April 20, 2014

Digital Bolex D16 Gets Firmware Update (Die, Dead Pixels!), New Rigs, & PL Mount

Digital Bolex values community input to a pretty rare degree, and as a result of that, NAB 2014 saw several major announcements for D16 shooters. First, DB announced the D16 Monochrome, followed shortly thereafter by the unveiling of a PL mount adapter for either model by Hot Rod Cameras. The D16 is also getting the royal rig treatment by both Zacuto and Wooden Camera. Last but not least, Digital Bolex is providing a firmware update featuring the most viewing modes the camera has seen so far as well as dead pixel correction. Check below for all the details in our interview with Joe and Elle of DB.

Here are some shots of the Zacuto and Wooden Camera rigs, respectively, for the D16:

And here is the PL Mount adapter by Hot Rod Cameras actually affixed to the D16:

The D16 Monochrome camera is available to order right now in their store for $4,000, and will be shipping in 8-12 weeks.

Link: Digital Bolex

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Your Comment

32 Comments

lol

April 20, 2014 at 12:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Michael

I'm sure all the readers of NFS agree with me when I say, "Thanks for your valuable insight to this post, Michael".

I mean really??? It probably took you longer to fill in your name and email than it did to write "lol". Why even bother when that is all you can say? If you're a high school student, grow up. If you're an adult hobbyist, grow up. And if you're a working professional in the industry, grow up and shame on you. If you dislike this camera, then tell us why using a real argument. By just expressing derision in the form of "lol" you do every single visitor to this site a disservice.

To Joe and Koo, is there still going to be an update to the site? Will it include some form of accountability/identification for those commenting on here, so we can weed out trolls who contribute nothing but pettiness to the site?

April 20, 2014 at 3:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Neil

Well said, Neil

April 20, 2014 at 3:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeff

Yep

April 20, 2014 at 4:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Anthony Marino

I kind of understand (or try to) his "lol" in the sense of Zacuto and Wooden Camera doing those monstrous rigs for that camera. The essence of the camera is lost

April 20, 2014 at 4:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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At least some readers get the joke. And I agree, users like Neil that have nothing to contribute, shouldn't be allowed to harass others in the new forum just because he is emotionally invested to a cam for some reason ;)

April 20, 2014 at 8:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Michael

The "joke" was lame. Fire your writer.

April 20, 2014 at 9:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeff

lol..Jeff, the man, the legend..

April 21, 2014 at 9:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Michael

Neil -- yes, we're hard at work on it, and I can finally say that we're close to relaunching. Very excited about it!

April 20, 2014 at 8:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Michael, my thoughts exactly

April 20, 2014 at 6:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Was hoping iso 800 would've been included in that firmware update. That would be helpful with those new lenses. Liking this camera a lot.

April 20, 2014 at 3:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeff

I like the idea of the camera. Unfortunately, I expect that within a year or so, 4K will become both pervasive and practical.

April 20, 2014 at 4:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tzedekh

Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a 4K ccd sensor (I imagine it would be hell to program compared to a cmos).

April 20, 2014 at 5:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Saied

April 20, 2014 at 7:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

fps?

April 22, 2014 at 3:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Thyl Engelhardt

soon. being tested on a few cams this week.

April 21, 2014 at 4:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Elle

I think this camera will have a place in the market just like all of the others. I've heard an interesting position that makes lots of sense. Just like 35mm and 16mm were able to occupy a space next to one another so will 2K and 4K. The Digital Bolex has a look that a lot of people, including myself, dig. It's not for everyone, but nothing is. I met the DB folks at NAB briefly. Joe was a good dude. He stopped and took the time to shake my hand and answer my question even though he was on his way out. I wish them well.

April 20, 2014 at 5:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lopez

I agree. I see it as camera primarily for hobbyist filmmakers and film students, but still don't see why it wouldn't also be also be viable for independent and lower budget films where 16mm cameras have been traditionally used. It definitely has a unique aesthetic, but none of the footage I've seen shows it to be the anomaly many are making it out to be.

April 21, 2014 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marc B

I think you would be surprised how well the D16 has been received by some very high level DoP and is being used on national commercials and studio features.

the D16 fills a long standing gap, which in the film days was occupied by the Arri IIc. The Arri was highly valued for it very compact size and handhold ability. The global shutter CCD and RAW recording capability of the D16 is a big deal for shooting action scenes, especially when size and weight are of concern.

