Simple, Creative & Fun:
Paper Shoot Camera
Sometimes a foodie finds a new kitchen gadget, i.e. a garlic roaster, that jump-starts their creativity.
What I found inspires photographers, is enjoyed by students, and has a growing number of fans worldwide.
The PaperShoot digital camera, created by inventor/entrepreneur George Lin in Taiwan is not a “toy” or "novelty" camera of limited value.
It is a real camera that takes real pictures but is really, really simple to use! I loved it from my first few shots.
It offers the pure fun of the very simple camera.
This is in direct contrast to the feature-bloat options that baffles many users. I know, as I taught many beginner classes.
So what happened to simple and Fun? What camera is there for those who just want to take pictures as they once did and don’t want to use a cell phone to do it?
Remember, MANY more photos were taken with drop-in cartridge film cameras than all the Nikon, Canon, and Pentax cameras ever made!
Yes, I'm talking about all those sometimes mundane-looking snaps that fill countless albums and shoe-boxes. And thank goodness for them, as they simply allowed ordinary people to take ordinary shots of ordinary things seen today we now hold dear.
George Lin in Taiwan does not have any of those family memories, as a camera and film was a luxury the family could not afford.
So after college, he created an extraordinarily simple, affordable camera that could be carried easily and used by anyone.
And, as a nod to ecology and avoiding e-waste, the basic enclosure would made of sturdy cardboard in a variety of designs.
Thinner than a deck of cards, the Paper Shoot camera has a quality lens and enough resolution (5 MP) for a decent 8x10 print and certainly more than enough for online sharing.
Due to some excellent programming that would have impressed Steve Jobs, the camera has ONE button that does it all: long press turns it on, short presses take photos, another long press turns it off. Simple lights blink to confirm shots or to warn that you forgot to put in a standard SD card!
The only other parts are a selector switch to go from color to black and white (plus another “warm” and “cool” look) and a standard micro USB port to plug directly into your computer.
There is no electronic finder or review screen.
You compose through a rectangular cut-out and wait until you are home (or get out your laptop or tablet) to view the results.
And the results are startlingly good, outdoors and in.
The specifications are modest, but work well:
Shutter speed: Fixed 1/32 sec (The shutter button is on the front of the camera, which prevents camera shake.)
Up to 300 shots with 2 AAA cells
All internal processing algorithms were fine tuned “to satisfy most needs in daily life.” George Lin says it took lots of time and effort to get it right.
"It took me 2 years of trial and error to perfect a prototype paper camera, and the final product came out after 2 more years of setting up fabrication."
While the Paper Shoot takes a novel approach to building a camera, it is not a so-called "novelty camera!"
Novelty cameras almost always sacrifice quality to be the "world's smallest" or "secret spy" type. Read more about the odd world of novelty cameras here.
A Refreshing Change For All Photographers
Some days photographers go out with a full pack of gear, wanting to be like Ansel Adams and control all aspects of your "personal imaging."
Other times they want to be like Andy Warhol, using simple cameras with a fine disregard for the mechanics involved. The moment is captured, end of story!
I find my approach tmaking images with either my original PaperShoot is more relaxed. It inspires me to look and then capture things I might skip with a more formal camera.
And the results were good enough to be included in a gallery display in Taiwan! That's a first for me!
"Rosie," our orphan kitten visits the vet.
"Inch Mile Road" Houston County, MN