Turning film cameras into digital cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. aniramca

    =\(8\) Guest

    I don't disagree, they had too many problems to over come which is why they
    didn't. However, they would stand a better chance now with nano-tech. But,
    still I think it would be very hard and expensive. Also 35mm cameras are
    sort of out of the picture for the most part.

    They never did give a price estimated or otherwise. However, it would have
    had to be $200 or less otherwise just by a digital camera. This was like
    1995 someplace around there. By then we had MP cameras (1MP, but still).

    =\(8\), Apr 9, 2007
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  2. aniramca

    dj_nme Guest

    The first problem that I can see with a generic drop-in digital film
    replacement is that every camera design put the film through a slightly
    different path.
    If the digital film sensor is aligned to fit into a Nikon F1, then it
    probably wont fit properly inot a Canon T1 or a Pentax K1000 or a
    Olympus OM1.
    Then you also have the problem of interfacing the shutter mechanism with
    the sensor so that it knows when to start and stop capturing, what may
    work on a Pentax Spotmatic probably wont work with a Canon EOS 300.
    If these were the only hurdles to designing and building a drop-in
    digital film, then Imagek should have been able to solve it and not fail
    and then vanish in a cloud of vaporware.
    dj_nme, Apr 9, 2007
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  3. aniramca

    Mark B. Guest

    Nope! Besides, you're several years too late. There was a company planning
    on doing just that, but it never came to be. Too many limitations. You
    can't see what you just shot for one thing. Can't delete bad photos on the
    fly either. When it was discussed back a few years ago, it was an
    interesting idea because DSLRs were astronomically priced - well over $5k.
    Now that they can be had for under a grand, the idea isn't even remotely
    interesting anymore.

    Mark B., Apr 9, 2007
  4. aniramca

    =\(8\) Guest

    See we all now understand why this thing never made it out of the prototype
    stage and was basically stillborn. Interesting idea, but I don't think
    feasible unless you want to make a different one for each camera make and
    model and where's the sense in that. By the time they had the two sample
    images out they were already behind what most mid priced digital cameras
    could do at the time.

    =\(8\), Apr 10, 2007
  5. aniramca

    =\(8\) Guest

    Mark it certainly did come to be. They had a working prototype and had
    released to potential investors two sample images (less than 1 MP at the
    time). However, you are correct there were too many problems with the idea
    and it never made it out of the prototype stage. But, they were actively
    trying to get partners for funding further development and I am guessing
    that didn't go well either. I had the two sample images up until a few years
    ago. Just like the images from the old Logitech digital cameras from 1990 I
    tossed the images thinking I wouldn't ever need them. The quality just
    wasn't very good even by the standards of the regular digital cameras of the

    =\(8\), Apr 10, 2007
  6. aniramca

    dj_nme Guest

    Unfortunately, that's about it.
    Kodak did it's best with their DCS backs for Nikon and Canon SLR
    cameras, but these were for only a limited number of highly advanced
    film camera models that had extensive electronic interfacing already
    built into them.
    Such is life.
    dj_nme, Apr 10, 2007
  7. The F3 doesn't have extensive electronic interfacing.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 10, 2007
  8. I agree absolutely-to succesfully engineer something a good idea is not
    always enough-you have to think how you can built what you need from parts
    already existing on the market-custom build parts cost a lot.You must also
    do this according to mass production, and there must be people that will buy
    your goods, enough so you have profit.Just think of records and audio
    cassetes-their market share is shrinking on and on, so most companies cease
    production or in the better case serious limit it.Before cd burners people
    used to tape cds, and in the 80s TDK made 4 flavours of normal bias tapes.My
    point is that just very few people would be interested to refurbish their 20
    year old film camera so that it will take at best mediocre digital
    photos.And, as most previous posters have indicated, there are difficulties
    that would make realisation almost impossible-energy source, processing and
    flash memory in the size of a film cartridge, and sensor squeezed in the
    film plane and the interface between camera and sensor?Why not just give
    away the sucker and buy a brand new fully functional dSLR, for less than
    1000 euros, complete with kit lens and cruise control?
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Apr 10, 2007
  9. aniramca

    aniramca Guest

    I have a different point:
    It takes about 4 tons of gold ore to produce 1 oz of gold in the
    mining industry. However, it only takes 0.5 tons of computer junks
    containing circuit boards to produce the same of gold. I am familiar
    with the mining industry, and people go to the end of the earth to
    move mountains to get those precious but minute quantity stuff.
    We are in the west have been squandering the earth's natural
    resources, burning gas and energy through endless wars, and know
    little about the meaning of recycling. In the far east, for example
    people utilize the coconut tree from its leaves, its trunks, its
    fruit, and even its husk for many generation. Similar thing with the
    complete consumption from banana trees.
    Here, however, as long as we can get some work to do, and spend and
    spend money at the same time, it is considered good for the economy
    and well-being. Why use that old camera, if you can get a new one
    aniramca, Apr 11, 2007
  10. Why indeed. Why use an old camera with some kind of digital kludge if you
    can get a new one that performs better, costs less, and is more convenient?
    Philip Homburg, Apr 11, 2007
  11. aniramca

