Retro Analogue Photography In Digital Era

When they were asked to rethink the camera by BBC Future, the designers at Conran and Partners were clear that they wanted to set about reimagining every aspect, from the form factor to the technology inside. The result is this new-age hybrid that has a gaping hole replacing the camera lens and no digital viewfinder to check out the images clicked. In a very spunky way, the concept transports us back to that era when rushing to the darkroom with the camera roll used to be so much of fun. The anticipation of crisp versus blurry shots, and the excitement of sifting through the photographs as a collection, is such a refreshing change.

Designer Jared Mankelow explains, “What we’ve done is punch a big aperture through the camera’s centre, to connect the photographer with what’s in front of them.”

One of the reasons behind omitting the screen is that since everybody has a smartphone, tablet or PC nowadays (all featuring a very high-resolution screen), it made no sense having a poor-quality substitute sapping battery life from the camera.

  • The Conran camera transmits images via Bluetooth with the touch of a button – or you can recapture the delight of a film camera by not looking.
  • From a control perspective, the Conran camera combines instant-on, automatic shooting with a full set of manual controls.
  • Instead of being buried in fiddly, screen-based menus, all of the controls are physical: grooves, knurls and ridges allow the user to change settings without looking.
  • Image quality was another important focus. The camera sensors surround the central aperture in an array, allowing the camera to resolve images with incredible clarity – and a ring flash allows even lighting of close up subjects.

Designer: Conran and Partners


  • -anonymous- says:

    Ok, so zooming is out of the question. But it would have been better if the hole is rectangular in shape.

  • CarCam says:

    The idea of taking away the power draining screen is very good with respect to increasing the battery life – one benefit of digital is the ability to fit many images on the camera’s memory stick, therefore reducing the need to review immediately on a screen. Having an emergency camera to hand knowing that the battery will be charged is a welcoming prospect for any photographer.

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  • Corobian says:

    Cool, but may be hard to get used to.

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