You'll soon be able to turn your film camera digital with this amazing gadget

It looks like a roll of film, but this one is entirely digital – and it turns your analogue camera into a digital shooter in seconds

I'm Back digital film
(Image credit: I'm back)

If you're a keen photographer, you may well have some beautiful cameras that shoot onto film rather than record images digitally – and while that means they can take amazing pictures, it also means that they don't have the immediacy of digital transfers. 

Enter the I'm Back digital film, which looks like a roll of Kodak film but is a digital device with a four-thirds Sony CMS sensor in it (the model is IMX269AQR1-D and it has a 12-bit analogue to digital converter). Simply stick it in an analogue 35mm camera like you would a normal roll of film and then connect it to your computer to transfer the shots across.

This is the third generation of the I'm Back technology, or the fourth if you include the very first prototype in 2016. The first production version, a digital camera back, was launched in 2018; a second generation launched two years later. 

So is this as good as it looks?

What you need to know about the I'm Back digital camera film

In order to get a digital camera into such as small space, some compromises had to be made. The sensor is the obvious one, but according to the creators, while the sensor isn't full frame the device can deliver 35mm-style images via a wide angle adapter that you stick on the camera lens.

There's also the fact that there's more to the device than the bit you stick into the film compartment. You also need to attach the companion base unit via the tripod mount, and while the unit is smaller than in previous versions it's still adding size and bulk to your camera. However, the upside is that the base gives you a 1.5-inch LCD panel, a microphone and a speaker, and Wi-Fi for wireless transfers. Images are stored in RAW or JPEG on SD cards.

This third generation model is still a prototype, hence the Kickstarter to raise funds to enable production. The predicted prices are around £585 for a single unit, with production hoping to begin in early 2024 for shipping in July.

You can find out more about the I'm Back sensor – and see some example images – on Kickstarter here.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (