View Full Version : Would you jump on board with digital film?

Jul 16, 2011, 12:17 PM
I for one would really like to try this with a old Nikon or Milota classic. I highly doubt it would replace my D80 or next body I get but one thing about older cameras, they are built like tanks.

With a digital film cartridge it would bring them back to life.

More info here http://c9design.co/?p=10

Anyone else have interest if this made it to the market?


Jul 16, 2011, 12:20 PM
Niche market at best. You'd be amazed at the number of high end 35mm film cameras at a Pawn Shop.

It would also have to be priced bog cheap, i.e., less than a box of Corn Flakes.

Jul 16, 2011, 12:23 PM
Or Ebay for that matter. You cant give them away. I usually look for the old cameras as they include lenses that can be used on Nikons

Jul 16, 2011, 12:31 PM
If it was reasonably priced I'd be tempted. I like some of the old nikon SLRs, but I don't want to have to go through the process of developing film for them. So this could be convenient.

Jul 16, 2011, 01:19 PM

You'd have that image sensor exposed every time you want to transfer images, which risks dirt and/or scratches; no changing ISO with the push of a button; only usable in film cameras that matches the specified size, there are many cameras where the film is pulled out a longer or shorter area; if it was 35mm (the only way it would make any sense to even have a chance at matching the dynamic range of film) would make it very expensive.

Jul 16, 2011, 02:27 PM
Ugh, get real film instead. Ektacrhome, Tri-X, or Fujicolor. Not a facsimile.

Jul 16, 2011, 03:24 PM

With a digital film cartridge it would bring them back to life.

...A point: The phrase digital film has an meaning already and this is not it. Digital film refers to the memory cards used by digital cameras to store digital images.

Jul 16, 2011, 03:31 PM
In a heart-beat, if it fit my old Minoltas. I have some lenses and accessories that are blinking expensive for my digital system. If I could dust off some of those, and reuse them I would.

Interestingly, if you click the link of the digital negative product, and then go to the website's homepage, you will see a bunch of other concepts. I just scanned the page, and it seemed to me that most of them are just interesting concepts. however - the "concrete canvas" is being used, iirc, by the British Army to build weatherproof and durable shelters in a day or two. It becomes a concrete tent, essentially. So - at least one item on the page has moved from concept to product.

Jul 17, 2011, 06:35 AM
I don't see the point of this. The CCD is what's expensive in good DSLRs, and they have at least manual compatibility with old lenses if you're looking for something specific. If you really want to use film cameras, then I'm sure you'll get fantastic results with film stock like Ektachrome and a good scanner.

This digital film concept will be pricey (24x36 sensor size), and I'm pretty sure it will be fragile. It's also going to be near impossible to get it to be as thin as 135 film seeing as the camera has to be able to close if you don't want to have to mod the camera back.

Jul 17, 2011, 11:20 AM
This idea has been around quite a while. Back when film was still popular, a company tried to put together "Silicon Film (http://cultureandcommunication.org/deadmedia/index.php/Silicon_Film)" but it never came out. There were a bunch of problems with it:

Synchronizing the CCD with the shutter
Handling the different dimensions of different cameras
Battery life

Some technologies have gotten better since then (like batteries) but at the same time, film cameras are not nearly as common as they were, so the market is much smaller.

Me, I wouldn't buy one. I have a Nikon D1x and an F4HP... I see no reason to shoot with the F4 instead of the D1x.

Jul 17, 2011, 05:24 PM
Sure, if it worked well. Then I could use one of the great old film cameras that are now affordable. I like them better anyway. Of course, the price of good old used classics would go up quickly.

What I think will happen, though, is that in a very few years even affordable prosumer cameras will have 25 or more mps and have astonishing resolution and quality. It might be tough to come up with a better alternative, or a cheaper one for that matter.

Jul 17, 2011, 05:40 PM
The Silicon Film folks had the right timing but couldn't get it over the fence. Lens costs are the same either way, so all you're "saving" is on the body- and there are lots of cheap bodies. I'm not sure I'd want to give up the histogram and ability to chimp for the right to buy a camera that parts aren't manufactured for anymore. I know I wouldn't want to give up the ability to fine-tune focus.