12 of the Strangest, Weirdest Cameras Sold at B&H


There’s no law that says cameras must look boring. Not that there’s anything wrong with boring-looking cameras, but there’s something to be said about a camera that turns heads out of curiosity, intrigue, confusion, or a combination of the three.

The following cameras are “statement makers” that are guaranteed to turn heads and, better yet, elicit wonderful smiles.

1. Polaroid Originals 600 96 Cam Instant Film Camera

Something old, something new, something orange, something blue, something pink, something yellow, something cyan, and “somewhat different” is a good way to describe the Polaroid Originals 600 96 Cam Instant Film Camera. Designed to go with just about everything in your wardrobe, this Polaroid 600 retro camera features a built-in flash, close focusing, and a Lighten/Darken exposure slider for optimizing your exposures. Sunglasses not included.

Polaroid Originals 600 96 Cam Instant Film Camera

2. Ilford HARMAN TiTAN 4x5" Pinhole Camera

Ilford’s HARMAN TiTAN 4x5" Pinhole Camera is designed for use with 4 x 5" film holders. Made of injection-molded ABS plastic with stainless-steel fittings, it has built-in spirit levels, and dual ¼"-20 thread mounts. Included with the camera body is a 72mm f/206 (wide-angle) lens/aperture cone and a pinhole exposure calculator. Optional 110mm and 150mm cones are also available.

Ilford HARMAN TiTAN 4 x 5" Pinhole Camera

3. Lomography LomoKino 35mm Film Camera

Does the intense detail of image-stabilized 4K video get you down? Maybe it’s time to park your GoPro in the garage and head out with a Lomography LomoKino 35mm film camera. This hand-cranked, 35mm motion-picture film camera is a throwback to the days of silent movies. You get 144 movie frames on a 36-exposure roll of film, which with an average crank rate of 3 to 5 frames per second works out to motion-picture epics lasting between 28.8 to 48 seconds per roll. For more extensive story lines, you can splice in additional 36-exposure rolls.

Lomography LomoKino 35mm Film Camera


4. Lomography Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter Medium Format Camera Kit with 35mm Back

A holdover from last year’s holiday review of oddball cameras is the Lomography Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter Medium Format Camera Kit with 35mm Back.This is the type of camera you want if your vacation plans include driving around the Italian countryside on a Vespa, circa 1957.

Novelty factor aside, the Lomography Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter offers a choice of two lenses (a 58mm wide-angle and a longer 90mm lens) and two film formats. Sporting a satin metal folding body with brown leatherette wrap around the beltline, the camera can be configured to shoot 6 x 6 cm, 6 x 9 cm, or 6 x 12 cm stills onto 120-format film. Swap out the camera’s 120 film back for the 35mm film back and you can now shoot 35mm panoramas with 3:1 aspect ratios.

Lomography Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter Medium Format Camera Kit with 35mm Back

The actual AoV of each lens depends on which format you’re shooting. In keeping with Lomography’s less-is-more philosophy, focusing is by zone (3.3', 4.9', 9.8', ∞). The aperture range of Lomography’s Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter is an underwhelming f/8-16, but fear not—B&H still carries fast Lomography film.

5. Yi Technology HALO

When it comes to unconventional cameras, the Yi Technology company tops the list. The Yi Technology HALO is a cylinder-like device containing 17 camera modules that, together, capture a 360° view of its surroundings. Using Google’s Jump Assembler software, the Halo produces 2D or 3D video for playback on mobile devices, computers, and VR headsets. Time-lapse and still images can also be captured using the Halo’s touchscreen, a Bluetooth remote (included), or via Android smartphones. Stills and video are recorded to microSD cards. Also included is a water- and shockproof Pelican 1610 hard case.

YI Technology HALO

6. Panono 360° Pro Set

If you’re disappointed that you can’t roll the Yi Technology HALO around like a ball, you should definitely check out the Panono 360° Pro Set.

The Panono 360° Pro Set resembles a grapefruit with a hard, black plastic shell surrounded by 36 camera modules and lime-green racing stripes. Unlike a grapefruit, the Panono 360° can capture 108MP 360° panoramic photographs stitched together from 36 individual camera modules. Controlled by iOS and Android smartphones, the Panono 360° features shutter speeds ranging from 2 to 1/400-second, an ISO range of 100-1600, a white-balance range of 3000-8000k, HDR capabilities, 16GB of internal memory, and Live View from your smartphone.

