At the upcoming Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2022 (CP+) in Japan, a new accessory designed to breathe new life into old film cameras will be fully unveiled. The Digi Swap is an accessory that allows you to attach an iPhone to a film camera and capture digital photos through the film camera’s lens.
If you have a film camera and lens but don’t always want to go through the hassle and expense of shooting film, being able to record digital images with your analog gear could be a fun way to make use of your equipment.
Details are still scarce, but the Digi Swap website shows a few images of the accessory in action. It comprises machined aluminum parts that can fit various film cameras. The Digi Swap works with iPhone X, XS, 11, 11 Pro, 12, 12 Pro, 13 and 13 Pro models. It doesn’t appear that the latest Max models will work.
After removing the back of the film camera, you use Digi Swap to attach your phone to the back of the camera. You then use an accompanying app to capture photos on the iPhone. When using the app on a connected phone, the shutter speed and aperture are set on the film camera itself. You also wind the film and use the camera’s shutter release to capture photos.
It’s an interesting gadget. Although based on the product photos, it looks like it may be somewhat cumbersome to handhold the camera with your iPhone sticking out of the back. It will also require a bit of finagling to get your iPhone’s camera lined up with the back of the film camera. Based on some early sample images (seen in small sizes here), the Digi Swap does let you capture digital photos that retain the character of analog lenses. However, a digital photo is certainly not the same as shooting film.
Pricing and availability information is not yet available, although it’s reported that the product will launch on Kickstarter. While a full list of compatible cameras isn’t available, it’s worth noting that using Digi Swap on a Leica M camera will require an extra attachment that will be sold separately.