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As Aaton Partners with Transvideo to Stay Afloat, Ikonoskop is Suspending Camera Production

06.26.13 @ 3:20AM Tags : , , , , ,

Ikonoskop A-Cam SideBack in April it was reported that things weren’t looking good for French camera maker Aaton, but just a week later that situation looked to be resolved, with the company finding a partner to continue operations. Thanks to Jon Fauer, we now know that partner is Transvideo, and the two companies will remain separate but work together on certain projects down the road. Now, another camera maker, this time Ikonoskop of Sweden, appears to be in trouble.

First, here’s Transvideo on the Aaton partnership:

Aaton and Transvideo became sister companies, they share ideas and expertise to develop the most effective tools – picture and sound – that filmmakers expect from the two companies to be more open and creative.
The next machine by Aaton will be the Cantar-X3 audio recorder. Thereafter, you can expect to have a new “cat on the shoulder”!

While that’s a bit of good news, here’s a bit of bad from another European camera maker. This was in an email sent out from Olle Holmertz at Ikonoskop, maker of the A-Cam dll digital Super 16mm camera:

Ikonoskop temporarily stops the production of the A-Cam dll cameras due to a strained financial situation. The management of the company is working to find a solution to this and hope to start up the production soon again.

Ikonoskop is an innovative and design-driven film camera manufacturer with products that are characterized by simplicity, versatility and functionality. Over the last year Ikonoskop has been at the forefront of a new generation of digital film cameras. The A-Cam DII was the first camera to use the CinemaDNG RAW format and has been praised by filmmakers for its excellent image quality and versatility. Ikonoskop AB is a privately held company based in Stockholm, Sweden.

While it might seem strange combining these two into one post, both companies make a camera that is in exactly the same situation. Even though they will continue on as a company, Aaton is likely ending production on the Penelope Delta, a camera that faced steep competition in the cinema camera market. I was a big fan of some of the advancements in the Super 35mm CCD uncompressed RAW camera, but with Arri, RED, Canon, and Sony all with their own competitors offering quality in the same ballpark at lower prices or with trusted results, it would have been an uphill battle either way to carve its own place in the market. Once Blackmagic releases their 4K global shutter camera, things will probably get even more interesting.

As for Ikonoskop, their A-Cam dll is a Super 16mm CCD uncompressed RAW camera with an interesting physical design and great looking footage — in a market that is filled with cheaper cameras that get you much of the way there for less money (the dII is over $10K for a working package, though I would imagine it’s more of a rental for most people anyway). Those who understand the Super 16mm aesthetic and why CCDs are good likely make up a minority in the camera-buying world, but it only takes something like the Blackmagic Pocket Camera to understand that price is a huge factor for many when you’re pushing a less popular format.

While this may only be a blip, it’s always unfortunate to see companies like this go, especially when their products can produce images like this:

For more information about Ikonoskop or their cameras, check out their website.



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  • Simple solution Ikonoskop… Make the damn thing cheaper! I am in love with this camera but the price is insane!

    • that’s impossible, they are a very small outfit, and cost of manufacturing is high, may not be 10K but the small guys do not have the economies of scale of the bigger manufactures

      • In that case, their going to be out of business.

      • Sorry, not buying that. Not sure where their production is, but the hardware is not that expensive. If they aren’t already doing it, move production to China. If BMD can make a 4K global shutter cam for $4000 (BMD is not a huge company either) – these guys need to realize that they need to compete.

  • It’s a shame because their camera and concept is really interesting. But in a price competing world with so many offers at a continually price drop (cameras like the bmcc that offer a similar product at an inferior price range) it’s tough for a small company to keep up.

  • Shame to see ikonoskop go that way, I really love their A-Cam DLL but it just isn’t priced for today’s market. Hopefully they can straighten it out and get back in the saddle!

  • Ikonoskop’s collapse is inevitable. There is simply no way they can compete in a market with the BMCC at $3k, the 4k BMC and the $995 pocket camera, not to mention now with the 5D’s giving amazing raw output.

    Only a matter of time before the Bolex crew follows them to the grave.

  • nigel Thompson on 06.26.13 @ 9:18AM

    They simply came to market WAY to late after their announcement how many years ago

    • They came to the market way before bmcc, way ahead, they already had a presence in the market with their film camera offering and eventually delivered the digital camera.

  • That is a fantastic short film. The S16 creates an excellent feel and mood, so cinematic. Love the color grading, and music as well. Thanks for posting.

  • Goods manufactured in Western Europe/EU have a lot of problems competing on the low end/entry level tiers of most markets due to the high labor costs. Armani, Porsche and Arri aim for the opposite niche, since the budget items these days are dominated by the Asian producers. Now, if Ikonoskop made friends with Kineraw, then you may have something.

  • Personally I don’t like the way the Ikonoskop handles the highlights. I much prefer the BMCC color science. The only advantage I see is the CCD not having rolling shutter but then I guess it is less light sensitive than a CMOS. Am I missing something?

    • Rafael Lino on 06.26.13 @ 2:57PM

      Fill rate. Supposedly CCDs are able to get less aliasing because they use more of the sensor area.

    • Anthony Marino on 06.26.13 @ 4:37PM

      I’ve read CCD chips are more exspensive and many argue better and more advanced than CMOS. I think NASA uses CCDs…hey nothing like a great CCD vs CMOS argument. Lol…I guess were all geeks at heart.

  • john jeffries on 06.26.13 @ 1:01PM

    Ikonoskops are fucking awesome. The rental prices are cheap too.

  • The last shot makes me wonder: Is there any camera that gets rid of those trails in the sky? They seem to ruin any period composition and the weatherman does not report them.

  • It’s like people have said: it’s MUCH too expensive for what it does in a time now where we can get equivalent and superior raw filmmaking in small bodies from BlackMagic and Canon via Magic Lantern. I loved the Ikonoskop camera here, but the price was simply absurd for what it offered.

    We’ll probably find a few floating around Ebay pretty soon. Hopefully for a MUCH cheaper price tag too.