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Kodak Unveils 50MP CCD Image Sensor

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the 8176-by-6132-babee dept.

Graphics 228

i4u writes in to let us know that Kodak has announced the world's first 50 million pixel CCD image sensor for professional photography (i.e., for medium-format cameras). Engineering-grade devices of the CCD, the KAF-50100, are currently available. Kodak plans to enter volume production in Q4 2008. "At 50 megapixels, the sensor captures digital images with unprecedented resolution and detail. For instance, with a 50 megapixel camera, in an aerial photo of a field 1.5 miles [about 2.5 km] across, you could detect an object about the size of a small notebook computer (1 foot by 1 foot)." Here's CNet's Crave blog with a few more technical details.

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Hasselblads? (5, Informative)

sudog (101964) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108161)

H3DII-50 has had 50 megapixel backends for quite some time..?

Is it unprecedented because it's now available at a cheaper price or something?

Re:Hasselblads? (4, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108257)

Just take a look at the camera here [hasselblad.se] .

So this news may not be the really latest news.

Not bad for $37,000.00 (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109835)

Only if you can afford $37,000.00+. [engadget.com] That would buy a lot of film and developing solutions... I know that the larger the format when doing black and white, the better the tonality... I wonder how that translates in digital, given you have way less latitude than b+w film. But if you have the bucks, why not? Whoever who has the best toys when they die wins, right? And hey, it is environmentally more friendly than wet photography.

Re:Hasselblads? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108475)

that camera uses the exact same sensor CCD you idiot.

Re:Hasselblads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109035)

H3DII-50 was announced only two days ago. And it uses this chip. The H3D-II won't be available until late this year.

Re:Hasselblads? (2, Informative)

bradleygibson (1322181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109507)

Correction: I meant to say that the H3DII*-50* won't be available until late this year. (Other H3D-II models are already available.)

Note (4, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108167)

This is pretty much useless without really expensive lenses, so don't expect to see it in any consumer-level cameras.

Re:Note (1)

ihatethetv (935399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108249)

So does anyone know what kind of resolution the typical "good" medium format lenses top out at? That's a lotta data.

Re:Note (3, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108693)

If the lens is perfect (which it isn't, but let's assume that) the camera will be diffraction-limited. At a certain aperture, the Airy disk will be larger than the pixels in the sensor. This camera has 6-micron pixels, which is very small indeed. Cameras with this sensor will probably be diffraction-limited at f/5.6 and smaller apertures.

I've measured around 400 Megapixels equivalent (4, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109089)

...in a typical medium format transparency (6x7cm) shot with a good lens (e.g. Mamiya Sekor). That's a careful assessment made by inspecting top quality drum scans. Yes, those lenses are expensive; up to $3K-4K new, but that's not just the optics - the lens integrates the leaf shutter (not focal plane, typical of consumer cameras).

For comparison, a 35mm film frame (24x36mm, iirc) carries about 15 Megapixels (there is wide consensus on this).

More here [google.ca] , here [photo.net] ...

Re:Note (5, Interesting)

Silicon_Knight (66140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108351)

It's a medium format sensor; the silicon imaging area is twice as big as a single 35mm film slide. Currently there's only a handful of cameras that has a "full frame" sensor for 35mm.

So, no, it will NEVER be used in a consumer-level camera. This is for people who shoot billboard ads.

This is the camera that sensor's going into:

http://www.hasselbladusa.com/products/h-system/h3dii-50.aspx [hasselbladusa.com]

$1k per Megapixel is about right for a Hasselblad - the H3DII-39 is about $35k. And that's just the body only. Lenses start at 3k. Zeiss makes'em. Aside from Zeiss's optical reputation, these lenses are special because the clockwork mechanism and the shutter are integrated into the lens.

http://www.zeiss.com/C12567A8003B58B9/Contents-Frame/2DFB31CE532E5E32C125711B0038D874 [zeiss.com]

Unlike a DSLR which has to expose the image sensor a slit at a time at higher shutter speeds, this means that the entire frame can be exposed simultaneously, down to 1/8000 sec.

In other words... not your typical point and shoot or Digital Rebel XSi :-)

Re:Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108779)

"So, no, it will NEVER be used in a consumer-level camera. This is for people who shoot billboard ads."

Actually, people who shoot billboard ads rarely need super-high resolution for the simple reason that the viewing distance for a billboard is so large. No one will notice your jaggies from 40 feet away. This is for landscape/fine art photographers (who make parge prints that are viewed from a few feet away), product photographers (who are often obsessed with resolution for no real reason), and I daresay the movie industry (for digital matte paintings).

