Why are there no digital backs for 35mm SLRs?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by G. Huang, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. To be exact, claim 8 of patent number 6,370,339. However, the claim
    is for all cameras, including medium format cameras which already had
    such backs on the market at the time of this patent's filing in 1999.

    Whether the patent claim would be upheld in court is as of yet
    untested.

    To view the patent, navigate to the following link and type in
    6370339:
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/srchnum.htm
     
    Michael Benveniste, Jan 5, 2004
    #21
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  2. G. Huang

    Magnus W Guest

    Neither Imagek nor Silicon Film Corporation has a single patent registered
    at USPTO. Perhaps you can direct us to these patents?

    Of course, digital backs were constructed (and patented) many years before
    Imagek was a twinkle in a venture capitalist's eye.
     
    Magnus W, Jan 5, 2004
    #22
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  3. G. Huang

    G Huang Guest

    Not exactly Silicon Film Corporation but Silicon Film Technologies, Inc.
    Just typing Silicon Film in Assignee field will do.
     
    G Huang, Jan 5, 2004
    #23
  4. G. Huang

    Magnus W Guest

    Thank you! However, that is only three patents; none is about a digital
    back, on the contrary all three are closely related to the cartridge system
    Silicon Film envisioned. None even comes close to defining operation of a
    digital back -- at least not one that communicates with the camera.
     
    Magnus W, Jan 5, 2004
    #24
  5. I suppose it depends on who will actually make them. Most of Leica
    If you're talking about the original Digilux, I think $2,000 is a bit of an
    exaggeration.

    If you're talking about the Digilux 2, for which I haven't seen a price
    announced yet, then I don't think it's accurate to describe it as "roughly
    comparable to a Canon G5". My understanding is that the Digilux sensor is
    significantly larger than the Canon one, which should make it less noisy (at
    least in theory), and therefore the lens must also be much larger and more
    complicated. Also, the LCD on the back of the camera is much larger than
    Canon's.

    Whether the Digilux 2 is worth $2,000 remains to be seen. For that matter,
    whether it actually sells for $2,000 remains to be seen--I wager that if it
    does, it won't continue doing so for long. But I don't think it's accurate
    to describe the Digilux 2 as "roughly comparable to a Canon G5".
     
    Andrew Koenig, Jan 5, 2004
    #25
  6. G. Huang

    Lourens Smak Guest

    That's all nonsense I'm affraid. It can all be very simple, check out
    the basic Hasselblad with a digital back. It can even be as easy as
    sonnecting the back to the flash-contact...
    That of course is very true!
    ;-)
    Lourens
     
    Lourens Smak, Jan 5, 2004
    #26
  7. G. Huang

    Alan Browne Guest

    T P wrote:

    TP blathers w/o expertise, thinking or research (again).

    That would never prevent an OEM or 3rd party from making their own more
    directly integrated back. The SF 'invention' is a universal drop in
    device, not an integrated device. There are sufficient differences in
    their approach and what a more specidic approach would do as to avoid
    any conflict with their patent(s).

    Other patents in the domain belong to Kodak (4,916,476), Canon
    (4,303,322) and many, many others. Each with their own little twist.
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 5, 2004
    #27
  8. G. Huang

    Gregg Guest

    The last news blurb I saw said something along the line of 4,500 Euros (near
    $5,000 US)

    but read Tom Hogan's predicitions .... "Leica's digital back will not make
    it to market in 2004 ..."
     
