Aaton is a motion picture equipment manufacturer, based in Grenoble, France. Aaton was founded by Eclair engineer Jean-Pierre Beauviala, whose efforts have been primarily focused on making quiet, portable motion picture hardware suitable for impromptu field use, such as for documentaries. A theoretical model for all motion picture cameras they have produced is the "cat-on-the-shoulder", a small, light, quiet motion picture camera.
After several initial prototypes, the Aaton LTR 16 mm camera became available on the market in the late 1970s. It has been succeeded by several improved models, including the LTR, LTR 54, XTR, X0, XTRplus, and XTRProd. The currently available product line offers the Xterà (successor to the XTRProd), a specialized small 16mm camera (A-Minima) and a 35mm model (35‑III). As of early 2007, the company is currently testing and exhibiting a new 35mm camera called Penelope, the successor to the 35‑III, which is specially designed for 3-perf and 2-perf shooting.
Aaton also pioneered the linking of timecode to motion pictures in the acquisition stage. Aatoncode was one of the earliest schemes for encoding a timecode signal in the frame margins of 16mm film, allowing rigorous synchronization of audio and film in post-production.
On April 26, 2013, a statement was issued by founder Beauviala that the company had to declare bancruptcy after quality issues with the Dalsa sensors for the planned Delta Penelopé camera, in order to give them time for finding a new investor.
- 7 (introduced in early 70s)
- LTR (introduced in late 1970s)
- LTR 54
- XTR Plus
- XTR Prod
- 35 I
- 35 II
- 35 III
- Aaton Penelope (introduced in October 2008)
- Delta (Super 35 4k or better ISO800 sensor, [anncounced for early 2012], not yet available as per April 2013)
- Aaton Homepage
- (French) Video La Paluche, Jean-Pierre Beauviala has a dialog with Alain Bergala, festival Cinéma du réel 2011, centre Pompidou, Paris.
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