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What Is A Paper Shoot Camera?
Holga + Disposable + Instamatic + Digital = Lomo Art
A Paper Shoot is an inexpensive digital camera that doesn’t have a screen. It’s takes photos similar to an old disposable camera but it was was built to be reused over and over, hence the claim of sustainability on their website when compared to a single-use film camera.
The beauty is you get the vibe of an old throw-away camera in your digital images! In my opinion, that’s the secret sauce.
The components include a lens and a digital camera computer board covered with paper, plastic, or even cork. I would estimate there are about 30 different cover designs to choose from on the product website.
I recently bought three of these cameras as gifts for friends. I randomly ordered the designs and placed the cameras on a table and watched them fight over which cover they liked best. They each ended up with a Paper Shoot that they love.
You’re probably wondering how this all came about. Maybe not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. A couple of months ago I was searching for a digital version of an old Holga camera, the Lomo camera that inspired Instagram.
I have a well-used Holga 120 film camera complete with electrical tape over every seam to try to keep the light from leaking onto the film while using it. I photographed a whole season of sailing with this camera back in the early 2000’s.
A Holga 120 image I shot of my 1966 Alberg 30 #158, “Sabrina” racing on the Potomac River , MD in 2003
I love my Holga but today, living on a sailboat and trying to have film shipped out to be developed and prints returned is a pain.
In my search for a digital version of a Holga, I landed on a result for the Paper Shoot.
I never finished searching for the Holga. I had to try this new trendsetting gadget! I don’t regret it.
Pick a shooting mode, then ‘point and shoot.’
Did you cut off someone’s head? When you pushed the shutter button (which has a slight delay) were you moving and the photo may be blurry? Was the sun angle too direct and the image will be covered with glare? You won’t know until you remove the SD card and pull the images into your tablet or computer. That’s the real fun.
The Paper Shoot has four shooting modes, color, black and white, sepia and a cool (blue tint) filter controlled by a sliding switch. It also obviously has a shutter button. That’s it. You can’t zoom. You can’t focus. You are not even sure what will be in the frame.
The kit comes with a USB cable for recharging the AAA batteries which are the only things you need to supply. Included is a micro SD card with a full-sized SD adapter, the camera case and the camera.
I ordered an SD card for each camera from the site but when the cameras arrived, they included a card so I had plenty of extras. I’m 99% sure you don’t need to buy an additional card like I did.
Assembly is a DIY project that takes about five minutes the first time, especially if you buy the clear plastic version that I got because you have to figure out which direction the spacer goes, other than that the camera consists of three parts and the two screws that hold it all together.
Paper Shoot cameras are available on Amazon and prices start at about $120 and depending on the model, accessories and cover you choose. I initially bought the clear plastic case but broke it the first time I sat down with the camera in my back pocket. I replaced the cover with the cork model.
I purchased the macro and wide angle lenses on the Paper Shoot website and these fit over the basic lens on the front of the camera and are held on with a magnet. If you want all of the accessories Paper Shoot also makes a prism lens and a radial effects lens.
You may not capture the image that you saw but you will get something interesting and as a bonus, if you share your photos to Instagram with #art in the caption and tag @PapershootCamera you’re likely to get a ton of likes!
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