The Force Awakens: The Konica AiBorg aka “Vader Cam”


The Konica AiBorg from 1991, also known as the “Darth Vader Camera” for its dark and menacing looks.


In honor of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, today we pay tribute to the Force with the camera affectionally called the “Darth Vader Camera” or as I prefer to call it “Vader Cam.”

That camera is the Konica Aiborg, a 35mm point and shoot camera introduced by Konica in 1991.

The AiBorg features a 35-105mm f/3.5-8.5 lens and is distinguished by its futuristic and indeed Darth Vader-like good looks 🙂

This is one of the funkiest cameras I’ve ever seen! I give Konica a lot of credit for allowing its designers to not only create this monstrosity, but to then manufacture this thing, and then release it for sale to the general public!

I got this camera a few months ago for $10 and I wasn’t even looking for it! That happens to me a lot, I guess the cameras come to me 🙂

I wish I could tell you more about it, but I got this baby in non working state and after leaving it in my “junker” bin for a few months, I just started fiddling with it recently. I cleaned the battery compartment and it came back to life!

The Force did indeed “awaken” but I am not sure it’s functioning properly. If you’re really interested in this camera, there are a couple of good reviews on this camera if you do a search.

What I can say is that the AiBorg is definitely a unique and menacing looking camera, in some ways, not unlike the Canon EOS-1 that I profiled on the last posting. A cross between beauty and butt ugly. It’s big and bulky, almost like a bridge camera.


The rear controls on the AiBorg. Good luck trying to figure this out without referring to the instruction manual! It ain’t gonna happen 🙂

The ergonomics and controls look like you’d need a star map to figure this camera out! I’ve always said, one of the hallmarks of a good camera is when you can figure it out without referring to the instruction manual. The AiBorg definitely needs a manual if you want to figure out all of its functions.

If I can confirm this camera is working properly, I’ll pop a roll of film in it and report back to you on these pages.

Other than looking like Darth Vader, the AiBorg is not particularly valuable or collectible. If seeking one for your collection, prices are trending at $10-70 and it really depends on what you’re willing to pay. Personally, I wouldn’t pay more than $10 and I didn’t 🙂

In the meantime…May The Force Be With You!!