"Unlike a DSLR which has to expose the image sensor a slit at a time at higher shutter speeds, this means that the entire frame can be exposed simultaneously, down to 1/8000 sec."

And exactly what medium format shutters are you looking at that can hit 1/8000 second? MF shutters are slow to expose. MF backs are slow to write out. Flash sync is a bitch.

And MF shutters don't expose the whole frame simultaneously any more than 35mm shutters do. That's physically impossible.

Re:Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108815)

And to understand why some photographers are willing to drop $35k on a camera like this, check out this article [widerange.org] .

And the sensor in question probably actually falls far short of what the author of that article is showing in a rather old film format, scanned into a 100 MP file, but Hassleblad sells these cameras as a compromise between the convenience of digital and the amazing quality of large format film.

Re:Note (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108985)

Billboards can be shot with the cheapest of consumer digital cameras due to the fact that they are printed at an extremely low DPI. If you were standing two feet in front of a billboard it would look absolutely horrible regardless of what it was shot with, but for people viewing them from 50 feet away it looks perfect. The only thing you need a ton of megapixels for is very large prints that can be viewed up close. An average print in a shopping mall is anywhere from five to ten feet tall and you can walk right up to it. For those you need a lot of resolution. Having said that, billboards are still probably shot with medium format due to the nature of the assignment, even the two by three inch pictures on product boxes or catalogs are shot medium format because that is what is used by commercial photographers, almost exclusively.

Re:Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109051)

where are you people talking about? 640K memory anybody?

Re:Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109113)

Zeiss glass was used on the older Hasselblad series of cameras, known as Hasselblad V. The current models, Hasselblad H, use Fuji optics. The Fuji optics are leaf shutter designs as you have pointed out, but have a maximum shutter speed of 1/800s, not 1/8000s.

Re:Note (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109401)

this is really a very small incremental improvement over their 39 mpix sensor. to double the resolution of a sensor, you need to quadruple the pixels. and memory bandwidth and image processing power is becoming a huge limitation with these things, the uncompressed image from these is like 150 MB. the $30000.00 39 mpix back has a 3 second shot-to-shot delay, so it is really only useful for studio work.

Re:Note (1, Informative)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109819)

It's a medium format sensor; the silicon imaging area is twice as big as a single 35mm film slide. Currently there's only a handful of cameras that has a "full frame" sensor for 35mm.

The release of the D3 and the announced D700 have changed that. Full frame is now maintstream, albeit pricey ($3K). But this sensor is medium format. It is 4 inches by 5 inches, not an inch by an inch and a bit like 35mm.

So, no, it will NEVER be used in a consumer-level camera. This is for people who shoot billboard ads.

This sensor is destined for pro level studio cameras, but Sony have a 22MP sensor for Full Frame 35mm that should be in cameras announced at Photakina this year. Nikon are expected to release at 22MP D3 and Sony should have the A900 out. But they are certain to be very pricey at first. Expect the D3x to be $6500.

The 'blad will continue to be absurdly expensive but its that huge sensor size that demands the expensive lenses. The only improvement you get going to a larger sensor size on digital is that your low light performance improves. That is not an issue in the studio which is where 95% of 'blads live. Out in the field you might as well lug full frame format gear round with you. Most pros use 35mm outdoors.

Answering some other confusions in the thread: no diffraction is not an issue here. Diffraction softens focus at small apertures. It does that regardless of whether you use film or digital and regardless of your pixel resolution. The only point where pixel resolution becomes an issue is at smaller f-stops or at levels of MP we have not reached yet.

The hard limit for 35mm full frame format cameras is the wavelength of red light. If the pixels are sized 2 wavelengths of light on each side you can squeeze a maximum of 320MP on a full FX frame. That is lower than the limit set by diffraction which is 1050MP at f/1.4.

In practice current lenses are not good enough to go to 320MP. But the current pro-range Nikor lenses are good for at least 50MP and probably 100MP. My mid range ($670) 18-200 zoom delivers pixel sharp results on a 12MP DX body. So it would deliver pixel sharp results (in the center of the frame anyway) for FX format at 22MP.

Re:Note (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109935)

"The release of the D3 and the announced D700 have changed that. Full frame is now maintstream, albeit pricey ($3K). But this sensor is medium format. It is 4 inches by 5 inches, not an inch by an inch and a bit like 35mm. "

Not to start a holy war, but the Canon 5D made full frame mainstream three years ago. It's just Nikon that have finally caught up.

