50% Off Portrait Pro + An Extra 15% For EPZ Members With Code: EPZ421

Next step for digital camera's?

michaeldt 17 1.2k
18 Feb 2004 2:03PM
Hi Guys

As someone who doesn't own a digital slr - due to lack of spare money - i have been reading many people's film vs. digital comments and have had a thought about where they might lead to next.

The problem i see with todays DSLR's is they take a step backwards in a way. Now, i don't want to start another film vs. digital debate but it's just an idea.

With SLR's you have complete control over what you use with it, whether it's a lens, filter, flash etc. But most importantly you choose what film you use. With a DSLR you have a CCD, but it's fixed.

Now i don't know if any manufacturares are looking into this but wouldn't be nice if ccd's could be swapped like film. You could then upgrade to a 14 MP CCD when they are available instead of being stuck with your 6.3MP that you paid 1000's for. Perhaps you could have a dedicated B&W or IR CCD. If you could do this then spending 1000's on a camera wont be too bad an investment since you could always upgrade it. So as technology improves, so can your equipment, without taking out another mortgage. Plus, it'll be better for the environment as people wont need to buy a new camera as soon as their current CCD isn't up to scratch.

Also, different film manufacturers could produce different CCD's allowing customer's to choose. You could have a velvia equivalent CCD or perhaps an FP4 equivalent one.

Maybe sometime in the near future, it'll happen, but until then i wont be trading in my (cheap) film slr.

Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
18 Feb 2004 2:13PM
With software like Photoshop available the need to have different types of CCD (in lieu of different types of film) is much reduced, IMHO.

As to Megapixels, a lot of it is hype. One of the latest 8Mp cameras is not as good as the 5Mp one it is supposed to replace. There is a lot more to it than the number of pixels on your sensor!!

For most users once you get beyond 3-4 Mp it is the law of diminishing returns. Very few people will actually need a 14Mp camera and the very expensive large-capacity memory cards that would need to be bought with it.
lightweaver 18 481
18 Feb 2004 2:15PM
good idea for a thread Michael.

It would be nice to see manufacturers offering upgrades of CCD's and stuff like that, but I like Leica's approach to digital by providing digital backs fro their R8 & R9 SLRs. Imagine if all manufacturers did that. Imagine all those users of K1000s & OM-10s being able to slot a digital back onto their camera. I would think there must be some scope for that.

Of course digital is moving so rapidly these days it will be interesting to see what developements do come in the future.
michaeldt 17 1.2k
18 Feb 2004 2:22PM
yes, leica have got the right idea, but will other (less expensive) manufacturers follow suit? having the option of a film or digital back would be good as long as the digital backs had extra room for batteries, memory card and a preview lcd.
it's also a good way to encourage people to use digital so in the long run those people might then switch to a wholly digital camera.
lightweaver 18 481
18 Feb 2004 4:23PM
The good thing about the Leica backs is that it can be done. Another side effect of course is that manufacturers could sell an SLR with either a film back or a digital back, or digital SLR's with the option of say a 6mp back or 8mp back ect.

It makes the whole setup far more flexible and makes upgrades cheaper.

As far as I can tell the Leica backs do have a preview LCD and memory card slot.
tim franklin 17 2.7k
19 Feb 2004 8:35AM
The thing about the Leica R8 & R9 is that both (especially the R9) were designed with this possibility in mind. The R8 came out way back in 1996, so Leica's thinking has been very long term.

Nice though the idea is of being able to fit a digital back onto your OM or Pentax K or whatever, it isn't going to happen because these cameras lack all the electronics that would be needed for back and camera to talk to each other.

The Leica back will have a card slot; an SD one IIRC.
nikon5700ite 17 1.8k
19 Feb 2004 12:01PM
To start a slightly different tack since film requires different types but digital is all embraceing if you have a proper editing programme.

I suggest the DSLR is a specialist camera and for 99% of what the average advanced amateur does a pro-sumer camera is already quite sufficient. In fact an eye-openner to somebody used to the cumbersome SLR.
With development it will grow into the future camera. It is a long way down the path already.

