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Author Topic: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)  (Read 6983 times)

mrsfotografie

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Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« on: April 01, 2013, 04:08:40 AM »
I received some information that a large Japanese camera manufacturer is working on a digital film (that's right, film) that can be used in traditional analogue camera equipment.

The film uses a new type of binary image sensor technology that allows images to be captured and stored on the film without the need for electrical power to retain the data. Until now, imaging sensor technology has been limited to the use of volatile memory, necessitating the use of traditional CMOS or CCD imaging sensors and storage of the captured data on internal flash drives.

Binary image sensor technology is reminiscent of traditional photographic film. Each pixel in the sensor has a binary response, giving only a one-bit quantized measurement of the local light intensity. The response function of the image sensor is non-linear and similar to a logarithmic function, which makes the sensor suitable for high dynamic range imaging.

After exposure, the film is advanced in the same way as traditional analogue film.

When the digital film has been fully exposed, the roll is removed from the camera and connected to a computer or smartphone using a USB interface. Each stored image is read out successively and sent to the computer. The film can then be 'formatted' for re-use.

One roll can hold up to 24 images, but with advances in digital film technology it is expected that  higher storage capacities will become available when the film can be made thinner and wrapped more tightly.
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mb

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 04:44:25 AM »
Okay, it is April 1st ;-)

BUT: There really WAS a company that wanted to produce some kind of digital film, allthough they never released it:
http://m.dpreview.com/news/1999/9/4/siliconfilm

Dylan777

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 09:39:48 AM »

Since I'm not an expert with camera tech, what are the PROs taking pictures with film over current DSLR?  :-\ :-\ :-\
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mrsfotografie

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 01:00:24 PM »
Okay, it is April 1st ;-)

BUT: There really WAS a company that wanted to produce some kind of digital film, allthough they never released it:
http://m.dpreview.com/news/1999/9/4/siliconfilm


That's really cool actually - interestingly anything you can think of already seems to have been invented by someone.

When I dreamed up the digital film (yes this is obviously an April 1st hoax), I later came to thinking that it wouldn't be necessary to advance the film itself - a fixed cartridge triggered by exposure to light would do the job just as nicely and do away with the need for moving parts.

Hence a good quality eFilm for a competitive price would still be marketable imho. Thanks for the link, mb!!!
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AlanF

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 01:09:46 PM »
Okay, it is April 1st ;-)

BUT: There really WAS a company that wanted to produce some kind of digital film, allthough they never released it:
http://m.dpreview.com/news/1999/9/4/siliconfilm


That's really cool actually - interestingly anything you can think of already seems to have been invented by someone.

When I dreamed up the digital film (yes this is obviously an April 1st hoax), I later came to thinking that it wouldn't be necessary to advance the film itself - a fixed cartridge triggered by exposure to light would do the job just as nicely and do away with the need for moving parts.

Hence a good quality eFilm for a competitive price would still be marketable imho. Thanks for the link, mb!!!

Already invented as well  - a digital back?
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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 01:40:01 PM »
On A8r!L 1$t? R34Lly?

agierke

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 02:28:00 PM »
this got me thinking (and it is a good April Fools post!)

the idea of a digital film cartridge is a bit goofy but it could be kind of cool if you applied the way we used to buy film (and why we bought the kind of film we wanted) to digital sensors.

imagine you buy a camera system, but the digital chip component was somehow interchangeable or customizable and could be purchased separately. you could then buy a HDR module or a B&W module or any number of other preferred spec modules. i'm basing this off of the experience you used to have with film where you had to make a creative choice before picking up the camera. maybe you could even deliver the experience via a CF card that you could upload to the firmware or whatever (i certainly don't have the technical understanding of how this would work...just spitballin).

which brings up another idea...what if you could upgrade camera bodies with newer chip technology as it was released through an interchangeable module. how many people would be interested in extending the life of their 1Ds3 if it were capable of just popping out the sensor module and buying an upgrade? interesting idea.

anyway, fun little thread. appreciate the nudge to my imagination! 
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mb66energy

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 02:43:43 PM »
Here some snippets from their former web page www.siliconfilm.com (via the way back machine):

"PRODUCT AVAILABLILITY SUMMER 2000

"Going Digital is a Snap"™

*First shipments of EFS-1 are designed specifically for the following camera bodies: Canon EOS 1N, Canon EOS A2/5; Nikon F-5, Nikon N-90/F90, Nikon F-3. Additional model compatibility will be posted on this website as EFS Products become available."

"Here are some examples of higher-end digital cameras currently on the market, and how they compare to EFS-1:

Camera Model            "Street" Price        Focal Length Multiplier
Kodak DCS 560         $27,000.00   1.3
Kodak DCS 620         $10,000.00   1.6
Nikon D1           $5,500.00   1.5
Kodak DCS 315         $4,949.00   2.6
Silicon Film EFS-1      Below $800.00   2.85*

* Future Silicon Film products will have lower focal multipliers to meet the needs of photographers."

Later they tried to go full frame (on paper/PDF) but nevere managed to bring up some product.

I dreamed about a full frame silicon film with my F1 new - a dream camera in terms of operability etc.

