Image courtesy: Digi Swap

Digi Swap is a device that aims to breathe new life into old film cameras. It allows you to connect an iPhone to a still photography camera, so the phone uses the camera’s lens system. A bespoke app takes care of the image capture. According to the Digi Swap website, the system is currently only compatible with the Apple iPhone X, XS, 11, 11 Pro, 12, 12 Pro, 13 and 13 Pro.

Digi Swap Gadget

The physical Digi Swap gadget is a bracket system that replaces your still camera’s back. You need to first remove the rear door from the camera. The device’s hardware then attaches in place of the original camera back. It screws in place via the tripod thread on the camera’s base. You can then clamp your iPhone onto the back of the device.

Projected image

Digi Swap featured image
Image courtesy: Digi Swap

The Digi Swap gadget features a machined aluminum body. It has a projection screen, which fits where the plane of the film would be. The image from the camera’s lens will appear here when you operate the shutter. The Digi Swap also incorporates a macro lens so that your iPhone’s camera can focus on the screen with the projected image. The basic concept of the device is similar to the depth of field adaptors made for camcorders before the advent of DSLR video. These produced an image on a ground glass screen, which your camcorder then filmed.

There’s companion app

You need to pair the Digi Swap gadget with the companion app. The app detects the light coming into the camera when pressing the shutter release button. The app then automatically captures a still image. It’s also possible to capture video with the device by using bulb mode on the still camera. This feature is designed for long exposures where the shutter will stay open for as long as you have your finger on the shutter button.

Pricing and availability

More details about the Digi Swap system will release at the Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2022 in Japan at the end of February. Some sources claim the device will be made available through crowdfunding, scheduled for April 2022. 

Reports claim the gadget will sell for $199 and that the app will cost an additional $49.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.