Back 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:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/36804057
For more information about Ikonoskop or their cameras, check out their website.