This Space for Rent

Riddle me this

If I want to buy a digital camera with, say, 2500x2000 resolution, I can trot over to a camera store and pick up a point-and-drool for about US$200. But if I want to buy the image sensor from a camera like this, it would cost me (ahem) somewhat more than US$200.

I’ve got a little film slr sitting on my desk glaring at me because it wants to become the worlds smallest dslr, but I’m not at all pleased with the idea of spending several thousand dollars buying discrete components (particularly since as of 13-June-2008 I will be unemployed and, I hope, out of the computer programming business for good) while those same components are packed into a US$200 camera, laughing mockingly at me.

I wonder what it would take to reprogram a point and drool Nikon to act like a manual-focus bulb camera? If I shredded a cheap point and shoot and made a hunchback of Notre Dame (de Paris)-style digital camera back, it would be a much cheaper route to the nirvana of having a dslr so small I could lose it in my pocket.