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Digital Bolex Gives You a Classic Film Look in a Digital Package (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the run-and-gun-until-you-are-totally-winded dept.

Movies 112

Once upon a time, people shot a kind of video called "film." And one of the most popular film camera makers was Bolex. Their 16 mm and Super 16 mm cameras were the favored tools for indie film makers, low budget TV news operations, and film schools. Sure, there were 8mm and Super 8, but they didn't give you the stunning clarity you could get with 16 mm. Besides that, carrying a Bolex was kind of like telling everyone, "Look at me! I'm a professional moviemaker!" And with the cost of processing 16 mm film back in the late 1960s and early 1970s you pretty much had to be a pro -- or at least have access to a TV station or college film lab if you wanted to do any serious movie experimentation. Obviously, times have changed. You can now buy a fairly serious camcorder at a consumer-level price. Or a DSLR that can do video -- and do depth of field tricks hardly any camcorder can match. Even so, if you are a film junkie, you just might want a Digital Bolex. Thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, it looks like you might be able to buy one before long. Too bad you can't still get Kodachrome film, which was the perfect film for your Bolex. Ah, well. RAW format digital is more or less the 21st Century equivalent of Kodachrome, so it will have to do.

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112 comments

Lensaflare (4, Funny)

Carnivore24 (467239) | about a year ago | (#43360055)

Does it come standard or optional?

Re:Lensaflare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43361539)

GRAIN! Scratches!

I almost laughed when I saw this article, then just shook my head at its stupidity. People used 16mm because 8mm was utter crap but 8mm was the best a middle class family could afford... and the film for 16mm was four times the price of 8mm because each frame was twice as wide and twice as tall. Profesional filmmakers used 35mm or even 72 mm (four times the resolution of 35mm).

One of my teachers in high school had a 16mm camera (the guy's parents were rich farmers). It was cool, but there's very little detail in 16mm, although more than 8mm.

You want Bolex? Just get a cheap cameraphone with sub megapixel capability, it will look almost as bad as 16mm. This is a joke aimed at folks too young to have ever seen real film.

Re:Lensaflare (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43362889)

Agreed, this constant chasing of crappy video with modern technology is simply amazing to me. (looking at you Instagram).

Its not like the current users have any fond memories of the great 16mm heyday, most of the users grew up in the digital age.
Every one of them has a cell phone in their pocket that can do a better job. None of them have any memories of Bolex, and those that do
are well over 65 years old.

Where is the market for this device?

Re:Lensaflare (1)

lastx33 (2097770) | about a year ago | (#43364715)

Agreed, this constant chasing of crappy video with modern technology is simply amazing to me. (looking at you Instagram).

Its not like the current users have any fond memories of the great 16mm heyday, most of the users grew up in the digital age. Every one of them has a cell phone in their pocket that can do a better job. None of them have any memories of Bolex, and those that do are well over 65 years old.

Where is the market for this device?

The market is probably for people who like the Bolex film camera - they still make the H16 (16mm) camera in electric or mechanical versions. The market for these is mostly small film makers or wealthy hobbyists. Some higher budget films are also still shot on 16mm for atmospheric effect with the added grain giving a rawer or grittier "more real-life" effect.

Re:Lensaflare (3, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#43363467)

Profesional filmmakers used 35mm or even 72 mm (four times the resolution of 35mm).

Did you mean 65mm?

old 16mm telefilms (Poirot, Pride and Prejudice, Dr Who--Spearhead from Space) are occasionally released on Bluray, with good results, though perhaps that's because they are still superior to PAL 576i video.

Re:Lensaflare (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43364717)

Imax is/was shot in 72 mm, with rolls on the horizontal... massive film image area, plus the rolls weight a ton and a half!

Re:Lensaflare (1)

a_hanso (1891616) | about a year ago | (#43366525)

I call digital bollocks.

" more or less the 21st Century equivalent " (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360085)

Say what?

Why the need to associate with the name with Bolex (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360105)

Why can't they just call it a RAW format camcorder?

Hipster cache thats why.

Should call it the Instagramcorder.

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (3, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43360399)

Well, it does physically resemble [retrothing.com] one particular Bolex design.

Also, I feel an overwhelming urge to point out that brand name recognition and hence resurrection is not exclusive to hipsters. There have been five "Atari" companies, for example.

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43360667)

And probably around 42 "Amiga" companies.

