www.siliconfilm.com

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by jaime_santillan, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. I just went to this site and found out that there's hope for 35mm SLR cameras. This is a very ingenious "transformer" devise that can make any 35mm into a digital camera (or so they claim)... Any one out there with some real experience with this technology, and is it as good as it sounds, or is it just a hint of what's to come 10 years down the road and the technology sucks right now? I'll love to think that I can get this cartridge-like devise and convert my Nikon N80 into a digital camera. Comments?
    008cxN-18481484.jpg
     
  2. I think its called "vapor ware", its been talked about a little but nothing real yet (over a
    year at least)
     
  3. Is there anything that competes with this product in the digital market?
    (vaporware or not)
     
  4. It isnt vaporware; more like no taxes; peace in the middle east; the 100MPG carburetor; the paperless office or paperless bathroom; a woman who has only one pair of shoes; kids who dont ask for money; etc.
     
  5. Kelly,<p>
    Best answer I've ever read regarding this gizmo!<br>
    LOL!<p>
    Cheers!
     
  6. It's a nice dream. There's nothing else like that on the market, besides film scanners. As we've been told here, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this product. If it comes out at all, there's a fair chance that it'd be priced out of reach / reason.

    The technicolor pipe dream would be that it would be priced low enough to reach the masses -- those who have old film cameras and have not gone into DSLR's because of price / lens incompatibility, and also not been satisfied / enticed by point & shoot digital, in time before Canon and others have brought the price down futher and resolution up further.

    Pass the pipe -- it's worth a puff. If a decent one came out now for say $500, I'd probably buy one, even though I have a DSLR. Why? So that I could use the combination. Hmm. Might be fun to put it in some vintage cameras. <cough> I think I've had enough, thanks.
     
  7. The "silicon film" is not as great as it sounds.

    It would probably be expensive (especially if it would have a full-frame sensor) and it misses the flexibility of a real digital camera: no LCD screen to review your photos, and how are you going to change settings like ISO, sharpness, contrast etc.? If it wouldn't have a full frame sensor, it would be very difficult to know what would be in the photo and what would be cropped out if you look through the (full frame) viewfinder.

    I don't think this thing will ever be commercially attractive, unless there's a way it can be produced and sold very cheaply - but I don't think that will happen, because the sensor is the most expensive part of any digital camera.
     
  8. I have an imaging device that fits into the back of my Canon Eos30. It records superb images at a resolution of 400 megapixels and gives me pictures at least 70K x 60K. Limited capacity, though - it only stores 36 pictures. It's called Fuji Velvia 50, 135-36.
     
  9. The siliconfilm web site says "Wholly owned Subsidiary of Voyager One Inc". A search for Voyager One Inc in Google shows about 2 or 3 SEC 8K reports filed this year.<BR><BR> It is interesting that the web site has an Illnois address; instead of an Irvine California address. Maybe they just got a another shot of cash to work/play/golf/invest/try/pay for tooling?<BR><BR> I first heard of this idea "digital back idea for 35mm slr cameras" when I used Photoshop 3.0; and my top Photoshop computer was a Pentium 90; with 16megs of ram. The 16megs of ram and Photoshop both cost 600 dollars each.<BR><BR>The average manufacturing labor cost in China is 90 cents per hour; according to the Wall Street Journal; page one; far right column; June 10; 2004. Germany is at the top; with 33.00 dollars per hour.
     
  10. I think you are out of luck regarding your Nikon N80. But if you would switch to a Leica R8 or R9, you might soon get a digital back.
     
  11. <<I have an imaging device that fits into the back of my Canon Eos30. It records superb images at a resolution of 400 megapixels and gives me pictures at least 70K x 60K. Limited capacity, though - it only stores 36 pictures. It's called Fuji Velvia 50, 135-36.>>

    Shhhh! Don't let the digiheads hear you or they'll Photoshop you out of the forum.
     
  12. Kelly, the reason the address is in Illinois is that this is the location of Quest Manufacturing. Quest fabricated the mockups for Silcon Film's original owner, Imagik (a division of Irvine Sensors, out in Irvine California). When Irvine Sensors shut down their Imagik subsidiary, Quest somehow ended up in coltrol of the patents (my guess, in exchange for their bill on the tooling). The company that created the Voyager One holding company is also in Irvine, California, and the address of the holding company itself is Vernon Hill, Illinois. So we get this weird "ping pong" of the company back and fourth from Irvine to the suburbs of Chicago. Back and fourth, back and fourth. I'm getting dizzy...

    Now, with literally hundreds of "job shops" in the Irvine area, one has to wonder why Imagik went all the way to Chicago to have their mockups built, in the first place. What started this 3000 mile ping-pong game?

    Jaime, find yourself a good, clean used D100. Then you'll have an N80 based digital camera with a well integrated user interface, well thought ought controls, and a viewfinder and metering system that match the digital format. Or look at a new D70. Then have a look at the EFS-4 literature on the Silicon Film site, and picture using that bulky box bolted to your N80, instead of the streamlined D70.
     
  13. Unless I'm wrong,I haven't seen anywhere in the answers to this tread that Leica is coming with just such a unit,this fall.O.K.,their unit will only fit their R8-R9 cameras but I wouldn't be surprise this will start a trend.By the way,their digital back(sensor by Kodak)is suppose to be 10 MP.
     
