The Digital Bolex Software + Workflow

As we get closer to release, we’ve had more and more questions about workflow that we haven’t addressed in depth yet, so I think it’s about time to start talking software, storage options, bit budgets, and long term storage solutions.

We’ve thought about the workflow of the D16 since the first day we imagined it. Given the lack of CinemaDNG tools on the market, we always knew we would have to build our own software in order to take the best advantage of what RAW has to offer and to help push acquisition technology to a more RAW-friendly environment.

Over the past 18 months I’ve had many, many ideas about what the software would look and act like. At first I wanted to simulate the processing of 16mm film. I pictured a virtual lab with tanks, developer, fixer, and thermometers. Basically, I wanted to share the fun, experimental experience of processing film with a new generation of digital filmmakers. But as we started to analyze the current methods of working with RAW, and saw how few options were available, we realized we were going to need to build something very different, and much more streamlined.

One of our goals at Digital Bolex is to help break down some of the technical barriers to picking up a camera and making a film. One of our biggest challenges thus far has been combating the clunkiness of RAW workflows out there today, ones that more often than not create intimidating hurdles that are off-putting to filmmakers whose only experience has been with compressed video. We want to identify and remove some of these hurdles so that given the option between a video camera and a digital cinema camera, any newcomer would feel comfortable giving RAW a try.

So we began listing characteristics we thought would be useful in the software and trying to picture the workflow we wanted to see and how that would integrate with the larger post world of existing NLEs and color correction software. When comparing RAW to compressed workflows, the problems with most of the RAW workflows seemed to be:

1. You can’t start editing your footage right away. While some people are still stuck converting to ProRes to get their HD or 4K footage into an NLE, editing software is getting pretty advanced as far as what codecs can be played natively, and processors are getting fast enough to play even huge files. But most NLEs still don’t incorporate the ability to import a CinemaDNG sequence, so you have to do one or more transcodes during post in order to use your RAW footage to its best ability.

2. The online process is so problematic that many people go to post houses to finish their films, even though they have capable computers and software at home. Using XML to match an edited sequence back to the original raw footage almost never works correctly in existing software. So unless you have the budget to send your footage to a post house you end up wasting a lot of time re-editing to get proper sequences into a color correcting software.

3. The extra drive space from all the different versions of the footage makes the hard drive space issue for raw much worse than it has to be. RAW takes up more space than compressed video, without question. But having to transcode multiple times increases the space issue exponentially. In addition, you end up with so many versions of the same footage in different formats and connected to different software, keeping track of it all can become very confusing.

So with these problems in mind, we came up with three mantras for the new software:

  • Keep it raw as long as you can.
  • Transcode only once.
  • Transcode only what you need to transcode.

These three directives allow for fewer versions of the footage, less drive space, less transcoding time, quick access to the editing stage, and no confusing online process.

I had Skype meetings with several companies, but none of them seemed in sync with what I was trying to do. Then Lars Borg from Adobe suggested I contact Pomfort. From our first conversation I knew this was the company I wanted to work with. Our long term goals were closely aligned and the guys were very excited about the project.

We spoke many times at length over Skype, but really got to sit down and work through some drawings at NAB in April.

 

My first day at NAB we sat down and made drawings.

 


These were the drawings we based the basic structure on.

 

 

 

There were many iterations for the look. And we even pulled inspiration from some of the original Bolex camera designs!

 

We’re getting close to a final design, now, and we’ll be releasing new image as the looks and features are locked down. We’re positive that it will be a unique post environment that will be simple and intuitive.

How it Works:

Within the software there are five screens we’re calling “rooms”. Each room is dedicated to a different facet of the post process.

The Copy Room is where you download the footage from cards to as many designated drives as you like. Like Pomfort’s Silver Stack, the software then reads the footage and compares it to the original cards to verify that all of the copies have been made correctly, before giving the user a big green check mark, indicating that it is safe to format the cards.

The Organize Room is where you label, categorize, and rename clips, edit file trees, incorporate script supervisor notes, and general organizational things.

The Color Room can be used both before and / or after the edit room. It is intended to let you apply your one light look non-destructively to a groups of clips, and then after a rough cut of the footage is complete you can go back and do a more refined color pass.

