This Accessory Turns Your Film Camera Into a Digital Box

Image by @samellos / Instagram

With the return of film and vintage filters – as evidenced by the success of “analog effects” application like Huji Cam – digital photography and film have never crossed so much. This relationship does not seem to go out of fashion, as evidenced by the creation of the Brazilian designer and photographer Samuel Mello Medeiros, a digital back that transforms almost any film camera into digital one.

The interesting camera accessory is called “I’m Back”, and it looks like a photo grip: just unclip the back cover of the camera, install it where the film is located and connect the flash. Instead of exposing the film to light, it is the digital back sensor that will record the files – in JPEG and/or RAW. Once photos are taken in digital format, it is possible to disassemble the installation and put back traditional films.

If for the majority of digital cameras, the image of the lens is directly projected on the sensor, this digital back works differently: here, the image is projected on the focus screen and the sensor takes a picture of this screen, which would have a better image quality. The product has a Panasonic sensor of 16 megapixels, a smart touch screen and wifi connection which allows even to control it from a smartphone.

The accessory fits most 35mm cameras from major brands like Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Praktica, Contax, Olympus, Minolta, Olympus, Yashica, Leica M, Leica R, Diana F and Diana F mini and allows also to shoot videos. On its website, the creators of I’m Back state that their product is not intended to compete with conventional digital cameras, nor to replace film, but to allow a hybrid use of film cameras.

Seeing the test images published on the site, we imagine that the product will seduce all lovers of the cachet of the film, used to spend hours retouching their images to give them a vintage look. For now the product is still in its concept phase and there are no people who had already the chance to test it, so it may be that it has some defects (light leaks, trigger problems, compatibility etc.).

I’m Back will be presented at the Photokina 2018 in Germany, we will probably know more at that time. For those who are interested, there is a Kickstater project and participants in it should receive the product in the coming months, which suggests an imminent launch. Price side, no information yet, but crowdfunding campaign participants can get it for €175, which seems like a rather reasonable price. Case to follow!