Remember the good old days when video was shot on film? Acually, those days are long gone. But as late as the 70ies, when VHS was not established, yet, every amateur videographer would use either an 8mm or a 16mm camera to record their holiday video. And even professionals were using the 16mm format, as it offered the best compromise between size, cost and quality. Today, most amateurs use their digital still cameras for video recording, while professionals use HDSLRs or full fledged Super 35 digital cameras like the Red system. The legacy of the age of 16mm film videography — the various lenses in 16mm format — lives on, being used for both still photography and videography on mirrorless cameras like the Micro Four Thirds models. Now comes another option to bring those old lenses back to their intended use: the digital Bolex, which records 2k HD video using a digital sensor the exact same size of the old Super 16 film format. Read on after the jump!
Joe Rubinstein and Elle Schneider, two enthusiasts, came up with the Digital Bolex project on Kickstarter, an online fundraising platform. While the initial goal was to raise US-$ 100k, the project has already crossed the $ 200k mark by far, with over 90 cameras out of the first batch of 100 Bolex D16 cameras already sold. So it seems there is actually a market for this.
In case we’ve wetted your appetite, here are some facts about the D16:
- The Bolex D16 comes in the classic Bolex design from the 70ies and will cost.
- It features 12.85 x 9.64 mm Kodak CCD sensor with a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1152 pixels.
- The D16 features a classic C-mount that lets you use all those old 16mm lenses, but can be fitted with other mounts as well (PL, EF, B4).
- Video is recorded in uncompressed Adobe Cinema DNG.
- The maximum framerate for 2k video is 32 fps.
- The camera supports ISO speeds ranging from 100 — 400.
- Sound is recorded in 16 bits at 48 KHz via XLR.
- The body is made from steel.
Sounds good? The Bolex D16 will be available this summer and will set you back about $ 2.5k. Check out the projects’ website for more information. In the meantime, make sure to check out our article on recommended C-mount lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras.
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