The Edit Room allows you to edit and play back your Cinema DNG footage in real time. To allow computers that are older to work well with the large files we have chosen to show the images in black and white while the image is playing, and render the color on paused frames.

The Export Room allows you to export your edit either as one file in a condensed rough cut, or as separate clips according to your edit. You may export to many different formats including Quicktime ProRes 444.

The idea is that you can have several people working on the same project simultaneously, using the same CinemaDNG files, and the only file that need to be sent from one computer to another is small and contains nothing but metadata. The assistant editor can be naming and categorizing clips while the editor is assembling sequences, while the DP setting looks for scenes. Hopefully this will create a friendly collaborative workflow for raw projects. On smaller projects where one person might be the producer, DP, and editor the “room” divisions define the work that is done and the work still needed to be done.

FILE SIZES

The file size for our raw footage at 2K resolution, 2048 x 1152 is 3.5MB per frame. At 24 frames per second this works out to be 84MB per second, 5GB per minute, and 300GB per hour. For capture we recommend you get two 128GB CF cards. We recommend getting CF cards that are rated between 400x and 1000x, as this will greatly reduce the wait time after recording.

A USB 3.0 CF card reader should be able to download a full 128GB cards in under 13 minutes (down to 7 minutes with 1000x cards). If you use two 128GB CF cards, your cards will fill up at exactly the same time as the internal 256GB SSD, at just over 50 minutes of recorded data.

At that point you should remove both cards, place them in card readers and allow the Bolex software to download your footage to the predesignated hard drive destinations for your project. After you get the OK from our software that the cards have been downloaded successfully, you can put the cards back in the camera and format both cards and the internal drive in the camera at the same time.

HARD DRIVE SPACE

The amount of hard drive space you’ll need always vary from project to project. The key thing that you need to remember is that 5GB = 1 minute of CinemaDNG footage. This is pre-transcode, pre-color correction, pre final render.

Here’s how we break it down:

Let’s be safe and say that on any given project you’re shooting a 10:1 ratio. Obviously everyone shoots differently, but this is a safe way to pace your hard drive; it’s always better to have more space than you actually need.

So let’s multiple a minute of footage (3.5MB x 24 x 60, or 5 GB) by ten to get 50GB of just CinemaDNG files for every 1 minute of footage intended to go into the final piece. Then let’s double that to account for the ProRes or other transcode you’re going to perform to get your CinemaDNG footage into an NLE. Again, this amount may vary depending on what codec you’re transcoding to, and if you’re transcoding ALL your footage or just specific clips.

So now we’ve got 100GB allocated to each minute of your finished film. If you’re shooting a 10 minute film, that’s a 1TB drive just to store your CinemaDNG and transcode files. Of course you’ll need even more room to store your audio files, your score, your “final-version-87.mov” wishful-thinking rendered timelines, your NLE render files, and your color corrected, full res, ACTUAL final version of the film. To be safe, let’s double that 1TB, and say that for a 10 minute film, we recommend a 2TB drive. And we recommend getting a SECOND, duplicate 2TB to make a backup.

If you’re making a film longer than 10 minutes, use the guide above to calculate your storage. 5 minutes? 1TB. 30 minutes? 6TB. 90 minutes? 18TB.

G-Raids are great for smaller projects needing an active hard drive. For bigger projects, I like the Promise drive for active hard drives. Western Digitals are good as back up drives.

LONG TERM STORAGE

Long term storage is tricky in digital, there’s no way around that. I prefer the Quantum LTO-5 Tape Drive for long term storage. Quantam tapes are relatively cheap, and if you invest in buying the drive, you can make as many long-term backups as you need. A lot of people shooting small projects tend to forgo this last, crucial step in making a digital film, preferring to rely on their backup drives to store the film. But hard drives, especially spinning disk drives, are fragile and become obsolete quickly. As everyone moves towards digital workflow, it’s important to get into the habit of thinking of the long-term life of your projects.

TOTAL COST

Hard drives still cost a lot of money, but thanks to Moore’s Law, every year they’re getting bigger and cheaper. Let’s go back to your 10 minute film. Today you can buy a 4TB G-Raid on sale on Amazon for $259. So let’s pick up one of those (because they’re cheaper than the 2TB version for some reason), a 2TB Western Digital ($120) for backup, a Quantum Drive ($2000), and 2 Quantum tapes ($40×2) for long term storage.

