Since its debut in the 1970s, the Polaroid SX-70 camera allowed photographers to take pictures and get results “instantly…” That is, in a few minutes. While the world has long since moved on to digital cameras that can be taken, seen, and shared with the world in seconds, Joshua Gross decided to not just fix his broken SX-70 camera, but give it a digital upgrade with a Raspberry Pi Zero W.
This new camera crams the Pi — plus a battery pack and charging circuitry — into the base of the device, housed inside of an empty film case to take advantage of this otherwise unused area. A small LCD screen is also installed, on top of the former film compartment, enabling images to shine through the original viewfinder via the camera’s mirror system.
Cleverly, a Pi Camera replaces the original lens assembly, and while there’s no extra room, the CCD with a fisheye lens just fit into place nicely. The original focus adjustment dial was recycled to focus the new lens, and the original exposure wheel, along with a photocell, are used to adjust the digital exposure. Python and OpenCV are used to display and process images, including de-fisheyeing shots that it captures.