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Slow Photography offers mobile phone snappers a touch of camera realism


April 26, 2011

David McCourt's Slow Photography camera prototype (Images courtesy of David McCourt)

David McCourt's Slow Photography camera prototype (Images courtesy of David McCourt)

Image Gallery (7 images)

Statistics show that smartphone users rank high amongst the uploaders to photo sharing sites like Flickr, but this point-and-shoot convenience can rob users of some basic photographic skills such as framing, composition and using different lenses. Scotland's David McCourt hopes that his Slow Photography camera will help mobile phone camera users get a feel for using a professional grade digital camera, without selling the family car to pay for one.

McCourt told Gizmag that his Slow Photography camera is currently at the first prototype stage and that its "form and theme is inspired by medium format photography (respecting the traditional top-down viewfinder) and drew aesthetics from Russian cameras in the formative stages."

A user would slide open the front caddy and pop in a smartphone with the lens facing outwards. Image framing and scene composition is undertaken by looking down the viewfinder, and there are three lens options on offer – fixed focal length, macro and fish eye. Once satisfied, the photo is taken by pressing the shutter release.

As you can see from the sample images above, the end result is fashionably low-res. The Slow Photography camera is quite a stunner and certainly has old-world charm, but whether it will go on to capture the creative imagination of mobile phone camera users – and how long such a novelty will stay fresh – remains to be seen, and will probably depend an awful lot on pricing.

McCourt is currently looking at options to move the camera towards production but, alas, is keeping tight-lipped about details. When we find out more we'll let you know.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

If it ever takes on, I suggest it will be a very small market niche.

Smart-phone users can already take some great pics - the attraction being spontaneity - the \'camera\' is in your pocket/handbag all the time (in addition to the quick uploads). Putting the camera into a bulky box defeats this advantage and if the photographer wants more creative options, he/she is likely to use a \'real\' camera.


\"help mobile phone camera users get a feel for using a professional grade digital camera\" What professional grade digital camera uses a top-down viewfinder? This is more like giving a feel for an antique box camera. It\'s sad that McCourt is moving towards production without any hint he\'s done any market research to see if there\'s any demand for the product. Mokkybear54 pointed out some of the obvious red flags regarding how this might do in the market. McCourt says he doesn\'t want folks to have to sell the family car to buy a camera, but he might lose his family car while trying to sell one.

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