    Gregg, Jan 5, 2004
    #28
  9. G. Huang

    Gregg Guest

    The Leica Digilux is hardly comparable to the G5. 28 - 90 mm f/2.0 - f/2.8
    lens is (almost) worth the price of admission. Fast, direct manual controls
    on the camera are completely different than the G5 (or any digicam p&s to
    date )

    also, the Panasonic version of the Digilux should be about half the cost of
    the Leica
     
    Gregg, Jan 5, 2004
    #29
  10. G. Huang

    Gregg Guest

    Stay tuned for Nikon's modular "F6" super film / digital camera ????

    per Tom Hogan's predicitions:

    http://www.bythom.com/2004predictions.htm

    a.. The third new Nikon DSLR will shake up the industry. Last year I
    predicted the appearance of parts of the F6 (the autofocus system ended up
    in the D2h). Well, this year I'm going further, saying it will appear fully.
    Essentially, the F6 will be like a medium format camera in 35mm size. The
    main component will simply be a light-proof box with lens mount, shutter,
    and mirror mechanism. Perhaps that part will also have a power supply in it.
    But everything else (and perhaps the power supply) will be modular. You'll
    have your choice of bolt-on film or digital backs and your choice of
    viewfinders. Backs and viewfinders can be interchanged mid-roll/mid-card.
    I'll go further and point out that Nikon will use the Olympics in Greece to
    launch this hybrid. If I had to guess at price, I'd guess US$2000 for the
    base, US$1000 for the viewfinder/metering; US$500 for a film back, and
    US$2500 for a digital back. The interesting thing will be whether Fujifilm
    also provides a digital back for this camera, as they have a full-frame 11mp
    sensor that would be perfect for it (and, of course, interpolated up to 22mp
    in finished images). Even more interesting will be that at least one digital
    back choice down the road (probably not 2004, though) will be a dedicated
    high ISO back. And, the whole thing will do 8 fps on film and whatever the
    digital sensor can handle (up to 8 fps). Medium format camera makers, such
    as Mamiya, will be cringing when they see this product. Kodak will, too, as
    it means that they'll have to consider making a back for it, but with a much
    lower price point than their current MF backs to stay competitive.
     
    Gregg, Jan 5, 2004
    #30
  11. G. Huang

    Skip M Guest

    The logic there is that if I am facing dumping all of my EF lenses and
    changing to dedicated DSLR lenses, I am vulnerable to changing systems all
    together. After all, if I need to buy new lenses, I might decide to buy
    Nikon/Fuji/Kodak bodies and Nikon lenses. Since I already have the EOS
    system and there is, as yet, only one EF-S lens, there is an incentive to
    stay with Canon when switching to digital.
    I almost did switch when Canon discontinued the FD mount and went to the EF
    mount. I looked seriously at Nikon and Minolta, but my wife and I agreed to
    stay with Canon, since the ergonomics were better for both of us.
     
    Skip M, Jan 6, 2004
    #31
  12. G. Huang

    Steve Yeatts Guest

    Sigma/Foveon, are you following this thread?
     
    Steve Yeatts, Jan 6, 2004
    #32
  13. G. Huang

    Paul Rubin Guest

    That's just a matter of somewhat different design and firmware
    choices. The G5 has a 35-140 equivalent instead of 28-90, so it's
    f/2.0-3.0, if anything it's probably faster through the part of the FL
    range that overlaps the Leica's.
    That will be interesting, though I don't think it was the case for the
    Digilux 1.
     
    Paul Rubin, Jan 6, 2004
    #33
  14. It's estimated price is E 4,500 (EUROS) so about USD $5,800
    ;)
     
    Darrell A. Larose, Jan 13, 2004
    #34
  15. Perhaps the patent was issued to the parent company "Irvive Sensors"
    http://www.irvine-sensors.com/ a quick check at the US Patent Office reveals;

    PM: 6,393,224
    E-film cartridge with sensor avoidance feature
    <http://patimg1.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid...ND%2Bcamera)&PageNum=&Rtype=&SectionNum=&idke
    y=7DA8E015E68E>

    <http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...+e-film&RS=((Irvine+AND+Sensors)+AND+e-film)>
    PN: 6,370,339
    <http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/5282040> original patent
    PN: 5,282,040

    Mind you they also hold this patent:
    <http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...&OS=Irvine+AND+Sensors&RS=Irvine+AND+Sensors>

    I guess someone told them to stuff it...
     
    Darrell A. Larose, Jan 13, 2004
    #35
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