Nikon Patent Shows Feature Designed for Camera Toss Photography

Is “camera toss” photography ready to go from fad to feature? Apparently Nikon thinks so. A recently published patent (No. 2012-189859) shows that the company has been thinking about building specific features into its compact and mirrorless cameras that would assist in using the technique.

Conventional methods for triggering the shutters in tossed cameras include using the self-timer or a wireless shutter release. The self-timer method — the more popular one, since many people don’t have shutter releases for their cameras — requires a good deal of luck, since it’s hard to time the shot so that it happens at the apex of the toss.

Nikon’s camera-toss feature would solve this problem by having the camera intelligently snap photos when it’s tossed into the air. An accelerometer would be used to determine the camera’s speed and angle, and would be used to trigger photos at the best points of a toss.

The patent also mentions protective features that would protect various parts of the camera from the shock of being thrown (e.g. retracting a collapsible lens barrel).

In case you’ve never heard of camera-toss photography before, here are a couple of examples of what the technique can do in the daytime:

…and a few showing the abstract light-painting images you can achieve at night:

(via Egami)

Image credit: Camera Toss Proof by cheesy42, camera toss by stu_spivack, Camera Toss! by Peach Tea, Camera Toss by cheesy42, Camera Toss 1.3 by graffiti*is*your*friend, camera tossing by Bree Kenyon, Camera Toss 647 by tackyshack

  • Jake

    Brilliant marketing move for Nikon: Encourage a new fad that has people breaking their cameras when they throw them in the air and fail to catch them, and then make more money when those people have to buy replacements!

  • Mark Dub

    Exactly what i was thinking! Pure genius!!

  • Dan Howard

    Photography: You’re doing it wrong Nikon.

  • Alan Dove

    From the user manual:

    “Under the ‘Stupid Camera Stunts’ menu, you can choose from the following options: Blurred Selfie, Camera Toss, Duckface, Horsemanning, and Plank…”

  • Kyle

    I’ve never seen this before, it looks cool. Don’t really wanna be tossin’ my 1D though…

  • Grumpy Git

    Here in the UK, using this term could really work against them ..

  • brandon

    truly awesome. the break your camera menu choice. this is very sneaky.

  • 3ric15

    Market scam for Nikon to break people’s camers then they come back to buy a new one? lol

  • Tim

    What a load of toss!

  • Dave Reynolds

    Some see this as a revenue opportunity but it actually seems to be a potential warranty liability because the feature implies the camera is durable enough to endure the shock of being caught and falling to the ground.

  • patrick dinneen

    Some lovely shots there. Here’s my favourite one, which happens to look like The Cocteau Twins Heaven Or Las Vegas album cover