Re:Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108661)

No shit sherlock. And when was the last time you saw a "consumer" grade medium format film camera?

Didn't think so.

Consumer grade medium format (2, Informative)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108861)

...when was the last time you saw a "consumer" grade medium format film camera?

Uh, ... today? [bhphotovideo.com]

Re:Note (2, Funny)

Opr33Opr33 (1180091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108851)

This is pretty much useless without really expensive lenses, so don't expect to see it in any consumer-level cameras.

But Steve Jobs could put this into the iPhone right???? The reality distortion field would correct any lens issues plus now that 3G is here, the pictures could be sent wireless.

Re:Note (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109589)

I know other people use these cameras for high end advertisements and glamor shots, but another good use for these cameras is for archiving museum collections. The images are detailed enough to be used to restore paintings, the images never wear out, and they are far easier to keep safe.

Nice (3, Informative)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108173)

Happily this sort of development drives down prices on consumer grade products over time. I wonder how this compares to scanning low iso medium format film on a drum scanner.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/shootout.shtml [luminous-landscape.com]
Is a good example of such a comparison, though I've seen differing results with older digital cameras.

Re:Nice (1)

san (6716) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108747)

That test is seriously flawed: the only real comparison they show is done on buildings with lots of perfect verticals that line up with the pixel grid of the digital sensor, making the enlargement of the digital camera look better than if a scene with lots of small detail is shot through what is essentially an aliasing artifact.

There is a second series of pictures with more details, but there the scans (that have many more pixels than the digital camera image) are then reduced to match the size of the digital camera, throwing away all the details, making the comparison useless.

That doesn't mean high-end digital is worse than medium format film; it just depends on the type of picture: if there's lots of smooth color, and not too much contrast, digital is better. If there is a lot of detail and you want a large print, film is better. I have some 60x90 cm - 24"x36" enlargements off of scanned 6x7 slides and they look incredible.

I'm sure a 50mp sensor would give a better image but I'd rather buy a boat.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109341)

That was a Canon 1D, done 5 years ago. That was basically a first generation pro DSLR versus tradition 120mm film.

Canon's newest 1Ds Mk III is worlds beyond, Murphy's Law is still at work in the digi cam world.

Pure quality aside, the low light performance of even the prosumer lines from Canon/Nikon leaves even the best film in the dust.

Re:Nice (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109345)

So, film is better? Cause, basically, if you want lots of detail, film is better, and if you don't need lots of detail, then digital is good enough?

I don't know about how many LoCs this is .... (0, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108181)

.... but, you could spot the pimple on the Pron star's ass from 1000 feet away without using a zoom lens.

Re:I don't know about how many LoCs this is .... (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108801)

.... but, you could spot the pimple on the Pron star's ass from 1000 feet away without using a zoom lens.

You mean a telephoto lens?

I have a Sigma 10-20mm lens that is a zoom lens that is from crazy-wide to very-wide, and doesn't get to a "normal" focal length. Perhaps you mean something like a 500mm lens, which doesn't zoom?

Focal length comparison, from 10 to 500mm on a 1.5x crop sensor here [flickr.com]

Re:I don't know about how many LoCs this is .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108915)

Hey! That flickr link isn't a Focal length comparison, from 10 to 500mm, on a Pron star's ass.

I've been had.

"unprecedented resolution and detail" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108183)

Thanks for the insight, Dr. Obvious, BS, Ms,Ph. D.

Old technology (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108189)

Sorry, but check out kodak uncovered [nimp.org] to read the true story.

Pornado! watch out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108275)

Pornado! watch out!

Re:Old technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108283)

Kodak Uncovered link above Crashed browser. Beware.

Digital cameras will never need more than... (1)

stevedmc (1065590) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108207)

"Digital cameras will never need more than 50 mega pixels."

I can't use this (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108215)

I mean really I have a 6mpix camera and have never been lacking for resolution. It's got a 12x optical zoom (powershot s3 is) so I don't need resolution to make up for magnification either.

I wonder how big the market is for people that really NEED that much resolution?

And I wonder how many people's computers will absolutely CRY when trying to open a 50mpix tiff. My 6mpix jpegs are 2.5-3.5mb. (the tiffs are 15-16mb iirc) at 50mpix, 29mb would make for a terribly large and unwieldy jpeg.

But then there will be those that just want the biggest there is. And I need someone to drive the SD card prices down for me, so go for it.

