The World’s First Medium Format Smartphone Digital Back

badass cameras digital back

A decent digital back for medium format cameras can easily cost you quite a few Benjamins. For the sake of the uninformed, a digital camera back is an apparatus that connects to the back of a film camera in place of a film holder.  It contains an electronic image sensor that lets film cameras take digital photographs. Pretty cool? Yeah, we think so too.

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These digital backs are normally pricey by consumer standards, and may go for thousands of dollars.  They also are primarily built to be used on the medium- and large-format cameras, the type favored by many professional photographers. Transforming a film camera into a digital one is not a new idea and though prototypes have come and gone, a mass market design has remained elusive.

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A new company called Badass Cameras, however is hoping to change all that. The company claims it is developing an interface that will let you use your smartphone as an inexpensive digital back for your film camera. The people at Badass Cameras are looking to attach your iPhone to a special medium format film camera back, which will line up perfectly with the SLR lens.

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The accessory looks like a standard digital back, except for the part where you attach your phone onto it. An adapter and phone combo attaches to the back of your medium format film camera. The light image is then able to project onto the camera of your iPhone. Oh what a dream come true for all the old format holdouts! A gadget such as this could also be useful for shooting test shots, prior to committing anything to expensive film. Badass Cameras is calling it “the world’s first medium format ‘smartphone-digital-back!’”


According to status updates posted on their Facebook page, Badass Cameras had plans to launch a Kickstarter fundraising campaign at the end of July, but moved that activity back to mid-August.

Here’s the actual post,

“Important Update! We had the opportunity to review our design with a new collaborator and found some ways to make our product much better! To make this possible, we are going to extend our Kickstarter launch for another month. We apologize for this delay but are confident that this will allow our users to appreciate the product much more! Thank you for your continued support and understanding!!”

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Badass Cameras certainly has got our attention. Let’s see how their digital back developments come along in the coming weeks.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.