The grand total of your purchases is $2,459, and you’ll have all the space you need to edit, backup, and store your project for posterity. I know it sounds expensive, but you can reuse most of these drives for every project you make in the future. For each new 10 minute film, you’ll only need to pick up another 2TB Western Digital and two more Quantum tapes for a much cheaper $200 total.

$200 to preserve your film? Sounds good to me. And in 12 months? It might cost half that.

COMPUTER PROCESSOR

The last question that’s on everyone’s mind is the kind of computer that will be necessary to run the software and process all this raw footage. The very idea of raw tends to conjure up a scary image in people’s minds of some kind of crazy expensive super computer. That’s not true, so don’t worry. Because we’re not debayering in real time, there’s minimal RAM usage, so you should be able to use laptops and desktops alike, even ones that are a couple years old. Of course, newer processors and higher RAM will drastically reduce the time needed to transcode.

The one caveat is that right now, our software at launch will only work with OSX. We hope to build a Windows based system soon afterwards, but we’ve heard from most of our backers that a Mac workflow was a priority.

To that end, we’re future-proofing the software as much as possible by optimizing it for the Macbook Pro with Retina display, which in coming years will become the standard for Apple computing. The Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports are super speedy, and will get the fastest transfers from your CF cards. The Retina display is very high res, and can show a 2K image with real-estate to spare. The software will of course run on any computer that can run a current version of OSX, but we want to make sure it can handle and be able to take advantage of likely changes in the hardware Apple produces.

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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.

72 thoughts on “The Digital Bolex Software + Workflow

  1. Pingback: Introducing Pomfort ClipHouse: The RAW Processing Software We've Been Waiting For « No Film School

  2. Pingback: Pomfort Releases ClipHouse for Raw Processing

  3. Pingback: Pomfort Software Demo at NAB | digitalbolex.com

  4. Hey,

    i canยดt wait to see the rollout the your Bolex camera.
    The hole cinema world is waiting for a RAW Global Shutter camera like the Bolex.
    But please donยดt forget the Windows and the Avid guys, like me ๐Ÿ™‚
    Would be perfect, if we could start with the workflow at the same time as the Apple and Final cut guys.
    So please keep up the good work and donยดt forget about the Windows , Avid workflow.

    Thanks Andi

  5. Digital Bolex is an amazing project. It will give us the opportunity to bypass the limitations of CMOS censors at an affordable price. I wish the workflow would be available in Linux. I am also following the Lightworks development and it would be a good marriage as teovidium suggested earlier.

  6. One editor program look like very innovative it’s a German
    editor http://www.magix.com/fr/applications/
    look the editor for touch screen ? and they have also professionals soft
    dig and see they are very much oriented to the multimedia.
    Personally i start with Premiere and then move to Vegas 4 many year before Sony buy it.Now i still using Vegas Pro 11. But the last upgrade for me the vegas Pro 9 to Vegas Pro 11 and 32 & 64 bits was a real night mare.
    The minimum today must be 10 bit Prores 4;2;2 color sampling ( in quality ) but distributor asking for Prores master ? DCP just started …I must admit i am more interested on the Blackmagic vs Bolex Digital. But i have 3 x 16mm bolex film camera at home. We missing a digital camera for documentaries and you 2 are on the good pat for this.If you looking for DIY computer at http://www.videoguys.com i all the time find inspiration to build one.
    I like the small film done with the Digital Bolex but why made it at low light and near the limit all the time ! in real life a class room it’s not in the dark.Open the light and you will show us better image quality and show more variety what the camera could do.

    • It’s pretty far along. The media management side is pretty much done, since Pomfort makes Silverstack which does intensive media management that was the easy part. We have been working on the transcoding algorithm implementation for over a month and that is close. We also have done some serious work on the color timing section.

      The software will ship with the first 100 kickstarter cameras in Beta and be updated soon afterwards.

  7. It sounds like you have thought the workflow through. Which is great because any editor will know of the hassle and frustrations that occur with RED footage.

    My only concern is that when you speak of the all importance of colour timing. When you speak of a applied “look” what do you mean by this? Is this another Instagram selection of looks IE vintage, cool modern, dull modern, grandpa vintage etc. If it is then I must say you have fallen short of the potential of working with the latitude that your camera has reported to capture. If there is a 10-12 stop allowance of latitude than this will allow for colour adjustments that are possibly “true” to film. Applying “looks” is so very boring, limiting and quite insulting. I would want to target(specifically) certain films in the 60’s to 70’s. Using that films( unique characteristics(targeting the look-up table of that particular film). This can be done but no one has done it. Are you doing this per chance? Just a thought and question.