Re:I can't use this (4, Informative)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108377)

You can't use this. I can't use this. But a real pro can. I'm just a point and shooter with a small amount of knowledge to be dangerous. 5-6 mpix is probably all I need because I don't have a discerning eye. I only want to blow stuff up to 8 x 10 once in awhile when I accidentally take a great picture (like when the airplane went right by Mt. Rainier (REALLY close) and I just happened to have a window seat. I coulda seen a climber pee in the snow on there!)

But to a real pro I could see how this would be a must have, and if it is a must have they'll pay whatever it takes to get it, and the cost will be too much for both of us. And if producing this ultimately brings down the cost of my Nikon Coolpix 5700 next time I have to buy one, that's cool with me.

Re:I can't use this (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108541)

You can't use this. I can't use this. But a real pro can.

Exactly. And not just any pro, either. Somebody who makes his living doing weddings, bar mitzvahs and high school yearbook photos would have no use for it because it's too big for the job. Where this will be useful will be things like aerial photography (Think Google Earth, here.) or, as another poster pointed out, bullboards. Possibly magazine advertisements too, but I'm not sure they're detailed enough to need this.

Re:I can't use this - YES YOU CAN (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108983)

Wow, this would be so cool. At this resolution, I expect you could crop the tiniest square out and be able to enlarge the hell out of it with it looking pixelated.

So instead of taking 100 photos, you could just take one big one of the whole school (at a ball game maybe?) and then crop headshots out all day.

And then there's the voyeurs...hot girls better watch out I guess.

Re:I can't use this - YES YOU CAN (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109909)

That depends if the shooter gets paid by the head shot or paid by the hour.

I am putting my money on he will drag the process out rather than crop like a fiend at his/her workstation (and probably not get paid much fo that time)..
That, and the 50 kids that were talking to each other or had their eyes shut.

It WOULD be interesting to take some hi-res shots of stadium crowds to spot gems like this: http://my.break.com/content/view.aspx?ContentID=353366 [break.com]

Re:I can't use this - YES YOU CAN (1)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24110031)

Wow, this would be so cool. At this resolution, I expect you could crop the tiniest square out and be able to enlarge the hell out of it with it looking pixelated.

Sure. Unless it's blurry. 50MP at 4x3 aspect ratio is at least 8165 horizontal pixels. Most digital cameras have a similar angle of view as a 35mm camera - which Wikipedia lists as 39.6 degrees [wikipedia.org] . Can you keep your camera from moving more than 8 arc-seconds (half a pixel width) during the exposure period?

Forget just getting a good tripod. Get a remote, too, so you're not even bumping it to press the shutter button.

Also, divvying up those photons 50 million ways means each CCD pixel gets less, so unless you're using the sort of lenses that the medium format camera in the article would have, you'd have to use longer exposures (and/or cool down the CCD to well below freezing to reduce thermal noise, which is what many astronomy geeks do).

Re:I can't use this (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108723)

You can't use this. I can't use this. But a real pro can.

I remember visiting an exhibition of very large format glass plate landscape photography from the nineteenth century. The detail and depth of field was astonishing. It was an entirely different experience from seeing even the finest modern small or "medium format" images in reproduction.

Who WILL use sensors like this... (1)

deathcow (455995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109157)

Amateur (and well off) astro-photographers.

Manufacturers who are probably playing with engineering samples right now:

http://www.sbig.com/
http://www.flicamera.com/
http://www.qsimaging.com/

Re:I can't use this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108477)

My three year old computer can handle editing a 106 megapixel (550 megabyte) PSD made up of about 200 different layers just fine. It's slow to open and slow to save (~30-45 seconds), but editing is a snap.

Re:I can't use this (3, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108523)

And I wonder how many people's computers will absolutely CRY when trying to open a 50mpix tiff. My 6mpix jpegs are 2.5-3.5mb.

Here [arizona.edu] is a 24mb tiff from the Phoenix mission.

Re:I can't use this (2, Informative)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108539)

You may not but I could.
Its not a Mom and Pop ccd for a $299 camerat at walmart.
Current digital backs for film cameras like I use are 20,000 a POP !

Try to take one of you 6mp pics and blow it up to a 6ft poster or art piece, youll be swimming in boxes

I still shoot film, medium format 6cmx6cm, 25 iso high silver film. I took a picture of a building in NY and the 60th story I can count rivets in the windowsill vents when I blow it up.

