Oddball film/digital camera

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Glenn McCreery, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. I am not sure that this fits exactly within the confines of this forum, but I think that it should appeal to at least some classic camera enthusiasts.
    I was reading on DP Review about this peculiar film-to-digital transition period Olympus C-211 camera that took both digital images and Polaroid prints. On a whim, I looked for it on eBay and found an example for a whopping $9 plus shipping (original 2000 list price was $800). So, how could I resist? Thinking that it probably would not work, I could at least look at it and figure out what it was supposed to do. Surprisingly, after cleaning the well corroded battery holder contacts (it conveniently takes four AA batteries) and camera internal contacts for the holder, it fired right up and I was able to take a few images on the included whopping 8 MB SmartMedia card. I even found a compatible card reader in my junk collection. It takes decent, if not spectacular images. Of course, the option of using Polaroid 500 film will forever remain an unknown, since the film is no longer available. Specifications are at https://www.dpreview.com/articles/5865264776/c211zoom .
  2. Here is a sample image-no need for downsizing to post.
  3. Good find for $9!
  4. A fascinating hybrid, that's for sure. Thanks for posting, Glen.
  5. A quick Google search shows that this camera used Type 500 film, as used in the Polaroid Joycam and Captiva cameras.
    This film is, of course, no longer available new, and the Impossible Project does not make it. However, expired film is available on eBay.
    It might be worth springing for a box or two, just for fun. The colors probably won't be very good with film that's more than ten years expired.
    Its my understanding that most of the work in a Polaroid was done by the film pack, rather than the camera. You've already proven that the lens, shutter, etc. work properly. All the camera needs to do after that is turn on the motor to push the film between the rollers that spread the chemicals across the image.
    When you take a picture, can you hear the motor running, trying to push the non-existent film out of the camera?
  6. Thanks for the expired film suggestion Paul. The motor that ejects the Polaroid film is run by the battery in the film pack.
    Fortunately, the camera battery does not try to do this or it might decide not to take digital images with no film pack. There
    are separate exposure buttons on the camera for digital and for film. Back when I owned a Polaroid SX70, I had little luck
    with expired film, and it made a chemical mess of the camera internals if too far gone.
  7. I think Kodak had a hybrid of sorts: an APS AF compact that had an imaging sensor that produced a preview of the image on an LCD screen. However, the images from the sensor could not be saved so without film the camera could not take photos.
  8. Too bad they didn't make it as an APS camera. You could have had a twofer!
    I love the idea behind this. Looks like a neat camera.

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