Wanting to break from the standard practice of updating old analogue cameras with digital technology, Alan Wang decided to retrofit a broken vintage camera flash with a Raspberry Pi Zero W to produce a video-capturing action cam.
By hacking a somewhat gnarly hole into the body of the broken flash unit, Alan fit in the Raspberry Pi Zero W and Camera Module, along with a few other components. He powers the whole unit via a USB power bank.
At every touch of the onboard touchpad, the retrofit camera films 12 seconds of footage and saves it as an MP4 file on the onboard SD card or an optional USB flash drive.
While the project didn’t technically bring the flash unit back to life — as the flash function is still broken — it’s a nice example of upcycling old tech, and it looks pretty sweet. Plus, you can attach it to your existing film camera to produce some cool side-by-side comparison imagery, as seen in the setup above.
For a full breakdown of the build, including the code needed to run the camera, check out the project’s Hackster.io page.