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Old Sep 16, 2002, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Convert your 35mm film SLR to Digital!

As I said before, I left a phone message to get more information on Silicon Film. Well today I got a return call. It was from John Lichter, President & CEO of Silicon Film & Quest Mfg. He stated that Silicon Film (formerly known a E-film) is not vaporware. His company (a former vendor) recently acquired the product and is currently in the process of redesigning and testing it. It has since been improved:

There will be 2 (possibly 3) verions available:
- 4.2 mp version (2480 x 1684 - 30mm x 20mm frame)
- 10 mp version (3875 x 2625 - 32mm x 22mm frame)
- a monochrome version (not greyscale converted - special for you B&W lovers)

There will be some new features Included with the ImagePak:
- multiple out files (4 at present)
- Support for MOST 35mm film SLRs
- Color viewer (with preview, histogram, zoom functions)
- Image storage via CF I/II or microdrive
- ISO 200 nominal (100 - 800 programmable - possibly 1600!)

and the biggy...
- FULL 35mm FRAME CAPTURE No crop factor!

The selling price... $599 USD

They are currently looking for investors and (if all goes well) plan to release it in the first half of 2003. An article can be found in the Sept 17, 2002 issue of PC Magazine.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact them at info@siliconfilm.com or visit there website for updates at http://siliconfilm.com

Needless to say, I have already offered to be a beta tester!



[Edited on 9-16-2002 by JoeSlotz]
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 12:17 PM   #2
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was it about 20 years ago GM got the bright idea to convert the 350 CI engine to desiel,do not think they like to talk about it. Some products are bests built from ground up. By the time of its release no telling were digicams will be.
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 2:45 PM   #3
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I guess that fuel injection replacing the carborator was a bad idea too.

I think in 6-9 months, 4 & 10 mp cameras will STILL be around.
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 4:45 PM   #4
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I think the battery will be an issue especially for higher resolution, plus the last time around the E-Film also has to detect when to turn on and also sense the shutter activation... It'll be a challenge to achieve the $599 (is that the retail or how much it cost to build?)

Pretty good idea though... May be moving to an external unit alleviate the power problem, but one still have the LCD, the 4/10 Mpixels CCD, the processor or ASIC, and the power management circuitries as well as the cabling between the internal film (or wireless) and the external unit. They definetly have a lot of homework !!!

[Edited on 9-16-2002 by NHL]
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Old Sep 25, 2002, 2:28 PM   #5
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Default 35mm to Digital

I hope that it works but for $599 I can buy a digital 4 Megapixel camera and still have $200 left in my pocket.
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Old Oct 5, 2002, 7:36 PM   #6
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Default Silicon Film

I'll believe it when it becomes available. Considering Silicon Film's inability so far to bring any working product to market, I think that the new 4- and 10MP designs will be Silicon Vaporware 2.0 and 2.1, respectively.

Yes, I am a jaded, skeptical dude. Convince me otherwise with product that works.
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Old Oct 6, 2002, 8:17 AM   #7
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Default Two other technical challenges:

1. The horizontal distance between the film cartridge and where the 24x36mm opening on each camera are different... Are they planning on making this silicon film camera specific (the old model was only suitable for only a few)? This will limit its use hence increase its cost...

2. How does the film connect to the outside for power and display? (ie a hole has to be cut?) or a new back?

3. Dust: Keeping this device clean would be a nightmare!
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Old Oct 7, 2002, 11:53 AM   #8
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[quote]Originally posted by NHL
1. The horizontal distance between the film cartridge and where the 24x36mm opening on each camera are different... Are they planning on making this silicon film camera specific (the old model was only suitable for only a few)? This will limit its use hence increase its cost...[quote]
A. I beleive the film plane is set by each camera. The sensor would reside where the film would go. (just a guess)
If you are referring to the side to side dimension, I beleive they are going to use an oversized sensor (again, just a guess).

Quote:
2. How does the film connect to the outside for power and display? (ie a hole has to be cut?) or a new back?
A. The cartridge would connect to the base via a microtether that is thin enough not to compromise the film area. (There words, not mine). I hope the design in some protection for it.

Quote:
3. Dust: Keeping this device clean would be a nightmare!
A. It would actually be easier than the dSLR sensors available today. With todays dSLRs, you are currently forced to work in a confined space. You need to remove the lens, lockup the mirror, open the shutter and work inside your camera (this is done in various ways). With SiliconFilm you can remove it to clean it.


[Edited on 10-7-2002 by JoeSlotz]
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Old Oct 10, 2002, 10:10 AM   #9
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Please note the all important "looking for investors" statement way back in the first message in this thread.

The original Silicon Film people were also always looking for investors too. I don't expect we'll see this one go any farther than the first one.

It's just not a viable idea unless you make it for one or two cameras and ignore the rest of the SLRs out there. And how do you put something in the film compartment (unmodified) and have it talk to the unit on the bottom of the camera with the memory and LCD etc? Wireless radio connection? Try running a wire out the back of your camera and then close it on the wire - chomp!

We'll see but I'm not holding my breath

-Steve-
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Old Oct 17, 2002, 8:46 AM   #10
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Default Silicon Film 1.3 Samples

FYI:
Here are some images sent to me from Silicon Film. It was stated that these are un-retouched originals. I do not know what kind of camera was used.

http://www.pbase.com/joeslotz/siliconfilm
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