I remember I was around 12 years old when I first started using my first film point and shoot camera. It was a truly a simple one but I loved it... even though I still remember my Dad’s advice on how to use it: "Don’t take too many photos".
This was back in the day of film photography where developing photos from negatives cost money so it was probably good advice. But that also made me more careful of the shots I took and I would like to think it had somewhat improved my photography skills over the years.
Nowadays with the proliferation of digital cameras, everyone has it good.. .and convenient. Almost anyone can pick up a digital camera and start snapping away - kids included. And I just happen to believe that the images that a child can take are special, simply because their eyes sometimes see something that we adults might miss.
So if you are looking to get a digital camera that is affordable, stylish-looking and packs in all the standard features (and more) for the kids, then this camera made out of paper casing will be it.
Wait, WHH-AT? A camera made out of paper???
Yes, the case is made from reusable paper. So instead of throwing an old casing away, recycle it. Talk about being eco-friendly!
The fun of owning a Paper Shoot camera begins right from the moment the monkies unboxed it... all because they got to piece their very own camera together!
The package included an interior camera body, one paper case, four transparent screws (2 are extras), one lanyard, one USB cable, and an instruction manual. Two AAA batteries are required to power the camera, which are not included in the package.
I think part of the excitement that the monkies exuded when they go their hands on the camera was due to the fact that they saw how the interior of a digital camera looked for the first time.
And putting all of it together was a breeze as well - all done in less than 5 minutes. Which was just about right since the monkies were getting impatient to try out their new cameras.
The camera uses the standard SD card so all I had to do was to slide one into the side and it was all ready to go!
Ale naturally took the camera with the pink casing while Ash gunned for the Vintage Lomo Camera Case above. The great thing about Paper Shoot cameras is the paper casings are all interchangeable and replaceable but most importantly for parents, the designs are printed using non-toxic ink.
Or if you prefer, you can choose a blank casing where you can personalize it to what you desire. Like Ayd.
This must be the only unique SG50 digital camera in Singapore. Trust Ayd to be ever so patriotic! Heh.
Just 12mm thick and weighing only 80 grams (including the weight of two AAA batteries), the camera has a sturdy cardboard body that is strong enough to withstand accidental drops as well as resistant to slight water splashing on the surface.
Attach the provided lanyard to the camera so that it will not be easily lost, and I reckon the Paper Shoot camera is currently one of the most lightweight and compact cameras on the market for kids!
But this camera is missing something that the conventional digital cameras have.
Yes, a LCD screen. I got to admit the monkies were initially not used to not being able to view their photos immediately after snapping a shot. Okay, me too actually... especially since we live in a today's world of instant gratifications, no thanks to the implosion of smartphones, iPads and video games.
In fact, I recently came across The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment conducted by Professor Walter Mischel at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s, where it found that children who were able to delay gratification subsequently did better in school, had fewer behavioural problems, able to sustain friendships longer and scored higher SAT scores. They have higher rates of completing college and earn higher incomes at their later life.
So not having a LCD screen embedded with the Paper Shoot camera might just be that small step needed to inculcate the sense of delayed gratification in my monkies! But even then, the absence of a screen means an absence of radiation emitted which is definitely welcome for parents I'm sure.
All well and good BUT how does it fare when it comes to photo-taking?
Designed to be simple and easy to use, Paper Shoot cameras have only 2 buttons - a 3-in1 On/Off/Shoot button and a four built-in LOMO effect button - to fiddle with, enabling the monkies to effortlessly shoot their own masterpieces.
And snapped they did, when we visited the Flowery Fun Times with Nursery Rhymes at the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay a few weeks back.
The above photos were captured by Ash while those below were that of Ayd's.
Not too shabby huh? The thing about letting kids start on photography is it nurtures aspects that has to do with right-brain development – Alertness, Planning, Thinking-on-your-feet (deciding what to capture or not capture) and Thinking out-of-the-box. Kids get to experiment by shooting from different perspectives (up high, down low, etc), getting in close or stepping back for a wider angle shot, and even moving around the subject to shoot from different sides.
In fact, the monkies even brought along their Paper Shoot cameras during our family's recent trip to Cairns and surprisingly, Ale was the one that got really trigger-happy when it came to snapping photos wherever we went!
I particularly liked some of the black and white photos she took during our cable car ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Very mood feel, no? Thanks to the Paper Shoot camera's ability to capture images in 4 LOMO effects – Classic, Black & White, Golden Memory, Blue November - the monkies had a field day experimenting with the various modes as well.
Oh, and that occasional selfie attempt too. Lol.
The camera uses a 5 megapixels lens (from the same supplier as Apple’s), so the vivid images are captured in pretty good resolution and can be printed up to A4 size.
Which reminds me, the wifey and I have promised the monkies to print some of the photos that snapped during our Cairns trip and compile them in a scrapbook. A perfect family bonding activity if you ask me!
A DSLR camera the Paper Shoot camera is not but then again, it need not be one. It is meant to be a fun camera that not only appeals to everyone but also can be operated easily too. For once, kids have a digital camera that is lightweight, compact and fun to use.
Coupled with its interchangeable, customizable and environment-friendly casing, it is no wonder that the monkies are bringing along their Paper Shoot cameras every time we head outdoors. Not that I am complaining because there is no better way of immortalising memories than photography - and having loads of fun while at it too!
The Paper Shoot camera is available for Pre-Order now at an introductory price of $70 (usual price $80)! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9838 7272 to reserve your set now.
For more information on the camera, visit www.papershoot.com/enu/index.html.