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43360889)

Actually the figure is somewhat smaller: Hi-Toro (the original startup), Commodore, Escom, Gateway (did nothing with it), Bill McEwen (outsourced everything). The Commodore name has been through the same number of post-demise owners: Escom, Tulip (also did nothing with it), Yeahronimo Media Ventures (renamed to Commodore).

Commodore was my first thought when looking for examples of brand resurrection, but I figured that since neither brand name had done anything world-changing since 1994, that wouldn't exactly demonstrate that the phenomenon had mainstream appeal.

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#43362893)

Actually the figure is somewhat smaller [than 42]

I *suspect* there was some moderate exaggeration for the sake of making a valid point(!)

Hi-Toro, Commodore, Escom, Gateway, Bill McEwen.

The Commodore name has been through the same number of post-demise owners: Escom, Tulip, Yeahronimo

Even assuming that *is* a complete list of all the *owners*, it doesn't account for the clusterf*** of licensing that is the Commodore IP rights, and more significantly, the Amiga IP rights.

As far as I know, the Amiga is split between the brand rights, the hardware rights, and the OS rights, all licensed to different people, changing over the years and subject to legal disputes. The latter two are aimed at getting the money off the few remaining diehard "Amiga" hobbyists, even though the current "Amiga" hardware has little to do with the original design.

There was also something called AmigaOne, which as far as I can tell has nothing to do with the original Amiga or its OS at all, but was sold by the then-current "Amiga" company a few years back.

Then there's also been transparent brand whoring, with the same people who recently launched the pretend "Commodore 64" (PC in a fake C64 case) also selling HTPC cases that had *nothing* to do with the Amiga under the Amiga 1000 name (and the like).

I can't keep track of this, and I don't care to either. There may as *well* have been 42 owners!

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43363525)

Yes, I realise that it was hyperbole, but now you've got me started and I won't be able to stop.

It's actually pretty straightforward:

Amiga, Inc., which is Bill McEwen's company and the current holder, outsourced hardware manufacture to a venerable Amiga hardware add on company, EyeTech. The result was the AmigaOne, a PPC-based system that iterated the natural direction in which Amiga hardware addons had developed throughout the nineties. The operating system, AmigaOS 4, was outsourced to Hyperion Entertainment. (AmigaOS 4 also runs on the Pegasos computers made by Genesi, an off-brand effort that is similar. Genesi also sells their own OS, MorphOS, which does not run on the AmigaOne.)

Leaving Genesi out of the equation, there are really just the two companies, one for hardware and one for software. Amiga, Inc. just holds the brand name. The machines actually are logical successors to the classic Amigas, but to an outsider they look strange because there are several generations of expansion cards and off-brand machines in between, such as the DraCo [resource.cx] . Some AmigaOnes even have slots for inserting classic Amiga components to improve compatibility.

The Commodore USA story is also pretty simple: they just sell low-end PCs in kitschy boxes [commodoreusa.net] .

So, really, four things to keep track of in the current ecosystem, and only two that actually produce anything of worth. The tricky detail is that Eyetech has recently been replaced by another company, A-Eon, but it's still the same hardware lineage. Amiga users are divided between classic purists, MorphOS enthusiasts, and AmigaOS 4 enthusiasts, with a small group who use a multiplatform open source OS called AROS. (And, yes, all of it is outdated, overpriced, and underpowered.)

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360507)

Cachet.

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43366511)

Well done. Have a cookie.

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#43361595)

According to the FAQ on their homepage:

Why are you using the name Bolex? Isn't that trademarked?

We're working in partnership with Bolex International, SA. The collaborators on this project are based in Los Angeles, Toronto, China, and Switzerland.

What is the nature of "working in partnership," I don't know. Hopefully it's a close partnership, because otherwise it seems like you'd be crazy to buy such a complex product from somebody who never made one before, when there are already entrenched, world-class competitors.

with the $3299 price, it's very Bolexy ;) (2)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#43363729)

the HR-16 always seemed a little top-heavy to me, but then Canon came along with the Scoopic-16 and Sound-Scoopic to make the Bolex seem balanced.

crank? on a digicam? man, it better telescope and fold back.

and I notice they're pushing Switar lenses. some things never change ;)

Re:Why the need to associate with the name with Bo (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43365423)

Should call it the Instagramcorder.

