Digital Bolex D16 Camera test shooting

Digital Bolex D16 Camera test shooting

We’ve been very excited to have the Digital Bolex D16 camera with us. I’ll be uploading a more detailed Gear Guide video soon. But our initial impression is that this is a very exciting little camera to have around.

It shoots uncompressed 2K raw to an internal 500GB hard drive. It has a Kodak S16mm size sensor on a C-Mount, but we’ve switched it to the Arri PL mount. There is a very basic built in monitor screen that really is only enough to know you are pointing the camera the right way. It is not going to be for critical focus or exposure judgements. For that an additional monitor would be needed. But for running around and grabbing some quick things you can get by without it. It also has proper XLR audio inputs and a 12V output for driving that external monitor. The internal battery can last for hours.

So this bit of test shooting was with a mixture of a Dalsa Leica 100mm pl mount lens, and then a Cooke S4 9.5mm lens for the wides.

We processed the raw DNG footage through Davinci Resolve 11 with a custom LUT. Without external monitoring like an EVF or additional LCD it was perhaps a bit too easy to overexpose and clip the blue and green channels, leaving pink highlights. And there are some metadata issues to be resolved in the raw workflow. Adding Reel Names into the raw metadata will help conform back from offline edits.

But the Digital Bolex is going to be an exciting additional tool to the film-maker’s pallette with the rich colours possible from the Kodak chip.

And the camera is available to rent and hire through theĀ Gear Factory in London

Digital Bolex D16 Camera test shooting

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  1. Good afternoon James. It’s great that you put up a test of the Digital Bolex. Unfortunately it’s in SD. Hard to tell much about the camera at 360p. YouTube allows HD uploads (and even UHD). And there’s the old stalwart Vimeo with good quality HD (no UHD though. How do you feel the Digital Bolex stands up against the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5? The colour science looks much better to be on Blackmagic (closer to Canon, who do very well with flesh tones – warm without looking pink). Your footage above after still looks very green and blue. Perhaps you were aiming for a look like that.

    • Sadly our Bolex died and despite trying to return it they were very unresponsive so we have not had much chance to play further with what looked like it was on the way to being a very interesting camera. But it certainly had a lot of red in the image as it came out of the can, so to speak. Currently we are mostly using the Ursa Mini Pro and Sony FS7 cameras so I should post some of that imagery.

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