DSLR cameras from the 'Paleozoic' era.

From 1994 to 2000, Nikon, together with Fujifilm, created and produced quasi-full-length digital SLR cameras.

View Nikon E2n

View Nikon Fujix E2n

A total of 6 models were released, all of them are based on the same 1.3 MP sensor.

  • Nikon E2 (Fujifilm Fujix DS-505)
  • Nikon E2S (Fujifilm Fujix DS-515)
  • Nikon E2N (Fujifilm Fujix DS-505A)
  • Nikon E2NS (Fujifilm Fujix DS-515A)
  • Nikon E3 (Fujifilm Fujix DS-560)
  • Nikon E3S (Fujifilm Fujix DS-565)

Matrix size cameras 'Nikon E' is only 2/3 inches - 8.80 by 6.60 mm, while crop factor Kf = 4X, and the physical size of such a matrix is ​​approximately 16 times smaller than that of a full-format one. Nevertheless, the recalculation of the focal length is not necessary. This is due to a special optical unit (Reduction-Optics Technology), which is located behind the main mirror, collects the rays and projects them onto the reduced sensor. Thus, the image is projected onto the reduced sensor in full, and crop factor remains equal to 1X. In this case, there are no problems when using wide-angle lenses. Below is a schematic diagram of the operation of such a camera.

Schematic diagram of the quasi-full-format camera

Schematic diagram of the quasi-full-format camera

The sensor receives 16 times more light (4 stops). The camera is said to be able to use ISO 800-3.200. At the same time, the physical ISO range of the matrix itself is 50-200, and the real working ISO of the entire camera, due to the fact that the matrix receives several times more light per unit area than a conventional matrix is ​​800-3.200 (if 50-200 multiply by 16, we get 800-3.200). Such a range of photosensitivity is well applicable for shooting a reportage and a number of other photo tasks.

I believe that the technology is quite interesting, although it introduces a number of limitations and inconveniences. I suspect that an additional optical unit adds no more distortion than a regular high-quality teleconverter... However, due to the additional block, the dimensions of the camera itself increase. But the usual focusing system remains, JVI and everything else, and at the output we get exactly the same picture that we see in JVI. For example, cameras of the same era Canon EOS DCS 5, DCS 1 create a picture with crop 1.3X.

Fat Nikon 3s body. View from above.

Fat Nikon 3s body. View from above.

Old technologies gave me a 'new' idea. I would not mind if modern manufacturers made special cameras that had a fairly high minimum ISO threshold, such as ISO 800 or ISO 1600. Such a camera would be very useful for shooting a huge number of photo tasks where low-noise high ISO values ​​are required. The limiting maximum ISO values, too, would rise accordingly.

For example, a modern Nikon D4s camera uses a base ISO of 100 with an ISO range of 100-25.600, while the ISO maneuver is 25.600/100=256 times. If you theoretically create a camera with a base ISO 800 and the same maneuver, then in the end you can get a camera with ISO 800-204.800. If we take into account that the Nikon D4s 'overclocks' to ISO Hi4, equal to 409.600, then in the new theoretical camera it will be possible to obtain ISO 3.276.800 (over three million!).

Considering the specifics of ISO sensitivity control described in my article 'ISO software implementation', it would be logical to assume that a camera with a base high ISO would have a noise level similar to that of a conventional low ISO camera. I would gladly purchase such a camera for work in low light conditions. It's just a pity that so far these are just desires from the realm of fantasy.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 35, on topic: DSLR cameras from the 'Paleozoic' era.

  • Dmitry K

    Now such a theme in the form of a converter, on the contrary, has been implemented on Olympus and Sony Nex; you buy a camera with a micro 3/4 sensor, put this stray, and on top a full-format lens and voila! Moreover, support for autofocus is preserved. Speed ​​Booster is called http://www.ixbt.com/news/hard/index.shtml?16/45/92
    You can still google, on YouTube it is even shown how it works.
    and most importantly, this lens unit is not that big - the camera does not look like a brick. I wonder why Nikon moved away from this idea? it's so tempting to make a mega-photic out of d90 ... oh, dreams

  • Vadim

    Why not make SpeedBuster for the APS-C sensor and FullFrame lenses? Or even for medium format optics?

