This Space for Rent

Now that’s a *tiny* camera

*istDs vs. auto 110

The Pentax *istDS is a teeny camera (that’s one of the things that got me into the cult of Pentax in the first place), but when you compare it to the (film only and discontinued) Auto 110s it’s as if I’ve got a large-format film camera sitting beside a regular 35mm SLR.

You can’t get digital camera backs for the Auto 110, so I wonder how hard it would be to take a fixed-focus digital point and shoot and convert it into a homebrew camera back. If I could get a digital 110 (After having three Canon A60s/A70s die with lens errors, I decided that removable lenses would be a requirement for any camera that I purchased. This severely restricted my camera choices) then I could carry that around as my tagalong camera instead of the small-but-still-large (and discontinued, to be replaced by the larger K20 [or the (ick) pentamirror K200]) *istDS.

Of course, there’d be the small problem that if I got a hole in my pocket I’d run the risk of having the 110 fall out along with the loose change.


Don’t know of anything in the compact end with interchangable lenses; quite happy with a Panasonic LX-2 in that role, though.

I can recall seeing the recent assertion that Samsung still has the GX-1 available, if you’re looking at a sidegrade.

I am liking the K20D very much; no prior DSLR experience, but very happy with it so far.

– Graydon

Graydon Sun Mar 30 17:52:14 2008

I believe the GX-1 is a rebadged *istDL, which uses a pentamirror instead of a pentaprism. From everything I’ve heard, pentamirrors don’t pass as much light as a pentaprism does, so it’s less appealing than the *istDS. (If I was willing to use a pentamirror, I’d go for the 10mp K200, which isn’t much larger than the DS.)

But the idea of converting an auto 110 into a digital camera is pretty appealing, if I can wedge the electronics and batteries into a 110 form factor. Some of the cheap fixed-focus ~1-2mp cameras are pretty small, so one of them might be able to be converted into a back without too much pain, and that would give me an electronics-related project to punctuate the pile of carpentry and sewing projects I’m doing.

David Parsons Sun Mar 30 23:58:29 2008

Ah, ok, sorry, got my *ist names muddled; thought the Samsung version of what you’ve got was still available. (and it might be; not good with the names.)

Definitely agree about pentaprism vs pentamirror; looking through a few pentamirrors is what convinced me I wanted to go relatively high-end. (Trying to manual focus with the electronic viewfinder of my Minolta A200 convinced me I really, really wanted an optical viewfinder…)

The thing that comes to mind about sticking a fixed-focus camera in the A110 is that the lenses for it are going to have a pretty exact expectation of sensor plane and location (distance from the back element of the lens); I see a fair bit of grumping about how this is not quite right in DSLRs as received so I expect that this is one of those things where the amount the glue shrinks when it dries can actually effect the results.

So if you get it to work I think you’d be due some serious bragging rights.

– Graydon

Graydon Tue Apr 1 11:21:58 2008

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