Digital Bolex burst onto the scene four years ago through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign for its first cinema camera. But despite the admiration they’ve earned from cinematographers since March of 2012, the company has announced that it will soon close up shop.
The news broke through a post written by co-founder Elle Schneider and published on the Digital Bolex website. In it, she explains how market pressures and other small business hurdles are becoming too much for the small independent company to handle.
As a small business, always facing potentially fatal hurdles and unknown competition, it can be extremely difficult to know when the “right time” is to for a product line to come to an end. Do you try to read the tea leaves looking for potential new competitors? Do you hold your breath and dread a future when stock could be collecting dust on the shelves? If production costs rise, do you raise prices? What is the right margin for survival? What happens if the sensor you’ve been waiting for to make your next camera simply doesn’t exist?
After much deliberation, our team has recently decided that, for us, it’s the responsible decision to leave the table before any of those questions begin to affect our company and our customers.
The news has been received with much sadness from the cinematography community, though some no doubt saw it coming.
Elle writes that the company will be shutting down their online store on June 30th, making this a “last call” for anybody who hasn’t yet purchased a D16 but has been considering it. She also offered another bit of comfort for Digital Bolex lovers, it seems the site and some of its services won’t be shutting down:
While we aren’t going to be making cameras anymore, we’re not going anywhere—you don’t have to go home, but you can stay here. Our website, forum, and help section will continue as a resource for existing customers and those renting the camera from private owners or rental houses who need help, and as a way for filmmakers to promote their D16 projects.