Calling it 'Bollocks' is designed to subliminally attract the young, female demographic that use Instagram.

something is wrong here (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43360267)

All this advanced super-duper mega-tronic technology to emulate the old dusty analog stuff found in the garage

Re:something is wrong here (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43361005)

No, it's just a high-quality uncompressed video camera. It doesn't attempt to reproduce any visual artefacts of its namesakes. The point is that all cheap camcorders output in compressed formats, so an alternative is necessary for small-time film makers who want to do elaborate post-processing.

Re:something is wrong here (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43361155)

No, it's just a high-quality uncompressed video camera. It doesn't attempt to reproduce any visual artefacts of its namesakes.

Oh yeah? Then how do you explain the headline:

Digital Bolex Gives You a Classic Film Look

Next you'll be telling me the Slashdot editors are morons who don't look twice at the stories they post!

Re:something is wrong here (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43361283)

Technically that's true—but only in the sense that they're emulating a certain kind of film known for its high quality, and are themselves providing something that is high quality. So, um... yeah.

Re:something is wrong here (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43361679)

only in the sense that they're emulating a certain kind of film known for its high quality

I can't see anything saying they're aiming to emulate anything except for the exterior look of the camera.

Ah, well. RAW format digital is more or less the 21st Century equivalent of Kodachrome, so it will have to do*

*to be taken as dodgy journalistic metaphor only.

Re:something is wrong here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43361931)

They don't mean the look of the resulting recording. They mean how you look while holding the camera! This is what the hipster douches care about... they probably won't even be recording half the time they stand around pointing it ironically.

Re:something is wrong here (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43361925)

RAW format just means the raw, unprocessed data, straight off the image sensor. It's a greyscale image with a stored filter pattern. You can have uncompressed bitmaps that are not RAW. You can have compressed RAWs that are unprocessed. Uncompressed and RAW are two completely independent and non-exclusive properties.

For what it's worth, it would be stupid to operate a video camera in uncompressed mode when hardware stream compressors are so readily available, and are typically good for at least 2:1 compression ratio.

Re:something is wrong here (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43362503)

...technically what I said is still valid, but point taken. I did not know that about RAW.

Re:something is wrong here (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43361045)

All this advanced super-duper mega-tronic technology to emulate the old dusty analog stuff found in the garage

It's nothing new. Music producers spend a ton on faux "analog" sounds and guitarists use digital modeling to try to recreate the sound of a distorting tube amplifier.

Right here on my desk is something called a "bullet mic" which allows blues harmonica players to recreate the sound of an old crystal mic like the ones Little Walter used to record at Chess Records. It's actually a recreation, but I can do just about the same thing with a USB condenser mic and a Mac Pro running modeling software. I can even recreate the thick nasty sound of a spring reverb using convolution 'verbs.

Artists have long tried to recreate the look of old oil paint.

There's nothing wrong with it. If art is primarily about memory, then devices like this camera help provide something of a backward-looking palette. That is, if this new Bolex actually recreates the look of the saturated colors of 16mm Kodachrome and isn't just a vanilla digital video camera in an old-looking case.

Re:something is wrong here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363883)

it's a raw cinema camera, doesn't actually shoot video. emulates film process in that it records 24+ still frames per second in uncompressed raw. to recreate the look of saturated colors is up to you in post, using the highest quality images. there isn't an faux anything being generated or added or recreated, only the idea that you can actually have a quality image come out of a cheap machine.

K-14 (1, Informative)

x0 (32926) | about a year ago | (#43360293)

14-bit RAW is probably like Kodachrome (K-14). If it's 12-bit, you are in Ektachrome territory.

Re:K-14 (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#43361037)

That would be true if bits had anything to do with dynamic range. I can make a 4 bit gif that has 100 stops of dynamic range or a 32 bit EXR that has 5 stops of dynamic range.

There are plenty of 8bit images online that have 13 stops of dynamic range.

Re:K-14 (1)

x0 (32926) | about a year ago | (#43361251)

im_thatoneguy

That would be true if bits had anything to do with dynamic range. I can make a 4 bit gif that has 100 stops of dynamic range or a 32 bit EXR that has 5 stops of dynamic range.

There are plenty of 8bit images online that have 13 stops of dynamic range.

You know that whooshing sound....?

Re:K-14 (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#43365885)

Haha, well it was a perfectly plausible incorrect statement. Lots of people think that bits == stops of dynamic range. And both Kodachrome and Ektachrome are slide reversal film which generally people associate with digital for look and dynamic range. ;)

Handheld? (3, Insightful)

hackertourist (2202674) | about a year ago | (#43360309)

There's a reason every professional video camera uses a shoulder mount instead these days. The weight may not be as much of an issue now as it was in the U-matic days, but you're still going to get less camera shake when you don't have to balance the camera in one hand.