For high quality there is no comparison for film, currently, I would trash my darkroom in a New York minute if I could forgo the nasty chemicals and space in my house, but I cant affork 20,000 for a digital back.

HOPEFULLY this will drop the price in the even the 3-4k market....

Re:I can't use this (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109295)

And I wonder how many people's computers will absolutely CRY when trying to open a 50mpix tiff.

Do you really expect that the buyer of this nice toy will spend $35k on the camera only to cry that his $500 Wal-Mart computer is too slow? It is much more likely that the prospective buyer already has an adequate workstation. Damn, he could buy a dozen of adequate machines just for the price the camera body and digital camera back. (They could probably even afford to add one such computer as a nice gift or bonus. :-))

Re:I can't use this (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109403)

I wonder how big the market is for people that really NEED that much resolution?

Market size doesn't matter when your product is a couple orders of magnitude more expensive than mainstream models. This is for the extreme, just like a Ferrari is for the extreme. Quantity doesn't matter. It's the quality and you will pay dearly for it.

not a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108233)

Currently top of the line 35mm sensors (half the area of Kodak's sensor) are 20 megapixels, and Sony is preparing to launch a 24 megapixel 35mm camera this fall. In terms of pixel density, Kodak haven't done anything special.

Canon has stated that they've made prototype 50 megapixel 35mm sensors, but that the market won't bear the cost right now.

This must be the new Hasselblad H3DII-50 sensor (3, Interesting)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108259)

Bing! Right on the heels of Hasselblad [hasselbladusa.com] announcing their new H3DII-50 camera (to be released in October) which presumably uses this sensor. Hasselblad has also announced a future 645 format sensor (roughly 56mm x 45mm), more details to be revealed at Photokina 2008 (major bi-annual worldwide photography trade show) later this year.

Re:This must be the new Hasselblad H3DII-50 sensor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109249)

Where did you see an annoucement of a a full 645 sensor? Full 645 is 56mm x 41.5mm; If you saw Hasselblad refer to "Full Frame", they are redefining the term to mean 49.1 x 36.8mm, as this is the size of their 39M sensel chip (Kodak KAF-39000) and (not coincidentally) the rectangle covered by the image circle of their HCD lenses.

Gargoyles are coming (1)

pagen (52961) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108323)

When you can watch everything - like google street view - snow crash's Gargoyles get closer to reality. The fact that so many have searched for cool things to see in such a huge amount of data is an indicator of what people will search through it.

That's a tall tripod (3, Interesting)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108337)

>> in an aerial photo of a field 1.5 miles [about 2.5 km] across, you could detect an object about the size of a small notebook computer

That's either a really tall tripod or image stabilization has come a lot farther than I thought.

-b

Re:That's a tall tripod (1, Troll)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108397)

you assume you can only sample the sensor once.

Also look at aerial photos today. a 1m square area (when shot at 2.5km) is pretty easy to discern at least for the film-based technology I've seen.

I hope you didn't assume that they could read the keys on the laptop or something at that distance.

Re:That's a tall tripod (1)

dannys42 (61725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108557)

I'm not sure that's an either/or there. With a tripod that high, you'd may still have similar stabalization issues. Even assuming a perfectly rigid structure unaffected by the wind, you may have vibrations from the ground. Anyone still in school care to do the calculations?

Re:That's a tall tripod (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109061)

no, i'm just happy to see you.

Re:That's a tall tripod (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109465)

That's either a really tall tripod or image stabilization has come a lot farther than I thought.

Image stabilization has come a lot further than you thought. If you saw the Discovery series Planet Earth you will have seen what the latest image stabilization can do. I don't know if the gyroscope-based camera mount works with both still and video cameras but it wouldn't surprise me if it did.

Oooo... (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108349)

Hi-Rez Pr0n!!

Gimme!!!

Re:Oooo... (0, Troll)

CrimsonScythe (876496) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109387)

Pardon, Sir, but I'll have to wipe that stupid grin off your face. I have two words for you: Ron Jeremy

Sorry everybody.

Re:Oooo... (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109857)

More like 'Noooo...!'

Sometimes a little airbrushing is a good thing.

Make your own back? (2, Interesting)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108405)

I have a Mamiya 645 J (I think it is) and an older Yashica Mat 124 G that I wish had digital backs. I wonder how hard it would be to make my own back.

Re:Make your own back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108729)

I always wondered if you could just mount a flatbed scanner to an 8x10 view camera... you'd have to shoot with an open shutter at a still life, but you could get some crazy resolution.

these exist! (4, Informative)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108947)

They are called scanning backs because that is precisely what they do.

