Converting film photos to digital ones can be a real chore. Lomography is making the process less stressful with its portable film scanner that converts 35mm film negatives into digital photos quickly using a smartphone.
The smartphone film scanner isn't magic. It's basically a dark enclosure in which a film negative is fed through. A scanner app then snaps a photo of the negative and "develops" it before spitting out a "scanned" picture.
According to Lomography's Kickstarting project page, the app can scan photos with the sprockets (those little perforations on the side of the negatives), stitch scanned photos together for a panorama, and make little video clips/GIFs from multiple images.
There are a few things to be mindful of before anyone takes the plunge. The smartphone scanner is not one size fits all. It works with any iPhone model and any smartphone with a camera lens located in the "upper side/corner or in the top-center" on the rear. Lomography's Kickstarter FAQ warns smartphones with a camera lens at the center should have a phone width of 3.7-inches or less. And smartphones with a camera lens in the corner should have a phone width of 2.44-inches or less.
How is the resolution? Lomography isn't very clear about it. The company says it'll depend on what smartphone you use to scan the negatives with. The scanner app also crops each scan so it'll be "always be a bit less than the resolution of your smartphone camera."
Also, the smartphone scanner needs a pair of AA batteries to work. But if you can live with those restrictions, you should be cleared to buy one.
At $40 a pop (the early bird special pricing is gone at the time of publishing), the smartphone film scanner is a must-have gift for anyone with a box of old negatives lying around. This is how real Instagrams are made.