Bonzart’s Ampel is a cool-looking — and cheap — digital camera styled on the TLR (twin-lens-reflex) cameras of old. But the retro case design isn’t just a gimmick: the Ampel actually packs some great featurres into the old-fashioned shape, including a dedicated tilt-shift lens.
TLRs used two lenses, one for taking and one for viewing. The bottom lens sat in front of the film, and the top lens used a mirror to direct the image up onto a horizontal focussing screen. The two lenses were coupled so that they’d move in sync (this meant that most TLRs had non-interchangeable lenses).
The Ampel, on the other hand, stuffs gizmos into every cranny. One lens is a regular lens, letting you shoot rectangular or square pictures. The other is a dedicated tilt-shift lens (or rather, just “tilt”). And up top is the LCD, facing up so you have to use it as a waist-level finder (this is pretty great for sneaky shots as you never actually look towards your subject.)
Specs-wise this is a basic machine — 5MP, 720p video — but the lenses are at least ƒ2.8 and it only costs $180. I’m actually pretty tempted, apart from the $50 shipping to get it to Spain. Still, it looks like a lot of fun, which is what amateur photography is all about, after all.
Source: AC Gears