    Thanks, I hope your camera changes the market..I really want it to!!!

    • Jason,

      Thanks for your great comment and suggestions! I love the idea of applying a LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT 1972 filter to my footage ๐Ÿ™‚
      When I say apply a look, yes in a certain way you’re right, but it’s not “grandpa vintage” it’s standard looks like flat or contrasty.
      Then we allow you to adjust the image in all of the ways you are used to in other raw software, except in place of the tables of sliders we have created 4 multi-directional tools that give you the same control, but it is easier and more intuitive to use! This is not Instagram!

      In the future we hope to build out a filter section that allows for Instagram and Grandpa Vintage filters as well as a design your own filter section ๐Ÿ™‚

      • so the way to retain most of the image information we would need to apply a flat look before transcode?

        Getting that flat “look” nailed is very important IMO. I assume you’re making sure it’s just right ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Yes we are! It doesn’t need to be a totally “flat” look, but it should be lower contrast than what you intend for your final output.

          I know you know, but it’s much easier to make something more contrasty than less contrasty.

  8. Pingback: Digital Bolex’s Lab-Style RAW Software Will Be Your CinemaDNG Workflow Workhorse - NoFilmSchool

  9. also re:Thunderbolt vs. USB3
    Well since TB is faster and you may be building a new little product, might as well include the new and fastest tech no?

    Just my thoughts.
    Wait on this one if TB options are limited right now. Shouldn’t be a problem in the coming months.

  10. Wow great update Joe! Thanks!!
    Thanks for being thorough and transparent.

    I’ve been too busy with some projects right now to explore the forums or ustreams and the two posts in Jan were great. I know lots of things on your plate at the moment but a weekly news update here would be great for a quick way to catch up with you guys.

    Concerning the workflow, I intend to grade with Resolve. What would the best workflow be when one intends to do major grading work in another software?

    I assume your software will make a much better job at debayering the raw files? (so optimally we’d send the DNG files in your software rather than directly in Resolve)

    Is that what you had in mind?
    Raw files > your software for debayering and raw settings and light color correction > transcode > Resolve

    • Yes exactly!

      Raw files > Bolex Software(fat edit, basic color timing) > Full Res Quicktime > NLE > Final Color Timing > Done.

      We will try to have at least an update once a week from now on. The holidays were a little tough to keep up with, and we figured everyone had better things to do at that time ๐Ÿ™‚

      • One last question ๐Ÿ˜‰
        If we debayer in Bolex software and then transcode to QT, wouldn’t we lose potential image latitude in that conversion? i.e. we would have less information to work from in final grading?

        Let’s say you got an outside shot you exposed for a human subject and the sky is blown out and you want to get the most details out of a sky with a mask in your grading software. I would expect the raw source file to hold more latitude and information than the QT file, no?

        Would you then need to create two files for optimal image information? One with correct subject exposure and one with exposure all the way down to bring out the most out of the sky?

        vs. brought directly in Resolve let’s say, you’d work from the original raw file so no need for that.

        sorry long reply. The forums might have been better fit for this.

        • You are correct, if you go back to the raw footage for your final color grade you will have more flexibility. And I believe there are several existing workflows that taylor to that specifically as you mentioned above.

          What we are trying to do is create a system where you don’t HAVE to do that if you don’t want to. With our software you can create a color timing that is 85% of the way there while you are during a rough cut.

          With this tool you can begin editing without transcoding. You can also transcode only once. And you can transcode only what you need to transcode.

          We are attacking this problem from the “breaking down the barriers of entry” stand point. Yes if your sky is blown out you may have to go back during your final color correction and export that clip or scene with a different color correction, but overall this should reduce the number of steps between raw capture and final output.

          The comment section is a little hard to have long conversations, I am always happy to answer any questions though.

