After an initial unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign the team behind the ‘I’m Back’ digital back for old film SLRs returned to Kickstarter in March 2018 with a refined product. In the second attempt the funding goal was reached and now the the digital back has entered production in Hong Kong.
The ‘I’m Back’ is available for a range of old film-SLRs, such as Nikon’s F-Series, the Olympus OM10 or the Canon AE-1, and works by capturing the image projected onto a focus screen using a 1/2.33″-type 16MP Panasonic image sensor. The back is connected to the camera by detaching the rear plate from the latter, adjusting the aperture for the digital module, connecting the Flash Sync cable and setting exposure mode to Bulb.
The back can record JPEG and Raw files and comes with a 2″ touchscreen for live view focusing, a maximum of 64GB of storage, a USB Type-C connector and Wi-Fi connectivity. Don’t expect DSLR-level image quality, however. The back has been designed with cost in mind and ‘I’m Back” founder Samuel Mello Medeiros says:
“I’m Back was created with the intention of reusing the old analog in a digital way, but maintaining a ‘retro’ aspect in the photos thanks to the focusing screen. It is not intended to have the quality of a digital camera of last generation, therefore, it is not an accessory to be at par with a digital or even an analog.”
With the first units being sent out to Kickstarter backers, the back should be available to retail customers in the coming months. No retail pricing has been announced yet but initial backers were able to secure a device starting at €175 (approximately $205), so expect a slightly higher price in the shops.