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Thread: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Why maybe its time for one.

    And along with this are Mike Johnson's musing on the Digimat. Taking Thoreau's simplify, simplify to camera design.

    I would love a monochrome M Leica... Maybe someday...

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    I would like one also as I specialize in black and white art photography. Kodak produced a monochrome digital SLR a few years back, just before the 14N products but it did not sell and was discontinued after about a year. I saw at least one user that was posting sample images from it. I do not think a manufacturer will produce this without a larger market share.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Kodak DCS 760m (monochrome).
    A Unique User's Perspective

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    They are all B&W cameras, color is the illusion

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    nei1
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?


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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Very interesting stuff. The tripling of effective ISO and increase in sharpness to be had by removing the Bayer filter hadn't occurred to me, but after reading about it it seems obvious. Not everyone would be willing to drop $10K on say, a B&W Alpha 900 but I bet they could profit at a $5K price point on a limited run of B&W 850/900s. If they got it right.
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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    Ranger 9
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Anderson View Post
    I bet they could profit at a $5K price point on a limited run of B&W 850/900s. If they got it right.
    But none of the seventeen people who would actually buy such a thing would agree on what's "right."

    It would be like trying to design a robotic backscratcher: Everyone who tried it would say, "Great idea, but it doesn't scratch where it itches."

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    A monochrome Leica M would scratch my itch just fine....

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    But none of the seventeen people who would actually buy such a thing would agree on what's "right."

    It would be like trying to design a robotic backscratcher: Everyone who tried it would say, "Great idea, but it doesn't scratch where it itches."
    Agree, except that I think the interest would be at least in the hundreds. I should qualify that with, "right enough that most who want it could live with it".
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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    Ranger 9
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Maybe THIS would be a logical application for the "open-source camera" I was dissing on another thread.

    Individual consultants could personalize your b&w Frankencamera to render images exactly the way you wanted them. There could be workshops to analyze your preferences and set up your camera specifically to fulfill them, then teach you how to use it.

    If your tastes and needs changed later, you could come back for another workshop and get your camera re-configured again.

    Over time, the costs would wind up making medium-format digital look like pocket change, and your pictures still wouldn't be as good as the ones Edward Weston made back in the '30s... but it could be a workable niche market for people who think of b&w photography as a lifestyle rather than just a technique.

  11. #11
    nei1
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    Maybe THIS would be a logical application for the "open-source camera" I was dissing on another thread.

    Individual consultants could personalize your b&w Frankencamera to render images exactly the way you wanted them. There could be workshops to analyze your preferences and set up your camera specifically to fulfill them, then teach you how to use it.

    If your tastes and needs changed later, you could come back for another workshop and get your camera re-configured again.

    Over time, the costs would wind up making medium-format digital look like pocket change, and your pictures still wouldn't be as good as the ones Edward Weston made back in the '30s... but it could be a workable niche market for people who think of b&w photography as a lifestyle rather than just a technique.
    This is an extroadinarily stupid and condescending post.

  12. #12
    Ranger 9
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    Re: Why there is no B/W digital camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    This is an extroadinarily stupid and condescending post.
    Actually, by the standards of my posts, its stupidity level is only ordinary. (Or for you I guess that should be "adinary.")

    As for condescending, well, I didn't intend it to be. In the thread about Stanford University's open-source "Frankencamera," I poked fun at the idea... but later I realized it actually would be a good platform for creating niche-market products such as a b&w-only digital camera.

    Since the Frankencamera is designed for computational-photography researchers rather than mainstream photographers, having a consultant set it up exactly the way you want it would be a sensible business model. ("I'd like a bit longer toe and a little less red sensitivity in the highlights, please.")

    It's no different in principle from the way people take their high-end performance cars to a dyno shop for a custom-burned ECU chip that's optimized for their specific engine mods, usage profile, and personal preferences.

    And a workshop would be a great environment for doing that, giving the consultant a chance to set up several customers' cameras over the course of several days of intensive shooting so the results could be fine-tuned on the spot. (Gee, I'm starting to think my original post was actually less stupid than adinary.)

    Or, wait, did you mean the condescending part was where I said people's photographs still wouldn't be as good as Edward Weston's? Okay, hands up everybody who thinks, truly, in your heart of hearts, that your photos are as good as Weston's...? No...?

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