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Higher Res Digital Cameras 118

cyberdude wrote in to link us to an EETimes story that talks about a new digital camera coming out that claims to be able to capture 4000x4000 pixel images. There are lots of comments about existing digital camera technology and why this is different. All I know is we're getting closer to ending the need for film. Thats cool by me.
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Higher Res Digital Cameras

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  • oh, how i love my Moog.

    Is Moog still around? Last time I looked at synthesizers in a store, they were mostly Roland and Korg, and they were all digital.

    I almost bought a MicroMoog way back, and I wish I had. As I recall, it was a single oscilator, and had that weird ribbon pitch bender. I used ARPs instead, which was a mistake, I think.


  • It would've been slightly more convenient to have made it 4096x4096...

    With 4000x4000 you first have to drop to 2048x2048 (still pretty good, mind you)... unless you can bear with errors resulting from padding.

    Oh well,,,,


  • photoCD's are at :
    3072 x 2048, 1536 x 1024, 768 x 512, 384
    x 256, and 192 x 128
    Most modern scanners can match everything upto 3072 x 2048..the new HP scanners with hardware super-sampling can match that photoCD isnt that great.
  • actually you can take digital printouts of the digital pics so your argument is not really valid. i'd personally love the free d&p that comes with digital + flexibility.
  • i usually develop at CVS stores (ive used several) for my APS camera. the pics come out ok -- but the resolution sucks. personally, is a cheap 1600 x 1200 digital camera comes out i'll switch without hesitation.
  • ... if you're trying to get a nice blowup of a blue heron you snapped at a distance of 25 meters (ocean filling the space between yourself and the bird). The more dots you have, the better your enlarged/cropped images look.

    I agree that film is a far more portable medium for tromping around with. It'd suck if I ran out of flashcard space just as that perfect picture popped up, losing the opportunity because I had to delete some images before getting enough space to take more.

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • not really. you can always use super sampling or whatever..
  • actually most of us have already switched to point and click APS cameras..for all those brainless ppl out there that still develop their own film -- wake up!! BTW, the image doesnt magically appear -- it takes time and is a messy process. ive dont it once and i gave up in favor of a nice auto film processing machine. most of us also use transistors on our CD/DVD players and prefer mice to messy paints anyway..old cameras, tubes and assorted shit is going..going..gone.
  • Film will still have a big adavantage over digital video, which is storage.
    The article claimed that the camera spits out a
    48MB image for a resolution of 4000 by 4000!
    This makes this camera usefulness for video very expensive..
    Assuming that no compression is used so to preserve quality,
    a second of video footage might take 48*25= 1.2 Gigabytes!
    Ofcorse you can compress your video using mpeg or another simular codec,
    but in the end you still will need at least a Terrabyte of harddisk
    to store the beginning credits of'The Matrix' at acceptable quality..
    Also you are going to need a super fast hard disk that can write
    1.2 Gigabytes per second to save your digital video!

  • There's considerable picture loss, but nowhere near as much as going from 35 mm to digital. Probably the best photo site on the net, Philip Greenspun's [] says that there's about 56% as much information in an APS film as in a 35 mm. He also says that for printing snapshot type photos or maybe even 8x10 you're doing ok. If you're satisfied with the results then you made an excellent purchase (this goes for anything, including digital cameras or computers or operating systems or...)
  • I have both an SLR and a digital camera and I use both... the digital is nice if you want to go out and catch quick snaps, be able to throw away the duff ones without having had to pay for the processing, and for when you need to travel light and catch lots of pics, however, I would never get rid of my SLR unless the make a digital camera that you could...

    a) change the lenses on so you can do different zoom's, wide angle (not stiching 2 pics together co it isn't the same results), filters, etc etc

    b) make it more like a camera where you decide what picture you want to take, and not just point and click or scroll through endless menus that you have to reset afterwards...

    both have a place, embrace the new but respect the old.

  • > I would never get rid of my SLR unless they
    > make a digital camera that you could...

    > a) change the lenses

    There's a manufacturer working on a "digital camera" drop-in film canister for standard 35mm cameras. Check out: (actually, it seems to be down this moment). Last I heard, they were hoping for 1280x1024 resolution (or something close).

    I hope they haven't folded--that was (and still is) the best hope for digital cameras, I think--retrofitting all our existing cameras. Best of both worlds.

  • I definitely recommend nickel-metal hydride rechargeables for digital cameras. I've been using them in my Nikon F100 film camera, too, which also tends to eat batteries pretty quickly (though certainly far less quickly than my digital camera).
  • I heard that Lucasfilm and others are experimenting with the creation of fully digital movies, which could be transferred to movie theaters by satellite or with any other high-bandwidth connection, no more need for expensive and sensitive reels (which can be easily stolen :-)). What resolutions / color depths / color spaces are they using? Links, anyone? Or is it all research right now?
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    happens that the NTSC video standard, on which the XL1 is based, disguises such effects by providing a relatively high-resolution monochrome image and then overlaying low-resolution colour over it.