          If you would like to flesh it out more and get into the nitty gritty please do feel free to start a thread ๐Ÿ™‚

          As always thanks for your input! Joe

  11. Everything listed here sounds great for indie filmmakers, but I am wondering how soon this will be implemented. With all of the cameras and hacks out at the moment, all with a workflow in place, how much time before we start seeing this 2K camera with this workflow in place before we are able to hack cheap cameras for 2K & 4K, or 4K gets cheap enough. Considering there were only 100 cameras made, it seems very unlikely that this camera will appear before 4K cameras around the same price become the new standard for independent filmmakers.

    Cool hand grip like old-school bolex cams, but is this removable, as it won’t really work with everything out there? Sorry if this question was addressed..I imagine it has been several times, but I didn’t see anything on this page about it.

    Is this made by the same Bolex company? I saw this kickstarter..which is all very cool, but how many people are actually working on this? Is this a 2-person-managed project?

    Either way, very interesting concept. Footage looks pretty good too. Variable frame-rate is a great idea.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your questions. We believe 2K will be a viable format for many years to come. Just as with film there will be several standards. Some films were shot on 16mm, some on 35mm, and some on 70mm. For instance The Hurt Locker and Moonrise Kingdom were both shot on S16 for the look, either gritty, or nostalgic. Both movies could have shot digital or on 35mm if they wanted, but S16 offered them a look they couldn’t get with the other formats. Same thing will go for the D16. All these very expensive 2K movie theater projectors won’t go away right away. Digital will have many standard formats. we are confident that S16mm and 2K will be among them ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes there maybe 2K or even 4K from a “cheap” hackable camera, but you will still have the sensor and ergonomics from a “cheap” camera. The D16 is relatively inexpensive I think for a raw cinema camera, and it has been designed from ground up as a cinema camera, something no DSLR can claim. And that is a big deal. It means that we use a CCD sensor that is 4 times more expensive than the sensors in the cameras you are referring to because it has more color accuracy and gets rid of rolling shutter. It means that we create multiple analog gain stages for the sensor and A/D converters that allow more subtle control over image acquisition and interpretation. It means that when you shoot a movie on our camera it looks like a movie, not a web video ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes the pistol grip is removable and there are two tripod mount screw holes on the bottom for professional mounting.

      Bolex International is a partner in a group of companies creating this project. No the project is not a 2 person team. There are more than 20 engineers at a product / electronics design firm in Toronto that are doing all of the mechanical and electronic design for the camera. Some of the other partners include lens designers and software engineers(that this blog post is about).

  12. No windows support initially!? I think this is a risky bet. The longer it takes to come to market, the more time competitors will have to fill the void you have just created. NAB is a couple months away and i would guess that a lot of companies are going to be displaying cameras that are capable of 2k/4k capture. Especially since CES 2013 was all about Ultra HD TV’s & tablets. Please don’t leave windows users in the dark too long, we’re just the same as Mac people only with less money ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The reason we have chosen Cinema DNG is that it is the open raw format with the widest support. So you can transcode your footage on PCs with many 3rd party software solutions. Our software is intended to help the independent filmmaker with the post work flow, but it is by no means necessary to use the camera.

  13. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for being so open about the whole project’s process – this is very exciting!
    Reading your software concept, I am a bit confused: do you intend to provide d16 users with a software that could potentially replace their NLE (edit room) and even their colour-grading sotware (color room), at least for simple projects?

    Keep up the great job,

    • Our goal is to ultimately have a post production workflow that either doesn’t require transcoding at all, or only requires it as a last stage before delivery.

      Hopefully NLEs like AVID will get on board with Cinema DNG and work with the software we are creating, but if not, yes we will make some editing software.

      Currently the software we are making is intended to help you copy your footage, color correct it while you can watch it play in sequences with your sound, and edit it down to just the footage you want to transcode. It’s not a full editing sweet.

        • For the most part yes.
          What we intend is pre-NLE and let’s say 85% of the way to a good color correction. Edit in full res and do final color correction with the same transcode files in AE or something like that.

          So only 1 full res transcode if possible.