This work should start to trickle out in the near future.

April 21, 2014 at 2:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bob

Care to name names and list productions?

There just aren't that many of these out and about, so I don't know if I believe you. As things stand, I don't think this is on it's way to huge production runs. That's not a knock on the camera at all - it is what it is and has it's pluses and minuses, like any camera.

April 21, 2014 at 5:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Colin

I can confirm that it has a serious fan club in LA.
Haven't seen any national spots shot with it as A cam yet and I doubt I ever will, but along with the Pocket the DB16 is absolutely being used on very large budget commercial shoots, mainly as an effect or extra handheld.
Bear in mind that a lot of people on those sets remember 16mm and Bolexes very fondly. :-)

/and no, i can't list names either. Falls in the category of 'a source that can't be named as they are unauthorised to speak on this matter'.
/personally I like the image, but its not compelling overall.

April 21, 2014 at 10:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

So the comment about how big name DoP's will use it may be an exaggeration? Seems like it is--at least how that comment feels when read. It is a nice little camera. I do like the look of the monochrome image. But I can't see it being a hot, must have item. It may be a little too expensive for Indies too since so many low priced cameras are now out. I'm still waiting for the price of the Sony A7s to be announced since it looks like it won't have the evil 30 minute limit and has that wonderful low light ability. :-)

April 21, 2014 at 11:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

No, I can't for obvious reasons, but I'm certain that Bolex will release this info as soon as possible.

But it definitely is getting a warm receptions as a lite weight, hand held, tight spot b-camera.

Reason given.

Global shutter for action shots, strobes etc
No aliasing
Uncompressed RAW with onboard recorder and battery in a very small package.
The raw footage from the Truesense / Kodak CCD is being well received in the DI bay.
Cheap and shoots out of the box with the addition of a monitor. This is a $4000 camera. That's less than a fully decked out Arri mattebox.
Handholds nicely, like a Bolex or old film Arri. (Think music videos)
Rides nicely on a drone...

April 22, 2014 at 1:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bob

lololoolololol D16

April 21, 2014 at 10:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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BobHadABabyItsABoy!

If you look at the poor girl in the picture with this giant rig i feel so sorry for her. Zacuto makes some great gear, but they also have a tendency to turn every camera into a monster! So completely overdone! And I bet the rig costs about triple the price of the Digital Bolex itself. Crazy!

April 21, 2014 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Martijn Schroevers

I think those at Zacuto say they build it that size for a better feel of control. They are very experienced professionals at Zacuto. I will give them the benefit of any doubt.

April 21, 2014 at 11:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Aside from the size, I have that funny feeling that all of these rigs are rather DSLR/Video cam centric, i.e. they assume a h.264 codec. You push the record buttom, mount the camera to your shoulder, and start taking images. Since the record buttom is not good to reach, the habit will often be to just keep recording, and cut the footage in post. At about 300 GB per hour of footage with cDNG at 2K, that approach will fill up the SSD or the CFs rather quickly. A rig with a trigger in the handgrip will make more sense for raw cameras.

April 22, 2014 at 2:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Thyl Engelhardt

pigeon!!!

April 21, 2014 at 5:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Elle

I seriously don't know how zacuto have become so succesful as a company... This is horrendous and makes an absolute joke of the camera's intended niche. If I wanted something that I had to attach a monstrous rig to to operate and then plug a modern canon lens on the front of... well I doubt I'd be forking out 4k for the D16, as there are plenty of much better options available. Please show more footage of the D16 handheld in natural light verite situations (so far I was actually quite unimpressed by Philip Bloom's footage as the skin tones were looking all kinds of muddy, but I want to believe there will be better) as I think for myself and many others this is the use which excites us as filmmakers. All these other things are irrelevant crap. Thanks, someone who desperately wants this to be a viable independant documentary option

April 22, 2014 at 6:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sam

pigeon at 1:01! kkkkk

April 23, 2014 at 7:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Paulo Emilio

:-)

April 24, 2014 at 1:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Thyl Engelhardt

This is awesome! Black/white film has a better dynamic range, which is reduced in color film, and a tiny fraction in color digital footage. It's interesting to get quality b/w again.

Also, pigeon in NAB at 1:00.

May 16, 2014 at 1:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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