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07-18-2010, 12:14 AM   #16
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When is it ok to start flaming people who drop this idea on the forum?

Its a stupid idea.

Thats me being kind.

Here is it done:

Canon AE-1 Digital mod rejuvenates classic SLR [Video] - SlashGear

Now, do you still want one?

07-18-2010, 05:34 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
When is it ok to start flaming people who drop this idea on the forum?

Its a stupid idea.

Thats me being kind.

Here is it done:

Canon AE-1 Digital mod rejuvenates classic SLR [Video] - SlashGear

Now, do you still want one?
It would have been nice if they had some description of what they did. Not a bad looking mod.
07-18-2010, 05:39 AM   #18
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Is this the only way to obtain an FF Pentax in the foreseeable future.

A digital LX, interchangeable viewfinders, screens, dust sealed etc, now there's a thought.
07-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
It would have been nice if they had some description of what they did. Not a bad looking mod.
Nice looking, but the AE1 is just a shell with a P&S inside. Even the lens is fake. Canon never made a 10mm f/1.4 pancake (f/1.4!!!). Notice that there is no viewfinder.


Steve

07-18-2010, 09:00 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
May I ask:

Why?
So the 'uber cool' american apparel type photographers can get that 'vintage SLR' look, with all the advantages of digital...
07-18-2010, 09:16 AM   #21
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FWIW, I think the basic idea of a digital back is fabulous. Sure, most people would probably still choose a regular FF digital SLR over something converted in this fashion, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be a market for a digital back.

Realistically, Pentax is a bit player in the DSLR world. They can barely hold their ground against Canon and Nikon in the consumer / "prosumer" world with APS-C cameras. Despite the constant clamoring from a few fo Pentax to produce a FF camera, I predict they'd compete against Canon & Nikon even *less* well in that market. They have what, a 3% share of the APS-c market? I'd predict 1% of the FF market - they just don't have the lens selection, accessory availability, dealer network, professional support, or anything else that would be required to compete in the FF market, and it rather surprises me that this isn't pointed out more often.

*However*, while Pentax might not be able to compete in the FF-regular-DSLR world, they'd probably *own* the FF-digital-back world. If they - or anyone, really - produced a digital back for the K1000 that was even remotely usable and was priced significantly less than an actual FF camera, I think it could do quite well. There are, after all, a *ton* of K1000's out there. And once the work was done of designing the thing, putting together variants for ME Super or other cameras would be simple enough.

Of course, it would also be easy enough to make such a back work with a Canon or Nikon film camera, but I think that even if someone did that, it would generate nothing but yawns and snickers. People who want an FF Canon or Nikon aren't likely to settle for that.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-18-2010 at 04:42 PM.
07-18-2010, 10:20 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Nice looking, but the AE1 is just a shell with a P&S inside. Even the lens is fake. Canon never made a 10mm f/1.4 pancake (f/1.4!!!). Notice that there is no viewfinder.


Steve
And it is exactly what the OP was going on about.
07-18-2010, 04:07 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Nice looking, but the AE1 is just a shell with a P&S inside. Even the lens is fake. Canon never made a 10mm f/1.4 pancake (f/1.4!!!). Notice that there is no viewfinder.


Steve
Yeah, I noticed that the viewfinder was missing. I didn't realize that the whole thing is fake.

07-18-2010, 04:13 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
*However*, while Pentax might not be able to compete in the FF-regular-DSLR world, they'd probably *own* the FF-digital-back world. If they - or anyone, really - produced a digital back for the K1000 that was even remotely usable and was priced significantly less than an actual FF camera, I think it could do quite well. There are, after all, a *ton* of K1000's out there. And once the workd was done of designing the thing, putting together variants for ME Super or other cameras would be simple enough.
I don't think that Pentax could do it. They are primarily an optics company. They'd need expertise from a real electronics vendor, and at that point, you'd be better off just contracting with them to make it to your specifications.

If it had been brought to market in 2001-02, or even as late as 2004, you'd have a viable market, but it's too little too late at this point.
07-18-2010, 04:44 PM   #25
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I guess I don't see why designing a digital back is harder than designing a whole digital camera. If Pentax can produce the K-7, why - from a technical perspective - could they not produce a digital back for the K1000?

On the other hand, I could certainly see them feeling it not worth their time, because as you say, it's probably too late for this to be a serious product. But I still a third party who did this - targetting the K1000 in particular - could have themselves a nice niche market all to themselves.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-19-2010 at 09:39 AM.
07-18-2010, 06:06 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I guess I don't see why diesign a digital back is harder than designing a whole digital camera. If Pentax can produce the K-7, why - from a technical perspective - could they not produce a digital back for the K1000?

On the other hand, I could certainly see them feeling it not worth their time, because as you say, it's probably too late for this to be a serious product. But I still a third party who did this - targetting the K1000 in particular - could have themselves a nice niche market all to themselves.

You are right that it isn't inherently more difficult than a whole camera. I don't think it plays to their strengths though.

It would be a great niche market for someone inclined to do it, with the skills to do it.
07-18-2010, 06:17 PM   #27
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Technical issues related to digital backs:
  • Coupling to camera shutter mechanism. This is the big one. The back needs some way to know when the shutter is open/closed in real time.
  • Overrides to body wind/shutter interlocks. This is not an issue with non-MD cameras but is a major issue for cameras with auto film load/wind/rewind.
  • Power...batteries are bulky and must be part of the back or have power provided via a tether.
Rather than attempting to retrofit old SLRs, I think a more fertile ground may be with a modular small format camera system similar to what is already available in the medium and large format world. Think of it this way:
  • Universal chassis
  • Interchangeable film/digital backs
  • Multiple power options
  • Body-based AF drive as optional module
  • Standards-based hardware/firmware interfaces
As technology improves, you update your back, not your camera. If you need AF, you attach the optional battery/motor grip. The lens mount would be non-proprietary. I have seen articles where this sort of thing has been done as proof of concept, but not with a commercial goal (e.g. Frankencamera platform).

We can dream, eh?


Steve
07-19-2010, 02:32 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have seen articles where this sort of thing has been done as proof of concept, but not with a commercial goal (e.g. Frankencamera platform).
Fascinating project. Wish them well. But I recall proposals and predictions of the last couple decades re: opensource / modular automotive units. In theory, a customer could design their own vehicle via menu: select a chassis, drivetrain, body, features etc, and the car is robot-built to your specifications, complete with performance parms etc. The manufactury would be completely generic, just plugging together the components you want from various sources. Somehow, carmakers didn't care much for this idea. And don't even mention modular homes...

Similarly, camera foundries won't rush to build generic modular photo parts. Yeah, a generic chassis that can take any desired sensor, screen, control module, etc would be great. But whose bottom line would be affected? Whose oxen would be gored? Whose technologies would have to be licensed to make this commercially viable? There's a major problem just with licensing and making a good set of lens mounts. A good modular system would accommodate all new and legacy lenses, just as PCs must handle bookoo legacy warez. This is a non-trivial exercise.
07-19-2010, 10:37 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
May I ask:

Why?
Because.
07-19-2010, 10:38 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
When is it ok to start flaming people who drop this idea on the forum?

Its a stupid idea.

Thats me being kind.

Here is it done:

Canon AE-1 Digital mod rejuvenates classic SLR [Video] - SlashGear

Now, do you still want one?
The concept isn't stupid. Have you ever handled an SV or an AP body?
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