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Digital Bolex

In 2012, Cinemeridian licensed the named Bolex from Bolex International, the Swiss camera company that created the first consumer 16mm film camera in 1927. The name Bolex is derived from that of its inventor, Jacques Bogopolsky, and the Digital Bolex D16 is named after the Bolex H16.

This partnership launched an ambitious Kickstarter-project to produce an affordable cinema camera combining:

"[...] legendary Bolex quality with the best in digital technology... capturing and preserving image detail with stunning accuracy that gives your footage an organic look... emulating the feel of a traditional 16mm film camera, while still offering all of the shooting positions and mounting options of a professional digital cinema camera..."

digital bolex d16

The D16 was initially developed as a side project of CEO Joseph Rubinstein's LA-based photo booth company Polite in Public. Rubinstein wanted to develop a video booth that would require a raw-capable video camera under $10,000. He decided to start a new company to pursue the endeavor in early 2011, and partnered with Canadian design firm Ienso in summer of 2011 to produce the first prototype camera. Digital Bolex announced its camera at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival where it had a trade show booth.

The Digital Bolex camera was the second camera to feature Adobe's CinemaDNG open RAW file format after the Swedish-made Ikonoskop which debuted in 2008. Both cameras use a Kodak-designed CCD sensor. The Digital Bolex D16 shoots raw still frames per second instead of a traditional video stream. In addition to its raw capabilities, the camera is notable for its Super 16mm sized sensor, allowing the usage of vintage 16mm lenses with no crop, and its unique crank wheel encoder. The Digital Bolex is the only digital cinema camera with a native C mount, a nod to the original Bolex 16mm film cameras.

On June 27, 2016, the company announced on its website that it would no longer be producing cameras as of that month, and would shut down its online store on June 30, 2016. After the company made the announcement the remaining 50 to 60 cameras sold out in just two days.

digital bolex d16


Updated: 11 November 2021

Digital Bolex value and price guide

What's your Digital Bolex worth, or what would you expect to pay? Here are some recently sold items with prices.

Camera Title Date Sold for
kern paillard 50mm f1 4 ar switar c mount m4 bolex Kern Paillard 50mm F1 4 Ar Switar C Mount M4 Bolex... 11/2021 $495
switar 25mm 1 4 h16 rx c mount lens bolex 16mm Switar 25mm 1 4 H16 Rx C Mount Lens Bolex 16mm... 10/2021 $349
kern paillard 25mm 1 5 h16 rx c mount lens bolex Kern Paillard 25mm 1 5 H16 Rx C Mount Lens Bolex... 11/2021 $349
switar 25mm 1 4 h16 rx c mount lens bolex 16mm Switar 25mm 1 4 H16 Rx C Mount Lens Bolex 16mm... 11/2021 $275
kern switar ar 1 1 8 f 16mm c mount lens for bolex Kern Switar Ar 1 1 8 F 16mm C Mount Lens For Bolex... 11/2021 $249
no pictureBrowse all sold items on eBay for more01/2022-.--

Digital Bolex forum

Questions or stories? Share them here.

Thanks, comment waiting for approval!
Alec - July 15, 2021
Need a D16 Bolex will spend life’s savings.
Gio - January 11, 2021
Looking for one on sale preferably in Europe, any leads?
Show reply
JohnGio - January 12, 2021
Not right now now, they're very difficult to find.
PinGio - October 19, 2021
Looking for a digital Bolex camera . US or Europe or Asia
Ghislain - October 9, 2020
The Digital Bolex + Angenieux 17-68 f2.2 gives lots of vignetting. How to sort this out?
Show reply
JohnGhislain - October 14, 2020
That's difficult to say... It depends on the type of vignetting. It could be caused by mechanical vignetting, which is quite common. In this case an obstruction prevents light - within the lens' field of view - from reaching the image sensor. This obstruction could be a filter, lens barrel, or (malformed) lens hood. Try this: look through the viewfinder and use your hand to block the light from reaching the edge of the lens. The effect would be a circular darkening in the corners of the image and should disappear when you close the aperture with a few stops. It could also be caused by optical vignetting: light hitting the aperture at a strong angle. Often when filming with wide angle and wide aperture lenses.