35mm Cartridge that Transforms Film Cameras into Digital

When a fake camera technology is unveiled, it’s normally called a “concept”. When it’s published on April 1st, however, it’s called an April Fool’s Joke (e.g. last Friday’s Canon iPad monitor). The RE-35 is another fun idea that would be absolutely awesome if it actually existed — it’s a 35mm canister that transforms any 35mm film camera into a digital one using a flexible sensor. Simply load the canister into the camera as you would with film, shoot your photos, and download them by connecting to the canister via USB.

  • Skevos Mavros

    Someone make it happen! Please! :-) It doesn’t need to be a flexible sensor, just thin enough to fit without removing the backs of cameras. All those lovely film SLR bodies and lenses out there, sitting in pawn shops with tiny prices on them…

  • Chung Dha Lam

    they did that 10 years back introduces same thing but is totally not doable. I have found a real way to make a digital back for a 35mm camera. Check this

  • nerdgod
  • Patrick Roodwell

    Digital imaging conversion system … – Google Patent Search

  • Jakub

    Not exatly a new idea.

    However, it would be awesome if it was true!

  • John Reinert Nash

    Does anyone remember ImageK (SiliconFilm) from the late 90s? They tried to do the “35mm film digital conversion,” but never got beyond vapor. The International Museum of Photography has one of their demo units in its collection, but it never really worked. Optics, geometrical considerations, lack of camera communication, and other problems make this a hard nut to crack, and the rise of inexpensive digital cameras soon made their dream obsolete.

  • A_dairy_cow

    If somebody actually did create something like this, either Canon or Nikon would swoop in, buy the technology and bury it before it ever saw the light of day.

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  • mark

    novelty item. would be great. kinda like a holga. imagine all these hipsters with Nikon Fs and vintage glass. totally retro.

  • ranger9

    Yes, I remember that. At first it sounded plausible, and then it gradually deteriorated into a notorious joke. Some of the issues might be solvable now — e.g. near-field radio communicating with an iPhone/Android app for control and communication — but the lack of a rugged flexible sensor is still a hangup.

    Besides, if you want to make photos with a film camera, there’s already a great, fully-engineered solution: it’s called film!

  • Mario Groleau

    10 years ago a product called eFilm do this, it was a 1mpx sensor that was promized to a brillant future, but the product disappear. It was compatible with only some camera models.

  • Mario Groleau

    There is is the web page:

  • Mario Groleau

    There is is the web page:

  • Anonymous

    Nice idea, but whoever made this one up forgot to take into consideration that many 35mm cameras will not let you take another photo until you advance the film, which would cause this “sensor” to wind up on itself. I guess I’ll just stick to scanning the film. :]

  • Mario Groleau

    I collect old camera and only ones that have auto advance of film and ones that cock the shutter with the guiding roller will not work, I try some of my camera and there is no problem with this for the majority of them.

  • Anonymous

    That would not necessarily be a major issue: the sensor could be rigid (it does not need to be flexible; but it needs to be very thin) thus the cartridge would need to be fitted to one side only, and mechanisms to fool the camera into thinking you have winded are not all that difficult to produce (there are actually some already).

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  • Polosurf91

    I had this idea some years back , but in Japan they made it happen , check this!!
    If someone can translate it , would be awsome!

  • fotomatt

    OKAY – Here’s the deal! This was actually attempted in the early 2000s…I forget the name of the company, but I was communicating with them to beta test the product. It was essentially a similar-looking cartridge. This was a real thing! Maybe not this one, but there was indeed a company trying to do it.

    I also held strongly that the APS film cameras were a test-bed to try a similar idea…a camera capable of film and digital. Though, I’m sure if Kodak had succeeded with that it would only have been one more time the Great Yellow Father shot hisself (sic) in the foot!

  • Oscar

    I already did, just goole translated it from the japanese.  Of course not perfect.  Its precisely says this is for a “junk” camera. One you really want it work.  Excellent project!

  • Oscar

    Let’s face it the camera makers (digital) just don’t want us to hang on to our film cameras anymore. Just ask Kodak! But for it to work this has got to be a DIY project very much like the Leica (or Canon) project in Japan.  Of course no sense ruining a perfectly working Leica or other make. keep those for classic film. Just do it with “junk”. 

  • Oscar

    I will be posting the “translated” page here soon.

  • Yossk1

    My mother would so go for this for her old Reflex II if it were real, but what a waste of a great old camera. I just stopped her from throwing the poor thing out, because she said, “No one wants that piece of junk anymore, and nobody makes film for it.”  GAH!!!
       This is the way so many wonderful things she once owned have bitten the dust, Hull stoneware, vintage 50’s, 60’s and 70’s sewing patterns, postcards from the 1800’s, my grandmother’s salt and pepper shaker collection.
    Somebody had better invent this fast. The camera only has one year reprieve.

  • Herman Resto

    This is what Kodak had to do to stay in business as the leading photo film and imaging company of the world. They are declaring bankruptcy in 2012. What a shame! What lack of vision and innovation!

  • Peter Darragh

    this did exsist!!! in 2001 a company (forgot the name) had a canister that was exactly like this, but alas, it was only 4 mp. pretty crappy.

  • carlos

    There is one big thing and that is that old film cameras are a lot more reliable than degital ones especially the pocket digital, kodak should have a future vision , a way to make our analog systems updated, any way I found a way to make great film for sheap that is working with 35mm movie film give 8 minutes to develope and then scan it. cheers

  • yoyo

    Canon iPad monitor? Umm… It’s called Capture One

  • Paulo ‘f Ferreira

    I had this idea may years ago. Unfortunately I’m not rich to try to create it. It is not impossible with today’s technology. It just needs someone to start the project and invest on it.

  • bmp

    I have an idea, but not the money

  • Bill Gates

    How much?

  • Os

    Of course they are not going to put this in the market, imagine the billions of dollars that the camera makers will loose every time somebody buys one of these and not a $800.00, $1,500.00 or $8,000.00 cameras.

  • nicholas mitcham

    OK two years on!! Has anyone made it happen?? Presently searching the net for info. Has anyone out there come across anything??

  • pjfj

    Yes, I have I hope to have it on Kickstarter in the very near future,

  • Andrew Johnson

    Title needs to be changed to include “Fake” since it isn’t real and is a april fools joke. Misleading for views is pretty low.