Thread: Digital Bolex is out of the camera manufacturing game

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  1. #21  
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    I ironically, I just ordered one last Friday from B&H, which sadly I will probably not receive... I opted for it because it uses MFT mount prime lenses (I have a bunch for my two Pocket Cameras) and my old S16 MFT adapted parfocal zooms. Having shot briefly with one last month, I think the image is superior to anything else out there.

    Too expensive? The MFT version was $3,600 and doesn't need an external recorder for quality audio, a questionable OLPF, or those infernal IR filters for every lens. Do the math - And since it doesn't seem likely that BM is going to produce an MFT mount Ursa, what does that leave? The JVC LS300 (which I have, and is a terrific little camera for the price, but is limited to 8 bit, and my legacy zooms don't act parfocal on it for some reason).

    It's a sad day.

    As said above, it's really a shame that many people are more concerned about how a tool looks than how it works. And BTW, the D16, which has been improved since it's introduction, is a tank compared to the LS300 in build quality.
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  2. #22  
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    They were always going to be tilting at windmills, but congrats to them for surviving as long as they did!
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  3. #23  
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    I just watched a doc yesterday about Kurt Russell's father "The Battered Bastards of Baseball". It's another example of people with hope, ideals and principles being screwed over by the big boys...

    The original Bolex was an underdog too... but The Living Desert, Vanishing Prairie, Endless Summer (and my own 1973 feature doc about marijuana smugglers , Acapulco Gold) were all shot on those ugly little Bolex cameras and blown up to 35.
    Last edited by Mac; 06-28-2016 at 09:01 PM.
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  4. #24  
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    It maybe the darling of indie filmmakers which it was trying to be but it definately not indie filmmakers price. Trying to be a fringe type of camera it manage to alienate exactly that type of market, in the end its neither high end or cheap and feature wise it no longer able to compete.
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  5. #25  
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    Craft Camera here you come. BTW, its got MFT mount too.
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  6. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EYu View Post
    Bad strategy + poor execution + engineering led business practices = game over for what could have been a who knows what.
    The point being they should never had released a strange looking camera? they should never acted out of passion? they should know there will be competition with much lower prices they can go? You know how they should have run the business to make it successful?

    They created something wonderful, and failed, now probably make the right strategic move and end the camera sales, and they get this?

    Not really interested going into this discussion, so I should not initialize it. It is just that I am struggling with the same decisions they where when they released the camera, so this gets somewhat under my skin.

    And I know, I should not have written this, but I am first and most an engineer...

    I am sad to see an unique and clearly an marvelous product to get run over by the mass products.
    Last edited by Kim; 06-29-2016 at 02:45 AM.
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  7. #27  
    Senior Member misterkofa's Avatar
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    Well since we're throwin' stones in here...

    I have to say that I think the design of the camera, the lack of a usable screen and it's price point is what held it back. Sadly, we live in an image-centric world where how things look can many times mean more than the actual substance of a product.

    I personally loved the retro style look of the camera but it was just too retro to be deemed a professional tool. I shoot with a fuji X-pro1 for photography so I get it. Especially given the price, there were simply better options. I mean, even the A7S is cheaper! And with everyone and their mom jumping to Sony or the GH4, I'm sure it's success hurt their numbers.

    The pocket had it's size and price point going for it... but it also looked like a professional tool. Plus, the screen is very usable.

    Now, if they had figured a way to reduce manufacturing costs and offer the cameras below 2k, I think they would still be in business.

    But nevertheless, I'm extremely impressed with how far they've come and what they were able to accomplish. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed an angel investors swoops in and keeps the doors open. For me, I just love the underdogs.
    Last edited by misterkofa; 06-29-2016 at 03:08 AM.
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  8. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Too expensive? The MFT version was $3,600 and doesn't need an external recorder for quality audio, a questionable OLPF, or those infernal IR filters for every lens. Do the math - And since it doesn't seem likely that BM is going to produce an MFT mount Ursa, what does that leave? The JVC LS300 (which I have, and is a terrific little camera for the price, but is limited to 8 bit, and my legacy zooms don't act parfocal on it for some reason).
    So has the Pocket, BMCC and Micro Cinema. You don't need an URSA to compete with DB16.
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  9. #29  
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    I chose the D16 because it is still the only moderately priced 2k DCI format camera that is almost entirely free of any common CMOS digital artifacts. No aliasing, no chroma moire, no rolling shutter artifacts, no fixed pattern noise, and a really lovely quality to it's motion. All of those issues put me off the first gen BM cameras. It was what I wanted to get away from. That and any form of compressed video for acquisition. For what it can deliver it is cheap. Add up the accessories, rigging, batteries, and media it takes to make pocket camera package equivalent to what the D16 has built in out of the box, and the price is not all that different. The BMPCC is far less rugged and practical as a production camera.
    The D16 met its design goal as a practical digital replacement for an S16mm film camera extremely well. It is a worthy successor in every respect to its namesake. Nothing I have seen touches it for color reproduction.
    It is a dirt simple camera, that shoots like a film camera accurately exposed by a light meter. A real joy to shoot with. As pure and direct a photographic instrument as one can find in the digital age. I can't say that about any other camera I have used or tried out since my film days.
    These frames were shot with my 12-120 Angie and a 1 diopter close up attachment.



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  10. #30  
    It's a real shame because the new 1.5 firmware included updated colour science with a published, defined spec, written by Eddie who is on this forum. Bolex Log with an actual published log curve unlike BM, and a wide gamut with matrices for going to and from ACES and XYZ. This took it into Alexa territory, for professional features and ease of use. Adding a log curve and wide gamut was teasing much more IQ out of the sensor apparently. It looked like it increased a stop of DR, and it behaved more like an Alexa in that adjusting the ISO was based on stops above and below 18% grey.

    If you compare it to the Pocket as people do because they are both super16, it now has the same dynamic range but also a global shutter and an arguably more aesthetically pleasing, certainly very cinematic and unique image due to the CCD with its Kodak dna. The battery life is longer and it has more storage. It's built like a tank and has multiple lens mount options. I'm reticent to buy one because it's discontinued but I was seriously considering it. It's a true film maker's tool. To me, the price is not bad for what you get.

    BM still don't have a global shutter camera with 13 stops, won't publish their colour spec which limits professional usage, and then there is still fpn, in the 4k chip and unfortunately in the 4.6k chip too.

    There is the issue of capturing "only" 2k. I work in film vfx and still most work is at 2k. More recently I have been working with Alexa OpenGate and some larger vfx companies have finally started working at 2.8k (standard ArriRAW) on some shows but for the most part, 2k is the standard. There is the Fincher reframing argument, but that is a specific style of film making that wasn't what the Digital Bolex was about. They were about Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Cahiers Du Cinema, Aronofsky, et al which is what we desperately need to remember as the antidote to Red cameras and endless Marvel films (some of which I have worked on). I will take a cinematic high dynamic range wide colour gamut HD or 2k image over any crappy ugly 4k compressed format, every time, hands down.
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