    I'm not quite sure what your talking about..
    NTSC(Never The Same Color) is an anolog format, consisting of about 500 or so scan lines. Each scan line is an anolog wave form (so in *theory* you have infinte horozontal resolution).
    in the black and white days, The image was simply defined by how high the signal was +0 volts was black, and +5 volts was white.
    in order to add color, a 3 MHz freqency was added, and modulated with the brigtness wave. the Phase of the wave is what defines the color. +0 is red, then yellow, green,blue, purple, and back to red.
    so there is no "RBG" data at all in a television set. as for the gosting you are seeing, its just beacuse NTSC sucks ass.

    infact I think we should all just switch to VGA, the sega dreamcast has a SVGA port on the back....
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Traditional photography is as much an art as a science. Just getting a digital picture will never be enough for some, myself included. Choosing the fstop and shutter speed, contemplating the light in the shot, picking your lens, and making the personal decision of what you want to achieve in your shot will never be replaced by click&shoot brainlessness of digital cameras (sounds remarkably like point&click, eh?).

    I confess I've never used one, so maybe there's more options to using it, but it will still never be a replacement for classic, analog, chemical film. Just as the computer has not lead us to a paperless, inkless office, nor will digital imagery ever banish the film-based camera to obsolesence.

    Like a /. who posted before me, I too have a Nikon, mine however, is the N60 (new as of Autumn '98) a very sweet camera. I shot no less than thirteen rolls when I visited London and Paris. Unfortunately, I'm new to photography, so I was doing some serious OJT. It was a joy to do, though. Far from the cold experience of taking digital pictures which I saw other tourists doing. Rather, it was like using UNIX rather than Windows. It required thought, understanding, and artistic choices.

    Later on, I hope to set up a dark room, learn to develop my own rolls, and take complete control of the artistic process. Until then, I'll suffer through commercial development, but that "consistency" will allow me to focus learning how depth of field, shutter speed, lighting, and lens choice will all make the shot that I want.

  • You need 4k by 4k resolution only if you are a professional photographer. One or two megapixels is enough for most people.

    What i really dislike about digital cameras is storage (or lack of it), you can only store a few hiqh quality pictures in the flash memory of the camera. With a tradional camera you get 24 or so pictures without compromising quality. 24 may not be that much but atleast you can change the film. Sure, you can allways buy flash cards for a digital camera, but that costs a damn lot more than a roll of film.

  • The desire to quickly abandon a technology that's been around for as long as film has in exchange for a technology as new as digital is foolish.

    I wouldn't call it quickly -- agonizingly slow is more like it.

    I worked in the photo industry from 1985-1991, and I've been waiting ever since for a good, high resolution, affordable digital camera to replace my aging 1987 Canon EOS 650.


  • Once silver is oxidated it cannot be won back.

    yes it can, and it isn't oxidesed when the film is developed, but when the silver nitrate(AgNO2) is made. all you have to do is oxidize it with a more active mettal, witch isn't hard, beacuse silver isn't that active.

    we did an exsperement in my highschool chem class where we took some silver nitrate and stuck some copper in, the coper was eaten away, and little bits of pure silver formed on the wire.
    Our chemistry teacher colected the silver at the end of the day for reuse next year

    actualy it also turns out that its cheaper to make silver nitrate yourself by dumping silver into nitric acid, then it is to order it pure, by a factor of 50.

    I guess you chemistry teacher did a pretty bad job...
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • I just got one of those advantex cameras, cheep.
    how much of a picture quality loss is there with that? is there anything inherantly bad with the film?
    How much of a resolution loss is there involved with a cheap camera?
    I'd really like to know (my camera cost $40)
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • I get 24 hires pictures on a SmartMedia card on the C2000Z, and SmartMedia is a lot easier to change than film. And it looks like that in about six months, you can get quadruple that density.

    And with CompactFlash, you get even more storage per card (but the cards themselves are bigger and they aren't as easy to change).

  • If you read the article, they will be producing a $10k-$30k camera, and they don't seem to be interested in the consumer market ("we don't ever want to sell $100 cameras", Mead says).

    For that kind of money, you can already get excellent digital cameras (including the Nikon D-100). Foveon may have resolution that's a little better and a slightly better dynamic range, but at those prices, that will be pretty academic for most camera users.

  • Did anyone notice the part where they said that there would still be grain on the picture? I did, and I think that's wrong.

    I think they should be moving *away* from the limitations of film. These guys are probably professional photographers, and have been using film there whole lives, but there are flaws, and grain is one of them. The target should be the human eye. They should try to make photographs as close to what we see in the real world. Things like grain and the color effects that go with film could be, and should be done on a computer post process. Right now I'd say that there's nothing I can't do with a 'perfect' digital camera and a copy of photoshop.

    Does anyone remember that 'live' episode of ER? Do you remember how it looked different? It's because they were using live NTSC feeds, instead of movie film that they usually use. The effect made it seem more like a low budget sitcom or daytime soap then ER, but it was *more real* and truer to what we see every day.

