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Analog film / Digital sensor

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Herman, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Hi everyone.
    Analog film can be replaced by newer ones. (the film is the analog sensor)
    The digital sensor cannot be replaced (easily).
    Therefore, we "need" a new dig. camera every couple of years.
    Do we need a dig, camera with interchangable sensor?
    Yes I think we do, a X100 alike with interchangable lens and sensor would be great!
    Am I just dreaming? What you think?:wink:
     
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  2. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    There is the Ricoh GXR that has interchangeable lens modules that incorporate the sensor also. An x100 like that would be 1.Very Cool, 2, Very expensive!
     
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  3. There is certainly no reason why there cannot be more modular cameras that have interchangeable bits including sensors however costs skyrocket and a camera is the sum of the parts so often more than one element may need to be changed at the same time.

    Medium format has its digital backs and as noted, there is the Ricoh but the Ricoh doesn't quite add up in the logical dollar stakes.
     
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  4. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    The problem, I think, is that it´s not just the sensor that would have to be interchangeable, but rather the sensor and related electronics. While it may work for expensive system cameras (medium or large format) it would not make economic sense for anything else.

    To be quite frank, I do not get the Ricoh system at all. Why anyone would want to tie their lenses to sensors that will be obsolete in a few years makes no sense at all to me.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Interesting thread. I wonder what our Ricoh shooters will have to say? I have to admit that I was just reading about Ricoh's new 28mm lens/sensor...

    I wonder if part of the problem or challenge for us all is deciding whether or not something is obsolete for us, or not? I like to think that I will not be an "evolving camera owner" forever. Perhaps after my next purchase, I will need to take an anti camera review pill?

    But back to the interchangeable situation. It does seem to be very expensive and then what happens if the camera company "discontinues" the body? Will the new lens and sensor work with the next iteration? I guess that is always the question with almost any camera and lens combination, let alone sensor.:popcorm2:
     
  6. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    BB,

    That´s an interesting question you present. I think most of us are replacing cameras, not because they are obsolete, but because we want something new or different. In that sense, an interchangeable sensor camera would do us no good, unless new features could also be implemented as they became available, through firmware updates or otherwise.

    As I have said before, I was a late adopter of digital, buying my very first digital camera in late 2004, the original Canon Digital Rebel. I only used the Digital Rebel for about 9 months, as I bought a 20D when it came out. The 20D was a milestone in DSLR development. As compared to the Digital Rebel and 10D, you did not have to wait three seconds (which feels like an eternity) for the camera to wake from sleep. The camera was quicker and more agile in every sense, and the image quality set a new standard for APS-C DSLRs at the time.

    That was the only time I have replaced a camera because I thought it was obsolete. Even today, I do not regard the 20D as obsolete. The image quality is still first rate, and even though 8.2mp may seem low, it is plenty for most purposes and very large prints may be made with judicious use of uprezzing.

    To get to my point (there is one, I promise) I did replace the 20D four years later with a 50D, but not because I thought the 20D was obsolete. Rather, the 50D had features that I wanted that were missing on the 20D, such as live view, automatic sensor cleaning, and the larger LCD. The extra megapixels are nice to have (mostly for cropping) but in reality I cannot tell the difference in my prints from the 20D and the 50D (up to 12¨x 16¨). There is no significant difference in image quality, as far as I can tell.

    I guess I am trying to make two points here: (1) digital technology is mature enough so that obsolescence may come at a slower pace than before; and (2) if we are upgrading based on features, an interchangeable sensor camera body will be of no benefit to us.

    P.S. I gave my 20D to my sister, who is an artist and director of an art museum. She has been putting it to very good use.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Thanks Andy, acc to me the Ricoh GXR is rather expensive.
     
  8. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Thanks Peter, we need a modular camera, Oly is working on one?
     
  9. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Hi Antonio, thanks, agree with you!
     
  10. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Thanks BB, any Ricoh fans here? Plse stand up and speak.
    What we need ia a new open source modular camera concept. (my opinion)
     
  11. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    Antonio, in my humble opinion you are perfectly right here.

    By the way, your points are related to the purchasing behavior of many photographers. While there are photographers updating their gear because of extra speed or some new features needed to do their job more efficiently, many photographers do not update their gear because of real needs, but because of an illness called gear acquisition syndrome. This is especially true for many gear nerds living in diverse internet forums, who sell their nearly unused gear to real photographers as soon as new gear arrives.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Wally Billingham

    Wally Billingham SC Regular

    106
    Nov 27, 2010
    Laurel, MD
    Since digital cameras are still a relatively new technology improvements with various cameras has been far more than just the sensor. There have also been advancements in the computer hardware, memory, and processing speeds that make them possible.

