Skip to comments.Convert Your Old Film SLR Into a Digital Camera with the DigiPod
Posted on 08/16/2013 8:38:01 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER
The idea of fitting electronics into a film SLR in order to capture digital photos with it is not new. The thing is, most of the ideas weve shared ranged from April Fools jokes to promising concepts that never seem to advance beyond that.
The DigiPod is the first product weve seen actually become a reality. Its a digital cartridge that fits inside your old film SLR, and if it makes it to market, it could be quite groundbreaking.
(Excerpt) Read more at petapixel.com ...
Time to corner the market on film Nikons on craigslist.
You can do this very easily with a medium format SLR like a Mamiya 645, but to have this available for a 35mm SLR is very interesting.
... have a couple of Pentax 110 SLRs w/full set of lenses waiting to be revived...
I have a sweet old Canon AE1 with a 400mm lens (among others, of course) I have had for many years. I’ve taken some prize-winning photos with it, but have often wished since the digital revolution that it was digitized. My son is a pro in Denver, and he has the Canon EOS. A very impressive unit.
I can breathe new life into my old Mamiya 1000 DTL.
Stone the crows and call Me a POHM-my lover! Me mum just sold a fortune in old cameras and lenses for a piffling amount not too long ago! Arrrrghhh!
Or go micro-4/3 format. With a $20 adapter (brand specific) you can use all your old lenses.
Heh. I’ll be able to get the Tank going again :).
My brother worked for a start up company seems like a decade ago that was working on this and had functional prototypes. The company was driven into bankruptcy by a couple of employees that were ex Kodak, you figure out why. When it was time to liquidate assets these two tried to get the goods for cheap and the judge basically told the to them to take a hike.
I am surprised it has taken this long for it to resurface.
My Hasselblad 501C is in need of a digital conversion. The problem is the digital backs can set you back $10,000. I know there is a market for the digital conversion of their film camera. The faster such devices become available, the better.
That digital back cost so much because that sensor is huge (it matches the dimensions of a medium format film frame) and has a lot of bit depth. That said, I have seen some of the lower megapixel backs come down as higher and higher megapixel backs make it to market.
Speaking of Hasselblad, their top-of-the-line camera sports a 200megapixel back! It is yours for a mere 45 grand.
What I didn't see on the page was anticipated battery life (standby and how many pictures you can expect to take...), format of pictures, anticipated pixel sizes, etc. I also don't think he's given much thought about how he'd deliver 1,000 packages much less 5,000 packages.
I'm all for supporting inventors, and this project fills a void that really does need to be filled. But I really think he needs to collaborate with someone else...
The biggest bell and whistle I see missing from this project: Bluetooth 4.0 - view pictures on a smart phone as they are taken, change ASA settings, monitor battery power. That right there would double the functionality with very little additional hardware cost.
An inductive charging circuit would also help; strap on an external battery pack to the back of the camera and the film pod picks up the energy and charges the internal battery.
” Its a digital cartridge that fits inside your old film SLR...”
“Time to corner the market on film Nikons on craigslist.”
Only if they can keep the pricepoint low on this new device. If they charge over $300 for one, the Craigslist buyers will be better off just buying a real dslr.
It will be great if this comes to fruition. I’ve got a big collection of vintage Nikons and some legendary Nikkor lenses. DSLRs never appealed to me because they seem so complicated. I understand film, shutter speeds, F-stops, and mechanical cameras. I have trouble wrapping my mind around digicams but if one of my old cameras could “go digital” I’d sure be willing to try it. In the meantime, I’ll stick with film.
“What I didn’t see on the page was anticipated battery life...”
Maybe they can repurpose the camera body’s lever that advances the film. Place a mini generator in the right side of the cartridge. To generate some juice, the user just needs to crank that lever a few times, which spins the mini generator in the cartridge.
That’s one of the beauties of this cartridge: It’ll let you switch easily between digital and film and back again. You’ll always be able to swing both ways.
I had an AE-1P (a great and not terribly expensive camera in its time) and now I have an A-1 in a bag gathering dust, with its very good lenses. I think that there will have to be a lot of compromises made in this design but it would be nice to use my old camera usable again. I just hope that no one is getting their hopes up. It should be able to take pictures, but having the exposure controls is going to be non-existent or very, very tricky and cumbersome. IMO, without a near full size image sensor or some genuinely amazing optics, it’s just going to be a curiosity. I hope he gets enough commitments.
Hmmm...I have two Nikons from the late 1970s/mid 1980s...and lots of lens to go with them...very interesting...
You should consider getting a newer Nikon dSLR because some of them will mount your old lenses. I have a Nikon D5000 that will mount even the pre-AI lenses. Everything is manual, even the exposure, but they are loads of fun. I also have a Nikon D7000 that will mount every Nikon SLR lens from AI to present day and the D7000 will vary the shutter speed to get the right exposure (use aperture priority).
My favorite lens is a Vivitar Series 1 with a Nikon AI mount, 28-90mm, f2.8 dating from the early 1980s. A nice bonus is all the weight training you can get in while taking photos!
I have the 1000 TL, along with a variety of M42 screw mount lenses, and some old Practica bodies, too.
Plus, a cherry Nikon FM2n that was my dads, and has barely seen any use.
It’d be sweet to get one (or all) of these cameras running again. Occasionally, I’ll buy a roll of film and run through one of them, but it’s just easier to grab the DSLR.
Hope this makes it to market and is reasonably priced. If they make one for the Zenit, I’ll definitely be picking one up on eBay...
Nice thing about DSLRs is that you can experiment on the fly and see your results without having to wait for a contact sheet.
Would love to revive my two Pentax SPII’s with a digital upgrade.
Nothing like that old “Ka-Chunka!” when you trip the shutter.
A lot of the DSLRs on the market have those features especially the models that have a full manual mode where you set the shutter speed, ISO, f-stops, etc.
The company was driven into bankruptcy by a couple of employees that were ex Kodak, you figure out why.
I spent quite a bit of time in Rochester when I was working for a Swiss based machine supplier. Working on getting our equipment “qualified” with Kodak to potentially supply machines to them for mass production of their Photo CD product (dye based CD-R technology). You know how the Photo CD worked out...
In any event, they were always so proud to claim that they had the largest amount of PhD’s working for the company. Their demise was never a surprise...
I have that same Vivitar Series 1. GREAT lens! When I use it I don’t need to go to the gym for a couple of days... I have the 600mm Solid Cat too - compact but DENSE LOL!