In a nutshell: YouTuber Yuta Ikeya can now add “analog film camera designer and manufacturer” to his growing resume. Inspired by an interest in analog cinematography, Ikeya set out to design and build a camera to test his hand at movie making without having to spend a lot of money on expensive gear and film.
The industrial design student created a few prototypes to trial different film transfer methods, ultimately settling on a synchronized gear and cam mechanism driven by a single DC motor.
The motor is controlled by an Arduino, and the optical components are off-the-shelf parts, but almost everything else was designed and crafted by Ikeya using a 3D printer.
As Ikeya explains, the incoming light from the lens is split by a half mirror before reaching the shutter. This allows the user to see the image in real time through the viewfinder, but unfortunately also decreases the amount of light that reaches the film. Cranking the ISO a bit can compensate, however.
The end result is reminiscent of shoulder-mounted, 80s-era VHS camcorders. As for the footage it spits out, it has a distinct lo-fi aesthetic and issues like light bleeding and gate weave don’t help matters. Still, it’s very neat and we look forward to seeing what improvements Ikeya can implement in future revisions.
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