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Is IKEA's Cardboard Camera the New Lomography?

04.28.12 @ 6:30PM Tags : , , ,

As if low-cost furniture and a TV set weren’t enough, it looks like IKEA has created their own still camera. Probably the greenest still camera ever made, it was handed out at a design expo in Milan. Supposedly this will end up being sold in stores (whether that includes U.S. stores or not isn’t clear), but the fact that they’ve simplified and reduced the cost of something as complicated and expensive as a digital camera shows just how far we’ve come, as it’s no thicker than a folded piece of cardboard.

Check out this video demonstrating the IKEA camera, which was designed by Jesper Kouthoofd and Teenage Engineering:

Lomography is not just a community of people dedicated to analogue (film) photography, but a company that makes simplistic, plastic film cameras (and a motion picture camera called the Lomokino). The images have a baked in look that is due in large part to the low-quality optics. This camera won’t have quite the same aesthetic, since it’s basically a cell phone camera, but it’s going to give much lower quality results than a DSLR like the 5D Mark III or D800. The reason I make the comparison is that the camera is as simple as one can be made. There are no complicated electronics or screens, and you can’t see what you’ve done until much later when you upload your photos – just like Lomography. Just aim the camera and press a button. As much as I like highly technical gadgets and cameras – and consider myself a technical person – there’s something incredibly freeing about just being able to aim a camera and shoot without any other distractions. Only being able to store 40 photos also forces you to be selective with your subjects if you’re on the go.

If the price is right they’ll sell millions of these, and I’ll go out of my way to get one just because the concept is interesting enough. The video, while humorous, is a perfect example of what happens when we get too wrapped up in the technology of our cameras. Too often hundreds of settings get in the way of capturing a moment or a scene. By removing the endless options, and just leaving a lens, a USB connection, and a couple of buttons and batteries, image capture is only limited by our imaginations.

What do you guys think – would you want one of these if it was cheap enough?

[via The Verge & Gizmodo Italy & PSFK]


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  • Is this for Aprils fools day?

    • Not that I know of since none of the dates of anything posted would suggest that. Teenage Engineering actually makes some pretty cool stuff, and a cell phone type camera wouldn’t take much circuitry to actually make it work.

    • Why would it be?

  • In Germany the camera isn’t for resale. IT’s only for marketing. You can win this camera. In Germany there are 50 cameras you can win. I’m still hoping to get one.

  • does it shoot RAW? if not, then the Scarlet totally owns it.

  • Next year it will be the size of a credit card :P

  • But does it do 60p at 1080? If not, this camera is of no use to me whatsoever.

  • it’s not really green as most people would use throwaway batteries with it. as this cam only takes 40 pics anyway and has almost no electronics, it would be easy to run it with a super-capacitor and recharge it via usb when you upload the images anyway. that would be green.

  • …or use your phone

  • The cool stuff is awesome. But I agree with Jan. It’s not really green because of the batteries.

  • My iPod Touch 4G has a 960 x 720 still camera. I’d never try to print an 8×10, but it’s good enough for the web. And unlike the IKEA’s cardboard camera, it’s also plays music. ;-)

    • Shaun Wilson on 04.30.12 @ 11:04AM

      I think you are missing the point, its a camera in the lomography tradition which means the type of image its designed to produce are in the same genre of Holga light leak photography, completely different than mobile media.

      • Your are completely right. And I’d love to have one !

      • Have you ever seen a 960×720 Jpg (.7Mp) ??? It makes a Lomo Film Camera look like a Hasselblad.

        Add cheesy HDR using the $.99 App “Dynamic Light” or take your pick of any of the seemingly millions of Photo Apps. They take on a whole new dimension when used with a Lo-Fi 960×720 Jpg.

        Another interesting App is the $1.99 Flare that take 640×360 HDR video. Yes, you didn’t misread that, Lo-Fi 640×360 video. If you liked the B&W 120 by 90 pixel Fisher-Price PXL 2000, you’ll love Flare.

        • Shaun Wilson on 04.30.12 @ 8:31PM

          Thats all well and good but what you are talking about is software driven whereas lomo photography isnt generated by software, its ‘by chance’ which ensures a one of a kind image. These types of apps mentioned prior, produce imagery that is easily recognisable as software enabled. Im not saying this is a bad thing but the Ikea camera will produce images that are more creative because there will be a digital light leak issue with the way its designed which for creative photography is always an interesting issue with low-fi megapixel cameras

  • Really like the demo of Image Stabilization.

  • I’ll wait for the weather proof edition.

  • I can take random images with my phone when I don’t look at the screen while taking a picture. There really is no reason for this camera in my opinion…

  • Not Philip Bloom on 05.3.12 @ 8:13PM

    Zacuto already has a rig designed for it…cost is $199.99
    EVF sold separately.

  • How about getting like a gazillion of these and building a wall/circle out of them and rigging the firing mechanism together and get some action going!

    • Now THAT is a good idea! I’ve been wanting to play around with bullet time in my movies, something like this might put it within reach of indie filmmakers.

  • The cool thing about this is that it restores that feeling of mystery about whether or not you got the shot. Creativity that comes from built in limitations are cool. You have to think hard about your composition and what you’re saying with it when you can’t see it til you get home, and you’ve got a very limited amount of shots. I’ll buy it just to force this kind of thinking… it’s good exercise.