          Hopefully one day AVID or another NLE will just support Cinema DNG, then our software will hopefully just work seamlessly with theirs ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Bjรถrn,

      Thank you, we are trying to be as open as we can be ๐Ÿ™‚

      Currently there is no in camera white balance setting so there is nothing to store! (this may change with future firmware updates)

      We are planning on having the footage default to an auto-white balance in the software, which is of course then adjustable by user if they don’t like it. The auto-white balance we are using is designed by Andrey of Raw Photo Processor and is quite clever. It’s the best auto white balance I’ve seen. If you would like to try it RPP is a free download: http://raw-photo-processor.com/

  14. Hey Joe.

    Thanks for the update. The software sounds like it’s working out great. And it really helps to have a good idea of what it will take (storage wise) to work with the footage. As for platforms, I hope the Windows versions don’t end up being held back for to long. At work we have plenty of Macs that can handle conversion without issue. But I’m in the camp that still uses PCs for personal creative work.

      • Couldn’t hurt. But the inclusion of DNxHD as a transcode option seals the deal. Will the DB software allow trancoding to lower resolution DNxHD for quicker editing and then transcoding back to full resolution for mastering?

        • Our goal is to create an environment where you;
          -Keep it Raw as long as possible
          -Transcode only once
          -Transcode only what you need to transcode

          The whole back and forth thing I think is too much.

  15. Hopefully DNXHD is one of the transcode options too.
    I like what you are doing with the software. The paradigm is very similar to the Lightworks NLE which is also organized into rooms.
    Seems like a well thought out workflow.

  16. Dear Joe, the updates are coming thick and fast now, many thanks and well done.
    For the PC crowd, are you aware of any existing editing software which could handle Bolex footage. Am I right in thinking that anything that will work with the new Blackmagic camera footage will also work on yours, so technically Bolex footage could be pulled into Resolve?

    • Hi Saied,

      Yes any software that works with Cinema DNG should work with our camera. The reason we chose Cinema DNG is it currently has the broadest acceptance in the cinema world for an open raw format.

      Resolve, After Effects, and Lightroom all run on PC. And, not that I would recommend this, but I’ve heard that since Apple switched processors, you can actually run OSX on a PC these days making a Hackintosh ๐Ÿ˜‰

      *Not tested, but I’m pretty sure our software would run on a Hackintosh.

      • “you can actually run OSX on a PC these days making a Hackintosh”.
        This is not entirely true. OSX can run only on some PC, and always fighting with the drivers. If there is anything I dislike about DigitalBolex is the contempt for Windows users.

        • Hahaha, we have no contempt for Windows users ๐Ÿ™‚

          It’s just that both of our software partners (Pomfort and Andrey from RPP) specialize almost completely with Mac OSX software.

          Because of the popularity of FCP we felt that most of our client base would be on Mac computers. We understand that with the declining popularity of FCPX we need to service both platforms, and we will!

          Thanks for your support, Joe

          • Hi
            As Digital Bolex will have a Linux (open source) software internally for the board and as your option is Cinema DNG (open source) I supposed you will fulfill the missing chain with support for Lightworks also (one of the best video editors that will run soon on ALL 3 OS : mac, win AND LINUX)
            The option for MAC seems outside the main ideas of DB: simple and affordable.
            MAC systems are first of all VERY EXPENSIVE!!!

          • teovidium: Don’t want to start a discussion on this, but I have heard this argument many times, but it is not quite true. Macs are (at least after the intel transition) comparable in price to other intel based computers; provided (and this is very important) that the two systems that are compared are really equivalent. Most people stress their arguments by finding some dubious system that indeed looks cheaper, according to some incomplete checklists. But Apple has some nice features in some of their systems:
            -The Mac mini is equipped with less power consuming Laptop technology. Makes the system cooler and quieter
            -The Mac Pro uses server tech, i.e. very expensive Xeon CPUs
            -Al-bodies are expensive, but more robust, etc.
            -Thunderbolt

            So, a true statement would rather be: “I don’t need all the Apple goodies, and since Apple refuses to sell systems without them, I buy elsewhere, for a lower price.”

          • Not true at all…PC’s are actually more expensive. The only PC worth getting for video editing is the HPZ820 workstation. The one I priced out was over 15 grand. You can buy cheap PC products and brag about your gaming overclocked CPU benchmarks all day long but when it comes to video editing, a top end iMac 2012 will blow the best PC’s away. Well not a HP Z820 but it’s also 11 grand more and doesn’t include a built monitor.

  17. As a DB investor, I love the camera, but I think that the RAW workflow will be too much to handle for the micro-budget and documentary crowd. There are upsides to RAW, and there are great upsides to lowering shooting ratios to like 5:1, however, there is a mismatch between the camera’s price bracket and the amount of card, hard drive, and computing power you need to use it on feature length films. I’m willing to bet that once people start using the camera, they’ll wish they had less data-intense options.

