About this project
UPDATE #2: WOW! My mother would judge me if I put expletives on the Internet so I don't know what else to say! Thank you so much for your support, everyone. We've sold 91/100 of the first line of Digital Bolex D16s in less than 2 days. We never thought we'd come anywhere near to $250,000. I know many of you guys feel that our project is a dream come true, but your support is also a dream come true. Thanks to you we can not only make this camera happen, but we can start making new mounts, new accessories, and of course a really cool custom raw processing software that will pull the most out of the D16's footage and manage its workflow. We also have a number of really cool peripherals (that we can't talk specifics of online yet, boo) that we're cooking up, and of course the HD-SDI box that mounts beneath the camera.
We'd still love whatever support you can give us until our April 11 deadline. Rock on!
Here's the D16 prototype at the SXSW Film Festival!
UPDATE: We've reached our first milestone of $100,000 and have sold almost half of our cameras! Thanks to everyone who donated. But we still really need your help to make this camera the best it can be! Our next milestone is $200,000, which will fund the manufacturing of each of the additional mounts, as well as some of the accessories we really want to make. $250,000 will fund the amazing software we want to develop to manage the workflow.
Every cent of our Kickstarter funding will go towards developing the technology and pushing the camera as far as it can go. Keep telling your friends, liking us on Facebook, and asking questions.
ABOUT THE CAMERA
The Digital Bolex is a “digital cinema camera” or a camera that shoots RAW images (sometimes known as Digital Negatives) instead of compressed video. Unlike the digital cinema cameras used on big budget films, the Bolex is designed with consumers as well as pros in mind, and will be inexpensive, compact, and easy for anyone to use, just like the film cameras many of us remember using as kids.
WHAT WE NEED THE MONEY FOR
So far we have a prototype and some great test footage, some of which you can see above, but we need your help to produce the first 100 cameras. It takes a lot of work put a production line together, and we can't do it alone. It's really expensive to buy the sensors, design the electronics, do the injection molding, developing the firmware, and do the tooling to put the camera together.
$100,000 is the bare minimum we need to produce the first batch of cameras. If we reach $200,000 we can include a suite of post-processing software with the camera package to manage RAW workflow. If we reach $250,000 we'll include an additional mount of your choice to anyone who buys a camera.
If the campaign is successful, the first 100 cameras will be available in August. After that, we’ll start taking pre-orders from the general public and the camera will be available in Fall.
All pledges help, but to make donating worth your time and money, we have some really cool incentives to offer, like these official Digital Bolex T-shirts (only available through Kickstarter), silkscreen fine art prints, and a branded, hand-crafted leather camera bag.
You can also be the first to own ONE SMALL STEP, the first film shot on the Digital Bolex.
Backing this project at the $2,500 level or above will GUARANTEE you one of the first 100 cameras produced. Serial numbers will be determined by pledge date, so pledge early!
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH RAW?
Most video cameras (even expensive ones) shoot compressed footage, so that it takes up less space. The problem is that compressed footage, in order to make each frame more efficient, marries all your in camera settings (like white balance and contrast) to the video file being shot, which makes the shot difficult or impossible to manipulate in post without degrading image quality.
Think of the difference between a blocky, low-res JPEG image you find online, and a smooth high-res photographic print in a gallery. That’s the difference between compressed, normal video footage and RAW. It’s a big difference!
A RAW file saves a camera’s settings, but it doesn’t marry those settings to the file. That way you can change the color balance, contrast, highlights, shadows, white balance, and more all in post without any loss of quality. And because RAW is uncompressed, and the frames don’t rely on each others’ contents for efficiency, each frame stands alone, just like a film camera. (In a video file, each frame is designed to make the transition to the next frame as efficient as possible, so it can be hard to isolate a focused, clear image). Like a film camera, each RAW frame is of printable, photo quality.
IF SOME CAMERAS ALREADY SHOOT RAW, WHY DO WE NEED A DIGITAL BOLEX?
There is no camera on the market that offers affordable RAW quality to consumers and independent filmmakers. The Digital Bolex will mean filmmakers who prefer an uncompressed and “film like” look won’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to achieve that. Isn’t it time for the digital generation to have image quality as good as our parents had?
We're working in partnership with Bolex International, SA. The collaborators on this project are based in Los Angeles, Toronto, China, and Switzerland.
August. Exact dates to be announced.
Almost a year has gone into the R&D for building the Digital Bolex, and at this point much of the electronics work has already been designed, as has the the casing, which we have as both a 3d print (early version, XLRs on right) and CNC model (XLRs on left) with the final port placements. Both are available to see at the SXSW trade show, along with the prototype and a vintage Bolex H-16.
Our collaborators have extensive experience building cameras. We're leaving the manufacturing and tooling to the professionals!
You can view & download a copy of the D16 specs on our website: http://www.digitalbolex.com/products/
We also have a lot of videos and behind the scenes photos up from our various shoots, so take a look!
Our current agreement with Bolex states that we may only ship cameras within the United States. Anyone with a US mailing address can purchase a camera. If you're an international buyer interested in purchasing a camera, we suggest checking out http://www.myus.com/.
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