And yes, the resolution is unparalleled. 50 megapixels was achieved in these, oh maybe 10 years ago. Its not uncommon today for these to generate files in excess of 1GB.

Not a chance (2, Interesting)

mbessey (304651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108863)

I don't think a do-it yourself digital back for your old camera is a very realistic project, unless you're an experienced Analog & Digital electronics designer. Kodak used to have a pretty nice demo board for their CMOS imager chips, which was about as "plug and play" as you could hope for, but I haven't seen anything for their higher-end CCD sensors...

Actually, they do have an evaluation board listed for the previous version of this sensor:
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/business/ISS/Products/Fullframe/KAF-39000/support.jhtml?pq-path=11937/11938/12138/12249/12265 [kodak.com]

That probably means they'll have one for the 50MP version soon(ish). Reading the documents on that page should give you an idea of the level of work involved.

buy an older one (1)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108973)

Old digital backs are still for sale on the market because they have no moving parts to fail. They work great.

Some of them have to be tethered to a computer.

Pretty soon there will be a good surplus of used 22MP backs on the market for about the price of a 1DS MKIII ($8000). I think the mamiya ZD is trading at $10k, brand new, with lens and camera body included.

Hasselblad and Film (3, Informative)

arigram (1202657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108427)

I have an extensive Hasselblad V system which totals more than 30,000 euros but it is completely film-based. Unfortunately only major photographic studios can afford MF digital backs, save for the small 16mp back for the V System. So, at the moment, I consider a better investment the scanning of 6x6 film frames which at 4800 gives an image around 10,100 pixels square which can reach up to half a gig in size in 16bit resolution.

Unfortunately, Hasselblad has given up on the V system line (as the H system is a completely different design) and only the lowly 16mp back is offered with a square sensor. And its mostly as a tribute to V system diehards and possibly be discontinued soon.

That means that if a V system user want to upgrade to a new digital back, like the 50mp one, will need to dump the whole system. The lenses can be used with adaptors but then you will miss their real focal length and the autofocus and electronics of the H system. Which unfortunately goes against the philosophy of the "old" Hasselblad company where one could mix modern and old components freely. That meant that you could stick a modern lens and a digital back on a 50 year old body. Now, its pretty much "dump everything" to upgrade.

Re:Hasselblad and Film (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109371)

I'm not sure what your gripe is.

The market demanded a different design. Mamiya was killing them with the 645 bodies.

They don't make higher res square sensors because the people shelling out $30k+ for these things are generally shooting for rectangular output.

Plus, like you said you can still use your existing glass, which is where the investment is, but you complain that they didn't magically gain autofocus motors?

If your V system lenses are recent enough (CFE) there's even communication to the body of the aperture setting.

Would you have preferred the company faded into irrelevancy/

Diffraction limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108435)

I don't do any normal photography, or even own a digital camera, so I don't really know how they're built or what sorts of apertures would be used with this. But I do study astronomy, and we're often diffraction limited. Aren't digital cameras getting to the point where they are diffraction limited instead of pixel resolution limited? They have to get there sometime, if they haven't already, and then continuing to increase the pixel res won't matter much.

Re:Diffraction limit? (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108607)

That is becoming an issue, though the aperture also fits into this. With an APS-C sized sensor (the most common in D-SLRs) a 12MP camera starts to hit this limit around F11. Having a larger sensor helps in this case.

Mmm, I4U gadget models! (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108503)

I did manage to spend about 30 seconds reading the article though.

better have a steady hand (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108531)

from cnet [cnet.com] we have:

The specs on the two cameras, however, show the lower-resolution version to be faster: 1.4 seconds per capture for the H3DII-39 over 1.1 seconds for the H3DII-50. That could simply be implementation-specific, though.

Indeed, 1.4 seconds is a very long time to not move. Only useful for objects and scenery, certainly not going to do people or wildlife.

Re:better have a steady hand (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108587)

You're operating under a misapprehension. The picture itself can be taken in 1/1000th of a second (or less). It takes 1.4 seconds to move the image from the buffer to your storage card.

Re:better have a steady hand (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108589)

No, this is talking about capture time, not exposure time.

Exposure time is the time you have to stay still for - the time the shutter is open.

Capture time is how long it takes to move the picture to memory.

Re:better have a steady hand (2, Informative)

j_peeba (860583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108599)

from cnet [cnet.com] we have:

The specs on the two cameras, however, show the lower-resolution version to be faster: 1.4 seconds per capture for the H3DII-39 over 1.1 seconds for the H3DII-50. That could simply be implementation-specific, though.