    J. Clarke Guest

    So let's see, we have the Americans trying and failing to bring Silicon
    Film to market, and we have the Americans producing digital backs for
    Nikon and Canon film SLRs, while the Japanese produce legions of
    throwaway cameras, so tell us again how throwaway cameras are the fault
    of "the West".

    As for "endless wars", are you saying that there has never been a war in
    Asia? If so, you need to talk to your grandpa.
    J. Clarke, Apr 11, 2007
  12. aniramca

    dj_nme Guest

    A good point, it must have had enough interfacing to tell the digital
    back when to start and stop capturing.
    Either that or the DCS controls the shutter mechanism, as there is an
    additional shutter-grip that is part of the DCS back.
    The descriptions online of the original DCS aren't detailed enough to
    draw any solid conclusion.
    dj_nme, Apr 11, 2007
  13. I doubt that the F3 reports when the shutter is released.

    Controlling both the back and the F3 using a separate shutter release sounds
    like a reasonable approach.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 11, 2007
  14. aniramca

    J. Clarke Guest

    How was the release arranged on F3s with motor drives? Was there a
    separate release or did the regular release activate the motor? If the
    latter, that interface could probably be used for the sensor.
    J. Clarke, Apr 11, 2007
  15. aniramca

    =\(8\) Guest

    You have to remember that when digital film for 35mm cameras was being toyed
    with the cost of a cheap digital camera was between $600 and $1000. So if
    you could just pop in a cartridge that looked like a roll of 35mm and get
    digital for about $200 it would have been a hot seller. But, it just wasn't
    meant to happen. Fortunately digital cameras even at higher prices caught on
    and then we had the digicam flood of the late 1990's and early 2000's and
    the prices dropped and the quality kept going up.

    =\(8\), Apr 11, 2007
  16. But I am using my old camera!(Kodak CX 7300 3.2 MP).Altough I have a steady
    job and enough money,I'm not getting a more modern Sony S-600 or Nikon
    Coolpix L-70 for (~169 euros)with at least 6.0 MP for the reasons you just
    described.As long as my Kodak is happily working,I will keep it (my sister
    has a Canon A-40,2.2 MP and she's not changing it).I don't fancy very much
    the throwaway doctrine, but sometimes it's unevitable (or even
    necessary;think of hygiene and one use injection needles:how would you feel
    if you had a shot with a used and sterilized needle?)Here, we have soda in
    plastic bottles in the summer, and most people drink with their mouth from
    the bottle, without a glass.How would you feel if the company reused these
    bottles?While steel can be easily (or almost)recycled, PCB (printed circuit
    boards)not so.
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Apr 11, 2007
  17. My father has an old Hasselblad that he is looking into getting a
    digital back for and we were just in a photography shop in downtown
    Chicago doing some pricing for it, as well as online. Yes it is a
    small fortune to do so!

    It is the convenience factor that is so appealing, being able to slip
    a SD card from the camera to the PC or Mac is just far too appealing
    these days;)

    Kind regards,

    Danepipesmoker, Apr 11, 2007
  18. So, when Kodak was selling digital cameras based on 35mm film cameras
    for $10000 or more, you assume that somebody would have been capable of
    producing a far more difficult 'digital film' for $200?

    Somehow that doesn't strike me as realistic.

    Even today, assuming you can get an older APS-C sized sensor almost for
    free, I doubt that you can retail such a digital film cartridge for $200.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 11, 2007
  19. The motor drive advances after the shutter release. You can use that
    signal to detect when the shutter has closed, but you also need a signal
    when the shutter is about to open.

    The motor drive doesn't need to know then the shutter opens, and the flash
    gets signaled when the shutter is open, instead of when the shutter is
    about to open.

    I don't know about the data back signals.
    Philip Homburg, Apr 11, 2007
  20. aniramca

    dj_nme Guest

    My best guess is that the shutter release that is built into the DCS
    back triggers the back which then triggers the actual camera shutter and
    then the winder activates as on a normal motor-drive to recock the shutter.
    I could be wrong, though.
    dj_nme, Apr 12, 2007
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