    That 'effect' could just as easily done on an effects processor (and it may have been, on non live shows). Once Digital photography surpasses pure optical photography, there will be *no* reason for film. Like the way film looks? Run it through photoshop, it takes a lot less time the developing the film.... (and costs less money).

    And one more thing, why would you need to print out your photos?
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • I doubt they'll be making hardware designed for current tech digital cameras, but I very much doubt that people couldn't have transferred the image onto hard disk at some point, and then possibly onto whatever we're using in the future.

    And software to view the image? Of course there will be, even if you have to run it under emulation.
  • I would suggest that, once they become more popular, there may be far more user interaction with digital cameras; that you will be able to change the lens, for example. Admittadely, I don't think thats what you're are looking for, but the point stays.
  • Silver is not an anamal, it is a stable element, witch means that it cannot be destroyed, ever (unless the atom is broken apart in some sort of nulear reaction, but I don't think thats somthing that could be done easyly beacuse of silvers stable nature).

    the silver will be there untill the univerice ends.
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • We spent around $500 on a Nikon F-50. Film price (on average, higher speed means higher price) runs around $2.50 a roll, development for 24 picture rolls costs typically $3. Getting prints are what really beefs that price up, usually running at $10 and up for 24 shots @ 4x6.

    As most of my pics were destined for the net anyways, I invested $1.2k cdn in a negatives scanner (specifically, the Nikon Coolscan III). The color range and image detail is outstanding... so good that it even picks up the relatively crappy substrate of kodak film (at 800 ISO and higher the grain is VERY NOTICABLE... go with fuji if you need film speed higher than ISO 400). I'll be saving $10/roll in prints and a LOT of time that I'd be wasting doing color/brightness adjustments for better pictures. 100 rolls and this scanner will have been paid for. Considering I snapped off 5 rolls on my last road trip up island, I expect it'll have paid for itself well inside of christmas.

    There are some things film photography is great for that CCDs handle poorly... for example, low light, extended exposure photography. Extending the exposure time to a CCD will NOT result in more light being accumulated (the overall brightness doesn't vary with time), whereas a film will continue to expose farther with each straggler photon striking the surface. Some of my recent experimentation has been with photographing naturally very dark areas which have been dimly lit in a variety of ways (mostly using candles). CCD technology would have quite poor results in those situations, whereas a 2 second exposure time on the tripod has turned out some sweet results from film.

    Still, I expect that for the joe average, I-use-my-camera-4-times-a-year type owner though, a CCD would be plenty.

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • You're right, cameras, as they are, will probably never be completely replaced. COMPLETELY.

    However, for what most people look for in a camera; something to take simple photos with, I think digitial camearas will replace analogue, if they can get the cost right.

    In particular, digital cameras are great for people like me who need a cheap way of making mistakes, and an easy way of destroying the evidence :)

  • PhotoCD has been around for ages, but is drastically overpriced. Quality is good (I have one lying around), though. And now, there's FlashPix, which nothing supports...

    Well, nothing have access to, anyway... I think the problem with both formats is that they require a licensing fee to be paid by anyone using the technology.
  • There seems to be a billion dolar industry on the net dependend on people wanking off in front of computers... :)
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Well, the grain that you see on the image has nothing to do with what you are trying to photograph, so its not really 'information' I'm sure a computer could give you whatever the camera is doing to produce the grain.....
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • ... because they don't last long enough.

    Currently, they only last a few hours at most on one set of batteries. Which is rather inconvenient, even trying to extend the life by turning it on/off repeatedly.

    While they're great for shots directly to the computer, they need to last a lot longer before I could consider one to replace my 35mm camera.

    Hmm. Go on a tour, and bring lots and lots of batteries (or a few sets of rechargables and a charger...). Or just bring a 35mm camera and some film.

    Right now, digicams won't replace 35mm's until this one little flaw in an otherwise great product is fixed.

  • I used to have the "1000" model, I believe, but the image quality was washed. I did do a search for it on the internet (yahoo excite, any engine you can find), and tacked on "linux", and found a site outside the us where the protocol was "reverse engineered". I would have to believe they use similar formats, since they were out about the same time. Take a quick search... you may be suprised at what you find.
  • Okay, I admit I maybe rushed to judgement. What annoyed me, though, was the implication that digital cameras were superior by nature to film cameras. It was my intention to disprove that. I find that assumption as annoying and poorly thought-out as the assumption that paper and pencil will someday be replaced completely. Don't think I'm some kind of luddite. I'm quite the nerd, and I've been using a laptop computer to take notes in college classes for about five years now. I am willing to acknowledge when and where pencil and paper will be more useful or appropriate, however.

    Moreover, however nice digital flatscreens get, who would ever want to do away with books? Printed and hand-written material have an immense charm. More sophisticated, technological, and complex does not necessarily mean better.

