I’m Back unveils new digital back for medium format

(Image credit: I'm Back)

Fresh from their previous success with a 35mm digital back, I’m Back have returned with a new model, this time for medium format cameras.

The new digital back, now funding on Kickstarter, will be compatible with cameras by Hasselblad, Bronica, Rolleiflex, Mamiya and others. It’s designed to be low-cost and widely compatible, with a retail price tag of around $400.

The digital back on various medium format bodies, including a Mamiya C330, Zenza Bronica S, Rolleiflex Automat, Hasselblad, Mamiya RB67, Mamiya 645 and Bronica Etrsi

The digital back on various medium format bodies, including a Mamiya C330, Zenza Bronica S, Rolleiflex Automat, Hasselblad, Mamiya RB67, Mamiya 645 and Bronica Etrsi (Image credit: I'm Back)

The idea is definitely about putting some romance into picture-taking, rather than focusing on pixel counts and that sort of thing. The first bit of text you encounter on the Kickstarter page reads as follows:

"Why don’t you take her for a simple but exciting walk, like you did in the past. Do you remember that vintage flavour and those special moments? The weddings, graduations, baptisms and the lovely sunset? She always was together with you! How many times you carried her taking enormous care? Love never ends, but frankly speaking you did not bring her to walk for a while!"  - I'm Back® Medium Format

So now that no one’s confused, let’s look at the technical details of what’s on offer. While the new digital back fixes onto the rear of medium format bodies, one thing to note is that it does not use a medium format sensor. Its sensor is a 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor made by Panasonic, with 16MP of resolution. It’s the kind of thing you’d find in a GoPro or similar action camera.

So you aren’t going to be producing images comparable to medium format film, but the makers are clear that they aren’t trying to. The new digital back is a quick, low-cost way to get a medium format body producing pictures again and stop it from gathering dust, and it does look like it has the potential to be a lot of fun.

I’m Back have released a few sample pictures taken with the new back, and they do look rather stylish in a low-key, Lomo-esque kind of way. You can check a few of them out below:

(Image credit: I'm Back)

(Image credit: I'm Back)

(Image credit: I'm Back)

(Image credit: I'm Back)

Other specs for the new back include: RAW-format shooting, Full HD video including slow-motion, burst shooting at 10fps (max. 3 shots) and 128GB micro SD storage.

The full list of camera models with expected compatibility is as follows:

Hasselblad 500/1000f/1600f/2000/200/SWA/SWC

Bronica Etrs

Bronica S

Kiev 88

Mamiya 645

Mamiya C330

Mamiya RB 67

Pentax 6X7 (depending on funding level)

Pentax 645 (depending on funding level)

Rolleiflex Automat

If you’re interested, you can head over to the Kickstarter page now to pledge some cash and secure your digital back. The campaign is running until September 5th 2019, and looks like it’s going to more than meet its £40,788 goal (converted from 50,000 Swiss Francs). You’ll currently have to throw down at least 399 Swiss Francs (about £325) to secure a back for yourself.

Read more:

The best medium format camera

The best film cameras in 2019

Best film

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Jon Stapley

Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.  

An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.