Apr 1, 2016

Boxy is so Last Century, These Concept Cameras Think Teardrop is the Perfect Shape for Selfies

Designers Bogdanovbic and Mraovic eschew the rectangular for a more ergonomic teardrop shaped camera design.

Cameras have been with us for almost two centuries, but its design, technology and capabilities have changed significantly since the 1800s. What hasn’t changed, though, is the basic shape. The first camera was a wooden box, a big one, but a box nonetheless that took in the light from one side and used the interior as a darkroom to get the inverted image projected on the other side. Today, cameras are still basically boxes, albeit smaller and more rectangular, and many permanently having a place in your pocket or purse in your smartphone.

As ubiquitous as they are, rectangles aren’t exactly the most hand-friendly shapes. Time and again we here of people dropping their smartphones because the grip just isn’t right. Modern cameras have neck straps, just to make sure you don’t drop them, because they aren’t the easiest things to hold, even with the evolution of so-called ergonomic grips.

Designers Luka Bogdanovic and Nikola Mraovic have decided that the rectangular box shape has got to go. Instead, we should have a more hand-friendly shape – that of a curved droplet or teardrop. They’ve come up with three different designs for the three main types of camera in use today: the point and shoot, the mirrorless, and the DSLR.

The point and shoot variant is perhaps the most bold of the designs. It’s a curved, rounded teardrop shape which fits easily into your hand, but is basically flattened like a pancake on the side with the controls. The screen is a hidden pop-up that jumps out of the main body when you are ready to take pictures. It’s envisioned as a slab of Corning Gorilla Glass with a thin double-sided screen inside, which faces both ways so you can take pictures of a subject or selfies of yourself with equal impunity.

Despite the wow-factor of such a design, dropping the camera with the screen out can’t be good. A single drop with the screen protruding would probably mean a trip to buy a new camera.

concept1

The mirrorless camera has the similar teardrop design, but is a bit bulkier and more rounded compared to the point and shoot. This one has the screen built in on the flat side, making it a much more durable proposition in case you drop the camera. Your grip on the smaller part of the teardrop will place your thumb squarely on the the trigger button, while the lens is at the top of the larger part of the tear drop, and holding it feels more like holding a tubular camcorder or a telescope or monocular in one hand.

concept2

concept3

The DSLR has the most controls of the bunch, but shares a similar teardrop shape, but much more deformed to make space for the processing mirror and circuitry and more complicated controls. The front ends in an EF mount for you to use with your choice of lens. Still, the grip is still done on the smaller part of the teardrop shape, but the lens mount is on the opposite side of the screen like a traditional DSLR. A view finder is atop the screen, so the camera functions as a traditional DSLR would.

concept4

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Overall, it’s doubtful whether Canon will ever pick up these designs to give them the light of day. The point and shoot in particular seems too impractical to implement. The mirrorless and DSLR designs look workable, but the lack of attachment points for a camera strap would make this a very hard sell, especially for the DSLR crowd.

Despite that, designers Bogdanovbic and Mraovic should be lauded for thinking of out-of-the-box concepts, even if their designs may never see the light of day.

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