• Facebook

    500 K / likes

  • Twitter

    1 M / followers

The Fujifilm Rensha Cardia Byu-N 16 Camera is a 35mm Film GIF Machine


There is certainly no shortage of weird cameras and lenses that have been created for both the consumer and professional audiences, but one of the strangest may have been made by Fujifilm back in the 1990s.

Rediscovered by photographer and YouTuber Taylor Noel in 2019 and noticed by DIYPhotography, the Fujifilm Rensha Cardia Byu-N 16 is one such and otherwise known as the “GIF Machine.”

This 35mm film camera was released in 1995 and was marketed towards golf pros and enthusiasts specifically because this weird little system has sixteen individual 27mm f/9.5 lenses, each with its own shutter. The camera can shoot in rapid succession of 1/250, effectively creating a physical film GIF well before the file type became as ubiquitous as it is today. Initially, this was meant to record a golfer so that they could go back and analyze their swings after the fact.

The Byu-N 16 is an update to the 1991 8-Lens Rensha Cardia that was targeted at Runners (based on the graphic of a little runner on the front versus the golfer on the 16) that lets the photographer shoot images in two modes. A photographer can choose to capture a sequence one at a time using the left side shutter button or can choose to fire all 16 shots in rapid succession using the “golf ball” shutter button on the right side of the camera. It captures Eight images on each 35mm film frame and uses two frames on a roll per burst to capture 16 total images. With the fixed f-stop and shutter speed of this system, you will need a lot of light to capture a photo successfully, which is likely why it was aimed at the golfing world since bright outdoor light is expected. Otherwise, you’ll have to “push” the development of your film as Noel illustrates in the video above.

While this strange system was originally designed for practical golfing use cases, in his video Noel shows that it can be used in a variety of different situations to create some wonderful pieces of art, as long as you’re willing to process and scan all the film. This system appears to be quite rare, as the only similar camera shown as available on eBay at the time of publication is the Byu-N 8. However, if you do happen to come across one in your thrift store searches, it is surely a fun system to experiment with and is likely quite a collector’s item.