Re:Handheld? (2)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43360379)

This isn't an ENG camera, it's a cinema camera. Want shoulder mount, add one.

Re:Handheld? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43360523)

"There's a reason every professional video camera uses a shoulder mount instead these days."

Strange. Absolutely NONE of the JVC,Sony, or Canon pro cameras have shoulder mounts. almost ALL of them are now small palmcorders because it's far FAR cheaper to send out a reporter with a camera instead of a full crew.

Maybe the out of date digiBeta stuff from last decade are, but I havent seen those monsters used by news outlets for a very long time.

Re:Handheld? (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#43361665)

"There's a reason every professional video camera uses a shoulder mount instead these days."

Strange. Absolutely NONE of the JVC,Sony, or Canon pro cameras have shoulder mounts.

Broadcast news with a reporter generally uses tripods and can get away with less than top-of-the-line video quality. For uses where you're going handheld (cinematography, live events, etc) a shoulder mount is preferred because it's more stable than a palmcorder.

So you have stuff like the Panasonic AJ-HPX2700, Panasonic AK-HC3500, Sony HXC-100K, JVC GY-HM790, etc. These are cameras that cost about as much as a car, and they're all shoulder mount.

Re:Handheld? (2)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43362473)

Some, not all. And you are talking about broadcast video cameras. This is a cinema camera. Compare RED EPIC/Scarlet, Sony CineAlta F35, Canon C500, BlackMagic Cinema, etc. All made as simple modules so you can ADD shoulder mount OR put on a jib or steadycam or whatever you want.

Re:Handheld? (4, Interesting)

Rinikusu (28164) | about a year ago | (#43364209)

Indeed. I'm shooting DSLR films at the moment, and while not really comparable to the devices you listed, I've done the same thing. I've got a tripod for steady shots, I've got a glidecam for follow/chase shots, I've got a shoulder mount for, well, I dunno what I got it for, honestly, but it was $25, and I've got a pistol grip for run & gun guerrilla shots. Honestly, the last one is the one I like the most, even though it's not as steady/smooth as some of the others, simply because it doesn't take up a lot of space, weighs almost nothing, etc. I've added quick release mounts to everything so I can just move my camera from rig to rig as needed with minimal downtime between shots. I've seen some of these guys walking around with terminator style rigs, and while I can definitely see the benefits, just not willing to spend more than my camera + lenses for a decent one.

Re:Handheld? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43364829)

The right tool for the right job. I like this.

Re:Handheld? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43367235)

These are cameras that cost about as much as a car

A friend of a friend is a serious broadcast cinematographer. I remember him saying once he'd spent something like GBP 50K on ONE LENS, but then again he can hire it out for something stupid like a few grand a day.

tl;dr version - actual professional equipment is on a different level both in terms of quality and cost.

Re:Handheld? (1)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43362509)

Absolutely NONE of the JVC,Sony, or Canon pro cameras have shoulder mounts

Nonsense. If you are not on a tripod these days you are either on a shoulder mount or you are on some sort of stabilizer rig. Glidecam etc.

Cost of 16mm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360339)

I vaguely recall from my filming in standard 16mm in the early '70s that the cost was about $25 for a 50 ft. roll of Kodachrome plus $10 for processing.
That 50 ft. would be used up in about 80 seconds at 16 fps (silent film speed). The bookkeeping of each shot to avoid interrupting subsequent shooting by an end-of-reel event was no fun.

Too late to the party.... (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43360493)

You can buy better than their Digital Bolex from sony on the used market. The VG10 with a lens adapter will do more than that thing ever will for less. and that is the out of date discarded model. the VG30 has a better sensor and does even better, or you can upgrade to the full frame version that gives you only a slight advantage over the VG30.

Re:Too late to the party.... (3, Informative)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43360741)

The whole point of this and other cameras like the BlackMagic Cinema Camera is color depth and dynamic range. Think RAW vs JPEG for digital stills. They are intended to fill the market gap that RED's original 3K for $3k Scarlet was supposed to. The VG30 and the various DSLR video modes aren't the same thing at all.

Re:Too late to the party.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360781)

This. Mod parent up. The Digital Bolex is a hugely overpriced kickstarter scam. They're using a fairly low end small Sony sensor in a very unergonomic package. Not cutting edge at all.