  • if i remember correctly (which i think i do) i have imported a photoshop file into the GIMP, so the file conversion under linux does exist.

    once the camera is released, hopefully we at the gPhoto project can get our hands on one (maybe a demo from the manufacturer) to write support, and reference the GIMP code for format conversion.

    but the decision to go with the Photoshop format is a VERY odd one. :P that leaves out most ALL windoze apps for editing.
  • Then there's some developments in CCD technology I'm not aware of yet... in my experience with any CCD technology thus far (consumer grade, admittedly) the CCD either detects light, or it doesn't. Letting a 1-photon-per-second source expose to a film will always result in some sort of increase in exposure... is there then CCDs that will accumulate light increases in the same fashion as film? Will those CCDs be available for the average joe any time soon?

    If those could be made cheap, and allow for the incremental increase of light collection as per film, then I could see how the last bastions of 'utility' work for film photography could be swept away by digital means, leaving it as a purely artistic medium.

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • > Funny, I'm sure that is exactly how artists felt > when cameras were introduced. It did take > some time before creative use of photography > came to be considered 'art'. Its funny that you're sure, because you're also completely wrong. Film photography was recognized and embraced pretty much immediately as an important and groundbreaking art form. The reason digital photograph has not been embraced as clearly is simply because the quality, compared to film, is on the whole inferior. That doesn't mean that High Art won't eventually be produced with digital cameras (I've certainly been to art exhibits in the past several years with works produced via digital means). It simply means that on the whole, TODAY, the digital camera is a generally inferior tool in terms of absolute resolution compares to color slides. The point isn't that Digital is Bad, Film is Good. The point is that for some of us, quality is paramount. For those of us for whom convenience matters more, digital will replace film sooner. But photographers for National Geographic (for example) aren't going to be throwing away their medium format cameras any time in the next 20 years, either.
  • But while we're on the subject of digital cameras, does anyone know of one that works under linux?
  • Criminy, that's awesome. I want one! :-)

    I believe I recall seeing on certain packs of Kodak 35mm film an actual resolution-- something on the order of 3600x2400 or so. (Just checked a boxed roll I have here, but it's nowhere to be found :-(

    What's sort of funny about this, is that the prism/R-G-B sensor idea is actually an old idea. That's how earlier TV cameras worked, IIRC, before we had these newfangled single-chip CCD's. (Though I think high-end TV cameras have used triple CCD's for some time... hmm)
  • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Sunday July 11, 1999 @06:59AM (#1808282) Homepage
    High-end digital video cameras use 3CCDs with a similar beam-splitting system to what's described in the article. As far as I know, no mid-end digital still cameras (i.e. ones selling for less than $ 15k) do this, and I wonder why. This current practice would appear to invalidate their patent unless it's using a more sophisticated variant of the process.

    Interestingly enough, my Canon XL1 MiniDV camcorder [] has the moire pattern problem despite the use of separate red, green and blue sensors. This is because it performs a process similar to that described in the article so that it can use larger CCDs to improve light sensitivity. It happens that the NTSC video standard, on which the XL1 is based, disguises such effects by providing a relatively high-resolution monochrome image and then overlaying low-resolution colour over it. This is why you often see reds distorted and blurred when you watch a video (especially one that's been through a few generations).

    The biggest tradeoff between this lower effective resolution and competing cameras is significantly higher low-light performance and more vivid colours. The Sony VX-1000 has a more conservative design and would probably be the right camera to use for a direct comparison between the old and new technologies. (I have a review of the XL1 and the VX-1000 at the link above).

    I find the XL1 to be the ideal digital camera for the web, since you can take video and pick the best individual frames from it. That way, you always get the picture. You can see some examples at my portfolio of XL1 pictures [].

    That being said, I wish they had shown a picture and given pricing for the new camera. Cool as the technology is, it seems like it would be even more difficult to carry around than my six point XL1.
  • But while we're on the subject of digital cameras, does anyone know of one that works under linux?

    You'll want to check out gPhoto [] for a list of cameras.


  • by heroine ( 1220 ) on Sunday July 11, 1999 @07:25AM (#1808284) Homepage
    You ever notice in the kodak photo CD commercials the fact that photo CD's get higher resolution than any desktop scanner is completely ignored? You don't see anyone mass selling HDTV on the basis of its resolution either for that matter. Unless high resolution becomes a factor in the minds of consumers don't expect the cost of 4000x3000 cameras to drop.
  • They'd better find a good replacement for film, otherwise the world's silver supplies would be depleted within several decades. At least that's what my chemistry teacher used to tell.

    IIRC, the photo-sensitive substance in film is silver oxide. Once silver is oxidated it cannot be won back.
  • Silver oxide can easily be reduced back to metallic silver.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone here still use traditional film? Anyone here develop their own? I have resisted the urge to get a digital camera mainly because I haven't found one for less than $1k that could rival the images generated by any of my workhorse cameras (Ricoh R1 and Canon TLql). Out of 6 cameras, only one is younger than me (the Ricoh) and none cost me more than $200 (Ricoh again). One of my cameras dates back to the 20s.