    • Novel

      On Sony Nex, just the aps-c matrix, and the speed booster is also interesting for autofocus with electronic aperture control.

      • Denis

        And can someone tell me where in Ukraine you can find Speed ​​Booster?

  • Dmitry K

    Well, on Nikon, the absence of such a gadget can be justified by the pedal principle of diaphragm control and focusing, but it would not have been too difficult for a boot with its fully electronic principle of lens operation. Actually, there are speedboosters for the lenses from the boot, only for installation on Olympus and Nexes))) but the APS-C is in flight. I think a combo of a crop of a carcass and an FF lens through such a contraption will be worse than just a crop lens (how to check?), That's why they don't ...

    • Novel

      Then it will be a real boot :)

      What was the reason for this before? The high cost of a full-frame matrix (and at that time the impossibility of its production).

      How does SpeedBooster differ from such a solution? It is installed on mirrorless cameras. If you want to put such a thing on a Canon SLR, the focusing element will be located behind the mirror, in place of the old matrix, and the matrix will be shifted even further into the depth of the camera. As a result, he will become such a monster with increased depth and can only work with full-frame lenses. But for these purposes it is easier to buy a lens with a large matrix - the quality will certainly not suffer due to aberrations.

  • Dmitry K

    Um, yes, I didn’t think about the mirror. Well then, there’s nothing to cry)) We lived with the crop somehow and still live, the benefit of the lenses was done for it .. not so many are not so cool, but there is even a width, then everything is ok

  • anonym

    But interestingly, as a result of progress, we will return back to the film, only a modified character? Or something like that? History goes in a spiral.

    • Igor

      Hardly. Most likely to what kind of 3D digital cameras built into the phone and with one click placing photos in a virtual album. And the phone has a 3D screen on which to view these photos. People will spend days on their phones and like their photos under the kote pictures in 3D :-)

    • Dmitry K

      Yes, they really can’t get away from it - in the cinema, the film still steers. And in general, an instantaneous assessment of the result is too tempting, the future is in the cinema too.
      Arkady has already figured out the options for the camera in the future - without a mirror, EVI, then we will grow up to a sane electronic shutter ... and the Bayer matrix will be replaced with some kind of chemical rubbish that changes the crystal structure and conductivity depending on the illumination and wavelength, and in the dark it will be decimated back -will be like a reusable film))))

      • Alex

        Film production breathes too

  • anonym

    and you didn’t come across such a camera for review ???
    It would be interesting to look at her photo

  • Denis

    I think at this stage there is not much sense from such a camera, plus only in increasing the sensitivity, which marketers will not allow :) Cropping widths are not a problem now, so there is no point in fussing such a garden for them, even a lousy cropped shirik, I am sure, will give the picture is not worse than a high-quality full-frame + lenses in such a carcass. The depth of field of full-frame lenses will probably also be stretched, because lenses, in fact, shorten the flange distance and FR, respectively, i.e. There will be no “biasedness” of full-frame optics.
    Better than APS-C or 4/3 mirrorless and Speed ​​Booster, such a bundle at least has flexibility (if you want to - take it off and use any optics without intermediate lenses), and autofocus on any optics can take place.

  • Jury

    how nice, after reading the news about our life, go to Radozhiva and read good reviews and comments. Thanks to all :)

  • Madness scif

    but where are the examples PHOTO ????????????

    • Denis

      Give such a camera for review and there will be photos.

  • Vasily Artamonov

    An interesting and informative article. Thank you Arkady! I think these cameras at one time played a significant role in the transition of professionals to digital.

