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FUN NATURE FDC01, A New “Digital Holga”?

FUZZYEYEBALLS wrote about the “Fun Nature FDC01”, a new toy digital camera. While other camera manufacturers have been beating each other to market with higher megapixel sensors and features, the FDC01 stands apart. It’s a 1.9 megapixel camera with 64 MB on-board memory, SD expansion slot, rechargeable battery, 8 fps “movie” mode, and 3 photo effects. What it doesn’t have is a viewfinder, flash or display!

Mind you, HD video is 30 frames per second. The FDC01 does 8 frames per second, which results in jerky, surreal, dream-like video. In either still or video mode, you can apply monochrome, vivid, or “noise” filters.

Toy camera aficionados have been looking for the perfect “toy digital” camera to complement their Holgas, Dianas, LOMOs and plastic 35mm film cameras. Some have called the Yashica EZ F521 and the Digital Harinezumi the “new” Digital Holga/LOMO; in my opinion the FDC01 comes closest. It shoots 1,280 x 1,200 photos, which turn out roughly square. Without a viewfinder, it’s much easier to shoot without thinking (See the Lomographic Society’s 10 rules of Lomography http://www.lomography.com/about/the-ten-golden-rules). And, it’s small enough to bring with you everywhere.

The FDC01 feels like a second-generation Pencam. I love Pencams – I started shooting with an Aiptek Pencam SD and a SiPIX StyleCam Blink in 2001. Both have low-resolution CMOS sensors, a rough optical viewfinder and no display. Both have soft focus, vignetting, and that

Pencams can generate surprisingly good (or bad) results – many of my better pencam photos are online at Low Resolution.

Being an old-school film photographer, I prefer not having a display to review photos (see Chimping). I spend more time composing a shot when I can’t review it and I enjoy the suspense/surprise of seeing photos for the first time after the moment has past. Pencams feel like shooting with a film camera (without the cost of film, processing or scanning…)

By 2007, I’d gotten a Blackberry Pearl, and being able to post via email made Pencams fall out of favor with me.

I think I’ll knock the dust off of my Pencam SD and take it out shooting tomorrow.

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