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Dual-function Camera/Projector

Old technology, new convinience.
  [vote for,

Your basic movie film camera: a lens focuses the image through a shutter onto the film.

Your basic movie film projector: A light shines through the film, through a shutter, and out of a lens.

My idea: Combine the two in a convinient modular format. If you look at the above descriptions carefull, you will notice that they are basically the same description, in opposite orders. In other words, the mechinism for a film camera is the same as a projector, with the addition of a very bright light bulb. So, let's make an camera that functions as a projector as well, by plugging a handy "projector module" into the back that houses the lightbulb and power source for the light, plus a speaker for sound (and sound outputs if you want to plug it into a high-end stereo). The camera already has all the other mechanisms needed to play back the film.

Sure, 8mm is outdated, but think of the simplicity of this system: all you need is a power outlet and a wall--you don't even need a TV, and there are no cables to hook up or remote-control-navigation to deal with (if you've tried to connect a camcorder to a TV, or worse, a VCR, you probably know what a pain this can be).

The above system would also work (simplified, no sound) for a still-image camera, for your own vacation slideshows without needing to make actual slides.

And yes, I'm almost 100% certain the lens optics would work backwards.

5th Earth, Jun 22 2004


       Brilliant concept. Indeed, without too much work you could probably include a film duplicator/"printer" as well. At least that's what the Lumiere brothers did in France in the late nineteenth century.   

       I should, however, probably fill you in on a few difficulties with the concept:   

       (1) Cameras must put a shutter between the lens and the film [or, possibly, between the screen and the lens, though that probably isn't as good]. Projectors can work with such a shutter, but if one is using a very bright light it's much better to put the shutter between the light and the film.   

       (2) For best visual appearance, projector shutters should be designed to flash each image three times for 8mm/super8/silent16 and twice for sound16/35mm. Camera shutters should flash each frame once.   

       (3) Film-advance mechanisms range from the simple to the complex, with the simpler mechanisms being smaller and lighter but also being limitted to using shorter quantities of film and also being prone to put more wear on the film. Better mechanisms tend to be bigger and heavier.   

       Unless one is doing special-effects work, film wear by a camera is not apt to be a concern. If a camera caused enough stress on sprockets to reduce their useful life by 5%, that would be a non-factor. On the other hand, if a projector were to do so, running a film 20 times would render it useless.
supercat, Jun 22 2004

       BTW, I shouldn't criticize your idea merely because it was baked so long ago, given that it seems to have fallen by the wayside. There are many good ideas which fall by the wayside during a time when they're not practical but after which they would be (if anyone still remembered them).
supercat, Jun 23 2004

       BrauBeaton: >:*3 I can see this as being a useful invention if and only if someone can work out suitable chemisty to allow instant developing with good quality and minimal cost. Polaroid tried to create a movie format a decade or too ago (in the early days of camcorders IIRC) and it flopped.
supercat, Jun 23 2004

       Or you could use a digital camera with built in projector.
harderthanjesus, Jun 23 2004

       I say the convienance of the idea is spectacular... A whole movie experience in one small box, but the idea of using outdated technology to do so is trying. I agree with [harderthanjesus], just go digital and make a convienant but practical combination of what we already have. Practical referring to everything except the monetary one.
Cheekio, Jun 24 2004

       [BrauBeaton] - anything with a colon in it is probably some kind of smiley. Or a tummy. One or the other.
benjamin, Jun 24 2004

       Looks kinda like a rabbit with a broken nose.
harderthanjesus, Jun 24 2004

       Hmm, possibly new halfbaked idea - screen magnifier type program that has an option to rotate what's around the mouse pointer by 90 degrees, for easier smiley/emoticon viewing.
benjamin, Jun 24 2004

       It could save lives. Neck tilted killed over 2 people last year but the issue has been shamefully ignored.
harderthanjesus, Jun 24 2004

       //[supercat] I don't know what you mean by >:*3 ? More than two? What? I hope you didn't take any offense at my anno.//   

       An original emoticon of mine, which goes back to the days of terminal screen fonts. It really doesn't work so well with newer fonts' five-pointed asterisk, but I still like it. It's a cat. From left to right, ears, eyes, nose and whiskers, mouth.
supercat, Jun 24 2004

       Well, I was hoping the novelty of the idea would outweigh the obsolesence of it, but I guess not. I was just fascinated by the idea of using a camera "backwards" as a projector.
5th Earth, Jun 24 2004

       this is a cool idea +
engineer1, Jun 25 2004


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