CT Scans of Instant Cameras Reveal Their Inner Workings

Scan of the Month has released a set of CT scans of a set of instant cameras. The images allow viewers to look past the well-known plastic exteriors and see the inner workings of where the magic of instant photography comes to life.

“Scan of the Month is about honoring the fantastic engineering that surrounds us every day but often hides in plain sight,” Drew of Scan of the Month tells PetaPixel. “By performing CT scans of these everyday objects, we discover hidden engineering decisions, such as in-ear microphones in AirPods or the near screw-less construction of a Polaroid camera.

“These hidden details make up the world around us, and behind all of them are engineers who labored over these decisions, products, and manufacturing.”

Since its launch, Scan of the Month has published detailed scans of LEGO Minifigures in November 2021, Apple Airpods in December 2021, and the classic Nintendo Game Boy in January 2022.

For the month of February, Scan of the Month picked three different instant cameras: the Polaroid 600 AF, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, and the Polaroid Go.

Polaroid 600 AF

The Polaroid 600 AF instant camera was released in April 1997 and featured built-in autofocus, auto-exposure, light-dark control, and a built-in flash.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

The affordable Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 was released in March 2020 and features auto-exposure and a mirror and a close minimum focus distance for selfies.

Polaroid Go

The Polaroid Go was released in April 2021. It’s a pocket-sized analog instant camera that features a rechargeable battery, a built-in flash, one-touch exposure, and a reflective selfie mirror on the viewfinder.

How CT Scans Work

CT (computed tomography) scanning is typically used in medical imaging for physicians to examine the inside of patient bodies noninvasively to make diagnoses. Rather than exposing a patient or subject with X-rays from a single direction for a single photography-style image, CT scans use a rotating X-ray tube and a row of detectors to capture images from different angles.

These images are then crunched by computer algorithms and turned into 3D images (tomographs) showing the internal structures of whatever was imaged — hence, “computed tomography.”

“Each month we are scanning things that we love, and also plan on venturing into the things we take for granted,” Drew says. “We are surrounded by objects that have billions of dollars of capital equipment, engineering labor, and manufacturing power that we hardly notice.”

You can find more images from this series and follow along with each months scans over at Scan of the Month.

Image credits: All images courtesy Scan of the Month.