Statement on SmallHD 501 and 502 monitors

Update 9/01: Firmware patch 1.3.2 has been released and is available for download. You must use this firmware version or higher for your camera to be compatible with the SmallHD 501 and 502 monitors.

Update 8/27: The bug and resolution have been found, and new firmware will be released for the D16 on 8/31 to accept the SmallHD signal.

Earlier this year, SmallHD released a wonderful line of new HD EVFs with fantastic color and display technology, namely the 501 (HDMI) and 502 (SDI/HDMI) models.


Unfortunately, after a handful of Digital Bolex users complained in the last two months of SSDs dismounting, frozen cameras, and potential footage loss, we have discovered that these new monitors have an incompatibility with the current D16 firmware, resulting from SmallHD using a newer EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) data standard in their HDMI signal not used in most other EVF products on the market, a standard that the D16’s firmware is not currently set up to accept. This incompatibility causes a problem with the D16’s internal SSD drive that effects its ability to record and playback footage.

SmallHD provided us with samples of their new monitors so our engineers could help to diagnose the problem and has been active in helping them solve the issue. While a recent update to the SmallHD firmware was recently released, it did not solve these critical issues. For the time being, we are currently recommending that users of the Digital Bolex do not use the new SmallHD 500 series EVFs with our camera until the newest D16 firmware patch is released. With the current D16 firmware configuration, the 500 series monitors may damage your camera after continuous use, and we will not be able to provide warranty repair for issues resulting from the use of a 500 series monitor at this time.

We thank SmallHD for working with us on resolving this issue, and additionally enthusiastically recommend their DP4, DP7, and AC7 monitors as reliable accessories for the Digital Bolex, and also support the similar products of other manufacturers like Cineroid, Zacuto, TVLogic, and F&V, whose EVFs have shown no compatibility issues.


Cinegear 2015: Digital Bolex to provide path to distribution for projects shot on D16

We’ve always said that selling a camera is only the beginning of our relationships with our Digital Bolex customers—we are committed to providing screening, learning, and shooting opportunities for those choosing to use our tools, and leveraging the power of our huge and overwhelmingly positive community to give independent filmmakers a voice and an audience for their work. Our partnership with Slamdance for the 2015 festival represented the first step in this process; partnering with an Academy-qualifying festival that champions true independent filmmakers and gave our filmmakers the chance to show their work on the big screen. Many of our Slamdance premiering films have gone on to play film festivals internationally. Our women cinematographers grant presented by Hive Lighting, with support from Zacuto, Hot Rod Cameras, and Switronix, has already resulted in more than five projects being completed since its debut in March, and gives access to equipment to those with few resources to tell their stories. Continue reading “Cinegear 2015: Digital Bolex to provide path to distribution for projects shot on D16” »

20150406 Hood V2 18a

Cinegear 2015: New Products from Digital Bolex

In addition to the brand new MFT mount and Kish lenses both on display at the show, all shipping now, Digital Bolex is excited to unveil four brand new accessories at Cinegear just in time for summer. And to celebrate, we’re offering big discounts on all new items through the show, and a few of our old favorites!

20150406 Hood V2 18a Continue reading “Cinegear 2015: New Products from Digital Bolex” »

DP Lori Dinsmore shoots CATATONICO on location in Brazil.

Cannes 2015: D16 films at the Court Métrage

For those of you attending the Cannes Film Festival this year, we’re excited to share that a number of films shot on the D16 are official selections of the Court Métrage (Short Film Corner) this year. Digital Bolex loves the Short Film Corner; it’s where our proof-of-concept short ONE SMALL STEP premiered in 2012. You can see each of these films by visiting the Short Film Corner in the lower level of the Palais through the duration of the Festival.

DP Lori Dinsmore shoots CATATONICO on location in Brazil.

DP Lori Dinsmore shoots CATATONICO on location in Brazil.

Continue reading “Cannes 2015: D16 films at the Court Métrage” »


Digital Bolex D16 and D16M now available via B&H

We’re excited to announce that 512GB and 1TB Digital Bolex D16 and D16M Cameras are now available for sale through B&H Photo. B&H is the nation’s leading retailer of film and video equipment, and we’re happy to be partnering with such an experienced and trusted reseller to bring our cameras to a wider audience. Cameras are in stock and shipping now.


Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.45.10 AM


Digital Bolex and Slamdance take on Park City!

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a month for us at Digital Bolex! We started the year off with an amazing holiday sale, and a week later Variety and The Wrap announced the finalists for our Fearless Filmmaking showcase at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival, which sold out immediately when tickets went on sale in early January.

The team arrived for Slamdance’s opening night on January 23rd, and it was a blast to meet all the filmmakers, jurists, and fellow sponsors lending support to an amazing and innovative festival. Feature films in competition at Slamdance require a first time director and a budget of 1 million dollars or less, preserving a place for outsider and emerging filmmakers in Park City every year. Shorts are served up in multiple categories, from experimental to anarchy to standard narratives and documentaries.


Papering the town! Photo by Destri Martino.

Continue reading “Digital Bolex and Slamdance take on Park City!” »


BRAND: A SECOND COMING selected to open SXSW Film Festival

Digital Bolex would like to congratulate two-time Sundance best documentary director winner Ondi Timoner on her film BRAND: A SECOND COMING, profiling the comedian, actor, and activist Russell Brand, opening the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. Timoner and cinematographer Svetlana Cvetko used the Digital Bolex for a scene where Russell revisits his hometown.


The Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers

The statistics are startling. Fewer than 2% of working cinematographers are women. No female cinematographer has been nominated for an Academy Award. There are 11 active women in the ASC–out of 330+ active members. The first studio film to have a female cinematographer was released in 1980.

Women have been discouraged from getting behind the camera for decades, and these statistics prove that the problem is systemic and culturally enforced. Laura Mulvey’s much-discussed concept of the “male gaze” puts women’s place in front of the camera, as living props to be photographed and judged, not to make decisions about how they are portrayed or participate in the creation of their own image.

Rarely do you see a set with women in the camera department, which I lovingly dub the “dude swarm”. There’s nothing wrong with the dude swarm, inherently, except it creates a set culture where anyone not wearing cargo shorts is an outsider. And too many women in the camera department as treated as outsiders.

I’ve heard plenty of horror stories–women cinematographers with strong reels who, making it to a live interview, are told “oh, we thought you were a man,” and suddenly not the right fit for the job. I’ve had male crew members fight every camera choice I make on set, I’ve seen female cinematographers work retail at clothing stores because directors (90% male) didn’t have confidence in their abilities. The cycle is vicious; men and women start in the industry as equally green amateurs, and as men hire more men, suddenly the women become “unqualified” to work alongside their former peers.

As Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers wrote in the LA Times this past December, studies show that “for promising men, potential is enough, whereas women are judged on what they’ve actually done.” In the film industry, men judge each other on what they could do, if they pooled their resources and worked together as a team.

Women don’t count as resources because, with “potential” and brains left out of the equation, women are less likely to own the expensive, tangible resources like film equipment that more and more play a deciding factor in who gets hired for what job. But how can a woman cinematographer who has to fight for the lowest of the low jobs afford the hot new camera on the block? They can’t.

Women are less likely to own equipment not only because of the cost of equipment versus the amount of work they’re being hired for, but because women are taught to look and not to touch when it comes to technology. I can’t count the male and female partners I encounter at trade shows where the male partner grabs a camera excitedly while his female partner watches passively over his shoulder. And try to engage a single woman perusing a tech booth? Forget it–ask if they have any questions and the answer is “no thank you” and they’re gone. Women aren’t taught to be entitled to technology in the way that men are. Men are entitled to put their hands on cool gadgets. Women are entitled to watch, but not to participate.

Just listen to the way men explain technology to women at a trade show and this dichotomy becomes readily clear. Women are expected not to be able to use technology, instead of trying it for themselves and playing, they must be hand held, guided, ‘splained. And that’s a huge turn off to wanting to participate. It’s not a surprise to me that 99 of 100 requests I get to borrow one of our cameras for a project come from men. Women are taught not to ask. And if we as a company choose to work with, say, 5% of people requesting cameras, the numbers aren’t looking too great for the ladyfolk.

But let’s say that’s not the case. Let’s say a woman has surpassed all these odds, and has a fancy camera and knows how to use it. Would the industry be willing to accept the potential of such a woman and hire her to shoot a film?

I think so.

Which is why I’m going to stop soapboxing on the internet (okay, maybe not) and put my money where my mouth is. I’m very pleased to announce the Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers.

Starting this summer, we will be offering a pair of Digital Bolex D16 kits, featuring $10,000 in gear and accessories from some wonderful soon-to-be-announced sponsors, on a rolling basis to any narrative short or feature film project to be shot by a female cinematographer.

As one of a handful of female cinematographers at the SXSW Film Festival, I am acutely aware that my ability to purchase, train with, and bring equipment to gigs over the past decade is what has gotten me to this wonderful festival with a feature film. I want to give other women that same ability to use their potential.

The relationship between a director and cinematographer is perhaps the most important in filmmaking–we see male duos with collaborative relationships spanning decades creating masterpieces. I’d like to see women involved in that kind of intimate collaborative process, and I hope that I can start to help move our industry in that direction.

Stayed tuned over the next few weeks to hear about our sponsors and application process. And for those extra proactive ladies, feel free to start reaching out to me at elle@digitalbolex.com

Canon 50mm + extension tube

Macro Photography on the D16

Macro photography is awesome because it allows you to see everyday objects in a fresh way. Our team feels similarly about the D16–that when you review footage from our camera, you see footage differently than you would view video; there is a quality to the image that makes you see the images in a new light.

So it made perfect sense to throw some macro lenses on the D16 and capture some fresh perspectives in a new way. But always with a bit of vintage flair, of course!

The following piece was shot with a series of different macro lenses and regular lenses on extension tubes. All of the lenses were set on F5.6 or F4 / 5.6 split to try and regulate the light / depth of field a little bit. The intention was to find macro lenses that would lend a narrative feel to 3 inch tall characters.

After shooting many tests across a few days, here’s our finished piece! We’re really proud of this one and we hope you enjoy it and share it with anyone you know who loves macro photography!

Macro Droids – shot on the Digital Bolex from Digital Bolex on Vimeo.

For those of you interested in a more detailed breakdown of how this piece was shot, here’s a step by step walkthrough of what we did for each image: Continue reading “Macro Photography on the D16” »


NAB 2013 Recap

Hey everyone! It’s been a busy few days in Bolex land. We got back from Vegas on Thursday night, and we’re already back in the office fielding phone calls and meetings. For those of you who weren’t able to get out to NAB this year, I thought it would be fun to do a quick recap of our experience.

Continue reading “NAB 2013 Recap” »