  • anonym

    The site is gradually beginning to fade away ... all interesting things have long been considered by the author ... (

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Do not get bored, take photos of something :)

      • anonym

        And then) That's what we are doing) Arkady, do you want to “open” a section on the site where the principles and methods of shooting will be considered? Let the readers write themselves, you are the moderator. No "trash" and "copying" from other sources, only your "achievements". Something like lectures, etc. I can act as an author and moderator to help you. if interested, we will write a personal message.
        PS I don’t want the site to be quiet ... there is no such thing in (c) Ukraine ... and apparently it will not.

        • vital.

          ... my grandfather used to say about such people: “There are people who think up, and there are fools”.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Thanks. I'll think about it.

          • Dmitry K

            And I support the idea of ​​articles about photography and other photo tricks like “why should you use M mode with a flash and how to do it”, “why and who should take pictures in RAV?” and about other things that are not obvious to a beginner. I can also help with writing and sample photos

            • Denis

              There are such articles on the site, look better.

              • Dmitry K

                I know what it is. The key idea is that we need more similar articles with other unobvious things

  • anonym

    What should this site calm down?

  • Passer

    It is not clear why such a vegetable garden should be fenced ... Although I may not quite understand the technology of creating photosensors, but couldn’t they have made a matrix of full frame sizes? Kind of how to make a matrix bigger even easier than such a miniature one?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In those days, it was not that a full-format sensor was hard to do, then even APS-C sensors were not there :)

      • Passer

        So, it seems that on the contrary, electronics moves from large to small :) Can you explain why the production of a larger matrix is ​​more expensive? It seems that on the contrary, the size of each element can be made larger, the process technology is simpler.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          It's simple - making a large working crystal is more difficult than making a small one. In electronics, size does not matter and there is where to reduce, in a photo the matrix must be of a certain size and there is nowhere to reduce.

        • Sergei

          Very big marriage. It is very difficult to make a clean crystal without beaten peksels; moreover, on a round substrate there are fewer full-frame crystals fit less, there is more rejection for re-melting. As a result, with the same process of manufacturing crystal and ff crop, crop costs several times cheaper.

  • Alexey

    I don’t know what someone is quieting down and dying out, but I have something to say about myself. I am not prof. photographer, I practice photography when I have free time.
    Regarding the content, although it is written (in the opinion of many) in simple language, but after the 7100-page instructions for the d350, there is a review of lenses, flagship cameras, articles about photos, this is a free school in my native language (I will not say anything about the sb 700).
    After 14 months, I only approached this article, I had a question. Friends, aren't all readers of the site professional photographers on the site and are they missing something new? As for me, judging by the comments there are not many of them. But all the others, and I am at the bottom of the list, have not yet really mastered elementary skills. But give us the action (and a video review, isn’t this new?).
    To the author: Arkady, I constantly do two of your instructions - (I read, try, reread, try again, it turns out) and like. I do not ask questions, because from experience - "who does not understand in the first reading will understand in the second" Yan Arlazorov, Russian Duma))
    Thanks to your advice, I understand all the charms of a manual lens, figured out all the capabilities of the camera, started looking at kit 18-105 differently, realized that the crop on the crop focuses damn coolly, and the flash draws pictures during the day ... and so on.
    As a way out for those who require new, I recommend re-reading the old - you will discover a lot for yourself, and if you are a real pro - I think that the section from the reader would be useful to everyone if it covers a topic that Arkady did not describe earlier. The second way out is simple - the link is in the comments and everyone will read it.
    I ask you not to be offended, just for me Radozhiva is a very informative resource, and given that its author writes in the same way (as I read) in his free time from basic earnings, he gives all the best to his full potential. For which I sincerely express my gratitude and wish for creative success.

  • Robot1524

    I completely agree with Alexei. Thanks for the interesting articles!

  • Shark

    The screen and electronic viewfinder are the most gluttonous elements. Therefore, the battery life of the average mirrorless mirror is at least half that of the average SLR camera. Frames on one charge are an absolutely ordinary indicator for DSLR and an absolutely unthinkable achievement for a camera without a mirror.

  • andrex

    Today I won this at an auction in Japan, we will see))) it is true to wait until it reaches 3-4 months. I also have a Kodak dsc460, it remains to buy a Minolta RD175 and all gestalts are closed)))

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