we have witnessed some rad retro-style digital cameras but the Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera you see here is probably the first retro-style video camera. styled after the classic 16mm movie camera, the Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera was co-developed with Switzerland-based Bolex International and sports an unmistakable retro flair (read: small lens, big body) and a cool retro pistol grip just like it was made in the early days. with a price tag starting at $3,300, this is obviously not your typical consumer-grade stuff, but more for what we like to call ‘in-between movie makers’ who has budget constraints but still desire film-grade recording quality.
obviously, the similarity with the old 16mm video camera is all but skin deep; packed under the hood are modern electronic wizardry such as a Super 16mm-sized CCD sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range that makes HD video recording at 2K or 1080p possible. the real kicker here is, it actually records in 12-bit CinemaDNG raw format, which means you will be getting pure uncompressed video ready for post-production process. on the audio aspect, it has two 24-bit/96KHz audio channels, offering studio quality audio recording without the need for external recording devices. storage comes in the form of an internal Enterprise Class SSD, while dual CF card slots and USB 3.0 lets you download your footage reliably and quickly.
there is an integrated rechargeable battery that offers up to four hours of use in between charges and like any good cinema camera, it has interchangeable lens mount that accepts both traditional Bolex lenses, as well as C-mount lenses. at $3,300, it is considered affordable as far cinema cameras are concerned, but it is also not the cheapest we have seen to date. take a few more look in the image gallery below and while you are there, do check out a demo video too.