Re:Too late to the party.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363783)

This. Mod parent up. The Digital Bolex is a hugely overpriced kickstarter scam. They're using a fairly low end small Sony sensor in a very unergonomic package. Not cutting edge at all.

They're using a high end Kodak sensor, actually? Where do you get this stuff??

Re:Too late to the party.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364855)

They have to pay for their silly hats and hipster haircuts somehow! Think of their children!

Re:Too late to the party.... (2)

unami (1042872) | about a year ago | (#43361179)

the raw-codec-party is quite a different thing than the exchangable-lens-mount-party. if it's about some quick ENG-style filming, i'd choose the sony in a heartbeat. but when it comes to budget movie shooting/color-grading, the bolex (and the black magic camera) are definitely something to take into consideration. also, you can use old c-mount lenses which probably won't cover the whole sensor of a sony.

Re:Too late to the party.... (1)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43362559)

The VG10 doesn't shoot raw. That is a huge thing.

Great lenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360571)

Love my Kern-Paillard, now Bolex, "Switar" 75/1.9 which I use on micro-four-thirds. That small lens on the right is a Switar...

this will make money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360597)

because... hipsters.

They make fabulous, high end watches (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#43360609)

I just got myself a Bolex diver's model when I was in New York. Guy told me they sell for $3000+ in stores, but he let me have one for just $250. Talk about a bargain!

Re:They make fabulous, high end watches (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43361645)

Guy told me they sell for $3000+ in stores, but he let me have one for just $250

I'll bet it's buring your fingertips...

Re:They make fabulous, high end watches (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43362027)

No, but when he got it wet once, part of the paint on the 'B' rubbed off to reveal "Folex".

Re:They make fabulous, high end watches (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43367245)

I just got myself a Bolex diver's model when I was in New York. Guy told me they sell for $3000+ in stores, but he let me have one for just $250. Talk about a bargain!

Ha! You were ripped off. On holiday in Turkey last year I got one for $20.

WTF article summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360613)

RAW is 21st century equivalent of Kodachrome? WTF is wrong with you?

Re:WTF article summary? (1)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43362625)

You're right, raw is tons better in every way.

ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360695)

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Huh? (1, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#43360703)

RAW format digital is more or less the 21st Century equivalent of Kodachrome,

In what universe is digital format equivalent to Kodachrome? There is an exhibit at the National Archives of photos from the 70s, all of which were done on Kodachrome. The color saturation, gradation and tonality are far beyond anything digital can do.

Unless you're looking at a 1G file size, digital will never be equivalent to Kodachrome.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360785)

Yeah, and vinyl sounds better than CD.

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year ago | (#43360899)

To be fair, vinyl only sounds better than CD if you use the recommended Monster cables.

Re:Huh? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43364873)

Well, they do. If you don't see the difference, you need a better PA.

Re:Huh? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#43360927)

Unless you're looking at a 1G file size, digital will never be equivalent to Kodachrome.

Per Frame? Per movie? Per Second?

Re:Huh? (2)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43360945)

The color saturation, gradation and tonality are far beyond anything digital can do.

This is no longer true. Download some sample source footage from the RED or BlackMagic cameras and have a look. Both their software tools are downloadable last I checked. Amazing stuff.

Unless you're looking at a 1G file size, digital will never be equivalent to Kodachrome.

Yes, the data files coming out of the new cameras shooting in RAW formats are huge.

Re:Huh? (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43361015)

I'm sorry, but you've no idea what you're talking about. Modern professional DSL cameras out perform physical film cameras in every measurable way.

Re:Huh? (1)

radicimo (33693) | about a year ago | (#43365021)

>> Modern professional DSL cameras out perform physical film cameras in every measurable way.

This is absolutely untrue. DSLR cameras, when used for video, continue to suffer from a number of potential show-stopping issues.

1. Moiré - the wrong patterns cause serious problems
2. Rolling shutter - objects in motion or camera in motion cause serious problems
3. Overheating - continuous shooting is limited as is shooting in certain environmental conditions

It's more than just the specs when you get down to using one in real world scenarios for professional production.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43361053)

"Unless you're looking at a 1G file size, digital will never be equivalent to Kodachrome."

Er, what?

