On November 3, I’m Back and Yashica announced a new partnership in an enthusiastic Instagram video where papers were signed and smiles were abundant. The new partnership is related to I’m Back’s Kickstarter for their digital back for analogue cameras project. The project has blown by its initial campaign goal and stands to become a huge success story.
I’m Back founders, Samuel Mello Medeiros and Filippo Nishino, began their digital back for film cameras project in 2016. The next year, Yashica restarted the company and launched into creating film and camera products with their initial attempt being a hybrid digital-film camera, the digiFilm. This initial project wasn’t exactly smooth but they have continued onto new projects. The recent partnership with I’m Back aligns well with their renewed aim of creating hybrid products that allow photographers to use their vintage gear with innovative digital tech.
The digital back from I’m Back has gone through several prototypes but the 2020 design is now ready for the public. It’s a digital micro 4/3rds sensor and programmed circuit board that is attached to a fake film canister to be able to fit into the back of a film camera. The team has created versions that can fit many different types of film cameras, even Leica M rangefinders. The back of the camera insert is then connected to a motor-drive-looking device that attaches to the bottom of the camera and features a 2-inch LCD touchscreen.
Features of the I’m Back Film product include complete manual control of settings using the film camera functions, a 3.5mm external mic, HDMI and Micro USD Type C inputs, Sync flash, and even WiFi. For those interested in video, the digital back can also shoot up to 4K 30fps. The company has also created an app for users to be able to transfer their photos to their phones which is available on iPhone and Android.
“Give a second life to your vintage analog photo camera, take it out from the shelf or box, and start shooting digital photos and video! “ – I’m Back
For those concerned about the crop factor when it comes to using a Micro 4/3 sensor with a 35mm film camera, I’m Back has got you covered. With a lens adapter and framing screen, their design has made it possible to use the smaller sensor with a larger coverage area of 35mm.
It’s an interesting project that is quite advanced digitally but offers photographers the nostalgia of using the analog functions of film cameras. Currently, the project timeline places firmware and software finishing in December with mass production happening in March of 2024 and delivery expected in July of 2024.
I’m Back was founded by Samuel Mello Medeiros and Filippo Nishino who are both based currently in Switzerland. All R&D, product development, and logistic management are done in Switzerland and Italy, while the manufacturing is completed in China. Yashica will be assisting the I’m Back team in bringing the product through the end of the Kickstarter and into the hands of backers next year.
If you’d like to get in on the Kickstarter, the campaign ends on Sun, December 3 2023 8:00 AM UTC +00:00. Find more information about it here. The Early Bird pricing starts at around 489 GBP and regular pricing is around 579 GBP.
For further information on Yashica, head over to their website here. I’m Back also has a Youtube channel which you can check out here!
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