Thank You

Anyone who’s started a small business can tell you that it’s not easy, especially in tech; even the most viable and promising product can be held back by the discontinuation of a part, a materials shortage, or rising cost to manufacture when facilities close or require large minimum orders to continue production.

As a small business, always facing potentially fatal hurdles and unknown competition, it can be extremely difficult to know when the “right time” is to for a product line to come to an end. Do you try to read the tea leaves looking for potential new competitors? Do you hold your breath and dread a future when stock could be collecting dust on the shelves? If production costs rise, do you raise prices? What is the right margin for survival? What happens if the sensor you’ve been waiting for to make your next camera simply doesn’t exist?

After much deliberation, our team has recently decided that, for us, it’s the responsible decision to leave the table before any of those questions begin to affect our company and our customers.

Digital Bolex will no longer be producing cinema cameras after this month, and we will close our online store effective June 30th. Cameras will still be available to purchase until 11:59PM, PST on that date, and we still have cameras in stock. So if you’ve been eager to purchase a D16 for your project, consider this last call.

Five years ago, in summer of 2011, when I started on this journey with Joe and our team, we were filmmakers a vision: we wanted to use the new culture of crowdfunding to amplify the voices of independent filmmakers and show the camera industry that creative storytellers didn’t need to rely on big box corporations to choose the look and function of how they told stories for the big screen. When we raised $262K within 36 hours of launching our Kickstarter in March of 2012, we lit a fire and proved that filmmakers truly wanted control over their tools of expression, and were willing to think outside the box and join a revolution to create those tools. From that revolution a community was born that’s grown over a thousand members strong, and includes world-renowned artists and filmmakers from every background and tradition, using their D16s on the smallest of independent projects to the largest of network television shows, screening their work in theaters and major film festivals across the globe. We couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishment, and of the community that helped us to build it.

Our community is a strong one, and (not to brag, but) the most helpful, considerate, and brilliant group of filmmakers I’ve had the honor of conversing with and sharing work with online—a rarity these days. On a personal level, I’ve grown tremendously as a storyteller, cinematographer, and director through interacting with our users, and many have come to be close friends.

From suggestions on how to improve the original KS camera, to tips on grading, development of color science, encouragement to fellow filmmakers to test and learn and experiment and share, our users have intimately participated in the development and growth of the D16 from day one, and are to thank for making the D16 one of the most important cameras in the field today—not just because it was the first crowd-sourced cinema camera, but because, even after two and a half years on the market, it still remains the only affordable camera with fully raw, uncompressed 12-bit footage, native global shutter, incredible audio capabilities, and, as of our most recent firmware update this May, color science that now rivals cameras tens of times its cost (and is finally recordable through HDMI to compressed formats of your choice.)

As we still debate the value of higher bit-depth 2k over compressed 4k in the trades today, and what high resolution really means when people watch content at home or on small screens, it’s clear the D16 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and we’re proud to have created a storytelling tool that will live on for years to come as the right choice for filmmakers who don’t want to compromise on their creative vision or ability to control what their stories look like on screen.

We’ve learned a tremendous amount from our filmmaking community over the past five years, as we’ve listened to your feedback on ustream and our forums and twitter, designed new products to make using the camera even easier for professionals, and produced and sponsored content to show the world just what our camera is capable of, and we’re excited to keep growing and sharing content with you. As we’ve always said—buying a camera from Digital Bolex isn’t the end of our relationship, it’s just the beginning.

While we aren’t going to be making cameras anymore, we’re not going anywhere—you don’t have to go home, but you can stay here. Our website, forum, and help section will continue as a resource for existing customers and those renting the camera from private owners or rental houses who need help, and as a way for filmmakers to promote their D16 projects. Our phone will stay on, and all warranties, repairs, and upgrades will continue to be performed by our team as we honor our commitment to the users who have chosen to enter into a relationship with us. Our in-kind support of filmmakers, film initiatives, and our grant for women cinematographers will also still be active, and we will also continue to support owners by sharing rental information and locations for interested filmmakers.

