Hacking an 8mm Camera

PI8-CAMERA
What if you used a Raspberry Pi and a Camera Module to breathe new life into an old 8mm film camera? That was the question on Claire Wright’s mind when she and her father set to work on modernizing an old motion picture camera that they found at a garage sale five years earlier. Inspired by YouTubers, technology, and the blend of analog and digital, Claire and her father harvested one of the lenses and the classic pistol grip from the original Keystone 8mm. Adding a Raspberry Pi, Camera Module, portable screen, and battery helped them to create the Pi 8 camera. Claire tells the story best:

Hacking an 8mm with a Raspberry Pi

See[W]right films hacks an old 8mm camera using a Raspberry Pi computer. Is it analog? Digital? Something else? Follow me on Instagram @leftnwright https://www.instagram.com/leftnwright/ Inspired/Influenced by: Laura Kampf https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRix1GJvSBNDpEFY561eSzw LadyAda https://www.youtube.com/user/adafruit Casey Neistat Waelder https://www.youtube.com/user/DavidWaelder

The resulting footage leaves no doubt that older lenses have a big impact on 8mm style. In particular, check out this footage from the Pi 8 Camera, taken in Bastrop, TX:

#8mm or something else? 😉 #film #shortfilm #tx #bastroptx #flatlanders #maidenvoyage #nofilter #noreally

“#8mm or something else? 😉 #film #shortfilm #tx #bastroptx #flatlanders #maidenvoyage #nofilter #noreally”

Bastrop, incidentally, is where some of the Raspberry Pi team had some amazing BBQ in 2015:

Liz took this picture of Rachel and most of the meat in Texas in Bastrop last year.

Liz took this picture of Rachel and most of the meat in Texas in Bastrop last year.

Back to the cameras. I think Claire’s onto something because she’s not the only one exploring the renaissance of retro motion picture capture. Kodak announced that they’re getting back into 8mm film with a new camera, which they unveiled at CES.

If you’re feeling inspired by Claire and want to build your own Raspberry Pi-based camera, then Instructables has you covered with many Raspberry Pi camera projects for you to try.