    Not a knock against digital, I'm just waiting for the price/performance ratio to come into line with standard film systems.

  • I have an Olympus Camedia C-840L that uses SmartMedia... it's a little plastic (8MB) card that slides into a PCMCIA (PC Card) card. Linux treats it as a IDE device, so it works perfectly. If you don't have a laptop, Olympus sells a floppy adapter (!), presumably allowing you to mount the floppy disk as normal.
  • I recently went looking on the net for some way to control an Olympus D-200L camera without using the crappy TWAIN software they have (using the camera for college ID pictures, and the software is slooooow). Found a page at this place [] that has software (and source) for controlling a lot of different cameras under unix, dos, and windows (and I think it mentioned linux too). Much faster than using the manufacturer programs. Unfortunately I can't compile the windows source because my windows compiler doesn't understand the "interrupt" var type, looks like I'll still have to do some coding for the type of thing I need to do...
  • I still use traditional film. I've got an Nikon N90s and on my last trip shot 9 rolls of film. I've looked at digital cameras with each new generation and there still isn't enough resolution compared to even a 35 mm negative. They're fine if you're going to post something on the web or make a small print, but they're not so fine once you want to print something larger.

    For price/performance digital cameras probably do win, my trip cost me >$200 for prints and another >$100 to get everything on PhotoCD. In two more similarily photogenic trips I'll have put out a cost equal to my camera body. I couldn't however have blown up a half dozen of my favourite images and put them on my office walls and have them still look sharp with a consumer digital camera.

    I've never developed my own film, I'd like to learn how though.
  • werd. give me analog over digital any day of the week, including Sunday.

    it's like with synthesizers, the difference between the Moog and the Rave-O-Lution. the Moog was and is completely analog, wheras the Rave is digital. the Rave-O-Lution comes with a complete set of digital waveforms that replicate the sound of the MiniMoog, but if you play the two side-by-side (i have), the MiniMoog just completely destroys it, because with the MiniMoog, you're hear a the current hit the oscilator and blah blah blah until you get a thick, fat crunch out the other end. but with the Rave, the Moog just comes out sounding hollow and empty, because it's just a bunch of 1's and 0's representing the beautiful Moog.

    oh, how i love my Moog.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Once again, we have to look at intent and purpose. If all you're interested in is having a cool piece of technogear and snapping pics of family and friends, you've got your camera. If you are a business posting 1" lowres images in the Thrifty Nickel or on eBay, you can't fail with digital. When the camera breaks or media fails, so what? Buy a new one, and take more pictures.

    However, if you're a serious photographer, you'll never abandon film even if you also use digital. There are image qualities you can coax from film that just wouldn't be possible with digital. It's an intuitive and creative process dealing in light and chemicals to achieve an organic effect that crisp digital cannot currently reproduce. Even scanned in, a photo is better than a digital camera when it comes to serious work or art if just for the latitude and tone depth and that little bit of organic umph that seperates analog from digital. If you've never experimented with the possibilities you can get using film, you probably don't care and will be satisfied with digital. But I invite you to apply a little research and creativity to your approach to film - you will be pleasantly surprised. You also need to research a little on the theory of vision for photography. We're taking a 3D scene and rendering it 2D. You will never get an exact replication, and your goal should not be to do so. Instead, you should achieve to create an interpretation of what you see and previsualize, whether digital or film. Look at a scene and visualize how it would render at different fields of view and how the lighting will affect your photographic apparatus of choice. With film, you can adjust exposure to exploit reciprocity characteristics, or you can select a particular film that renders cool or warm depending on the scene. Filters can further enhance this, as can development. The image isn't created when you trip the shutter - it's created in your head and the entire photographic process from making the exposure to development and printing merely manifests what you already created. When you start delving into the depths of photography, you'll no doubt start playing with film again. Digital's cool and neat and all that, but don't abandon film until you've had a chance to fully exersize your creativity on it...
  • All I know is we're getting closer to ending the need for film. Thats cool by me.

    Cool by you?! For shame. The desire to quickly abandon a technology that's been around for as long as film has in exchange for a technology as new as digital is foolish. Digital formats are constantly changing, as are video formats. I'm no Luddite, but I've gone through three video formats in the last five years already. I have data on disks from old computers (my Apple ][, my Atari 800, my C64) that I can't extract any more without going through a lot of trouble -- and I won't even bother to mention the mountains of SSI data the government can't even access because of dead formats.

    One other nice thing about having a film negative, is that you don't need electricity to look at it. To me it's the difference between an optical telescope and a radio telescope. The optical may not have the viewing latitude of the radio, but when I rest my eye against the eyepiece -- I know I'm looking at the universe with MY OWN EYES.

    Simple film is elegant and nonvirtual. I for one will mourn the day when film vanishes.

