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How can I convert a 35mm SLR camera body into a digital camera? Answered

I have an old 35mm SLR camera and an old digital camera.  I'd like to marry the digital camera to the SLR and take advantage of the better lens.  Is that possible?


I have for many years wanted such a feature, this e-film sounds exactly what I was thinking of and it is a shame that the project has fallen through.

It is high up on my to do list of interesting electronic projects i have in mind for when i've got my education out of the way.

Tech parts will be better and easier to make it work..
Hope you can make it an ible.


I would love to do this as my Olympus 10 35 mm has several lenses and accessories and is overall a better camera than my digital camera HOWEVER - I have been told it is very difficult to do - apparently aligning the CD sensor with the focal plane of the lens is difficult/impossible to get spot on.

general opinion I have seen on other forums is practically you can't do it and end up with 2 unserviceable cameras. Be cautious. HOWEVER if you manage an instructable on how to is mandatory!!!

+1 Your right.

eFilm only fit the Canon EOS-1N.
The project worked well and got handed to a succession of egocentric production managers until the money was goon 12 years ago.

EGOs the size of a basketball court. Three there were, each was bound and determined to add their personal mark to the product.
One added feature after feature until he was dismissed for crashing the power budget.
The second, micromanaged until 2 weeks before shipping, he had Not tied down a parts list.
The last, sucked money and fired people until technicians were what was left of a production team.
By then the market edge was 4 yrs gone and Investors started grand law suits.
It was bankrupt, sold and died quietly.

Two of us had a lot of fun in the beginning, especially when I solved a power up time lag problem by monitoring the EOS power-on flux signature with a 50 turn coil in the 8 layer Flex PCB, a diode and capacitor.

At a time when many older CMOS factories were going idle because of a shift in IC density, was moving beyond their production capabilities.
The Sensor was low cost, we used a conventional CMOS, four individual color spots per pixel with high speed shift out and a novel way to handle dark current.

It was such a clever idea. WHat a shame - completely obsoleted now ?

My ego only fills my living room :-)
eFilm died before1999.
Today's cameras are amazing ( cheaper faster easier smaller lighter )
Only the lenses are still worth some ones desire.
That and my hand tremor likes a nice heavy camera for good pictures.

SLR-profile digital cameras are still the standard for professionals (and serious amateurs).

Depending on the model they are somewhat lighter, but still about the same size as a film SLR with a motor drive... And yes, that extra mass is considered a plus by photographers.

A lot of people never like to admit mass steadies the photo from the tremors of their metacarpal grip.


The better answer, right now, is to sell both kits and buy a digital body and a film body which take the same lenses. It's only money...

For what it's worth, one of the earliest digital SLRs was a collaboration between Kodak and Nikon, using a big Nikon body latched into an even bigger object which carried the electronics. I don't remember whether it required a separate battery pack or not. It worked, but was bulky and heavy and -- since it was such an early implementation -- had some nasty image artifacts. Good enough if shooting for newspaper, not good enough for more serious use.

And digital backs are available for some of the large-format cameras, which were already designed around interchangeable film carriers.

So, yeah, it's theoretically possible. But it really isn't something you can expect to homebrew.


7 years ago

Here is how a team I worked with did it.


It would be POSSIBLE, but the chip size in all but a digital SLR is too small to suit a standard SLR body.