Digital "Film"? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Maybe slightly off topic, but I couldn't help when I read Mason Resnick's article on the bright new digital future:

He wrote: "A digital insert that will fit in any 35mm camera and record digital images is expected to hit the market in a few months;"

Actually, I first saw this in some journals at least two years ago (may even be more than two years, I'm not sure any more), and already then it was said to be ready for the market "in a few months". When I first read about that film cartidge with a CCD array, I immediately contacted the manufacturer (they called themselves Imagec) to get more details. In the beginning, this sounded really exciting: (I thought of using this thing in a spare camera for "visual notes" where no great quality is required. If you don't need them any more, you haven't wasted material, you just delete a few files.) Then came the answers of the manufacturer to my questions: Well, after all, it had turned out difficult to make this thing for any camera, because there are still significant differences between the models in the distances between the image window and the cartidge mouth. So they said they would make it "for the major modern models" (whatever that may mean). They promised to inform me "soon" when the thing was ready to hit the market. That was (at least) two years ago. I wonder if this is still the same manufacturer, and if "a few months" still means the same thing to them as it did before.

-- Thomas Wollstein (, March 09, 2000


Decide for yourself: Silicon Film

This implementation, at least, has pretty low resolution -- 1.3 megapixel images. I'd sooner buy a separate digital camera.

-- Josh Berezin (, March 09, 2000.

This subject keeps cropping up in the "Imaging Resource Discussion" forum, the last time as recently as a couple of days ago.

Personally, I'm sick of this company tanatlising us with what seems like a good idea, and perpetually failing to deliver on the promise. I've held off buying a digital camera on the strength of this moonshine, but I'm not one of the people you can fool all the time.

It strikes me that there's one technical difficulty that seems pretty insurmountable, and that's the question of aligning the CCD with the film plane. Conventional CCD arrays are quite thick devices, hermetically sealed behind a thin piece of optical glass. Now obviously if you just stick one of these up against the gate of a 35mm camera you're not going to get it lying in the focal plane. Taking the glass away and exposing the bare CCD doesn't seem to be an option, the smallest scratch would be instant death to it, and atmospheric contamination would almost certainly be a slow death. What I'm saying is: I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this device to appear on the market.

-- Pete Andrews (, March 10, 2000.

Alexis Gerard, publisher of Future Image Report (, implied essentially the same thing last night during a live chat on PhotoHighway--that he won't believe the hype about the digital film insert until he has a working one in his hands.

When I wrote the column I based my information on feedback from a source I trusted who had attended PMA and who is just as skeptical as everyone here about this particular product. When he said it looked like this thing was finally close to coming to market, I believed him and am still hopeful that he's right. But I also believe Alexis is about as reliable a source as there is when it comes to digital imaging, so I defer to his expertise until we are hopefully both proven wrong.


BTW: he also confirmed that a "dry minilab" that processes film without chemicals and creates a hi-res digital file is very close to being introduced to the marketplace. I'm not sure the process does to the film, though.

Just a thought--will dry minilabs be to photoprocessing what dry cleaners are to washing machines? :-)

-- Mason Resnick (, March 10, 2000.

You may want to check

-- (, April 02, 2000.

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