    I'm all for new technology, Rob, but when I see you carelessly dismiss a tradition of artistry rooted in the process of filmmaking, I can only shake my head in pity at you. You obviously have no understanding of what you're losing in your quest to look forward to the future.
  • Actually the Foveon is utilizing analog at the capture level, which apparently is the key for the non-degradation on enlargements. I can remember reading articles that what the Foveon does (the complexity of analog chips) couldn't be done. As others noted, this camera is directed at professional photographers and may not be easy to reverse engineer. Gene
  • Man, what is wrong with me??
    once silver is oxidized it cannot be won back.

    yes it can, and it isn't oxidized when the film is developed, but when the silver nitrate(AgNO2) is made. all you have to do is oxidize it with a more active metal, witch isn't hard, because silver isn't that active.

    we did an experiment in my high school chem class where we took some silver nitrate and stuck some copper in, the copper was eaten away, and little bits of pure silver formed on the wire. Our chemistry teacher collected the silver at the end of the day for reuse next year

    actually it also turns out that its cheaper to make silver nitrate yourself by dumping silver into nitric acid, then it is to order it pure, by a factor of 50.

    I guess your chemistry teacher did a pretty bad job...

    that's better.... I wouldn't want people to think that my English teacher did a pretty bad job... (although I'm sure they already do :(
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Replace film?

    While we are at it lets replace oil paints and water color and grease pencils. Make everyone use the gimp and a nice HP printer.

    Instead of teaching brush stroke technique and the mixing of paints for different colors, we will just move the mouse with the proper paint brush style and click on a color we like.

    Do you think maybe we can get the graffiti taggers to give up spray paint for a mouse as well?

    Who needs to learn about under exposing ectachrome 64 slide film by a half step to make the color saturation richer? Or the cool effects of indoor film under mercury vapor lamps at night?

    Hell, why worry about color at all? You can click it in later with your mouse.

    I feel sorry for all the digital idiots who will never see a photo appear magically on a blank white sheet of paper when dipped in the finishing solution.

    The digital camera is a tool. It will have its place. I seriously doubt it will take its place along what is considered art photography.

    Ken Broadfoot

    Oh, bye the way: TUBES ALL THE WAY!! on guitar amps AND bass amps. And tube pre's for vocals.

  • I seem to recall hearing that Moog re-released the Mini Moog a year or two ago, using the original analogue specs and parts. Anyone have any info on this? I didn't know anyone who bought one, because they were apparently very expensive. Plus there is better analogue stuff to buy that is much cheaper.

  • For the life of me I can't understand WHY the film industry embraced this format that has a SMALLER negative area than 35mm.

    The smaller the neg, the worse the picture.

    Yes, I agree, a digital camera is much better than an APS camera.
  • Yes, but are they close from medium format trannies? 8x10 Velvia trannies?

    Thats why our clients still give us trans to scan (Linotype/Hell scanner here) still.

    Regardless, I'll always have a job. The digital files that we get from out clients are always in HEAVY need of color correction and/or retouching. And it's really scary when they get ahold of Photoshop and start playing! While they may be doing more and more retouching on their end in the future, they'll need Matchprints/Cromalins/Approvals etc etc to proof...even though we're getting more and more into filmless printing (ie Creo direct-to-plate systems).
  • My main complaint with the move to the digital world in recording (and I guess it can correlate to photography), was the lack of understanding of sound and proper recording techniques. It wasn't a matter of whether or not something should be done, but simply that it can be done. (I was in a school setting and so was dealing with the student mindframe - many of who I am sure have not gone on to be professional recording engineers.)

    Digital recording has allowed more home studio users to produce recordings. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just like allowing home users to take their own photographs. The true professionals will use the available tools to their advantage.

    The same goes for photograpy. Just as there are still those who play analog instruments (some of which are 300 years old or more) and paint with oil and brush, or mold with clay, there will always those who choose to use film.

    I happen to have a digital camera because it is easier for me to use than a point and click camera that takes film. I find I take alot more "snapshots" now than I did when I had a non-digital camera. However, I would still love to have a SLR camera to really learn about photography. There is place for both in the world.
  • If you're talking about Movie Theature "Big Picture, Big Sound" type substrate, traditionally (since the 50s) film has predominantly been on 70mm film, with 65mm given to visual and 5mm given to multitrack audio, but the quality of the print was terrible and varied greatly based on the substrate itself and weather or not an anamorphic technique was used to compress more image onto the film... thus it'd be difficult to measure the optimum bandwidth needed to reproduce these old films.

    However, going by Super35 (the latest film format with digital soundtracks and whatnot), here's a little math I did which would give my best guesstimate as to bandwidth usage for a near-film-quality digital stream.

    35mm * 120 dots/mm = 4200 dots (horizontally). Super35 uses a 4/3 ratio frame (sometimes anamorphed out to 16:9, sometimes cropped, but lets assume the whole frame WANTS to be saved). 120 dots/mm is a scanning resolution of 3000dpi, which is achievable by even present day consumer grade products.

