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SiliconFilm progress?

By dpreview staff on Dec 17, 2000 at 04:00 GMT
Long time called vapourware SiliconFilm's (previously known as Imagek) eFilm appears to be finally making some real progress. The eFilm is a 35 mm digital film (1.3 megapixel) cartridge which will fit into certain 35mm film cameras. Now there's talk of real product ($699) next year, and they've today published sample images on their website.

The product generated a HUGE amount of interest when mock-up designs were first published on their site, since then they updated it when they changed their name to SiliconFilm (back in September 1999). We've recently heard from them that they now have a working product.

Our previous eFilm coverage

Click here for eFilm samples gallery

Phil notes: Interesting, but there are still lots of "gotcha's" I can see that are associated with this product:

  • The sensor is considerably smaller than a 35mm frame, that means that (a) you have a focal length multiplier and (b) you'll have to use a masked focus screen to be able to properly frame a shot.
  • Technology has now overtaken the eFilm, there are lots of excellent digital cameras on the market, digital SLR's designed from the ground up to do the job are becoming more common place and prices will continue to drop next year. Remember, the eFilm is only 1.3 megapixel.
  • Storage (maximum 24 frames) and battery capacity, once you fill the eFilm you have to offload the images before you can continue, no removable storage here and once the battery power is used you'll have to recharge it.
  • Dust, nobody has yet explained how the ultra-sensitive CCD sensor surface is protected from dust / grime / damage, every time the eFilm is removed from the camera it will be exposed to the elements.
  • LCD, there's no LCD, so you loose one of the most empowering features of digital photography, instant gratification.

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