The Eclair NPR (Noiseless Portable Reflex) is a 16mm film camera originally manufactured in the early 60′s. By the standards of the day the NPR was a small, quiet camera that allowed sync sound shooting. The NPR helped to revolutionize the art of filmmaking with various technical innovations. The NPR is considered a major contributor to the French “New Wave” genre and enabled independent filmmakers to create movies outside the confines of a major studio.
The NPR featured a quick-release magazine that was separate from the camera body. Although this seems obvious now, prior to this innovation film had to be loaded directly into the camera body. Instead of stopping production to load and unload film, magazines could be pre-loaded with film and changed quickly. This innovation made the NPR a favorite choice for documentary filmmaking.
The NPR is the older sibling to the ACL camera. The Eclair16 site has more information about the ACL than the NPR simply based on the interests of the contributors here. Contributions to this section are welcome. If you’ve made a film with an NPR, created a custom modification or have any interesting information about the NPR… please feel free to submit a comment and share your knowledge.
Though my first short film was shot silent on a Bolex with sound added later (got nominated for an academy award on that one!)…I’ve shot all my films on an Eclair NPR. First rented the Eclair and then bought one and have been using it ever since, combining it with a Nagra III and they work beautifully together!
Though digital filming is all the rage, I still think motion picture film and shooting with the Eclair is the way to go for independent production. If you’d like to see one of my films shot with an Eclair, just go to Youtube and type in their search engine the following:
THE FINAL DAY – KEN GREENWALD.
The film will be at the top of the list. Shot it in color then stripped out the color except for the last scene. Not one problem shooting with the Eclair. Still a great camera after 50 plus years!
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[...] A Woman Under The Influence), in the mid-Sixties with $200,000 of his own money using a secondhand Éclair NPR and black & white 16mm film. He didn’t worry about making a film that was technically [...]