes, can’t wait to hear what you think of the finished product.

      Best, Joe

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