04 Feb 2014

Low light testing with the Digital Bolex D16

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Digital Bolex Low Light Tests Digital Bolex Low Light Tests Peter Haas


RedShark's East Coast correspondent Peter Haas has a Digital Bolex D16 had has been testing this fascinating and newly-shipping camera under low light conditions

The footage from our first day out with Digital Bolex's D16 brought the camera out into some rough shooting environments with a number of the shots being pushed after some harsh aperture splits (watch the footage and read the article here).

I wanted to see how the D16 acted under some more structured low light conditions. I ran two tests, and transcoded the picture straight out of the camera, no grading or corrections applied. The idea here was to get a sense of how the D16 treated shadows.

The first low-light experiment I conducted was to see how the camera would handle under extreme low-light conditions. I used one and two candles and placed some objects at 6" and 3" way from the light source. A few times I stood about 12" away from the candle, which demonstrates the camera's ability to pick up one or two foot-candles of light (literally depending on the number of candles I had on the table) reflecting off an object.

The results can be seen here

This test is extreme, and most satisfied an intellectual curiosity, but it was very interesting to see how the camera was able to handle the extreme darkness and texture of the smoke.

For the second test I enlisted some help from my stunt double and arranged a 100W tungsten bulb just off frame left. I then measured the scene with my trusty Sekonic light meter and came up with some general readings for the highlight on the left, and shadow areas, including the spot I wanted to exposure for just to the right of highlight.




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David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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