    So, Frame size = 4200 x 3150

    This would produce a 7dpi image horizontally if projected to a 50' foot wide screen, which I think would look pretty good if you were 20/30 feet away from it. In fact, it may look better than necessary from a resolution standpoint.

    4200x3150x6 (16 bit RGB) = 76mb/frame. 16bit color may not be necessary, but I'd daresay it'd look nice. Consumer grade devices can scan at 12bits/color.

    76mb/frame * 24 frame/sec = 1.77GB/second.

    So, 1.8GB/second for raw, 16 bit per channel frames at 3000dpi. Lop off 50% if run through a lossless entropy encoder, so around 900MB/s. Take off half if you think 16 bit color is unnecessary and 8bit would be fine to 450MB/s, take off another 75% if 1500dpi will do (say, if destined for a wide screen monitor 2000 dots wide) to around 110MB/s, or just below 1Gbps.

    Bandwidth requirements: Theatre: 7.2Gbps
    Home: 0.9Gbps

    The transport mechanisms are already available in such technologies as gigabit ethernet for consumer use. Storage is the only issue. At consumer grades, we'd need about 600GB for a 90 minute movie... approximately 1000 times that of a current CD. A theatre sized version would take just shy of 5TB.

    Storage requirements:
    Theatre: 3.25TB/hr
    Home: 400GB/hr

    Given the explosion in media storage size (an increase of 1000 times or more per dollar in the last 10 years), it's reasonable to assume that systems like the above would both be feasable and cheap within our lifetimes. Keep in mind though that lossy compression algos are in use that reduce the video size by a factor of 10, 100, or more. Old films could easily be so compressed with no apparent loss of quality.

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • Well, I don't know about this thing, but the file format for older versions of Photoshop essentially were just TIFF files.
  • There's a lot of very advanced digital cameras with _lots_ of options to play with -- including interchangable lenses, shutter speed, whatever.

    And there's also a lot of film cameras with just one button.


  • mmhhh... I don't have an example right here, but this is often a bad idea... any tweak you do to your image becomes very hard to detect in frequence space.

    by supersampling, you add spatial information, but how does this translate in frequency? And how does it compare to the interpolation method you use?

    Really, it's a difficult question, which can be solved easily...

    Chop the pics off!
    Like everybody works on 512x512 images, but the actual TV resolution is something like 768xsomething here in Europe....

    Oh well, I'm not saying User Joe won't be happy to play with greater resolution photos, but it's really sad to see that nobody actually thought of SIMPLE problems like that...


  • by mattdm ( 1931 )
    Flash memory isn't _that_ expensive, when you figure in the cost of developing film....


  • Silver is the light sensitive element used in black and white film, while color film uses organic compounds.

    Its messy with all these caustic chemicals and I prefer the recycling electrons with a a digital camera. Well, there is the problem of very nasty chemicals required to make the silicon chips at first...
  • This camera will make a big change on the professional photo industry. Currently for a studio setting the sony studio camera 2560x2048 pixels (~$16K) is the best one out. A few web sites for interest are Sienna [] (Maker of the Mileca and mid format Fibre Optic CRT digital printers) and Cymbolic Sciences [], makers of large format digital focrt printers. If this camera comes with a small price tag it will have a huge influence on professional photo labs converting to digital. It would also be a big plus if they could get the size down :-)
  • Not yet, but it is getting to the point where it takes a professional or a very dedicated amateur to exploit the benefits of film's better resolution and dynamic range.

    For consumers, it's amazing how far both digital cameras and low cost printers have come in the last few years. I had an old DC20, which was worthless for anything larger than a thumbnail. Now 1-2 megapixel cameras take pictures so good you need a magnifying glass or a trained eye to see any limitations on a typical sized print.

    Film still has advantages that will keep it around for a long time. Motion picture film cameras are relatively cheap and light, and the effective resolution is about 4K pixels for a motion picture frame (which is smaller than a 35mm still frame), and film has a much wider exposure latitude than any digital sensor I'm aware of, but consumer photo printing is so awful that I think it has already been surpassed by the current generation of digital cameras.

    I've compared a traditional photo print side-by-side with the same image printed by a $250 ink jet printer, and while the inkjet image isn't perfect, it's better than the photo because the photo processing was so bad, as is typical of consumer quality prints (incorrect exposure; out of focus). And this print was made at a high-end photo store in Rochester, NY, where they should know what they're doing!

    Before too long, I think we might see traditional film cameras relegated to motion picture and high-end applications where medium format cameras are today, and when was the last time you actually saw someone using a medium format camera?

  • If yuo get a polaroid camera (~C$50.00) and a 600 dpi scanner (~C$120.00), then you can save a lot of money. A digital camera goes for about C$1000.00 that has some measure of quality, and every picture in a polaroid camera costs about C$1.00. That means that in order for the digital camera to be cheaper then the traditional - for the same quality - you would need to take 830 photos. Considering I'm still using the same roll of film I was using in grade 8 (I've graduated from high school now), the traditional cameras are significantly cheaper.:-)
  • Film won't be going anywhere. There are certain processes out there that some fine art photographers just can't live without.