Indeed, 1.4 seconds is a very long time to not move. Only useful for objects and scenery, certainly not going to do people or wildlife.

The times refer to saving the photos, not exposing them.

Re:better have a steady hand (2, Informative)

w00d (91529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108697)

from cnet [cnet.com] we have:

The specs on the two cameras, however, show the lower-resolution version to be faster: 1.4 seconds per capture for the H3DII-39 over 1.1 seconds for the H3DII-50. That could simply be implementation-specific, though.

Indeed, 1.4 seconds is a very long time to not move. Only useful for objects and scenery, certainly not going to do people or wildlife.

I do not think that means what you think it means.

It has nothing to do with shutter speeds. You just can't shoot again until 1.4 seconds, which is how long it takes the camera to process and write the image to the card. The camera has a frame rate of about 0.7 FPS.

Re:better have a steady hand (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108981)

The shutter is open from 1/8000 to a few seconds. The 1.1 or 1.4 seconds referred to in the article is the fastest time between photographs, and is dictated by the time required to to extract, process then store the information from the sensor.

Won't be able to shoot many pics (1)

Dracil (732975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108549)

If you shoot RAW. Only about 200 pics on a 16GB card. Even less if you do RAW+JPG.

Re:Won't be able to shoot many pics (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108857)

Considering the tremendous porn applications of a camera like this, I rather imagine "raw" is just what they'll be shooting

Medium format cameras are certainly in the price range where they'll have internal hard drives and/or firewire or USB connections for external drives. This isn't really intended for putting imagines on flash cards. Medium format cameras are used by professionals and very serious amateurs.

Telescope (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108561)

I would really like to put one of these in a telescope, maybe there is a camera adapter I could use. I think that would be cooler than using it for ad's (which is probably what it is for)

Faster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108575)

Did anyone notice that the speed part of the CNET article made no sense?

"The specs on the two cameras, however, show the lower-resolution version to be faster: 1.4 seconds per capture for the H3DII-39 over 1.1 seconds for the H3DII-50. That could simply be implementation-specific, though."

Unless things have changed, 1.4 seconds is not faster than 1.1

ISPs better prepare (3, Insightful)

spir0 (319821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108643)

those of us in third world countries like New Zealand who have to pay in blood for our bandwidth are going to start seeing Users sending (or trying to send) their friends 40+ meg attachments once those cameras become standard consumer issue. Trying to explain to my dad how to load MS Paint, and shrink the image, resulted in him writing down the instructions, and then promptly ringing me the first time he had to follow those instructions.

The major ISPs in this country who offer "broadband" plans with 200MB traffic per month -- yes, you read that right: MB -- are going going to have to do some serious reassessing. As it is, with Xbox demo games upward of 1GB, I don't know how we're putting up with this garbage.

As Uncle Ben said: "With great power comes great responsibility." Everybody wants the power, but nobody wants the responsibility.

I'll probably be marked as a troll, but this is a serious issue. How many of you have received one page word docs, or excel spreadsheets from companies, only to find that those files were over 5 megs? just a bunch of text, and fecking huge 12 million DPI logo.

I'm not saying we should stay in the dark ages, but we need to start preparing.

Re:ISPs better prepare (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108879)

those of us in third world countries like New Zealand who have to pay in blood for our bandwidth are going to start seeing Users sending (or trying to send) their friends 40+ meg attachments once those cameras become standard consumer issue. Trying to explain to my dad how to load MS Paint, and shrink the image, resulted in him writing down the instructions, and then promptly ringing me the first time he had to follow those instructions.

Get your dad a Mac.

I managed to teach my mother how to us iPhoto to save an email friendly version of a photo to send to friends with a minimum of fuss.

That said, I wish someone would teach our marketing people that a 'blank' one page word template doesn't need to be 5Mb and the social club should stop killing our mail network by sending 4Mb upwards emails to the entire work userbase nationally. :/

Re:ISPs better prepare (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108949)

Your wait will be well worth the time. Fellow third world dweller here. From what I see happening in towns in the middle of nowhere, you will soon catch up. Here in the city, we have the standard 1.5 meg broadband, but in places where the technology is new, thay are making the jump from 128 kbs dial up to the newest 4-8 meg at the same price I pay! It seems that it's cheaper when they put in brand new tubes than to upgrade... Just wait till some rich guy who wants to get richer decides to invest in connecting your area to the internet. It may take a few years, but it'll happen. Just check out the growth of the internet in Vietnam, South America, and Africa. Their connection is either very slow, or freakin' fast! Nothing in

Re:ISPs better prepare (1)

figleaf (672550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108999)

Or just install a product like Windows Live Desktop Mail -- it automatically resizes and has a easy GUI option to reduce the file-size if required.

