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Digital Bolex Gives You a Classic Film Look in a Digital Package (Video) 112

Posted by Roblimo
from the run-and-gun-until-you-are-totally-winded dept.
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.

Tim: We are here at the Digital Bolex booth. Can you tell us what is the Digital Bolex?

Elle Schneider: The Digital Bolex is a 2K RAW shooting digital cinema camera. It shoots the same resolution as a movie theater VCP projects. And it is a CCD chip which means there are no rolling shutters, so you can run around with it

Joe Rubinstein: There is also a simulation of a 16mm movie camera. So it uses all the old lenses that you might use from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, but you can also use newer lenses with it like the CP2.

Tim: Do you need a special adapter to use the newer lenses?

Elle: It is not an adapter. This whole camera system is an interchangeable mount system so it is not only you can just change the lenses, you can change the entire mount as well, so there are a couple of screws here, here, and on the inside, you can take this whole piece off. This is a C-Mount which is default, so we have already started prototyping our EF mounts which is for Canon and other glass that is very popular right now. We have amazing designer building lens mounts for us. W have also prototyped the microphone and turret mount for C-Mount

Tim: Now in a world where there are lots of cameras that are made by giant name companies, why do you have a new camera? Why bother with new production?

Joe: Super 16 is a specific look. There are a lot of film makers like the look of Super 16, Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom, Black Swan, they shot the Walking Dead on Super 16, Hurt Locker was on Super 16. It has a look that’s different than 35, Super 35, or full frame kind of thing. And for people that want that look, this is the right camera. And also there is a lot of lenses like these that have nowhere to live; that these are amazing lenses; they don’t make lenses like these anymore. And getting to use that glass on a high quality camera.

Tim: A camera like this might drive those lenses to higher prices?

Elle: Absolutely.

Tim: Now you are on Kickstarter. What has that process been like? And why did you use Kickstarter?

Elle: Well, Kickstarter for us was just as much a publicity tool for the concept as it was to actually raise the funding for the camera. We knew that we needed a set amount; we asked for less than half of that. We wanted to gauge interest. We knew that if we sold out cameras then that would be able to prove to our manufacturing company, put money into the project if this is worthwhile and surely something to put time and money into.

You know, when Joe started to come up with this concept he had trouble convincing people that a raw shooting filming camera was something that consumers wanted, and really it has been something that consumers wanted for a long time, but it is just that bigger companies have decided it doesn’t fit into their product pads to make, so we sold out of cameras in 30 hours -- which is amazing. And we’ve just been going at it since then.

Tim: What does shooting RAW allow people to do?

Joe: Shooting raw allows you to really control the color, contrast, and look of your film in a way that you can’t do with compressed footage; compressed footage falls apart very quickly once you try to alter it in any way. But the other thing it does is, it really simplifies the on-set workflow. So when you are on-set, you don’t have to match everything, get all of your settings perfect, because you are shooting raw data, you have the ability to adjust it, change color, temperature and things like that so it actually speeds up your on-set workflow.

Tim: When you are shooting raw or when you are shooting at all, where are you are storing the data that you are actually taking? Is it in the camera or do you next on a recorder?

Elle: So there is an internal SSD drive in here. And that dumps to the two CF cards that are in here.

Joe: Dual CF card slots.

Elle: Yeah.

Tim: So what kind of capacity does that give it at current drive sizes?

Elle: Well, I’d say, it’s going to be probably a 400 gig drive inside. And that gives about 80 minutes of footage, and then you’ll have to dump it and offload it.

Joe: If you get two 128 gig cards, 256 gigs total, that is about 51½ minutes of full res, at 24 frames, if you change the res, if you change the framerate it goes up and down.

Tim: Is there also the ability to use an external recorder to have a longer uninterrupted shoot?

Joe: There isn’t currently. But we are planning an HD-SDI module that would strap to the bottom of the camera when the pistol grip comes off, and behind this trap door, there is a raw feed and that would allow something like that.

Tim: Now speaking of that handle, the look of this camera is sort of retro. What drove that?

Elle: I mean there are a couple of reasons. One is the ergonomics of film cameras have generally across the board with better ergonomics than video cameras have been. This is something that with a pistol grip it is very balanced in weight, you can run around and shoot with this for hours, and it is not going to be heavy or weird. It doesn’t require you to have a harness in order to comfortably hold your camera. So that is the main part of it. Part of it is also to reflect the Bolex brand who partnered with us to create this camera, and they are known again for their esthetic design and ergonomics so we wanted to harken back to that.

Tim: What are some of the engineering challenges in making a brand new camera?

Joe: Oh there are so many. The biggest one is really just deciding what to put in it, how to put it in; that’s probably been our biggest one and we have a forum with hundreds, maybe thousands of really intelligent people that have been helping us make those decisions. And so this is sort of a crowdsourced camera; not just crowd funded, but a lot of decisions of what went in it have actually been crowdsourced.

Tim: What are some examples of things you put in that are ideas that have come from that crowd?

