World’s Coolest Cameras
What's the one thing everyone takes along on their travels? A camera, of course! Though we live in the age of iPhone photo apps, there's something irreplaceable about having an old-fashioned camera tucked into your luggage. But there's no reason for a camera to be boring; remember our article on Colorware's camera customization program? Even if you can't afford to send your Leica D-Lux 5 in for a candy-colored makeover, there's plenty of other cool, creative, and unique cameras available for purchase. Here are our faves:
You can make almost anything out of LEGOs, so why not a camera? It looks like a toy, but this is a fully functioning camera with 1.5" LCD screen, flash, focus, and digital zoom that holds up to 80 photos. It doesn't come apart but you can stick extra LEGO bricks on the top to customize the look of your camera. Purchase one for your kids (or yourself!) through our Amazon store for $30.99.
The future is here! The WowWee Spyball is a robotic camera on wheels that zips around taking secret videos and still shots. The camera pops up like a periscope and folds back down for a stealthy getaway. The Spyball can be controlled via Internet for long-range peeping or by remote for short-distance spying. The owner can then stream the video captured on any home Wi-Fi network. The camera's functionality includes a full 360 degree turning radius for total coverage. We can only imagine all the ways in which Spyball might be abused, but it's more fun knowing you can finally catch your sibling in the act. ("I know you borrowed my jeans last night, I have it on film!")
If you're feeling crafty, why not make your own pinhole camera using one the free downloadable templates from Readymech? Above are a few wacky and whimsical designs available. A pinhole camera (check out how they work right here) isn't the most practical for travel, but it's the perfect way to take a have some fun with the office printer.
This is another pinhole camera that you can purchase on the cheap and put together yourself. It's made from high quality paper and comes with a detachable 32mm lens. Pick one up from Loonar Goupe.
This dual-lensed beauty from Holga creates dreamy 3D images using a built-in color flash with rotating color filter wheel. It takes two photos at once that can be developed into deeply saturated, old-school slides. View them on the 3D Stereo Viewer for the full effect, or develop the photos onto regular film.
You'll get a print with two side-by-side images for posterity. Purchase both via our Amazon Store. The camera is $87, but the slide viewer is only $19.99 for
If you're looking for a functional and easy to use handheld digital camera, the Pentax H90 ($150) is one of the best. The design is clean and modern and the internal features make it a snap to shoot anything from portraits to large scale events. Plus it comes in a few different color schemes for added individuality. Buy yours here.
The ViviCam 46 from Vivitar is a very affordable mini-digital camera that stores over 100 photos. It's basic and lightweight (perfect for travel!) but also has a stylish design and enough functionality to make it appropriate for the casual photographer. The best part? If you lose it en route, you've only been set back $15. Purchase one through our shop.
Kodak's classic Polaroid camera may be a thing of the past, but the Fujifilm Instamax is a good substitute with an affordable price point. The rounded design is very hip and the credit-card sized photos it spits out are brightly colored and vivid. Plus the camera is compact enough to tote along to parties and events for some point-and-shoot fun. Buy one via our Amazon store but hurry up, there's only a few left. The camera retails for $62. The film is $13.99 for a two pack (20 photos).
We may have started this article with a jab at Instagram–everyone's favorite method of turning run-of-the-mill cell phone snaps into ultra-saturated works of art–but we could definitely get onboard with Socialmatic. Think of it like a really high tech Polaroid: Socialmatic takes photos, applies filters in the Instagram model, and instantly prints out the photos on paper. Above you see the prototype, but designer Antonio de Rosa has recently found a private investor to turn the project into reality. The estimated retail cost? $350-$450. Sure it's about 400 times the price of the app that inspired it, but who's counting?