|AiBORG, lens cover open|
The Konica AiBORG super zoom 35-105 is a large, very distinctive (if not downright eccentric) 35mm point-and-shoot viewfinder camera. It made in Japan by Konica, who described it as "futuristic, black, ellipsoidal." at its introduction in 1991. It has become known colloquially the "Darth Vader" camera, thanks to its similar style to the helmet worn by the Star Wars character.
The heavy body is black plastic, with rubberised grips on the ends, and a subtle glitter effect on the front panels. An LCD panel on the top shows the camera settings, and a further small LCD display in the back shows the date settings. The AiBORG has a 3x zoom lens - with a hinged transparent plastic cover, motor drive and built-in flash. There is no facility for external flash.
The back features a large joystick-like switch which moves vertically for zooming and horizontally for manual focus or moving the focus point. The focus distance is shown on a small arc-shaped dial in the viewfinder. There are small coloured button controls for flash (red), self-timer (green, 3 or 10 secs or single/continuous shooting) and date setting, and several labelled in an inscrutable non-standard manner. The small viewfinder eyepiece has a rotary dioptric adjuster carefully placed to be on the cheekbone when in use, leaving little room for a finger to adjust it.
- Lens: Konica Zoom, 35-105mm, f3.5-f8.5
- Power: 2CR5 6v battery
- New York Times article, 24 November 1991
- User Manual in Japanese, on KonicaMinolta.com
- Instruction manual , English & other languages, on OrphanCameras website
- Photo of AIBORG with lens cover closed, on Flickr by David Kovaluk
- Photo of AIBORG with a Darth Vader plastic bust, on Flickr by Giorgio Verdiani
- On www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand :