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Author Topic: Regarding sensors. This may seem like a stupid question, but ...  (Read 3285 times)

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« on: June 24, 2007, 22:18 »
I noticed on the Kodak site they sell digital camera sensors. Is it possible to fit an after market Kodak to your camera?

Like can I stick a Kodak 7mp sensor in my old Canon 300D?

« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2007, 22:29 »
Not a stupid question.  Highly reasonable actually.

I'm not a techie, but I can see a few issues that may need to be overcome.  First, Canon sensors are CMOS and thats how the circuitry is built to understand the data.  Not sure how Kodak's sensors are.

The second is the design and the contacts and such.  The probably will not align at all unless its a Kodak sensor designed for Canon cameras.

Lastly, the algorithms are designed for 6MP on that specific camera, so how they will react to a different sensor may affect performance.

In my opinion, why go with an inferior Kodak sensor when Canon makes the best sensors for noise on the planet (sidenote: new MKIII sensor is phenomenal at ISO 3200.  See Rob Galbraith's review and his shots)


« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2007, 05:24 »
I noticed on the Kodak site they sell digital camera sensors. Is it possible to fit an after market Kodak to your camera?

Like can I stick a Kodak 7mp sensor in my old Canon 300D?

Unless you are a super techno-geek, definitely not.

« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2007, 06:28 »
The only cameras where you can change sensor are medium and large format. The cheapest alternative so far is the Mamiya 645 AFD II with the Mamiya ZD digital back (22MP). The camera body costs $3000 and the ZD back $7000. Lenses are extra :D

Not exactly cheap, but around half the price of a Hasselblad or Rollei/Sinar/Leaf combination.

Many photographers are dreaming about upgradeable digital SLR's, or even better: digital backs for classic cameras like the Nikon FM3A. Unfortunately, it's very unlikely that something like that will appear. It's simply cheaper to mass-produce complete, new cameras. The cheapest ones, Nikon D40 and Pentax K100D are now below $400.

There was actually one DSLR with exchangeable back: The Leica R8 and R9 (same camera, but different electronics) could alternate between film and the DMR, a rather big as well as expensive digital back, and the DMR is now discontinued. You can still buy the R9 tough, but that's film only these days. Leica is expected to launch a new, all digital DSLR in the not too distant future.

« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2007, 06:40 »
speaking with my electrical design/engineering hat on....

Yes, theoretically you could fit any 1.6x sensor to the body of your 300D.

CCD/CMOS sensors are relatively simple to interface to, and the specs for the kodak chips are available, with application notes that would allow you to get the analogue RGB mosaic values off the chip (the 'raw' data, more raw that raw format...)

But, and here's the pinch.  What on earth do you do with the after that?  The firmware and graphics chipset in your camera does the de-mosaic, color correction, sharpening, contrast and toning..  And is written specifically for the sensor living in the camera.

This is where the cool stuff happens.  The ASIC chips (Digic etc) that do the conversion from the analogue photodiode voltages to raw digital data take thousands of hours and millions of dollars to develop.  It's beyond the average large company to do this, let or loan an enthusiast...

I'm pretty sure I could build something to get the data off one of their sensors.  But it would require a large circuit board, larger than the camera, and would probably take many seconds to convert one frame to usable data.

« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2007, 17:52 »
Thanks for the info

So, basically not a plug and play device for wannabe like me ...

Great discussion though


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