Konica AiBORG

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The Konica AiBORG super zoom 35-105 is a large, very distinctive (if not downright eccentric) 35mm point-and-shoot viewfinder camera. It was made in Japan by Konica, who described it as "futuristic, black, ellipsoidal." at its introduction in 1991[1]. It has become known colloquially the "Darth Vader" camera, thanks to its similar style to the helmet worn by the Star Wars character. With its fairly high-specification 3x zoom, non-traditional styling, and high level of automation, this was Konica's entrance into market segment for designer cameras briefly in the late 1980s and early 90s.

The heavy body is black plastic, with rubberised grips on the ends, and a subtle glitter effect on the front panels. Fittingly, for a camera whose name invokes Cyborgs and AI (artificial intelligence) there are 19 automatic "scene" modes offered. Some unusual multiple exposure modes are included; one shoots a burst of six shots, with the flash only firing for the final one[2]. 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
  • Autofocus: Infrared active autofocus with movable sensor area
  • Shutter: Electronic programmed shutter 6.4–1/500th sec
  • Flash: Built-in, multimode flash with slow sync and fill-flash options
  • Power: 2CR5 6v battery
  • Weight: 20.15 oz


  1. New York Times article, 24 November 1991
  2. "Ultimate 35mm Camera Buyer's Guide," December, 1991 Petersen's Photographic magazine. "Konica Aiborg," page 123.