THE BOLEX IS BACK! And It’s Digital
Absolutely AWESOME the Bolex is back and its digital. When I first saw this posted I thought this was either going to be a joke or some hokey Lomo kind of toy. This is not a toy and it’s not just a concept this camera going to happen!
From its approachable price, to the sturdy build quality, and the impressive imagery it produces the 16mm Bolex has had a long and respectable history from professionals and students alike. I used one in film school and owned one for a brief period of time before I had to sell it so I could eat, I still regret the decision not to starve by the way.
This camera is not a video afterthought it has been designed top down to shoot motion images with the filmmaker in mind, they even included XLR audio inputs, which any DSLR shooter knows has been a major shortcoming of recent technology. With its 2k super 16mm sensor size it is designed to work with lenses from old super 16 cameras. As the camera’s creator says, and I am paraphrasing here, these are lenses that many film schools still have and can be purchased cheaply on ebay and will not work on modern DSLR cameras.
The camera itself is set to be released at a reasonable price and will be completely non proprietary in regards to codec. The designers sought out to create a “universally usable, simple cinema camera.” While the technology is almost complete they are crowdsourcing to finish the product design so that they can not only get completion money but they can get the consumer input.
When the estimable Philip Bloom heard about the geeky kid in him just needed to know more. Here is an in depth interview that he did with the camera’s creators this week while they are at SXSW and he is in Australia.
As Philip Bloom points these are filmmakers making a filmmaker’s cameras, which should hopefully go a long way in regards to usability.
With 29 days to go on their Kickstarter campaign I can’t wait to see how quick they get to their 100K goal. If you have a hole burning in your pockets already $2500 gets you the camera at an $800 discount.
Here are a few of the very respectable specs:
- Resolution 2048 x 1152 (Super 16mm mode) + 1920 x 1080 pixels (16mm mode)
- Format Adobe Cinema DNG, TIFF, JPEG Image sequences
- Colour depth 12 bit – 4:4:4
- Sensor Kodak CCD: 12.85 mm (H) x 9.64 mm (V) – Similar to Super 16mm
- Framerate up to 32 fps at 2K, 60fps at 720p, 90 fps at 480p
- Sound Balanced, 2 channel, 16 bit, 48 kHz via XLR
- Data Storage Dual CF card slots, SSD (buffer drive)
- Lens mount C-mount comes standard; Optional PL, EF, B4ISO Options 100, 200, 400
Be sure to check out more from the creators themselves at Digital Bolex.
Behind the Scenes of “One Small Step” from Digital Bolex on Vimeo.