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Chinon Bellami HD1 – this ultra arty digital camcorder thinks it’s an 8mm movie rig


There’s definitely some sort of arty digital photography movement underway, judging by the number of people investing in cheapo CCTV lenses to fit onto their standard digital cameras. But now there’s a new name in town, trying to make the whole thing much more respectable.

The Chinon Bellami HD1 is a new digital camera which is designed to mimic the retro loveliness of those old 8mm movie cameras which were so popular back in the day. The product is also capable of accepting a wide range of different lenses (depending on adapter used) and comes with a 4mm 1.2 lens in the box.


Looking at the promo video, the results are pretty good, with some very moody effects and great lighting. Of course it’s pretty specialized stuff, but we can definitely see a market for this from people who want to produce something a little different in their small productions.


The camera offers a full HD 1920×1080 resolution, provides up to 80 minutes of run time from a charge (internal Lithium via USB charging port) and stores data on SD cards up to 128GB capacity. It also features anti-shake and the usual type of controls you’d expect to find on a digital camera.


The price for the basic kit is around $800 to $900, but you’ll have to order it from Japan, as that’s the only place it seems to be available right now. Video samples here.

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