Elle: Well, the HDMI cord is a big one. We were originally just going to have regular video output on it, for better monitoring.

Joe: And also originally we were talking about having like a thick rubber piece around it, some other ways to make the cable not fall out, and we discovered a cable that 6 mm above it, had a little screw hole, so we put a little screw hole 6 mm above this, so you can take the screw out, and screw in this custom cable and we found that somebody on our forum suggested that.

Tim: Now you have made a lot of changes even after the Kickstarter has shown off prototypes or early prototypes I guess. Could you tell us one or two of those important changes?

Joe: Oh gosh. So we went from a steel body to a carbonized aluminum body; the actual shape of the body has changed.

Elle: It is a little bit narrower.

Joe: Yeah, a bit narrower and a bit longer in shape, little bit has changed. And really every little piece, every piece has changed a little bit. There is almost nothing left untouched.

Tim: One thing that a lot of people have commented on, it is almost like a crank on the side? Could you talk about that?

  1. Elle: Yeah. Sure. The crank has three functions. This is not the way you are supposed to hold it but that is okay. The primary function of the crank is that we are building set of prime lenses, and with those prime lenses, they are fixed focus, fixed aperture, which is a little unusual. But we are building a mount that will allow you to focus them using this as the follow focus so you don’t have to again break it out to get a follow focus on to the lenses, and that mount will also work for over vintage prime lenses as well, which is cool. It also allows you to record metadata. So for example, if you are shooting and you know you want to put a grain pattern on later, you can crank it more furiously in places you want more grain and a little bit lighter, just a touch in some places and

Tim: So leaving notes?

Elle: Exactly it is. Keep a lot of metadata information, say throw a grain pattern on it, it posts and it gives you a really nicedynamic pattern, and in our post production software that we are building, we are hoping to allow people to create their own filters so you can do double exposure, you can do things like replicate more experimental aspects of film camera that are not inherent in a digital camera because of the controlled environment of a digital camera. And the last thing it does is, you can set it to free range frames per second. So you can set it actually record as you are cranking as fast as you are cranking or as slow as you are cranking.

Tim: Between now and when people who have signed up via Kickstarter start getting their cameras, what is the timeframe like right now and what are the obstacles?

Elle: Well, we have one major obstacle left which I would like to explain, but it is really a couple of engineering things that it is hard to put a specific time estimate on them; it could be a day, it could be days, it could be a week, it could be a little bit longer that. We are really down to very few items on the to-do list, so it should be very very soon.

Joe: So basically the front end of the camera has been vetted and works, the sensor and all that stuff, at the back end the FPGA and the DSP all work. But there is a part in the middle, on the FPGA that is a frame buffer and the frame buffer has to sync the front end of the camera, the sensor, the disk video monitor, the HDMI out, and the recording device and the DSP to the hard drive. So it has about five clocks it has to sync, and so far we have had trouble getting all five clocks to sync together. So we haven’t gotten an image all the way through. But once they figured this out, it’s basically a simple thing; once they figure this out, we’ll have a fully working camera.

Tim: Does that mean then that mass production will be fully in place then?

Elle: Well, we are never going to mass produce right off the bat. So we have the capability of right now of building 100. And then we are going to slowly increase that level until we are at a place where we can be comfortably rolling them out. And we would like this camera to sell very well, but we see it as more of a boutique item and not necessarily something that will be in Best Buys across the world. And right now, our demand far exceeds our supply even probably through the end of the year. So we are going to be doing direct sales for the time being.

Joe: Our business model doesn’t really support retail. The cost of the materials inside this camera are probably 3 to 4 times as much as similarly priced cameras, so for instance our sensor is 4 times more than in similarly priced other $3000 cameras, and things like that, and because of this we can’t really do the retail model, retail is so much more expensive of course. So if this camera was going to be available retail like at B&H or Best Buy, it would be a $5000 or $6000 camera.

Tim: So who is buying?

Elle: Mostly independent filmmakers, people that really want a high fidelity, theatrically screenable image but are not satisfied with things at this price point. We like to compare it a lot with the Arri Alexa and sort of like _____sized version of the Alexa, the new Arriflex that has come out. It’s just another similar camera to this, but those are very big deal big budget items. Most picture cameras that are being used are far too pricey for ordinary people. We are hoping that this will be the solution for people who are on a bit more of a budget and also people who just need to run and gun and shop unlikely.

Joe: There has also been a lot of interest from documentary film makers, and from professors in film school institutions.

Tim: I think I am going to cut it there.

Joe: Sounds good.

Tim: Thanks very much.

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

Comments Filter:
  • Lensaflare (Score:4, Funny)

    by Carnivore24 (467239) <briansho@noSpam.comcast.net> on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:18PM (#43360055)
    Does it come standard or optional?
    • by a_hanso (1891616)

      I call digital bollocks.

  • Say what?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:21PM (#43360105)

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

    Hipster cache thats why.

    Should call it the Instagramcorder.

    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:43PM (#43360399) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • And probably around 42 "Amiga" companies.

