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Chinon Bellami HD-1 another retro style cinema camera
  • Chinon (a low end consumer manufacturer in Japan) have put a rather mysterious announcement on their website. A pistol-grip retro style FullHD 1080p camera.

    At first I though maybe a cheap D16 / BMPCC competition? But nope, seems it will be a little too close to BMPCC pricing. Still, could be a good cheaper alternative for the hipsters lusting after a D16. But largely I'm mainly speaking 100% speculation here as info is very scarce on this.

    This has the most info I've seen yet:

    About US$830 (80,000 Yen), which puts it too close to a BMPCC in price I think for this to be a competitive choice (unless Chinon manages something unexpected). Am hoping it at least has a CCD global sensor like the D16 which is its main competition? But I would take a guess it is more like to have a typical compact point and shoot camera sensor in it instead. Perhaps we should instead be expecting something more along the lines of the C mount modded GoPro in terms of what this Bellami HD-1 will be like?

    Other info: Will go on sale in just a few weeks (mid March). Says D, C, CS, and M42 mount is supported? (with adapters)

    The websites on this website illustrates just how tiny this will be in the hands of a user!

    Additionally take a look at the top with the "T" & "W" buttons! :-o Looks like zoom lenses will have this as a control, this kinda cancels out the thought this is going to be targeted at retro users with vintage lens? Instead more likely for the CCTV lenses that have this functionality? However, it could also be a digital zoom function. This is a cheap-stuff manufacturer after all.

    Bellami HD-1 psb_main.jpg
    1100 x 517 - 255K
  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • I am not sure if it'll be actually available at promised time. As right now it looks like 3D render.

    Plus company is in strange state -

    Seems to be owned in 2004-06 by bankrupt Kodak.

    Later by

    Now they also do not make anything good -

    They also made such cameras back in years:


    Can me just marketing trick to get some user feedback.

  • Oh wow! I got quoted on one of my favourite blogs that I read every day (this thread here gets mentioned):

    Anyway, I agree with VK and I wouldn't hold my breath about this. And best to keep any expectations along the lines of being say a point and shoot camera's small sensor being used for this but inside a retro body for the hipster market. Or like the C mount modded GoPros:

  • I like my old Chinon CP-7m. Like this one,

    I didn't realize that the brand was around in any manner at all these days.

  • I wish Nizo would come out with a hipstermatic HD camera.

  • I wish some boffin would devote to making digital mags.. I have 3 handheld 16mm cameras and 5 kodak mag 16mm cameras that have almost no reason to exist now

  • I think someone tried to do this, but the consensus amongst the smart folks around here was that aligning the physical shutter and video frame rates would make it nearly impossible.

  • I'm sure any contingencies can be overcome with sufficient engineering. Of course it would all be a matter of demand and costs. Joe Dunton & PS Technik made some digital SR mags a few years back, but I guess they didn't find much of a market for them.

  • Aaton did a digital mag and that was what the Penelope Delta was born from, before they got hosed by Dalsa.

    ...the formatting is kinda screwy but you can see what they were doing. There's some footage out there too.

  • hmmm... Don't know what to think. Pretty neat DR but difficult to judge about the resolution due to the youtube compression.. @Vitaliy_Kiselev what do you think?

  • Dreadful low light and no RAW - this camera is useless.

  • I really like the form factor and all but this does look like smartphone video with good glass.

  • I shoots raw DNG's I've heard.

  • I hope it works with Raw..then we could better test its low-light capability...