The World’s Weirdest Cameras You Never Knew Existed

So you think you have a good idea of most of the cameras that are around today? You know a camera when you see one. Or do you? The cameras listed below might force you to change your mind about cameras and photography. It’s time to rethink what you thought you knew about cameras and reconsider what is in store for the future of photography.

Gun Shaped Digital Camera

This digital camera is anything but tasteful and gives a whole new meaning to shooting yourself. Designed by Franzisk Dierschke, this camera was fortunately just a concept.

EyeRing
EyeRing is a camera designed as an aid for people who are visually impaired. In theory, you would be able to take a picture of an object and an app on the users’ phone would then tell them what the object is. Take a look at this video demonstrating this in action (in theory).

Although the camera is in the very early stages of development, the concept behind it is very exciting and could prove to be a game changer for people who are visually impaired.

Lytro
If you haven’t heard of Lytro yet, you must have been living in deepest Antarctica. The Lytro is a unique camera that has captured the interest of the photography industry world-over. Lytro is bringing light field photography to the consumer market, making this remarkable technology accessible to the masses. One of the coolest things about this kind of photography is that you will be able to refocus on a different area of the image after it has been taken.

Ubi-Camera

You must have done it a thousand times before; make a viewfinder with your fingers and hold it to your eye to frame the scene, except with Ubi-Camera you actually will be taking a picture by doing this.

It works using gesture control and looks very intuitive to use. Moving the ‘viewfinder’ (your fingers making a frame, with your index finger inserted into the little box, which is the camera) nearer to your face will take wide-angle shots, and moving it further away will (logically) take close ups.

Descriptive Camera

You might think that you couldn’t get more descriptive than actual images, yet Matt Richardson is viewing photography from a whole new perspective with his creation.

The Descriptive Camera outputs a text description of a scene instead of producing an image!

Taking a picture will send the image off to humans for analysis via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk API, who will then write a description of the image, which is then sent back to the camera. This is then printed by the thermal printer.

Canon 5D Mark II/100-year-lens mashup
It’s got to be one of a kind; a Canon 5D Mark II combined with a 1919 Piccolette Contessa-Nettel camera. A creation made by Jason Bognacki, the resulting images were sharp and impressive (take a look).

They were also a little unpredictable, featuring lens flares and vignetting, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you’re a fan of retro and vintage photography.

In this case, the combination of digital and analogue produced beautiful results and is a fantastic example of old technology being able to keep up with the times – all it takes is a little creativity and thinking outside the box, even if that box is about 100 years old.

Periscope shaped DSLR Camera

Here’s a camera designed by Yaniv Berg that is shaped like a periscope.

The designer took inspiration from old reflex cameras and created the camera to match the pose one would take when using a reflex camera. Turning the camera turns the interface to display mode.

It would certainly be good undercover device for say taking a subtle picture of someone when you are hiding underneath a table.

Rotobooth
Rotobooth is another concept camera that dares to be completely and utterly different. Rotobooth is, as you might have already gauged from the name, a rotary telephone crossed with a photo booth. (Did you guess that?)

You control the camera to take a photo by dialling ‘0’ on the embedded rotary telephone and the image is automatically uploaded to Flickr. If you dial your mobile number, the photo booth will take five photos and send the links to you via text message.

It’s an interesting concept, but the flaw here is if someone using the booth dials your mobile number your phone could be bombed with drunken images from Rotobooth, which could take the appeal of the device away quite quickly.

Book Camera

What’s next in the chapter of unique cameras made from unconventional materials? How about a camera made from recycled photography books? If you’ve read them you might as well apply what you’ve learned and put them to good use.

The camera is a collaboration between Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. Reading between the lines this camera is a cool art project in itself. Let’s hope it doesn’t get shelved too soon!

Third Eye & Yama

Third Eye & Yama are creations of artist Wayne Martin Belger and are probably some of the most unique cameras you will ever see in your life and without a doubt the most morbid. These cameras are skulls.

Yama is the most elaborate of the two and is made from aluminium, titanium, copper, brass, bronze steel, silver, gold, and mercury and also includes 4 sapphires, 3 rubies, turquoise, opals, sand and blood. As if that wasn’t enough the camera skull was blessed by a Tibetan Lama.

Considering that the ruby that is Yama’s third eye is worth $5000, you can bet that the skull camera itself might take you quite a few years to save up for. But can you really put a price on probably the only camera in the world that has been blessed by a Tibetan Lama?

Touchy

Touchy is a very unique camera with a very unique purpose. It was built with people who suffer from social anxiety disorders in mind. Designer Eric Siu explains, “The Touchy helmet intends to exaggerate the anxiety and remind one of their isolation in the world, so every single touch becomes extra meaningful.”

The user actually wears the camera, which is like a helmet with the addition of a pair of (rather oversized) goggles. The shutters, which are placed over the eyes, will remain closed until someone touches Touchy. The shutters will then open until the connection has been broken. Any contact that lasts for over 10 seconds triggers the camera’s shutter and takes a photograph of whatever the wearer is looking at. The creators of the device have put together a video to demonstrate Touchy in action.

It’s certainly an interesting idea and a fantastic concept, although it remains to be seen whether the device will be helpful to people suffering from social anxiety, or whether walking around wearing a helmet and large goggles in public spaces – blind unless someone touches you – might possibly make their social anxiety worse.

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