    For instance, there is no digital process that can equal the depth and beauty of a contact printed platinum print. If any of you have seen one live, you know what mean.

    Also, I can see photographers selling prints at a higher cost BECAUSE they use traditional processes. For instance, someone working and slaving in a darkroom burning and dodging a print to get it exactly the way they want would sell for a HELL of a lot more than an Iris print from someone that retouched it in Photoshop(or The Gimp).

    I do think that digital will overtake the consumer market, and will creap more and more into the commercial photographer's studio too. But most fine art photographers will be using film for a very long time...unless of course the digital medium is what what they're going for. Artist are funny that way.
  • I'm about to throw down for a Nikon 700. The gPhoto site mentions only the 900 and 950. I would think the 700 would work also, since it's quite similar to the 950. Does anyone know for sure?
  • I've been taking pics with cheapie 110 and 35mm cameras for years, and have gottne into some digital stuff, but I've been looking more into the 35mm world recently. Low-light, elapsed-time, and other types of pics are still not very good on digital, and probably won't be for a while, since the under-$1000 digital market is aimed at what most folks use.

    I took some B&W last week that will blow up quite nicely to poster size, which isn't a viable option with current (or near-future) digital cameras- at least, for under a few hundred bucks.

  • I didn't know anyone who bought one, because they were apparently very expensive.

    The MircoMoog cost about $900 twenty years ago (yes, I'm really that old), and I think the MiniMoog must have been about double that. They could probably redesign the thing, retain the original sound, and end up with a Moog on a PCI card for less than $100. There's probably not much demand for them, tho.


  • When was the last time I saw one used? Today. I was taking some portaits of my 5 year old son with my Hassy.

    Yesterday I saw an 8x10 field camera being used. Again, by me....and using a 50 year old lens on it to boot! The whole rig set me back $500 and I make platinum prints from the negs that NO digital camera....I don't care if it cost a billion dollars....can equal the depth and beauty of a platinum print made from "old fashioned" processes. Also, show me a digital proof made from an Iris or other process that will still be vibrant 100 years from now. The platinum/palladium prints I make will last that long...and longer! There are platinum prints that are around today that are still as vibrant and rich as they were when they were made back in the 1800's!!

    Also, if you're getting bad prints from you "high-end" photo store (whatever that means), simply switch stores! Or better yet, take them to a film lab, where a professional would. You may find it's much cheaper doing it that way!

    Just because you have bad experiences with one camera shop, you make a sweeping statement like: "...consumer photo printing is so awful that I think it has already been surpassed by the current generation of digital cameras". Thats like saying: "I ate a bad french fry at ______(insert any food establishment here) therefore all food establishments make bad french fries!"

    Give me a break...
  • Posted by Pushkin:

    I guess Seattle Film works or somother large photo processing establishment should start accepting CD-Rs to cash in on the gradual phazing out of film (if that is the case)...
  • Digital camera taking over the market? Don't bet on it, bunkies....want to lay odds on the fact in 20 (most likely less) years you won't be able to find any hardware/software that'll be able to read the format your digital pics are stored in?

    On the other hand we can still view pictures taken with ordinary cameras over 100 years ago. A perfect example of this are the pictures taken during the American civil war.
  • The Minolta RD-175 probably qualifies as a 'mid range' digital camera (last time I priced it, almost a year ago, it was $7,500 Canadian) and it uses a 3 CCD architecture. It's in an SLR body, so it can take pretty much the whole range of Minolta SLR lenses. It's a decent camera, pretty steep price tag still though for anyone who is simply looking to take a few quick photos for their web page... You can look at it at: 87&whichProductSection=1&whichSection=2
  • But while we're on the subject of digital cameras, does anyone know of one that works under linux?

    Sony's digital cameras us floppies for storage -- you can't get much more portable than that. The FD91 is especially interesting; it has a 14X zoom with an image stabilizer that's 518mm f3.4 on the long end (35mm equiv.).

    The down side is that you can't get may images on a floppy. A model that used 150 MB ZIP disks would be sweet.

    On the plus side, using floppies means that at least the camera is big enough to hold for someone with big hands.


  • Nothing beats a tube amp if the tube amp sound is what you're looking for even though digital still strives to - the same goes for digita photography.

    I have a Carvin solid state that sounds more like a tube amp than a tube amp, as long as it's overdriven a sufficient amount (pre set to 3 or higher).


  • by TedC ( 967 )
    I meant 250 MB ZIP disks...
  • well, there are other storage options, you could store the images on an IDE hard drive. The demo modle they had there was 'merged' with a lap top computer
    stick a 20gig hard drive in there, for $400 and thats only $1 a pic, that dosnt' seem to exspensive.
    besides its not like you cant just shrink down the images later you know.
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