Designer Andrew Kim thinks that point-and-shoot cameras aren’t simple enough for many ordinary consumers. After all, if you’re only looking to take snapshots of everyday life, having buttons and dials that can toggle undesired functions is more of an annoyance than a benefit. Taking a page from Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa’s book, Kim created a concept camera that he calls the Pentax Si.
The Appcam is a new concept design for camera controls — and supposedly a patent — that aims to make handling DSLR and compact cameras more user friendly. Instead of having your camera settings hiding in different menus and changed using different controls (e.g. buttons, scroll wheels, dials), the Appcam turns them all into “apps” that sit conveniently on the LCD touchscreen. The apps/settings can be swapped in and out and reordered, and are adjusted using the physical scroll wheel next to it.
While this may definitely be a more user friendly interface for people who just got their first digital camera, it doesn’t seem like a good idea at all for seasoned DSLR users who already have all their controls where they need them.
Appcam (via Photo Rumors)
We’ve seen all kinds of ideas for keeping track of your camera’s lens cap when it’s not being used, including velcro, special mounts, fashionable pouches, and even a retractable cap, but Nikon has come up with the best idea yet: a lens cap that attaches to camera straps! A patent filed by the company in 2009 and published yesterday shows a lens cap that can easily clip onto a strap when not in use — a simple solution to a small problem that apparently many entrepreneurs have been interested in solving. Sorry, but Nikon wins this one.
The USPS has unveiled a new set of stamps called “Pioneers of American Industrial Design” that honors 12 of the most influential American industrial designers of the 20th century, and one of them is Walter Dorwin Teague:
Known as the “dean of industrial design,” Walter Dorwin Teague believed that good artistic design fit both form and function into a single aesthetic package. During his career-long collaboration with Eastman Kodak Company, he designed several popular cameras, including the 1934 “Baby Brownie” (shown on the stamp). [#]
Besides designing cameras for Kodak for 30 years, Teague also worked for the likes of Boeing and Texaco, becoming one of the most prolific industrial designers in US history.
Pioneers of American Industrial Design (via Popular Photography)
Here’s a concept design of the “Nikon D4x” by San Francisco-based industrial designer Marc Levinson. Levinson tells us,
This was a student project at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. During my research on DSLRs I ran across some interviews of Giorgetto Giugiaro, the designer of the current top of the line flagship model for Nikon. He claimed that his product “has value as a sculptural work” and his objective was “to create a product with a value that everyone can understand at a glance.” Although I greatly respect his objective and the way he executed it, I wanted to try my own rendition making it even clearer, even to the untrained eye, that this was an object of great value and significance.
I broke away from an overly common form that was derived from film cameras and was dictated by the way that the film fit inside. I went through several physical foam renditions to get to a shape that had more to do with ergonomics, comfort and style than tradition. Although this concept is very different from its predecessors, I made sure to still maintain the overall design language Nikon maintains across its brand using color, detailing and surfacing.
The design is unlike anything we’ve seen here before, especially the placement of the mode dial on the bottom of the camera.
Do you see anything in this design that you think is an improvement on existing DSLR designs? What do you like or not like about it?
Nikon D4x Digital SLR (via Nikon Rumors)
The Zero Angle Digital Camera is a conceptual design by Sun ho Sin and Jeong eun Park that protects sensitive components by hiding them when not in use.
The clamshell design allows to camera to be stored and carried safely without a dedicated camera case, keeping your LCD safe from scratches and bumps.
The design is reminiscent of a flip phone, except instead of flipping the camera “open”, one half of the camera is swung all the way around to provide the LCD screen for what resembles a traditional point-and-shoot camera.
What would be even more awesome would be if the camera was completely sealed when closed, protecting it completely from things like water, sand, and dirt.
The idea seems simple enough. Perhaps we’ll see this design in a real camera sometime in the near future. What do you think of this concept?
(via Yanko Design)