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Rolleiflex MiniDigi.

by Chris Coyier

Rollei is the manufacturer of those really cool old-timey looking cameras with the big crank on the side, two lenses, and enough weird dials, bolts, and doodads that they almost look like a modern steampunk design. Rollei has since modernized their camera offerings, but now they are offering a brand new digital camera that is a total throwback to their original 1920’s design.

The Rolleiflex MiniDigi is a miniaturized replica of the original Rolleis featuring all the classic elements: the double lenses, the strap, the logo mark, the exposure meter, and the crank. The crank is even functional: It readies the camera for its next shot. There is no film of course, but it’s a fun little touch nonetheless. The MiniDigi uses SD cards and is small enough to fit in your pocket or wear around your neck.

I’ve always enjoyed the “shoot from the hip” philosophy of photography, something that Rollei wholeheartedly endorses. The MiniDigi shoots in an unusual 2-megapixel square format, which is particularly good for portraiture. One of the coolest features of the MiniDigi is the waist-level viewfinder, which allows you to keep the camera at your waist, yet be able to glance down and see just what it is you are aiming at. Waist-style shooting is particularly good for portraits, as Rollei says, it “prevents camera fright”. The MiniDigi is retailing for about $199.00.

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