“I’m back” is back – The digital back for SLRs returns

Mar 13, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Mar 13, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Last year we told you about I’m Back, yet another solution to shoot digital images with your old film cameras. They were funding the project through Kickstarter and fell somewhat short of their goal, pulling in €35K of their €85K target. Now, though, they’ve rethought the project and I’m Back is back with lower expectations.

Once again, funding is through Kickstarter with a €20,000 goal, it’s already gone way past that, hitting over €30K. It’s still a little short of the amount pledged last time, but there are still 22 days of the campaign left to go. With a few tweaks and price adjustments, it looks like I’m Back might actually go ahead this time. It also seems that it may now be compatible with a much wider range of cameras.

YouTube video

The folks at I’m Back haven’t just recycled the same content. There’s a new video, photos of a new prototype offering a more modular design which allows for potential use with a much wider range of older cameras. The specs, though, are essentially the same.

I’m Back works in a slightly different way to all of the other failed “digital film” solutions proposed previously. Instead of having the lens project straight onto a sensor, the image is projected onto a screen, and then mirrors bounce that screen down to a sensor which sits below the camera. It looks a bit like a vertical grip, except it’s huge and there’s no actual grip (seems a bit of an oversight there).

With the updated design, though, the top section is separate from the bottom. This means that if you have a camera that doesn’t match one of the standard plates, you can go with the new universal plate, or even design and 3D print your own.

Now that this campaign is already successfully funded, I do hope it actually comes to fruition. Not for my own benefit. I’ve given up on the idea of trying to shoot digital with my old film bodies now. But to see older cameras being repurposed with newer technology is a wonderful thing. There’s so much old kit out there sitting unused.

On the other hand, it may not. It might be yet another “Digital Film” project destined to fail.

If you want to take the gamble, though, and back I’m Back (that felt weird to type), then head on over to their current Kickstarter campaign where you can now go for yours starting at €225.

[via DPReview]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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7 responses to ““I’m back” is back – The digital back for SLRs returns”

  1. Adam Santino Avatar
    Adam Santino

    Not sure what the point is. People who prefer old cameras actually want to use film. Otherwise, why not take advantage of modern technology? This seems like a super niche market.

    1. istian Avatar
      istian

      I agree, but it’s great though because you can use your film cameras/lenses without the need to adapt, retaining their true original character, but with the convienance of digital. It’s something I’ve been looking for myself, as I own a lot of film cameras/gear and love using them, but don’t like the process of film.

    2. Stereo Reverb Avatar
      Stereo Reverb

      The personalities of the camera, and especially, the lenses itself. Yes, you can get adapters to fit vintage lenses for modern DSLR’s, but why not be able to use the box full of different sized lenses that came with the old camera you picked up at a garage sale for $20? :)

  2. Alecio P Avatar
    Alecio P

    I love the idea, but to get pictures as shown on kickstarter I would rather be sleeping instead of shooting with “I’M BACK” . The photos look bad and unappealing to the eyes.

  3. Shachar Weis Avatar
    Shachar Weis

    Crazy. Who even has an SLR lying around anymore? This maybe made sense 10 years ago.

    1. Ralph Hightower Avatar
      Ralph Hightower

      I have two which I still use, Canon A-1 and New F-1; but I shoot film with those. The digital back wouldn’t be compatible with the motor drives for the respective cameras to automatically cock the shutter since the drives mount under the Canons where the digital back goes.
      I enjoy photography. It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting film or digital.

  4. Trino Pam Avatar
    Trino Pam

    useless idea…
    some companies already tried this and failed. But this one looks even uglier than other solutions… wow…