Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bigshot: A Camera for Education

Once in a while, I stumble across something on the internet that really moves me, a vision of sorts that I can whole-heartedly believe to be something that looks to move digital photography forward. It's called the Bigshot, and that's what it turns kids of all ages into. Built on the four basic principles of build, learn, use and share, this camera hopes to give all people of all economic backgrounds the ability to capture moments in their lives.

The camera literally arrives in pieces and is assembled using basic screw drivers and patience, complete with a 2 megapixel sensor and multiple lens options, it packs quite the punch. It even has a flash that is powered by a single AA, but wait, what powers the camera itself, you say? A dynamo motor, that's right, the camera (without flash) can be entirely powered by a few simple cranks of a small plastic winder on the side of the camera. It's an incredible idea. The pictures are stored on internal memory and can be transferred to a computer through a simple USB connection. The lens options that I mention include, not only a "normal lens" but also a panoramic lens with a 72° field of view and finally, and most impressively, the ability to take a Stereo-Prismatic (3D) image. Using those funky blue and red glasses we all know and love, you can view the image in 3D, I know, amazing...

The Bigshot program is very similar to the "One Laptop, Per Child" Campaign, where "for each one sold at the full price of around $100, several would be donated to underprivileged schools in the United States and abroad" (, I would gladly put aside $100 or more to give other people the opportunity to experience photography, one I have been blessed with. I will try my best to get one to review myself to give the specifics of the construction and if all goes well we might see the newest development of lomography, can anyone say Bigshotography?

Shree K. Nayar is a professor of computer science at Columbia University and is the founder of the Bigshot program. I would strongly encourage all to read his article posted on the Columbia University website as well as check out the official Bigshot website as well, these links should help.

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