The Camera Bag: 2K-Shooting Digital Bolex for $2.5K


posted Friday, March 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM EDT

Even those who didn't grow up making home movies in the 1970s would probably recognize a Bolex camera with its familiar pistol grip and sleek, compact style. That classic 16mm film shooter looks like it will finally make the jump to digital if the plans of two Bolex enthusiasts come to fruition.

Joe Rubinstein and Elle Schneider recently got nod from the Switzerland-based Bolex company to develop the Digital Bolex D16, a modern camcorder with an alluring throwback design and the ability to capture high-resolution digital video. The Digital Bolex D16, which made a splash at the recent South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, will be capable of shooting 2K (2048 x 1152) video in a raw (aka uncompressed) format that's designed to mimic the look and fidelity of film.

And the price, according to the Digital Bolex Kickstarter project that started the whole thing, will be just $2,500.

Of course, there are a lot of "ifs" to the Digital Bolex D16 not the least of which is that this is still a Kickstarter crowd-funded project. The pair have racked up over $250,000 in donations though for a camera that doesn't even really exist yet with nearly a month left of fundraising. With that amount of money alone, they should be able to crank out at least a few Digital Bolexes and hopefully more.

Other specs on the D16 are interesting to say the least: it will use a Kodak-made CCD sensor and record raw video in Adobe Cinema DNG. There will also be two resolution options: the aforementioned 2K (what they call "Super 16mm" mode) and a regular 1280 x 1080 HD option (16mm mode).

Along with resembling a film Bolex, the new version will have an old-school hand crank on the side of the camera you can program to adjust various functions such as frame rates, volume, or to switch the camera into single image mode capture for stop-motion work.

Check out all the specs for the Digital Bolex D16 here.