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Thread: Better Light Scanning Cameras

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    May 2008
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    Better Light Scanning Cameras

    I have re-posted a brief note from Larry Geyer regarding the recent passing of Mike Collette, the inventor of the Better Light Scanning Camera System. Those of us who worked with the Better Light System appreciate Mike's talents - he was a genius in digital imaging technology.

    "With great sadness I would like to let you all know that the founder of Better Light, Mike Collette died on Thursday, May 11 after an all too short battle with cancer.

    Last summer Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer. He had some ups and downs during the last year and when I saw him last he was happy, energetic and optimistic. He even bought a new Jaguar last November to cruise around to enjoy the beautiful Sierra foothills. However, in March he had some reactions to radiation therapy and also caught a chest cold to further stress his body. He died peacefully and pain-free at home with his wife Betty and son's Alex and Chris.

    It all began when Mike began experimenting with a new Kodak tri-linear sensor in the mid-90's in an attempt to make a digital capture device that he could use for his own landscape photography….OOPS! he created a new alternative to film for all types of photographic applications in the very early days of digital technology. After 5 years of licensing his scanning back design to Dicomed, he started his own company and the Better Light brand.

    Over about 15 years in business the Better Light scanning back established a strong reputation throughout the industry and in particular among photographers, museums and libraries using it for art reproduction applications.

    In 2012, Mike decided to stop manufacturing and move to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Placerville, CA. He enjoyed working outside building a big garden, protecting the produce from "critters", clearing out trees and taking care of the property on his riding mower. He continued to take customer phone calls, helped with troubleshooting, repaired equipment and interacted with our owners on the Forum until his health needed more of his attention in October.

    Since then, I have been delighted to step in and continue our trademark Better Light support for our owners. Clayton Simmons, our engineer at Better Light is taking care of any repairs that our owners require, and we still have a full stock of filters, cables, and parts to keep everyone up and running in their business.

    At this time, I do not know of any services or memorial arrangements, but I will post them as soon as I know of them. We all will miss this great man, but we can also be thankful to have know him and appreciate the wonderful equipment that he designed for us."

    Larry Guyer
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  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Los Altos, CA
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    Re: Better Light Scanning Cameras

    Wow, so sorry to hear this Mike was such a great guy, very passionate about imaging of all sorts and especially proud of his scanning back designs. He will be missed.

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2008
    Shodoshima, Japan
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    Re: Better Light Scanning Cameras

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mike (and Jack Fletcher) at the Betterlight Owners' Conference in 2006. I had bought my 6K2-HS back just a couple of weeks earlier, and had innumerable questions. Mike very patiently answered all of them and helped me figure out everything. Whenever I asked him something via email, he would answer with a detailed reply and possible solutions, sometimes within a couple of hours.

    I will miss him.

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