  14. I would be totally surprised if the Leica Modul-R (due out early 2005) started a trend.

    First, Leica has only one current SLR, R9. Fortunatly R8 will take the same back. Earlier R's are out of luck. Other companies have more. What would Nikon, for example, make it fit? F5, F4, F3, F2, F, F100, FM2, FM3, FA, FE, or the original poster's N80?

    Second, that things going to be expensive, in the $5000 range. If you're locked into Leica R, it's sort of your only choice. If you're shooting any other system, you've got fully integrated DSLRs availiable in that price range, instead of a Frankenstein's camera combination of film SLR and digital back.

    I wonder how many Modul-R backs Leica will sell. I don't know large numbers of R shooters, but every one that I know has already purchased a Canon 1D or 10D and a Leica R adapter.
     
  15. Well..I was wrong.I just found out somebody had already mention the Leica back for the R8-R9.Also...can't remember where I read it but Nikon is apparently doing the same thing(digital back) for his next F5 generation.I guess everytime a new thing is offered,there's always drawbacks and it takes sometimes and then it scoop up the market.Who would have think that those first(Minolta)slow autofocus camera,needing special expensive lenses would have redefine the market?
     
  16. Larry, two minor details.

    There is no digital back for the F5. There is a wild and totally unsubstantiated rumor about the Nikon F6, an entirely new "modular" camera. Since it makes almost no sense from a business standpoint, it's basically just a fantasy on the part of the people who want to see such a camera.

    And second, the 1995 Minolta 7000 was two years behind 1993's Nikon F3AF in autofocus.

    As far as "takes" and "scoop up the market", it's exactly the opposite. Digital backs like Modul-R are not new. The very first DSLR, the Kodak DCS-100, was a digital back built for the Nikon F3 in 1991. Kodak later went on to build digital backs, from the DCS-200 all the way up to the DCS-760, for several other Nikon and Canon SLRs. Nikon SLRs included F4, F5, 8008, N90, and Pronea (yes, the APS SLR). In some cases, the camera required minor modifications (such as a small connector added to N90). But in all cases, you could separate the film camera from the Kodak digital back, put a regular back on it, and go shoot film.

    The Nikon D1, D1X, D1H, D2H and Canon D60, 1D, and 1Ds pretty much put an end to this. Who wanted a two part "back and body" camera that was larger, heavier, more awkward, nore fragile, more expensive, less well sealed, and less ergonomic than the one piece cameras. Kodak themselves bowed out of this market two years ago when the DCS-XXX backs were discontinued in favor of the integrated DSLR, the 14n.

    So this is actually a bold leap for Leica. In one sweeping move, they're zooming from being 21 years behind the rest of the industry with only manual focus SLRs, to being just 14 years behind with a manual focus SLR with a digital back. If they keep this up, the "Society for Creative Anachronism" will have to find a new official camera.
     
  17. I've been following this "product" on and off for quite a few years - it seems they put all their effort into R&D and never put anything into production - though I think they were offering pre production models on a limited basis a few years ago.

    On the early prototypes, it just looked like a film can with a rigid tail holding the sensor. (No monitor)

    I'd love to see someone develop a product like this that could work in my Alpa cameras so I could get digital convenience with my Alpa lenses.
     
  18. "I think they were offering pre production models on a limited basis a few years ago"

    Mark, they never even got that far. The general belief is that there never was a product. People who saw the demo believed that the pictures were already on the computer, and the models just recreated the posing session, like photographic "lip synching".
     
  19. This is a very lovely idea and one I have also been thinking about. This technology will probably be feasible in a few years if major compaies like SONY, Kodak, HP, Siemens and Philips put a lot of effort into it.
    If this device is designed like a film (no previews), it'll still be fine. Do film users ever need to preview ? That would be nice but not necessary. The only problem would be to make a sensor which is a little or no thinker than a film.
    Even slight modification to the cemera body like removing the camera back permananetly wouldn't be bad (you can always get a film camera cheaply on ebay to make it digital !) the only constraint it faces is PRICE. The overall cost should be low enough so that there would be no need to buy a Digital body. Will Camera makers ever put their effort into it ?
    They should!

    I hope to see this device in a few years (5 years ???)
     
  20. The original silicon film back was a failure as it only fit Kodak Brownies & factory converted Instamatics.The earlier conversions are noted because of the "red dot" before the serial number & are now considered collectables.On a more serious note;Nikon are now making a film back for the Coolpix series of cameras!!
     
  21. "I have an imaging device that fits into the back of my Canon Eos30. It records superb images at a resolution of 400 megapixels and gives me pictures at least 70K x 60K. Limited capacity, though - it only stores 36 pictures. It's called Fuji Velvia 50, 135-36."

    Wow! What kind of scanner were you using for that? I'm thinking that since it's now two years later, maybe I can find one for cheap on a famous Internet auction site...

    A.
     
  22. I don't know if we will see Digital Film finally, but I don't want to spend my money and my time while manufacturers get an appointment:

    How many years they delayed a full-frame 24x36 mm digital camera?

    When they are going to join a unified RAW format?

    I think they are trying to get the most from us while we must work much more to get less money. If we were conscient about this, we would never buy first an expensive scanner, change it for a new 16 bit one, and finally buy a DSLR. We should join and support ideas like this instead of wondering what is the trick.
     

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