35mm Kodachrome is outresolved, in terms of resolution and full tonal range by a modern 35mm frame DSLR. 'Gradation' and 'tonality' are not measurable terms, and 'saturation' is suspect.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43361171)

To follow myself up, Kodachrome's dynamic range is about eight stops. The now-obsolete Nikon D7000 managed comfortably more than ten stops across its entire range (quite a bit more at ISO 100, can't remember actual figure). The D800 manages _fourteen_ stops of tonal range at ISO 100.

It's difficult to fully reproduce Kodachrome's look on digital, but that shouldn't be confused with the information-gathering potential of the two. Kodachrome's distinct, almost pathological presentation of colour and tone is to do with colour shifts, thick and (literally) lumpy emulsions, complex and not always consistent processing, and the way it is fading over time. Reproducing that in a processing scheme is tricky. But it's not due to any superiority in Kodachrome.

Re:Huh? (2)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43361297)

The new digital DSLR sensors are very, *very* good. They were already awfully good for a while; now they're head and shoulders above film in so many areas.

I have a camera with a sensor that's a quarter-frame compared to film, called the Four Thirds format. Modern sensors of this size are quite good, but I have one of the old "crappy" ones (back before Panasonic figured out how to make decent ones), and even so I can make 16x20" prints off of it at ISO 800 that look great. I don't even think they *make* ISO 800 Kodachrome, do they? Yes, low-light sensitivity isn't the final story in imaging, but for people who shoot wildlife (which tends to move around a lot and requires telephoto lenses with apertures like f/5.6 at the best) it's important. This, remember, is with an old, bad-for-its-time quarter-frame sensor.

As for resolution, a Nikon D800 will give you about 100 line pairs per mm of resolution, but it crucially retains almost full MTF close to that frequency for black and white detail, by the nature of the digital sampling involved. (Color detail is less than that, because of Bayer filtration, but it is in any event not worse than half of Nyquist, and often much better.) Kodachrome, on the other hand, doesn't: the measured contrast decreases smoothly with frequency, and is quite low (Kodak cites MTF at 100 lp/mm=0.001) by 100 lp/mm.

As for dynamic range, at base ISO that D800 sensor will give you something stupid like 14 stops of dynamic range, measured in some sane way (difference between clip point and level where SNR at some fairly high frequency falls to 0 dB, or somesuch). Even the new Four Thirds sensors (the little quarter-frame ones) give something like 12 stops. Can Kodachrome do this, and do it with no color shift?

Re:Huh? (1)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43362615)

In what universe is digital format equivalent to Kodachrome?

It isn't, well, that is to say, Kodachrome isn't equivalent to digital. Most sensors today beat 35 mm film in both resolution and dynamic range. Get with the times friend.

Get off my lawn! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43360939)

Ok, cute for highly-specialized projects. Otherwise almost as silly as 3Dfx making 3D cards that artificially blurred motion rendering so it looked like movies, i.e. like 1910 tech, as if it were some great, desired feature.

Re:Get off my lawn! (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#43363415)

Are you quite sure of that? I suspect that you make a habit of avoiding films made prior to the 21st century.

Motion blur was popularized by Jurassic Park-- real objects are not synced to the camera's framerate, and stop motion animation that is looks jerky.

T-Buffer Technology Demo [youtube.com] Unfortunately, it's less about motion-blurring, and more about their anti-aliasing scheme.

I suspect that motion blurring is well integrated into Direct-X these days.

Re:Get off my lawn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363809)

the look of the camera doesn't emulate anything. It's RAW sensor data with ZERO processing! There isn't even any color until you apply it in post!

Not available internationally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43360957)

Their CTO and his team are in Canada, but they won't ship outside of the US.

The farking thing is basically being built and designed here but I can't order one?

Re:Not available internationally? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#43361271)

You may be interested in emailing them about shipping to Canada.

When it comes to shipping, many businesses don't consider Canada as international since the shipping isn't that much more expensive (and is even cheaper at times).

Sound? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#43360971)

I hope that the digital bolex will sound better than this video. Maybe it's as simple as installing a Wind Muff, but damn.

My fault -- and sorry (1)

timothy (36799) | about a year ago | (#43363181)

Sorry that the sound sucked, even though Roblimo did his best to rescue it. You're right. This was a human error -- mine. Actually, a series of them, but "mine" still applies.

End of the day, of the last day at SXSW, didn't expect to even get to the Digital Bolex booth. As it turns out, I did get there, but didn't have my handheld mic. Stupid. The D.B. folks very graciously tried to help; believe it or not, she's talking into a lav mic, she's just got a very quiet voice, probably after talking to too many people in too short a time. And he's trying to speak loudly enough into the shotgun mic on top of the camera.