    This mirrors where computers were from the 1980s to the early 2000s, where many people would upgrade to get not only a new OS but at the same time would get faster chips, bigger harddrives, and more ram. For about the last 8-10 years however computers reached the point where for most people there was no need to upgrade hardware and as such many people have not upgraded.

    I think we are reaching the point where digital cameras have reached the point where for the average person there is no need to upgrade anymore
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    It should be said that part of the GXR design is that it avoid dust on the sensor. A fully modular camera would have problems with that, with multiple avenues for dust to enter the camera. It also adds complexity as the lens would have to pair well with whatever sensor and vice versa. More mixing and matching is complex.

    People don't "need" to upgrade their cameras every year. They just do because its what we do these days. But I have begun to think about the environmental cost of all that plastic, metal, batteries, rare each materials, etc. It's costing more than we are paying in dollars. And it's not necessarily making our photographs better.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    We can be lucky that there are already many cameras with exchangeable sensors. There are not only color versions, but also black & white versions of these sensors covering a very broad spectrum of distinct looks. These exchangeable sensors come in small boxes containing 24 or 36 peaces. The cameras do not need to be updated and work with all exchangeable sensors being introduced even decades later.

    Of course, I am talking about film. I own a Canon T90 with some fine lenses. Last year I bought a Leica R5 with a Summicron 50mm, which was an unreachable dream when I was a teenager and later a student. These cameras are not expensive anymore, they have become reasonable cheap these days (Nikon's latest 50mm lens nearly costs twice than my used, but virtually new Summicron). When I saw this camera I just had to fulfill the dream of my youth. I am going to buy a good film scanner. Thus I will soon photograph full frame without carrying heavy and expensive gear. You should know, that I like the look of black and white films much more than the look of most digital conversions.
     
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  15. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Thanks for your kind replies, guess I will start working on a new camera concept using mind mapping software.
    Stay tuned thanks,
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Very true. One of the reasons I feel good about digital is that I am no longer pouring chemicals down the drain. However, I do know that our digital contraptions also bring environmental downsides with them, as well. :frown:

    So Christian, you are going to go retro!! I can't wait to see your photographs with this Leica R5!:biggrin:
     
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  17. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    BB, this is an idea I had last week. In the meantime I have read much about film scanning and came to the conclusion, that the film scanner has to be a very good one in order to satisfy me. I have seen some examples and to be honest, it is just the Nikon scanner which convinces me fully. Unfortunately this scanner is not produced anymore, costs a lot of money (even used) and is not compatible to my computer. But it is not only about image quality, but also about convenience. Scanning takes so much time and if the scanner cannot do any batch jobs, I will most probably loose any interest soon.
     
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  18. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Pictor,

    I probably read all the same articles as you did regarding how no flatbed scanner can match a dedicated film scanner. Do not let that stop you. I am using an Epson V500 which is an inexpensive flat bed scanner, and while it may not match the Nikon, it more than holds its own and will allow you to enjoy your Leica much more. Here are some examples:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramirezaponte/5460535658/" title="img046 by ramirezaponte, on Flickr"> 5460535658_4acbb39fe3_o. "1024" height="660" alt="img046" /></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramirezaponte/5460428562/" title="img045 by ramirezaponte, on Flickr"> 5460428562_2cbcc46af0_o. "662" height="1024" alt="img045" /></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramirezaponte/5415785734/" title="img076_1 by ramirezaponte, on Flickr"> 5415785734_97a4ecfedc_o. "1024" height="692" alt="img076_1" /></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramirezaponte/5415785820/" title="img098_1 by ramirezaponte, on Flickr"> 5415785820_fc9c483cc1_o. "1024" height="670" alt="img098_1" /></a>


    The first two are scans from Kodak T400CN chromogenic B&W film. The last two are scans from Kodak Elite Chrome 100 slide film. I have prints of the first three and they look very good.

    I will say, though, scanning is a PITA.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    Antonio, many thanks for showing me these wonderful pictures! Your pictures and this article have convinced me to buy a scanner. By the way, the page which scared me, was this one.
     
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  20. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Beautiful examples, Antonio! I'm sorry that I missed both yours and Christian's posts until just now. Hooray, Christian! You've been reenergized! I haven's scanned any photographs since our daughter graduated from high school - ok, so that's only 4 years ago..but still... Hmm, I wonder if I have my old scanner.... I think I got rid of it. It was an Epson but that model doesn't sound familiar.

    I'll have to read the linked articles, Christian, though maybe just that first one.:wink:
     
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