        • 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 exact

          • by Dogtanian (588974)

            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

            • 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 Entertainm

              • by Dogtanian (588974)
                While it's understandable, I'm not sure I'd call all the above "entirely straightforward". :-)

                Also, when I said AmigaOne (the computer), I meant "Amiga Anywhere", which appears to be something to do with Java ME feature-phone software development... but whatever it is, nothing to do with the Amiga(!)
                • That's got its own internal history, and was actually started by Gateway (the only thing they did with the IP.) It's kinda an irrelevant footnote, though. It was essentially a Java imitator that was practical for multimedia, at a time when Java was not practical for multimedia. Development was abandoned some time before 2007. I realise that if you head straight through amiga.com and start looking around, it seems like a big deal, but really it's just the tail end of a dot-com convergence fantasy that never

    • by timeOday (582209)
      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-

    • 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 ;)

    • Should call it the Instagramcorder.

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

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

    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @02:23PM (#43361005) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • 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!

        • 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.
          • 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.

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)

        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 compr

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      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 c

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          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.

          That's superbad. I'm in for 3.

  • K-14 (Score:2, Informative)

    by x0 (32926)
    14-bit RAW is probably like Kodachrome (K-14). If it's 12-bit, you are in Ektachrome territory.
    • 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.

      • by x0 (32926)

        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....?

        • 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? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hackertourist (2202674) <hackertourist@xmRASPsnet.nl minus berry> on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:36PM (#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.

    • by D1G1T (1136467)
      This isn't an ENG camera, it's a cinema camera. Want shoulder mount, add one.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "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.

      • by Chirs (87576)

        "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.

        • by D1G1T (1136467)
          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? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Rinikusu (28164) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @06:32PM (#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.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          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.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Again no.

          Every movie set I have been on has NEVER used a shoulder mount camera. They are either on a tripod, or on a steadicam setup. Real cinematography rarely does shoulder mounted.

          Maybe some of the indie, "I have $20 let's shoot a move" types use this. but every large production I have been a part of it's on a tripod or its on the steadicam with the guy wearing the harness.

          But then they also use Lenses that cost more than your house.

      • by terjeber (856226)

        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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:49PM (#43360493) Homepage

    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by D1G1T (1136467)
      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.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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??

    • by unami (1042872)
      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.
    • by terjeber (856226)
      The VG10 doesn't shoot raw. That is a huge thing.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:57PM (#43360609) Journal

    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!

    • 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...

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        No, but when he got it wet once, part of the paint on the 'B' rubbed off to reveal "Folex".
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      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.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938)
    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.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, and vinyl sounds better than CD.

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

      Per Frame? Per movie? Per Second?

    • by D1G1T (1136467)

      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.

    • 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.

      • by radicimo (33693)

        >> 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

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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

    • by Entropius (188861)

      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

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I don't even think they *make* ISO 800 Kodachrome, do they?

        ISO 64 was the faster normal Kodachrome, the original was ISO 25. A quick google shows there was an ISO 200 version, but if I remember correctly that was for professionals only (or was that Ektachrome?) In any case, as a student, even normal Kodachrome was quite expensive. You certainly didn't go around shooting reel after reel with a motor drive.

        Kids today with their digital cameras don't know they're born. And Kodachrome made my lawn, which incidentally you can get off now, greener.

        • by Entropius (188861)

          That's what I'd remembered -- 25, 64, and 200. My friend who shot Kodachrome right up until the end said that 200 was crap, though.

          Not at all disputing that Kodachrome images kick ass; some of his colors look absolutely lovely. Also not disputing that old photographic equipment and methods do just fine much of the time; I'm carting around a manual-focus manual-iris 400mm f/6.3 with me to work and shooting the birds in the park I walk through with it.

    • by terjeber (856226)

      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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

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

    • 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 pe

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

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @02:58PM (#43361551) Homepage
      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?

      • by bryan1945 (301828)

        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.

  • 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

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      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.

    • by bryan1945 (301828)

      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.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      creating a good original story and finding good people is really the impediment to a good film, not the money.

      Good writers, actors and technicians don't work for nothing. The cost of hiring equipment was never the main barrier to getting a film made. You have to pay all those people somehow, they're professionals.

      You have made the classic slashdot error of extrapolating from FOSS to art. They are not the same.

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

  • 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.
    • by gagol (583737)
      Same config, all works well. Look for codecs and flash update?
      • I'll have to have a dig around; if I open an incognito window, that doesn't work either. However, if I use a different login, then it does work!

        Other info; If I right-click on the black box I see where the video should be, I do get an Adobe Flash context menu. I've tried clicking in the very centre in case the thumbnail is failing to load or something, but it still doesn't want to start.

        UPDATE: Found it - I've got "Block third-party cookies and site date" checked. Un-checking that allows it to work.

        TH
    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      Same exact config here and no issues. Make sure Chrome is up to date, maybe?
  • What will they think of next?
  • It has a built in taser and it uploads the video directly to youtube.

  • 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 photo

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @08:23PM (#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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