We want to thank our community for supporting our team and championing the Digital Bolex like it’s your own (it is), believing in our mission, and taking a new step in this journey with us as we transition away from retail and towards becoming the best resource for our community of users that we can be. We’re excited to keep sharing our stories with you, and to see the stories you’ll share with us.

We will have one final UStream hangout on June 30th at noon Pacific time, and we hope you’ll join us.
Elle and Team Bolex

Monitor Hood now included with all new camera orders!

Since we released the monitor hood in June of 2015, it has quickly grown to be one of our most popular items. As a result, on the one year anniversary of this item’s release, we’ve decided to include the Monitor Hood as part of the basic Digital Bolex package for all camera orders, starting on June 1st, 2016. Save $100 automatically with all new camera purchases!

When you check out, you will now see the hood in your cart when you add any camera to your order.

20150406 Hood V2 18a

20150406 Hood V2 05

Firmware 1.5 “Elf” Released, includes new Bolex Log color space


We’re excited to announce the release of “Elf,” the latest firmware for Digital Bolex. Focusing mostly on image-correction and fine tuning, the update also includes a false color mode to show peaks in highlights and shadows. This version may be compatible with HDMI recorders, however further testing is necessary.

Full list of features:

  • Display color gamuts
  • Display gammas
  • Accurate display color tuning
  • False color exposure view mode
  • Improvements to image encoding
  • Improvements to ISO accuracy

Bolex Log and Wide Gamut RGB are optimized to retain the most color and lightness information possible from the D16 without jeopardizing the D16’s natural mojo. This makes the camera easier to intercut with others, as well as gives a defined starting point for your grade. Additionally, there is Bolex Gamma. Bolex Gamma is a classical film s-curve. It provides decent contrast giving weight to the image while still allowing the image to be malleable in post-production.

The functionality of ISO has also changed. Switching the ISO now shifts the dynamic range of the D16 around the middle gray point. In raw at 800 ISO, Bolex Log can retain up to 6 stops of dynamic range above middle gray and 6+ stops below. Reducing ISO lowers your highlight range, but increases your shadow range and reduces the appearance of noise.

*Bolex Gamma has a middle gray point of 412/1023

Download Elf here. Read about the new Bolex Log Color Gamut here.

Tribeca’s Wannabe Brilliantly Evokes Coming of Age in the 90’s


Still from Wannabe

Short film Wannabe premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival to huge buzz, dubbed “a coming-of-age story that will make you swoon” by Indiewire. A recipient of the Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers, the film was directed by Matthew Manson and shot by Catherine Goldschmidt.

From Indiewire:

In the 1990s, America seemed to going through an economic boom, with some speculating that the party would never end. While some of America enjoyed the frills and joys of a seemingly ceaseless internet bubble, other parts of America still struggled with racial and fiscal troubles.

In a deeply personal and sincere story from writer and director New York native Matthew Manson, the new short “Wannabe” takes place during New York’s tumultuous Crown Heights Riots in the 1990s, exploring the overwhelming racial and political issues that pervaded the contemporary social climate, which sadly continues to this day. But barriers are broken down when Daniel, an anxious Jewish boy, begins to develop a youthful crush on his Caribbean classmate, Emefa. As tensions continue to rise in the neighborhood, Daniel must overcome his neurotic tendencies and impress not only Emefa, but also her skeptical Jamaican family.

We spoke with director Matt and Catherine just before the premiere about their cinematography influences, and use of the Bolex on set. Continue reading “Tribeca’s Wannabe Brilliantly Evokes Coming of Age in the 90’s” »

NAB 2016: 2TB Camera Announced

Starting May 1st, Digital Bolex will open orders for a new 2TB camera. Shooting approximately 6 hours in 2K and 8 hours in 1080p on one SSD, the 2TB D16 is perfect for long-form performances, weddings, and documentary work in remote or outdoor locations.

The introduction of the 1TB camera in 2015 allowed our users to shoot a typical full day on a narrative film set without interruption or needing to change media, the 2TB will do the same for users working in events and documentary production.

