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Finding scrapbooking inspiration in toy cameras

Please do not make me count how many cameras I own. There’s the good camera, which also answers to ‘proper camera’ and ‘big camera’, but then there are vintage cameras because I have a weakness for any old camera under £2 just to see if I can make it work…and there are toy cameras that aren’t old but sometimes work like they might be. Some with film, some digital and all very much happiness-inducing. So just a few little things to share with you today!

The camera above is the harinezumi, which is… Japanese for hedgehog! How could I not love that? I actually have two versions of this: one that shoots 110 film, just like the cameras that came in cereal boxes circa 1981 and a digital version that takes still shots and digital 8mm movies. It is hilariously unpredictable but teeny so I have taken it to some places where I wouldn’t want to carry the proper camera. As a result I actually have some old-cine-style movies taken while sitting on a ski lift and once I finally find the time to piece them into a little movie they shall be ever so sweet.

instax mini camera

Then there’s the Instax Mini which makes me laugh because the demise of Polaroid made these an item that boutiques could sell for the better part of a hundred pounds when a few years ago no one wanted them! Mine sadly does not have Hello Kitty on the front, but as I managed to buy the camera and quite a few packs of film with nothing more than my Boots points, I think I can deal. (Um, translation for those of you outside the UK: I paid with a loyalty card from the pharmacy. Bargain!)

Anyway, think Polaroid but credit card sized and adorable. That’s this camera! In Japan you can buy the film with your choice of any number of animated friends decorating the otherwise plain white frame! But here in the UK I get film (cartoon-free) for this here.

hipstamatic iphone app

And then there’s the app that turns your iPhone into a film camera – complete with waiting for the flash to power up and waiting in between shots for the picture to develop. I tell you, I wish I had a commission for this app because every time I show it to someone they say ‘is that free? I only do free apps’ and I frown and say no, it’s not free. Five minutes later they’ve downloaded the app and bought all the add on lenses and films. (Though since it is $1.99 I suppose my commission would be about half a penny, now that I think about it!) Seriously: try it and you shall be hooked.

I keep thinking I should try to find a cheap version of my very first camera — a disc camera if you remember those! But I think that is one type of film that is truly obsolete so I shall let it go. Care to share what your first camera was like?


18 April 2010

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12 Comments for Finding scrapbooking inspiration in toy cameras

  1. Tracy Fox Says:

    Now I am so showing my age but it was a bit like this

  2. Karen Williams Says:

    I started with a 110 camera with that little cassette you had to slot in like this

  3. Shannon Hager Says:

    Very cool iphone app. I will have to download that today. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Leo Says:

    That little hedgehog camera sounds so cute!
    I still have an Instax 100 I got in about 2000 to use in uni and it was brilliant to make pocket book mini albums but the most un-user-friendly camera there must ever have been, it’s mahosive! :D
    My first camera that was ‘mine’ was a Kodak, can’t remember the model but it was one of those APS ones with the film that you could print huge panoramic pictures with.

  5. Lizzie Says:

    Oooh.. my very first camera was a Box Brownie, that my mum gave me. However, I had no idea how to use it. Then I had a basic “point and click” 110 film camera, then one with a flash (woo!). I lost that – I was sooo upset!
    My BF bought me a second-hand SLR, which I learned to use after a fashion. I never really got to grips with the settings, though I managed some decent photos.
    Now I have a good, but simple, 8mpx digi camera, and a yen for a Digi SLR (which I can’t afford yet).
    My Box Brownie is now the property of my niece, who is a photographer (she’s very good!) and, like you Shimelle, a keen camera collector. What goes around, comes around, eh?

  6. Judi Says:

    my first camera was an instamatic. It was a 70’s thing that you popped a sealed cartridge into. Now I’m a dedicated lumix lover and am never separated from my baby lumix. It’s about 3 years old now so hopefully it will have a long and full life with me.

  7. KikiK Says:

    disk camera!!!! do you really? do you mean like this one?
    I had one too!!!! but my first was like your harinezumi (so cute name!!!) attached to a keychain and the second (which I still own and have to find where is hidding to show you!) was a pink #55 in the list of this page

  8. Diane Sylvester Says:

    They are very cute cameras you have shown. When I get my iPhone I’ll be getting the hipstamatic for sure!!!
    My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic (I don’t remember which one) and I bought it with my second pay check (casual work). With my first pay check I bought a purse to put my pay in!!! :)

  9. Annie M Says:

    I adore that cute little Hello Kitty camera!

    My first camera was some sort of pocket Kodak camera that used 110 film cartridges and had that flash tower thingy on the top. I think I got it for Christmas when I was about 12 and loved it, although in retrospect the picture quality was rather horrible!

  10. Sarah Says:

    Yes I remember Disc cameras….my Nan had one :) First camera I recall was Mum’s Kodak which had flash bulbs on it…I have had a few myself, but love my digi one as I can really let myself go and snap everything in sight lol…one day I hope to have a big camera, but then my little one is suffice for the mo

  11. Tammy Moore Says:

    My first camera was a purple Barbie 110 film cartridge from my uncle for my birthday or Christmas (can’t remember which). I later received an old Pentax manual from my grandfather, the avid photographer. I haven’t made the jump to digital yet (my Baby’s a film SLR) but those tiny ones look so fun!

  12. Tammy Davis Says:

    My first camera took 126 film. It had a square negative and square prints. They were excellent prints I might add. Not grainy at all. It had a flash cube that twisted around to all four sides and then was used up. I loved (still do) that camera. I doubt that I can still get the film. I was 9 when my dad gave it to me and was still using it when I was in college.

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