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Format Sampler The

words and photos

Ian Beer


Frank Daniello


In a time when 10 megapixel cameras with HD video are the norm, the Digital Harinezumi is a little different. With its two-megapixel stills and lo-fi silent video that imitates Super 8 film, this is a different kind of camera. For one, you don’t see your pictures until after you press the button, but you do get live viewing in video mode. Video on the Harinezumi 1 is captured at an unusual 25 framesper-second at 640x480, and stills ringing in at 1600x1200 or 320x240. Due to the popularity of the first version, the Harinezumi 2 was released, recording sound while offering black-and-white and colour video modes at the same aspect ratio, with a three-megapixel sensor for stills. The Harinezumi 2+++ is the newest version that boasts similar specs and 10 different colour choices, with the bonus of live-view while taking both photos and video. Although there are better, sharper cameras out there, this compact has really gained cult status with its unconventional style. There was even a signature Ed Templeton Harinezumi 2 that was released in 2010 as part of a limited edition artist series. Big in Japan! The first model shown here can be bought through SuperHeadz, or on eBay for about $150.

mikey klinkhamer / method

Having written a piece for our 2007 Photo Annual about the Loreo 3D point-and-shoot “stereo” camera and viewing system, Vancouver’s Ian Beer [] is no stranger to uniqueformat photography. For the past decade he’s collected over fifty cameras – including Pinholes, Polaroids, along with “other weird kinds” – and continues to scour the tangled Interweb on a regular basis. With a taste for all things analog, one of the three cameras he chose to expose here is digital – only because it fills his void of

no longer shooting with Super 8 in the aftermath of Kodak ceasing its Kodachrome mail-in film cartridge program in 2005. As for postproduction, Ian will be the first to say “I don’t really know Photoshop”, so he chooses to get his film cross-processed in order to achieve unique results outside of the desktop-box. “These cameras shoot non-traditional shapes and sizes, and are always sure to draw a ‘what’s that?’ when you pull one out of your bag,” he mentions of the trio below. “Maybe you’ll get a chance to try them for yourself.”

adam cassidy / frontblunt transfer

klinkhamer / pivot fakie


Often referred to as the “poor man’s Widelux”, the Horizon is a great way to get into swing-lens photography for around $500 or less. These cameras shoot approximately 22 images on a roll of 36 exposures, with each image being almost two-times the width of a standard 35mm image. The viewfinder is fairly accurate, and includes a bubble-level to reduce distortion and keep your horizon intact. The camera has a 28mm lens and provides a 120-degree field-of-view. By combining the moving lens with a slow shutter speed and a moving object, or by back-panning against the swing of the lens, you can stretch and distort your subject. This type of “horizon bending” can add a different look or feel that’s otherwise unachievable with other types of cameras. The Horizon also works on clockwork mechanics, and it’s battery free. There’s no exposure meter, which means you have to either guess, use a light meter, or a digital camera’s readings for reference. Horizon cameras are manufactured by KMZ in Russia, and several models can be found on eBay or through Whether shooting horizontally or vertically, it will always provide you with a different perspective on the world.

seylynn / north vancouver

hastings / vancouver

/// SPINNER 360˚\\\

Keeping with the spirit of the Holga and other “toy” cameras that Lomography markets and sells, the Spinner is a deceptively high-tech piece of plastic. This camera manages to take 360-degree panoramics on 35mm film without the aid of batteries. It’s an easily accessible version of the elusive Corrales Spinshot 35S, which is impossible to find (there’s only about a thousand in existence). With the Spinner, the lens projects the image onto film that advances as the camera rotates, taking approximately seven pictures on a roll of 36 exposures. The 360-degree spin happens with the traditional pull-and-release cord, or the camera can be hand-turned for a slower exposure known as a “timescan”, which unpredictably bends and stretches your pictures. As for film, 200 or 400 ASA comes highly recommended because it shoots at f8 or f16 at about 1/200th of a second. You’ll have to scan your own negatives or have it done professionally, as traditional photo printing machines can’t make one print from such a long piece of film. The Spinner can be found online through various eBay sellers or through for about $150. It may be a film-eater, but it’s super fun and the images are worth it.

rob boyce / backside air

Concrete skateboarding


The Format Sampler  

The Format Sampler