Panono 360° Pro Set

7. Arca-Swiss M-Monolith 4x5 View Camera

The Arca-Swiss M-Monolith 4 x 5 View Camera is a camera you approach with respect. Visually, it oozes serious precision and that’s exactly what it’s designed for when shooting architecture, studio still-life, and other photographic assignments that require the ability to adjust and/or correct the visual dynamics of a photograph meticulously.

Fully modular, Arca’s M-Monolith features fully geared movements, +/- 70mm front and rear rise, +/- 70mm front and rear shift, geared Orbix center-axis tilt for 100% yaw-free corrections, and a conical 380mm bellows. This French-made picture-taking machine can be used with film and digital backs and lenses. And if 4 x 5" isn’t enough real estate for your needs, the M-Monolith is available in 5 x 7" and 8 x 10".

Arca-Swiss M-Monolith 4 x 5" View Camera

8. Lomography Konstruktor F Do-it-yourself 35mm Film Camera SLR Camera Kit

Tired of buying pre-assembled cameras? Me too! That’s why I’ve been thinking about buying a Lomography Konstruktor F Do-it-Yourself 35mm Film SLR Camera Kit. The kit includes a 50mm f/10 fixed-aperture lens (sorry… no fancy bokeh from this slowpoke…), a hooded waist-level viewfinder, fully manual focusing and exposure control, a PC connector for flash, and a bunch of stickers you can plaster across the body if black plastic exteriors don’t cut it for you.

Lomography Konstruktor F Do-it-Yourself 35mm Film SLR Camera Kit

9. Avangard Optics Smiling Face Brooch Spy Camera

The Avangard Optics Smiling Face Brooch Spy Camera is a 1.85" brooch that covertly records stills, audio, and 720 x 480 @ 30fps video within a 33' range of its smiley face.

Avangard Optics’ brooch spy camera cam be pinned to you jacket, shirt, shoulder bag, hat, or backpack. Depending on how well you can keep a straight face, it can also be used as a rather creepy camcorder for interview or ENG purposes.

“Smiley” contains a lithium-ion battery that provides up to two hours of recording time on microSD cards up to 16GB. Imagery can be output directly from the brooch via USB/AV cable (included) for playback on a TV or monitor.

Avangard Optics Smiling Face Brooch Spy Camera

10. Gift Trenz Woodsum Pinhole Camera

Pinhole cameras are dime a dozen but few, if any, resemble a 35mm SLR. The Gift Trenz Woodsum Pinhole Camera (Maple) is a DIY 35mm pinhole camera made of maple wood that’s guaranteed to make you stand out among Pentax K1000 and Minolta SRT 101-toting millennials. And unlike 60s-vintage SLRs, if you should accidentally drop the Gift Trenz Woodsum into the pool—it floats!

Gift Trenz Woodsum Pinhole Camera

11. Holga 135 TIM 35mm Half-Frame Twin/Multi-Image Camera

Question. What’s cute-looking, has a smile on its face, and takes 72 pictures on a 36-exposure roll of 35mm film? If your answer is the Holga 135 TIM 35mm ½ Frame Twin/Multi-Image Camera, you got it right! The Holga 135 TIM half-frame camera features dual lenses that can be used together or independently, depending on your needs. Other features of this cutie are multiple exposure capability, a built-in flash, and a choice of three shooting apertures – f/8, f/11, and f/16. As for exposure times, you have a choice of 1/100-second and bulb. Sometimes simple is better, and often fun.

Holga 135 TIM 35mm 1/2 Frame Twin/Multi-Image Camera

12. Linhof Technorama 617s III Panorama Camera

There’s a big difference between wide-angle and wide-field, and that’s what sets the Linhof Technorama 617s III Panoramic Camera apart from conventional cameras. Linhoff’s Technorama 617s II captures 6 x 17cm photographs (2.25 x 6.69") onto 120 film. Made of die-cast aluminum alloy, this thoroughly manual camera is compatible with five dedicated lenses for capturing architectural and landscape photographs unlike those captured with conventional cameras—film or digital.

