First Impressions of the Digital Bolex – Philip Bloom

Early backer Philip Bloom delivers first impressions of the Digital Bolex – a Super 16mm CCD digital cinema camera with a traditional bolex shape:

Digital Bolex

 I backed the Digital Bolex on Kickstarter back on March 13th last year. It was a very nerve-wracking thing to do. Despite the legendary name of Bolex attached to it, itself not exactly doing much these days, this was a camera being made by people with no apparent experience in making cameras. It was also a fair amount of money to put down, around $3000, especially with Kickstarter’s scary way of operating in that you give all the money straight away and HOPE a product one day turns up with no comeback if they don’t.

Why was this of interest to me? Super 16mm is a lovely format to shoot with. With a much deeper depth of field than S35, it has its pros and cons. The pros being it’s a hell of a lot easier to keep stuff in focus! I had shot a little with the lovely but very quirky Ikonoskop, it produced lovely images, but at around 10,000 Euros it wasn’t cheap. This camera however was cheaper, it had the Bolex name, would shoot raw and looked lovely and retro design wise, it looked like a Bolex.

It helped that I spoke to Joe and Elle from Digital Bolex for my post  to put them the questions that I needed to the answers to. The answers helped a lot so I backed it. I was worried still, as me backing it meant others followed…that’s a lot of responsibility.

It has felt a lot longer than just over 18 months waiting for the camera, as so much has happened in the camera world.  In that time I have met Joe and Elle a couple of times and spoken to Joe on email many times. But, as I’m sure you are all aware, we now have a very cheap Super 16mm raw camera on the market and two slightly larger sensor versions from Blackmagic. Massive competition for Digital Bolex and very importantly…you could get them more or less immediately (Pocket Camera is still in short supply) which made me, and I am sure many other patient backers, worry about out investment. 21 months later a very valid question to ask is “do we REALLY need a Super 16mm video camera anyway? Don’t we all love Super 35mm and larger?” An important question, and one I will ask myself a lot in my video review.

Philip Bloom | Read the Full Article