After working on our project for more than a year, December was the first time I went up to Canada to meet our Digital Bolex engineering team in person.
In mid December the new boards we were waiting on finally came in. This time the fit was perfect, so we flew up to Canada to stuff everything into the body and do some testing.
It was cool to finally put a face to all the email addresses I’ve been seeing for the past 14 months. What’s great about living in this tech and Internet age is that we can collaborate with people all over the globe like never before, but when you get down to it, meetings are always more productive in person than over Skype and email, where you can spitball ideas rapid fire between a large number of people.
We had a couple of design chores to take care of while we were up there. For one of these, Mike and I sat down and did a little redesigning on the crank–I want to make sure the stress is on your arm rather than fingertips, which get tired/strained more easily–which is infinitely more effective when you have two people sitting at one computer.
The team had many, many meetings during our week in Toronto–but one in particular stood out, a full meeting of everyone in the company, over 20 people, filling the entire conference room of the office, which is a pretty big space. It may have been the first time the entire team was congregated at once, and I think everyone felt the importance of the project and what we are all creating.
We scheduled the visit around our first camera body’s arrival from China, but due to a snowstorm during the trip, the body didn’t arrive in time, which was pretty aggravating–while we had the parts to put inside the camera, we didn’t have a place to put them. The body did arrive at the office just before Christmas, and is currently being assembled:
Many of our engineers worked throughout the holidays to keep things moving, which we really appreciate. If we’re on track, we should have the boards in the body and images coming from both very soon, and have the first functional beta cam we can run around with. Exciting! (Till then we’ll just sit here humming the body+boards theme song.)
Speaking of on track, while we were in Toronto we spent a good deal of time discussing our schedule, and came to a plan that seems pretty reasonable. We’re not going to post that until the next few milestones are hit, but things seem to be moving along pretty quickly now. I’ll be going to Sundance at the end of the month when we have some downtime in the LA office, and Joe will be flying back up to Canada at the same time to play around with the shooting model and start creating some of the requested DNG tests you guys have asked for on the forum.
By the end of the month we’ll have a good idea of the concrete release date of the camera. By then we also should have received the first prototype of our rig and first set of lenses, and can fit everything together. We didn’t initially plan to have all of these items done at the same time, but this may end up being a benefit when we go into a second pre-order, as people will likely be able to order kits instead of just bodies if they so desire.
On the more side of things, I did some layout & design updates to the website, most importantly the new calendar tab and calendar box on the front page. We’ll be using this to post more long-term events, releases, panels, so they’ll automatically show up on the front page as they approach. If you have suggestions of other things that should go on our calendar, let us know!