World's Smallest Digital FishEye Camera
If you're a keen photographer, then it's not long before you start to want a fisheye lens. The only trouble is that they are VERY expensive.
A fisheye lens is an ultra wide-angle lens that produces a strong distortion of the picture - and it is intended to create a wide panoramic or hemispherical image. The term fisheye has been used for over 100 years as the effect is similar to how a fish might see a scene when it is in water.
A fisheye lens will typically give you a 100-180o angle of the scene you are trying to capture.
It wasn't until the 1960s that fisheye lenses were mass produced for the market, but even then they were strictly the preserve of some very serious photographers.
World's Smallest Fisheye Camera
Regular Fish Eye Lens
Uses of a Fisheye Lens by Amateur Photographers
As people have had easier access to cameras and are using them all the time, more and more people have wished they had a fisheye lens on their camera for some shots. e.g.
- If you're taking in a town scene, or at the beach - you might wish to include 'everything' in your photo - and that's when a fisheye lens is what you want.
- Taking an indoors shot of your family and friends in a limited space and getting them all into view.
- If you want to take an "arty" photo of something, (often for your Facebook page these days).
- If you're photographing any sports and want to capture close up detail, but also the surrounding items - e.g. close up of a skateboard, while still getting the full image of the skateboarder.
- Taking 'advert style' photos of your pint on a pub table, where you get the full pint in the middle of the photo, yet the whole pub is still visible
A digital fisheye lens would be perfect for those fun days out and fun shots that thousands of photographers wish they could get.
But fisheye lenses are horrendously expensive - and awkward to carry and use ..... and it's been a dream.
To Sum Up:
A fisheye lens is out of the question because:
- They are expensive
- They are awkward to carry
- They are large
Well - all that just changed as the world's smallest digital fisheye camera has just been invented - and it's affordable!
World's Smallest Digital Fisheye Camera
While there have been other small lenses which attach magnetically to your smartphone, enabling you to take photos quickly on the go these iPhone lenses don't give you a "camera feel", essential for some users.
The new world's Smallest Digital Fisheye Camera is a whole camera - yet only a couple of inches wide. Because it is so much smaller than a smartphone it means you can fit it into smaller spaces too.
- 170 degree lens
- 2mp-12mp camera (this setting can be changed to allow for quicker snaps or higher quality)
- Time lapse mode (can be set from 1 photo every second, to 1 photo every 7 days)
- HD video mode
- Photos are stored on a microSD card
- Removable Battery
Greg Dash, the Accidental Inventor
Greg Dash, inventor of this small digital fisheye camera, never set out to be an inventor - he was simply trying to solve his own problems of affordability and usability. He and a friend created the first digital fisheye camera for his own use and it was only when people started asking him about it that he thought it might be something other people wanted!
His reason for wanting a camera like this was:
"I love taking pictures with my analogue camera, but I still often find myself going back to use my smartphone, just for the ease of uploading and saving pictures to my computer. Recently a number of people have started designing lenses for smartphone cameras that give the effect of a fisheye lens, but these are often poorly made and can be lost as they are loosely attached with magnets.
"Fisheye lenses are often expensive, and so far the only way to get a fisheye effect on a point and shoot is to DIY your own lens using a door viewer, as until now it was not thought possible to combine the lens within the body of a compact digital camera.
"This tiny camera (really!) will allow you to quickly reach into your pocket and take a quick snap, grabbing all those amazing moments with your compact fisheye lens - for the fraction of the price of a dslr lens. It also has a timelapse feature allowing for cool starry night images and can take video!
"Theres also no screen at the back, so you'll always have a surprise when uploading the photos onto your computer!"
Buying a Small Fisheye Lens Camera
At the time of writing (April 2013), the camera has been produced in small quantities by its inventor - and there are already several hundred on backorder. But to really get into production it needs financial backing and funding is being sought through crowdfunding methods in Indiegogo. Once the $45,000 needed has been raised we'll all be able to own one of these neat little fisheye cameras for ourselves and start to have a little fun with it.
The first run of funding will be to produce just 1000 of these little marvels.
See Greg Dash's Digital Fisheye Camera
Correct the Fisheye Effect with Software
Interestingly though - you can use software to then "undo" the fisheye effect - making a regular photo. Or to play around with the fisheye photo results to flatten out most of the image.
That means that for your own fun and use, you can use this as a super-panoramic view camera if you're prepared to just load the images into Photoshop when you get home.
I think this camera's going to become a "must have" for all those people who want to easily be able to produce quirky and wide angle shots on an affordable digital camera with a minimum of fuss.
Of course, getting hooked on further manipulating the images with Photoshop will be the fun for many people.