Long Live Film: Finnish Company Plans to Rescue 100,000 Cameras to Redistribute by 2020

Jordan Lockhart of the YouTube channel Cameraville traveled to Finland to record with Juho Leppänen of Camera Rescue to take a deep dive into their project and goal of sourcing, rescuing and redistributing 100,000 analog cameras.

The Camera Rescue project is based in Finland where they are working on rescuing 100,000 analog cameras by 2020. The video takes a behind-the-scenes look at how Leppänen and his team source, rescue, and distribute analog cameras. When asked what it means to rescue a camera, Leppänen responded, “Rescuing a camera is a whole process. Taking a camera that is out of the market, circulation, out of anyone’s use and bringing it into use by someone else who will enjoy it.” 

The team's efforts to keep analog photography alive in a world of digital cameras is quite admirable. While the team’s goal is to rescue and redistribute 100,000 cameras by 2020, they are currently at about 41,000. Some of the challenges the team faces, according to Leppänen, are the limited amount of technicians they have available to rescue these cameras. Already, these technicians already have about six months work ahead of them. Because of this, Leppänen and the Camera Rescue team have begun training younger technicians to learn the ins and outs of analog cameras to continue their mission to 100,000. 

At a bigger scale, other major challenges they face are the hardware of the camera and the supporting software used to scan in the film. Leppänen goes on to explain that there will always be film sold, there will always be labs available, but these very old cameras require newer mechanical shutters, and the scanners need an update in software. Leppänen mentions that most are still only working on Windows XP, which was originally released in 2001 and the latest update was about five years ago.

Watch the video above and let us know what you think of their project in the comments section below. Do you shoot film? If so, what’s your favorite body and film?

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11 Comments

Sean Sauer's picture

They can "rescue" the cameras but they won't find shooters for them all and the ones they do will most likely abandon them after the first role is taken. All things come to end and it's just film's time to go. I'm sure some people will still shoot film as a hobby but for the masses film is dead. "Let it go.... let it goooo....."

Michael Jin's picture

For those of us who shoot it as a hobby, the lack of hardware is a concern. Film and chemicals don't get you very far when you don't have cameras to put the film through. In lieu of any major manufacturer reviving film SLR production at a reasonable price, the continuation of film photography even as a hobby is going to depend on the repair community, which is sadly dying out (quite literally).

Personally, I'd love to see a Nikon F7 with the latest AF capability and metering as well as a fully mechanical camera like the F2 updated a bit with some electronic capabilities like the FM3A. That having been said, I'm sure either camera would be extremely expensive if the F6's current price is any indication.

Michael Holst's picture

I think you underestimate how strong the film community still is. Sure it's not the industry standard but just as the car didn't hill the horse, digital allowed film to becoming something different.

Sean Sauer's picture

Nope, I shoot in a large community and I don't know a single person who still shoots film. I only see the random person online who likes how the chemicals smell. lol! There's no visual difference between film and digital anymore. Film is a waste of time and money... it's dead Jim.

Michael Holst's picture

"I shoot in a large community and I don't know a single person who still shoots film"

Comprehension is difficult I see. I was talking about the film community. Not YOUR community. Your sample size of one, doesn't accurately represent the greater photography industry.

"There's no visual difference between film and digital anymore. Film is a waste of time and money... it's dead Jim."

Subjective.... Personally I think film offers a better creative process but I shoot both and wouldn't say either is superior to the other. They're just different approaches.

Renown fashion photographer Norman Jean Roy (his work is amazing) prefers shooting on film and he's still shooting covers and editorials for major fashion brands and magazines. I linked to an older FStoppers article below. But incase you missed it...

https://fstoppers.com/portraits/fashion-photographer-norman-jean-roy-say...

Mick Ryan's picture

Wouldn’t you know they would look like a couple of hipsters. I shot film for ten years when there was no option. It doesn’t compare to digital. I don’t get the facination with film.

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

The millennial hipster crowd think they have discovered something cool. Analog photography. Not film, "analog"! Then others do nothing but bitch about lack of features on new digital cameras. Always something to bitch about on YouTube! LOL!!

Spy Black's picture

Stupidity.