Re:ISPs better prepare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109059)

Why isn't this mod'd off topic?

I mean sure, this new back will generate large images, but it is quite obvious this thing is not intended for 'consumers' and is a pro device. The parent is just ranting about their low bandwidth limits.

Re:ISPs better prepare (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109455)

Trying to explain to my dad how to load MS Paint, and shrink the image, resulted in him writing down the instructions, and then promptly ringing me the first time he had to follow those instructions.

Have him download and install the Image Resizer Power Toy:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/whistler/Install/2/WXP/EN-US/ImageResizerPowertoySetup.exe [microsoft.com]

One installed, all you have to do is right-click on the image and choose Resize Pictures.

If you mark multiple images before doing so, you can do all of them at one time. It gives you a simple menu to choose the desired size, and can either resize the original file or create a resized copy.

obligatory m$ tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108687)

640 kpixels ought to be enough for anybody.

Optics (1)

Drunken_Piper (1232578) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108719)

I know very little about optics, but how big would the lens need to be to capitalize on all 50 million pixels? They say the sensor could detect a laptop from an aerial photo, but could the optics?

Re:Optics (2, Interesting)

opti6600 (582782) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108939)

Has a lot more to do with the quality of the glass than the size - the size tends to have to do more with how fast you want the shot to be (smaller aperture number/"bigger aperture" -> much bigger lens with normal optics).

The quality of the glass though...there's a reason why the lenses for a Hasselblad H3 are $4k for the same "version" of a $1k 35mm lens. Resolving power, for one.

Film captures 80-100 line-pairs per square mm (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24108897)

To get the same resolution using a CCD, you'll want 400 dots per mm, or 10,000 dots per inch. That's 100 megapixels per square inch.

On a 35mm camera, that's approximately 132 megapixels. For a 6x9 medium-format shot, 56 × 84, it's approximately 718 megapixels.

If resolution doubles every 18 months or so, we should be there by 2014.

I'm probably 5 years too late in declaring that film is becoming a niche market.

Re:Film captures 80-100 line-pairs per square mm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24108993)

I think you need to add some qualifications to your statement about film resolution. Fine grain, slow speed, black and white film can capture 80-100 lp/mm under ideal conditions after being developed by a meticulous professional in their own darkroom.

A 20 megapixel 35mm sensor can perform as well as the finest color film--the lack of grain and noise more than make up for the theoretical resolution difference. Hell, even a 5 megapixel digicam can produce prints that look better than anything I ever shot on film.

At this point film is beyond niche market and is headed (very quickly) into the territory where only true eccentrics and luddites will keep on using it.

why not move the lens? (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109081)

how impossible is it to take a shot- and move the sensor- and reshoot?

imagine a 25 MP sensor mounted with something that expands when a current is applied.
take a picture, and apply a smidge of current, and take a picture.

now process the two results into one double resolution pixle picture-- offset just enough of a hair to get double the resolution.

Re:why not move the lens? (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109893)

That would be called photo stitching, and is useful for panoramas of landscapes.

Not very useful for a picture of a person, unless you like arms that have seams.

but what we really ant to know... (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109169)

...how is this going to make my porn better?

50+ MP "sensors" aready exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109553)

It is commonly known as 35MM film and one can purchase the film and a good camera for under $1500.

FILM FTW, DIGITAL SUXORS!

A scanner hooked to a panoramic head is better (1)

od05 (915556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109627)

You can get better results with a robotic camera mount [gigapan.org] hooked up to a zoom lens than this sensor, or even by film captured through a drum scanner. The only difference is this can do it in one shot.

Yea, like you never heard of Tri-X (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24109713)

"for professional photography (i.e., for medium-format cameras)"

Fuck you Kodak.

I accept your challenge kdawson and wager $100 (1)

victim (30647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24109949)

You take this camera up to an altitude of 1 mile or whatever it is that gives you a 1.5mi wide field of view with your favorite lens, and I'll hide my original blue iBook somewhere in the field of view and you tell me where from a single snapshot to collect your $100.

If you lose, you can give me the (obviously overhyped) camera.

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