I ended up borrowing a better wireless mic shortly thereafter, and then buying one (factory refurb, yay!) for myself when I saw what a difference it made. I also finally replaced a cable on a set of better-isolating headphones. Various things I should have done better; hopefully, you'll see continuing improvement.

timothy

Re:Sound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363829)

DBolex has 24 bit 96 khz phantom power XLR, so probably will sound very good !

I still shoot film (0)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | about a year ago | (#43361023)

you condescending asshole. There is a look you get from film that cannot be duplicated any other way.

Re:I still shoot film (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43361551)

You overly-sensitive and possibly a little bit pretentious asshole. Where exactly in the summary does it say that film is for loserz and digital is the shizzle?

There is a look you get from film that cannot be duplicated any other way.

No there isn't. There are hundreds of pieces of software dedicated to exactly that. If you really wanted to you could simulate film at a near-molecular level to get it just right. The thing is - and I'm sorry if you feel it's a bad thing - not many people are that interested in approximating film any more. They want to capture their images and have them look good - you could do that with film and now you can do it with digital. And even if there was something about film that just couldn't be emulated in the digital realm, what makes that objectively better? One could just easily claim the inverse.

If you're happy shooting film with all the attendant extra time and effort it takes, great. But why come here sneering at everyone else because they're happier with their high-tech gizmos? Are you the sort of person who gets annoyed because now anyone and his dog can get into what used to be a nice exclusive field?

Re:I still shoot film (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about a year ago | (#43366809)

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring up software processing. I've seen some very good final product even with moderate filming equipment. I don't think the color saturation is there yet, but I haven't seen the latest generation (or 2 maybe) of cameras.

Where are all the low budget films? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43361325)

I really expect the second decade of the 21th century to be full of the awesome low budget films that characterized the end of the 20th century as film and equipment became less expensive and technology became more accesible. I am talking slackers, clerks, el mariachi. Pretty much made less than $100K, even inflation adjusted. We can even include Mad Max, for a budget of much less than $500K.

The cost of making a movie now is not film or equipment, but talent and time. A good 3 CCD camera is less than $1000. I have edited such things on a portable macbook. It is not uncommon for students to learn the basic skills in high school.

Now I am back to the idea that a creative person will find the funding, and creating a good original story and finding good people is really the impediment to a good film, not the money. It seems sad that the trend now is to incorporate increasingly technical FX, which really just test the ability of software writers, not creative talent, instead of creating better content. As hockey as blair witch was, it is still better than Transformers.

Re:Where are all the low budget films? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43362401)

The cost of making a movie now is not film or equipment, but talent and time.

The cost of a movie was never 'film and equipment', unless you had a lot of contacts who could find you locations, props, etc, for free or you were filming pretentious art student debates in your basement.

Re:Where are all the low budget films? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about a year ago | (#43366837)

If you like horror films, check out horror-movies.ca. A bunch of low cost film makers there, with varying levels of success. From $4K to around $25K budgets, I believe. I think 5 are currently in the process of finishing new films.

Assholes (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43361431)

I hope these schmucks die in a celluloid flare up.
I almost wrecked my speakers on that dumb fuck
insane audio level.

Re:Assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363449)

Oh, please. It was rendered at a standard -4 dB, which I have found over the years to be the optimum sound output level for most Flash, Ogg, and other server-side conversions (over which I have no direct control).

Sure, the sound quality sucked (as discussed) but the level was no higher than any other Slashdot (or for that matter, YouTube or Daily Motion) video.

Don't you have a knob or slider or something you can use to control your volume? If not, you need to get one. And don't turn it to 11.

Shameless Slashvertisement (0)

devloop (983641) | about a year ago | (#43361543)

What's next Slashdot "stories" on DailySteals specials?

"XtremeMac BT Connect Bluetooth Audio Receiver - Portable, Battery Powered Compact Receiver Makes Any Stereo System Wireless"

Some other "pertinent" links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_advertising [wikipedia.org]

Analog Rolex > Digital Bolex (N/T) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43361641)

The message is in the subject!

OT: Anyone else having problems with the video? (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about a year ago | (#43361669)

Slightly off-topic, but the above video won't play in Chrome in Ubuntu (12.04 64bit) for me; I just get a black box showing.

I can get it to play in Firefox on the same Ubuntu machine... but it's annoying so I thought I share/bleat about it! :D
FYI it seems just only be a problem with Slashdot embedded videos... I've not had a problem elsewhere.

