Aug 10, 2016 | By Alec

Either you or your parents definitely have one laying around in a box somewhere: one of those cool, old-fashioned analog Kodak or Nikon cameras that rely on endless rolls of film. It seems almost impossible to imagine now, but taking a photo was so much more difficult just two decades ago. Thanks to a new Kickstarter project, even those old cameras can take digital photos. It’s called the ‘I'm Back’ case, and essentially involves a 3D printed case carrying Raspberry Pi. The classic camera is simply slotted into place, and can suddenly take photos that are digitally stored.

It’s a truly remarkable project that bridges the gap between two different technological ages, and even takes very nice photos as well. It was conceived by Samuel Mello Medeiros, an Italy-based Brazilian graphics designer who works in advertising. Samuel is also a huge lover of photography and, like so many others, loves the retro look and feel of those classic cameras.

But as it is becoming increasingly difficult to develop photos taken with one of those old cameras (or find film, for that matter), ‘I'm Back’ could be the perfect solution. “Other than protecting your Raspberry Pi 3 it allows you to connect your Breadboard to a camera through the 26 or 40Pin flex cable, and express your creativity! Take beautiful 35mm pictures with your old analog cameras!” Samuel says of his creation.

So how does it work? Well, ‘I'm Back’ is essentially a 3D printed case in which you can slot in a Raspberry Pi, a little screen and a camera sensor. These immediately digitize any photo taken with the analog camera, but can also be turned into an IP surveillance camera. That’s the beauty of a Raspberry Pi; you can use it for whatever you’d like.

What’s more, it can also be easily adjusted for most analog camera models. All you have to do is detach the rear cap from the camera, adjust the exposure hole to match the module on the back, connect Sync Flash cable from the camera to the case and set the exposure to B (bulb). If your camera doesn’t quite fit, a special Z X Y regulation system allows you to adjust the F stop (24X36mm), which is placed behind the shutter. A 2.4 inch TFT display, finally, creates the ‘digital touch’.

To actually transfer the photos into the digital realm, the ‘I’m Back’ relies on the Flash Synch cable. “To take a picture after adjusting the camera, all you need is to turn it on and choose one of the three picture options from the menu: normal color, dim light color and black and white,” Samuel says. Special software (still under development) installed on the Raspberry Pi takes care of the rest. Among others, a special feature enabling ‘out-of-focus’ adjustments through iris exposure is also included.

While it sounds almost too good to be true, the photographic results speak for themselves. “This case offers a second chance to the old analog cameras. Thanks to the technology of our small Raspberry Pi computer we can bring the 50s into the digital era,” Samuel says. “It’s an excellent gift idea for your parents, and why not, for yourself? Who else can get an analogic camera powered by the Raspberry Pi?”

But of course the same photographic limitations of analog cameras are still present. Most importantly, even the tiniest speck of dust can disturb the image. “It is very important, before you take pictures, to make sure that the surface of the focusing glass which will record the image is clean. But bear in mind that you should always treat these photos as taken with a film camera and not with the latest generation of digital cameras!” Samuel advises. The photos visible here were treated with Picasa.

So what’s next for ‘I’m Back’? Well, Samuel has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds for production and commercialization – initially through 3D printing, but eventually through injection molding. His initial goal of €2000 has already been reached immediately, but you can still back his campaign and get your hands on the 3D printable files (or 3D printed parts) yourself.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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samuel mello medeiros wrote at 8/28/2016 2:45:05 PM:

Thanks to those who from this site have donated to my project. I still remember all that you can download and print a digital back for your old analog cameras! Thank you!!! Go to the link:

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