@agierke:
I always hated to change cameras and to learn new control layouts. A exchangeable sensor-processor-unit would be great - sensor alone doesn't make sense because it needs co-evolved cpu's.

I am dreaming of a 18(10) mpix B/W module for my 600D(40D) which would provide 3 times the sensitivity due to the lack of the light absorbing RGB filter array and omit the necessity to do bayer demosaicing.
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mb

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 04:24:36 PM »
Okay, it is April 1st ;-)

BUT: There really WAS a company that wanted to produce some kind of digital film, allthough they never released it:
http://m.dpreview.com/news/1999/9/4/siliconfilm


That's really cool actually - interestingly anything you can think of already seems to have been invented by someone.

When I dreamed up the digital film (yes this is obviously an April 1st hoax), I later came to thinking that it wouldn't be necessary to advance the film itself - a fixed cartridge triggered by exposure to light would do the job just as nicely and do away with the need for moving parts.

Hence a good quality eFilm for a competitive price would still be marketable imho. Thanks for the link, mb!!!

When I first read about the "digital film", back in 199x, I was really amazed and thought of it as a good way to use my Canon EOS 100 (withOUT a "D" :-) as a digital camera that way. Sadly they never came up with something ready for the market...
I still have this old EOS100, and last summer I made a few nice portraits of my -- at that time -- 1 year old son, using my 85mm 1.8 on 100 ISO slides. Now I have the problem to scan those slides or to dig in my basement for my old slide projector to view those pictures  ;)

Currently I am saving some money to by a 5d3 some day. Until then I have to use my P&S A720IS, which is okay for a
while...

Bye, Mattias / mb

mrsfotografie

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 04:41:32 PM »
Already invented as well  - a digital back?

Yes, but not generally applicable as would be the 'digital film' ;)
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ragmanjin

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 04:38:05 AM »
this got me thinking (and it is a good April Fools post!)

the idea of a digital film cartridge is a bit goofy but it could be kind of cool if you applied the way we used to buy film (and why we bought the kind of film we wanted) to digital sensors.

imagine you buy a camera system, but the digital chip component was somehow interchangeable or customizable and could be purchased separately. you could then buy a HDR module or a B&W module or any number of other preferred spec modules. i'm basing this off of the experience you used to have with film where you had to make a creative choice before picking up the camera. maybe you could even deliver the experience via a CF card that you could upload to the firmware or whatever (i certainly don't have the technical understanding of how this would work...just spitballin).

which brings up another idea...what if you could upgrade camera bodies with newer chip technology as it was released through an interchangeable module. how many people would be interested in extending the life of their 1Ds3 if it were capable of just popping out the sensor module and buying an upgrade? interesting idea.

anyway, fun little thread. appreciate the nudge to my imagination!

You just described Mamiya's system exactly — though each digital back will cost you a decade's worth of the film they replace.
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ECRoyce

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 10:06:47 AM »
this got me thinking (and it is a good April Fools post!)

the idea of a digital film cartridge is a bit goofy but it could be kind of cool if you applied the way we used to buy film (and why we bought the kind of film we wanted) to digital sensors.

imagine you buy a camera system, but the digital chip component was somehow interchangeable or customizable and could be purchased separately. you could then buy a HDR module or a B&W module or any number of other preferred spec modules. i'm basing this off of the experience you used to have with film where you had to make a creative choice before picking up the camera. maybe you could even deliver the experience via a CF card that you could upload to the firmware or whatever (i certainly don't have the technical understanding of how this would work...just spitballin).

which brings up another idea...what if you could upgrade camera bodies with newer chip technology as it was released through an interchangeable module. how many people would be interested in extending the life of their 1Ds3 if it were capable of just popping out the sensor module and buying an upgrade? interesting idea.

anyway, fun little thread. appreciate the nudge to my imagination!
a 'white box' camera you say?  "Why would you want to build your own PC when you can just go buy a good name brand IBM-compatible like Packard Bell for a couple thousand?" -heard 25 years ago...    pick your body size, optional optical viewfinder/mirror box, sensor, processor chip(s), card slot(s), battery and power converter, lens mount type, etc.  after all it is basically a little imaging computer.  Possible... practical?  If it is, I'm totally going to overclock mine with dry ice, put in a RAID-5 card array, and when I'm not shooting, use it for bitcoin mining. :) 

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 12:47:00 PM »
Digital backs for film 35mm cameras would be förking awesome but its unlikely to happen :( Digital Pentax spotmatic oh i wish for it.

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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 02:26:57 PM »
Digital backs for film 35mm cameras would be förking awesome but its unlikely to happen :( Digital Pentax spotmatic oh i wish for it.

My Spotmatic awaits that day also...
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Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 06:04:23 AM »
One reason that this concept never took off in the past was the interface.  There wasn't really an easy way to retrofit the digital controls necessary to a film camera to set ISO, WB, etc etc.

But now everyone carries a bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet.  It would be easy enough to velcro a small touchscreen Android bluetooth device to the back of a film camera.  As a bonus it uploads your stuff for you, too.

Of course there's also the mechanical issue of sensor positioning & alignment to overcome...