Re:OT: Anyone else having problems with the video? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43365079)

Same config, all works well. Look for codecs and flash update?

Re:OT: Anyone else having problems with the video? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year ago | (#43366565)

Same exact config here and no issues. Make sure Chrome is up to date, maybe?

Wayne's World Presents Instagram Movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43362641)

The chick looks like Garth form Waynes World. The dude is just icing on the cake.

So their peddling a digital movie camera that makes it seem like 16mm film. So, basically, Waynes world presents Instagram movies.

too many links; to little content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43362787)

I can't find a link that goes to a youtube video or still pictures of the effects mentioned in TFS.

Is this a story or a slashvertisement? (this question may be rhetorical)

Re:too many links; to little content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363487)

We linked to http://www.digitalbolex.com/ - from there you can find all the links you seem to want.

And yes, it's a slashvertisement in that it's about a single product and isn't knocking it.

Digital Bollocks? (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | about a year ago | (#43362961)

What will they think of next?

I saw it on thinkgeek 3 days ago (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year ago | (#43363477)

It has a built in taser and it uploads the video directly to youtube.

stunning clarity you could get with 16 mm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363657)

LOL - stunning clarity you could get with 16 mm? As opposed to 8mm?

Here's why this matters... (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year ago | (#43364371)

I'm sure this seems like a crazy idea to non-filmmakers. Here's why this is important:

There are two things that are very important to us - the ability to use our existing lens investment, and "raw" data.

Pro still photographers shoot in "raw" format. We have the camera store raw sensor data (14 bits on mine), rather than "cook" it to a 8-bit JPEG (compressed, too). The massive increase in data lets us alter white balance, exposure, curves, etc. after the photo has been shot. This is a huge deal to photographers, and video guys never had it.

Well, until the RED camera arrived about 5 years ago. RED is a large sensor cinema camera that shoots in raw - that made it a game changer, even at a cost of $40k-$50K for a fully dressed rig. Last year, Black Magic Design shipped a small-sensor camera that shoot in raw, for US$3000. There are lots of things to dislike about that camera, but nothing anywhere close to that price shoots raw.

Back to the lens collection. Many of us have a collection of Nikon, Leica and Zeiss manual focus lenses. We look for cameras that can use these lenses, because it is the lens that draws the image on the sensor. When we want a certain rendering (soft, sharp, dreamy) we pick a lens that renders that way. There are a lot of good C-mount lenses that are too small to fit large sensor camcorders. They have become dirt cheap, since there is little use for them.

The digital Bolex give us the ability to shoot raw files, using old C-Mount lenses, and modern lenses via an adapter. That's a lot of good stuff, assuming the price is reasonable. Right now, only Black Magic Design is anywhere close.

The drawback? Well, sensor size is also very important to us, and the Bolex is small. In fact, the driving force for the dSLR video "revolution" is simply the size of the sensor. A large sensor needs a lens with a longer focal length to maintain the same field of view. Longer lenses tend to have a shallow depth-of-field, and that characteristic can be used to create blurry backgrounds. This keeps the viewer's eyes on the sharpest part of the image, and allows us to control where the viewer should look. This would be very hard to do on a 16mm camera, Digital Bolex, or Black Magic Design. It is trivial on a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mk III - but neither of these cameras shoot video in raw.

So we are in the middle of the raw-format revolution in video. Right now the combination of raw-format recording, interchangeable lenses and a large sensor is expensive. You can get 2-of-the-3 for about US$3000 today (camera only - no lens). This is a very interesting time for filmmakers.

Here's an article on the sorry state of Bolex SA (2)

Dzimas (547818) | about a year ago | (#43364975)

I spent a few years as a contributing editor and translator for Berlin-based smallformat (the English version of schmalfilm). It was extremely sad to see how the European movie camera manufacturers had been completely unable to competitively shift manufacturing to Asia when the electronic revolution started to take hold in the early 1980s - we basically lost AGFA (Germany) Eumig (Austria), Beaulieu (France) and even the once-might Bolex SA ended up as little more than a repair shop occupying a small part of their old office tower. Here's an article about a melancholy visit to Bolex in early 2005 (originally in German): http://schmalfilm-shop.schiele-schoen.de/115/8170/smf2050748/WHERE_THE_BOSS_OPENS_THE_DOOR.html [schiele-schoen.de]
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