Main things that need to be improved is trigger/focusing response time, manual focusing by lens ring, and the Nikon's system of macro only working in mid-zoom.
Otherwise they are a dream to work with, well mine is anyway Smile.
nikon5700ite 17 1.8k
19 Feb 2004 12:03PM
PS ... no way do I want to go back to using my cumbersome Pentax lens ... I have all five of them in my one Nikon 8x zoom.
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
19 Feb 2004 2:38PM
Agree with Nikon5700ite. (I too am an ex-cumbersome SLR user!) A good quality prosumer cam - although some may not actually be all that compact - can be a better bet than a DSLR for the great majority of photo enthusiast and indeed will often provide features a DSLR will lack, and avoid some of the troubles (dust on sensor etc) which frequently fill the columns of this forum. Some prosumers can even be focused with a manual ring (mine for example!)

A prosumer SLR-type cam does of course have its limitations - very few of them have an adequate optical zoom length, if you are into action sports or like taking pics of little birdies sitting in the trees. Wink

For that a DSLR is preferable.
park my ferret 17 1.0k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2004 2:58PM
upgrading chips when you had more money would be great , but increase in chip size would have problems like moving the lenses forward to focus on the bigger chip etc ... I'm sure the logistics involved would be mind boggling.
Chris_H 17 1.5k 1
19 Feb 2004 4:15PM
I agree with this topic I want to get a digital camera SLR in the next year or so but i keep seeing pics taken with velvia in the gallery and knowing the film used is velvia before i even open the thumbnail but then i see digital pics trying where they have had colours and levels changed to look simlar to the punchy colours of velvia but they dont look as good and a lot look quite fake, im sort of stuck do i buy a good scanner a digital SLR such as the 10D or do I get a Scanner continue using Velvia and scan the slides for landscapes where i think using velvia would be suited and get a seconhand DSLR like the 30D 60D or 300D then i could use both, swapping CCD would be great.
park my ferret 17 1.0k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2004 5:05PM
just don't fall into the trap I did ... collecting cameras!!, I got 2 35mm cams, a medium format cam, 2 digitals and 2 1920's 120 film cams .... I think I'm getting addicted!
Chris_H 17 1.5k 1
19 Feb 2004 6:20PM
I allready have a simalar problem 35mm slr cameras, 3 digital cameras just 1 2 and 3 mega pixles and I want a medium format camera and i want a Digital SLR and also thinking about a canon eos 5 lol.
fatwoul 17 129
19 Feb 2004 6:36PM
LOL, park my ferret:

Apart from the cameras I actually use (3 Nikon SLRs, 1 Nikon DSLR, 1 Mamiya RB67 Pro-S, 1 Yashica SLR + Medical Lens), I also have a shelf groaning under the weight of the following:

1 Polaroid Colorpack 82

1 Polaroid 600 Extreme

1 Holga 120


1 Olympus Pen EE

1 Yashica Minister

1 Regula Sprinty C

1 Ilford Sportsman

1 Agfa Super Solinette

1 Coronette Rapide

1 Kodak 620 B

1 Kodak Brownie 127

1 Kodak Brownie Cresta 3

1 Kodak 620 Brownie Model C

1 Kodak 620 Popular Brownie

1 Agfa Optima

1 Ensign Ful-Vue

1 Kodak Reflex 20

1 Kodak 177X Instamatic

1 Zenith Quarz Standard 8mm Cine Camera

1 Bell & Howell Standard 8mm Cine Camera

1 Raynox Super8 Cine Camera

plus a lot of dust.

Its a fun disease to have, so long as you can keep visiting car boot sales.
davidc 17 313 England
19 Feb 2004 6:39PM
Carabosse gives some reasons for the average photographer buying a prosumer camera, rather than a DSLR. Well I'll give my reasons for buying a 300D and selling my Nikon 4300. I would walk away from taking a photo, not realising that the camera had not taken the picture because it was so silent. The 300D has a satisfying 'clunk' which suits me. I couldn't easily set the camera because just everything was through the menu system and as my reading eyesite is not so good without glasses, I was forever putting on my specs to set the thing up - a real drag. All the major settings are displayed in the viewfinder on the 300D and extras in the extra large LCD on the back. It was impossible to check the focus on the Nikon, through the preview nor the veiwfinder. The viewfinder was totally inaccurate (probably to allow for parallax) and I would find acres of extra image around my framed image. I could go on - I'm not trying to stir up controversy, but after using the Nikon for a few weeks it was very apparent that for my use it was next to useless (lovely sharp, well saturated photos though, when I got it right) and that the expense of the tradeup was more than worth it.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.