    Hopefully Moore’s Law will continue indefinately, but market factors may have a say in the matter.

    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for your support. I understand your concern for bit budgets, and you may be exactly right in today’s environment. However we are making the D16 to be a camera that has relevance in the market for the next 5 – 10 years. Moore’s law isn’t perfect, but it has been pretty reliable, and based on 3TB drive prices on Amazon right now I’d say we just saw another drop in storage price. And I can almost guarantee that in 5 years, or most likely much less, the price of 50 or 60 TB will be a non-issue. Also most of the storage we are recommending is storage you can re-use on every project. The tape backups are the only ones you need to keep for prosperity once the film is finished. The other drives can be wiped clean for every new project, so people will probably build system piece by piece depending on what they need and just add drive space as their projects grow. And hopefully as their projects grow so will their budgets ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Cool, it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out. I hope you’re right about the 50-60 TB…

        Anyway, If anything RAW workflow forces you to focus while shooting, which is good. DSLR downside was burning in the look, and I guess RAW has it’s downsides in how much you can realistically shoot. That being said there are remarkable tools out there, and the D16 is a great addition to the market!

          • When we shot film, even with a large budget, one was always aware of the film running through the gate, whether we had a 100, 400 or 1,000 foot magazine. Shooting video we’ve become sloppy, at least I have: until I realize how much darn footage I have to go through later! So yeah, CinemaDNG, 5GB/min, bring it on!

    • We had made a connection and tried discussing it with another producer of high end card readers, but they eventually came back to us with a proposal for us to buy several thousand of their existing readers(not thunderbolt) that could be branded Bolex for a hefty price. I told them we weren’t interested in that ๐Ÿ™‚

      We’re talking to someone new now ๐Ÿ™‚
      Hopefully we’ll have more news on that soon.

      Would USB 3 be just as good as thunderbolt? Or is Thunderbolt a necessity?

      • Well, eventually we’re all will move to USB3, but for now I have the last of its kind MPB17″, and don’t want to change it for Retina.
        I was researching ExpressCard to USB3 option, but there is no any adapter which 100% works. LaCie one not only expensive but also locked to work only with LaCie hardware.

      • Thunderbolt CF reader would be great! I’ve got 3 macs… none are equipped with USB 3.0 (recently purchased mid 2011 edition imac last year) and 2 with thunderbolt. I’d prefer to not have to deal with USB 2.0 speeds for dumping footage. I considered getting the newest imac to get USB 3.0… I was suggested highly against getting a new imac as the newest edition you can’t swap out ram or internal harddrive.

          • Yes you certainly can swap out the ram on a 2012 iMac 27inch. I have a 27inch with a 768 GB internal SSD and a 680MX 2GB drive and I just added 32GB of OWC RAM. The iMac blows both my MacBook Pro and 12 Core Mac Pro away. Thunderbolt a LaCie 20TB drive to it and you’re golden for 2K+ workflow. And it’s only a matter of time before OWC figures out a way to open up the 2012 iMac. The 2011 iMac fully tricked out with dual internal SSD’s in Raid 0 will be faster but lack of CUDA graphics card support prevents you from being able to take advantage of the Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe products and color grading software like Resolve. So you’re stuck with Final Cut X which is fine but not nearly as powerful. The fact that Mac put an Nvidia card in their iMac 2012 instead of an AMD card is basically a statement saying “openCL isn’t going to happen” so AMD is done basically. Heavy GPU processing is the way of the future. So upgrade a 2011 iMac all you want, no way to swap that graphics card out unless you’re a supertech man or an external GPU thunderbolt solution arrives. That would be ideal, totally rendering the Mac Pro obsolete. I can’t stand the Mac Pro. The amount of money I’ve poured into that thing and my iMac still chops it to pieces. Even the MacBook pro is weak. It should be iMac Pro. You can already thunderbolt PCIe SSD cards which are way faster than internal SSDs anyways. 800+ Read/Write speeds. And if you do go for a new iMac, do not cheap out and buy the Fusion drive. The 768GB SSD is a total rip but you will love the speed and just the fact that you can handle a 2K workflow with much more ease.

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