The following prices will apply for each model:

C-Mount D16 2TB: $4,599.99
C-Mount D16M 2TB: $4,899.99
MFT-Mount D16 2TB: $4,899.99
PL-Mount D16: $5,419.99

Existing users will be able to upgrade cameras. Prices for upgrades coming soon.

NAB 2016: NAB Show Specials!

We’re excited to announced our show special for NAB 2016—two incredible bundles with Wooden Camera’s rigs designed especially for Digital Bolex! Save $945 when you purchase the C-mount bundle, and save $1000 when you buy the MFT-mount bundle!

These offers are only available through 4/30/16, so act quickly!



Both Wooden Camera rigs are also now available in our online store, so you can purchase all your D16 accessories in one place!

You can see the Wooden Camera Quick Cage for Digital Bolex in action at our NAB2016 booth: #C8049!

Digital Bolex at NAB 2016

Join us this Monday through Thursday in Las Vegas for the NAB Show!

Digital Bolex will be hosting our very first booth at the show this year, in the central hall at booth #C8049 (Map Here). Come by for a chance to try out our PL, MFT, and C-mount cameras in action.

Show Specials
We’ll be announcing two show specials on Monday that will run through the end of April. You can purchase our show specials via our online store at, or through any of our retail partners.


This year we’ll be hosting two speakers on Monday and Tuesday coming in to talk about their experiences with the camera.

Monday, April 18: 2PM
Dan Kneece – Director of Photography

Tuesday, April 19: 2PM
Eve Cohen — Director of Photography and G-Team member.

Social Media Scavenger Hunt

As with last year, you’ll be able to find D16 cameras throughout the convention hall, and show attendees will be able to win prizes through our social media scavenger hunt!

To play, take a photo of each D16 you find in one of our four partner booths, and either tweet or Instagram a photo of each camera, making sure to tag both @digitalbolex and our partner’s account at the end of the post. Once you have all found all four cameras, bring your phone to our booth by 5pm that day, and you can draw for a prize, including Veydra sunglasses, Digital Bolex t-shirts, Leather lens cases, and Kish 18mm lenses!

Digital Bolex at SXSW 2016

In Austin for SXSW?

Come by and visit our #DigitalBolexDiveBar at the SXSW trade show! Booth #103 at the Austin Convention Center Monday – Wednesday!

We’re also hosting movie-themed karaoke every day using the camera’s stellar audio as our live mixer, so come on by and sing your heart out!

Karaoke Schedule

Monday – 2pm – 5pm
Tuesday – 2pm – 5pmWednesday – 12pm – 2pm



Firmware 1.4 “Dirawong” released

In the mythology of the Bundjalung Nation of Australia, the Dirawong, an unseen spiritual creature and one of the creator beings, protects and guards its people, aiding them in astronomy, technology, medicine, art, and nearly all aspects of religious and day-to-day life. After the period of creation, Dirawong and the other creator beings transformed into the landscape, becoming significant spiritual places for the Bundjalung people. The Goanna Headland in New South Wales is held to be the body of the Dirawong.

The next Digital Bolex firmware, 1.4, has been released under the name Dirawong. Starting with this revision, we will be naming each official revision for ease of reference to our user base. The previous firmware releases have been retroactively named:

  • 1.0.0 – Amarok
    In Inuit tradition, an amarok is a mythic lone wolf that will devour anyone who hunts alone at night. Folklore casts the amarok as both villian and hero in different legends that explore morality and bravery.
  • 1.2.0 – Basilisk
    The Basilisk, in European lore, is king of serpents and causes death with a mere glance. The Basilisk is thoroughly described in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History in Leonardo Da Vinci’s bestiary.
  • 1.3.0 – Cyclops
    Most recognized from Homer’s The Odyssey, the Cyclopes of Greek mythology are descendants of Titans with eyes in the middle of their foreheads. Outside of the Odyssey, the Cyclopes of legend have an association with blacksmithing.

You will now be able to see changes from revision to revision in our changelog.


Continue reading “Firmware 1.4 “Dirawong” released” »