Digital Bolex Camera: RAW Movies For Just $2,500 | Cult of Mac

Digital Bolex Camera: RAW Movies For Just $2,500



If you want to take great photos that you can play around with later, you shoot RAW. And if you want to take great video, ready for the kind of post-processing punishment exacted on it by adding visual effects, you also shoot RAW.

However, while you can get a RAW-shooting stills camera for under $500, a RAW-capable video camera is professional only, running to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Until now. Joe Rubinstein will sell you a Digital Bolex for just $2,500. In the movie world, that’s like finding a Nikon D4 in your cereal box.

I’m not sure how the Swiss Bolex 16mm movie camera company will take to the name of Rubinstein’s camera, but if the Digital Bolex comes in on budget and if the images are as good as those in the test footage below…

The camera itself will be styled just like old-school Super 16mm cameras (fun fact: did you know that Reservoir Dogs was shot on Super 16?), and there’s even a cool leather case to carry it ($500).

The camera uses a 16mm equivalent sensor to capture Adobe Cinema DNG files in 12 bit 4:4:4, and the frames are a reasonable 2-3MB each. Footage is recorded to SD cards (no sending film off to the lab!), lenses are movie-standard C-mount, ISO runs from 100-400 and the metal and plastic body weighs five pounds.

This is big news, especially as the project is seeking funding on Kickstarter (it has already reached its $100,000 goal). Sure, you can shoot great video with your DSLR or even Micro Four Thirds camera, but RAW changes the game, letting you tweak the video afterwards way more than you can with the baked-in footage in Motion JPG of AVCHD formats.

Indy movie-making is about to get a lot more special FX-y.

Here are the full 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
File size 2 to 3 MB per frame in RAW
Sensor Kodak CCD: 12.85 mm (H) x 9.64 mm (V) – Similar to Super 16mm
Pixel Size 5.5 micron (compared to the 4.3 micron size of many DSLRs)
Framerate up to 32 fps at 2K, 60fps at 720p, 90 fps at 480p
Sound Balanced, 2 channel, 16 bit, 48 kHz via XLR
Viewfinder 320×240, 2.4” diagonal, with Focus Assist
Video out 640 x 480 B&W via ⅛” video jack (HD-SDI avail in separate unit)
Ports ⅛” video, headphone, USB 3.0, Audio XLR (2), 4-PIN XLR
Data Storage Dual CF card slots, SSD (buffer drive)
Power Internal battery, 12V External via 4 pin XLR port
Body Milled steel and hard plastic
Size (body) Approximately 5”H (without pistol grip) by 4”W by 8”D
Size (grip) 5”H by 2”W by 5”D
Lens mount C-mount comes standard; Optional PL, EF, B4
Weight 5lbs
ISO Options 100, 200, 400
Also in the box pistol grip, USB 3.0 cable, internal battery, 4 pin XLR Battery, cable, video cable, transcoder/raw conversion software


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