One of my other wackmobile hobbies (I have several) is toy camera photography. I have quite a collection of plastic film cameras, all of which are fun to use in different conditions (and a real pain in the arse to use in the wrong conditions.)

Plastic Cameras

One of my favorite cameras, though, is a digital version of an old film camera, the Rollei MiniDigi. It’s meant to be a miniature version of an early Rollei twin lens camera, the kind where you look from the top down to see what you’re photographing. I have a film version of a TLR, and it’s a joy to use; the top-down viewfinder makes you think carefully about how you’re framing your shots, and candids become more candid because people don’t feel you looking at them. Most charming about the MiniDigi, though, is its tiny little handcrank–it won’t let you take a new digital image until you’ve turned it.

Rollei MiniDigi and Beastman

In terms of RPGs, though, the MiniDigi is incredibly useful because it allows you to get right down at the miniature’s “eye level” and take pictures. I’ve had great luck shooting both board games and RPGs with it because of its ability to see what the characters would see. At its base, it’s about 1.25×1.25″, which means that you can stick it in between cardboard buildings, miniature props, and miniatures easily without disturbing the scene, and it’s top-down viewfinder means that you don’t have to try to stick your big face down between buildings just to see what you’re photographing.

Now, if you’re not a toycam fanatic, the stats on this little guy are less than impressive. It’s 2MP. (Yes, you read that right. Stop having a heart attack. Your phone has a higher MP count than this camera. Yes. But calm down–the new ones are a whopping 5MP.) It’s obviously fixed-lens with no flash, and all of your processing has to be done post-camera, because there aren’t any of the options that you would find on, say, a DSLR. It’s also embarrassingly expensive and can be rather difficult to obtain. For all that, though, it takes charming, retro-style (square!) pictures of the little things, and it’s fun to use.

Photos taken with the MiniDigi:

City Entrance

Altronia and her pet pig, Towmes, at the city entrance.


What might be hiding behind those crates?

Good for pictures of board games, too. Here’s Castle Panic:

Castle Panic

Interested in toy photography? Check out Four Corners Dark or Lomography.
Interested in the Rollei MiniDigi? Here’s the B&H page, and a blog about the MiniDigi.