Linhof Technorama 617s III Panoramic Camera

Do you know of any oddball cameras we might have missed? Let us know in the Comments section, below!


Since your article was originally written, the Holga Stereo camera has been discontinued. I looked for it with interest since the family camera that was used as I was growing up was the Stereo Realist & the film was Kodachrome (ASA 25). It took beautiful photographs of a quality that cannot be duplicated by any other. 

The only problem that I have encountered but not solved is how to make copies of my childhood slides. Normally a slide is removed from its holder, duplicated & then remounted. I haven't figured out how to do that yet without losing the 3D effect when remounting the stereo slide. Would you have a suggestion or know of a service that can do this? 




If your goal is to simply duplicate the images for printing/display, then you could copy them without unmounting them in a stand-alone scanner, such as my Microtek Scanner(Old School) which will copy both negative and positive transparent images in B&W and color from 35mm half frame up to 4" x 5". I have "jury-rigged" copying adapters for several non-standard items. It does require sophisticated software such as Silverfastby LaserSoft Imaging. The biggest drawback is keeping the dust level under control.


"Moi j'ai dit bizarre? Comme c'est bizarre"... (Louis Jouvet in Drôle de Drame (Marcel Carné)) ... Bizarre means "werd" in french)

In fact, some of these cameras are... Bizarres...

The Minox DCC14 is a pure wonder I'd like to play with...

Just a little question, may I submit a list of old cameras between 1895 and 1950 I own to know more histories about its and the actual cotation?

Thanks for your advise.

"WEIRD" and not werd, sorry for the mistake. :)

Thanks for your feedback Patrick.

As for your list of old cameras, I suggest you start by Googling each of the cameras and see what comes up.

There are a number of sites that specialize in camera history

Good luck and I hope you have something rare in your collection!


Hi Allan, Thanks for your response, I begin to search such sites.

Happy new year to all staff!


Thanks for the article. It is amusing and interesting. The Mint Camera brings back memories. You referred its appearance to being similar to a Rollei or Yashicamat. I agree but it also looks like a Richoflex. My father gave me his old Richoflex many years ago to use as my first camera.

You obviously have never heard of a LUBITEL! (6x6) Proudly made in the USSR., with Jena glass. PERFECT glass; lousy camera. U$20 including leather look camera bag. After a day of using that camera, you needed treatment for blisters on your fingers because of adjusting the lens and on your thumb for pushing the trigger. 

We sure have heard of the Lubitel, but this article was about cameras we currently stock and the Lubitel is no longer in production.

Great camera though...


It's interesting that such a high percentage are instant-picture cameras. Unfortunately, none of them is a particularly good camera, or suited for "serious" photography.

Hey William,

The Leica M-D is a pretty serious camera in my book, and when used within their inherent 'limitations, each of these cameras are capable of taking 'serious' photographs.

Remember - the camera doesn't make the photographer, but a true photographer can take a photograph with an oatmeal container with a pinhole aperture if he/she understands the limitations and capabilities of the capture device.

Thanks for tuning in and have a swell holiday season!


Well said and thank you Mr. Weitz!  Too many are hung up on the latest, greatest equipment.  There are historical photos that are seriously amazing, made with little more than pinholes.  But I do love the new gadgets!

Hey Jeff -

Between me and you I also love the new gadgets but let's keep this between us... thanks...



The AVANGARD spy camera must have additional skins because anyone who sees the ad for it, will know it is a CAMERA. Not only must it offer skins, but they must not be shown in advertising and / or they must provide a way for the user to make their own skin in order to hide that it is a camera.

El, you missed the point.

The AVANGARD spy camera is actually a pile of skins disguised as a camera.

These skins have natural predators and the only way they can survive is by disguising themselves as a camera.

It's called reverse psychology in the skin business.


Thanks for looking on the lighthearted side of photography. With so many people taking themselves so seriously, we need a little levity. I love articles like this.

And I love writing them Willy... let's do this again next year at this time... OK?


I have a Lytro Illum camera. You can create short videos from a single still that ranges through the entire ocusing spectrum for that picture.

For instance, I took a picture of the hood ornament of a vintage car that had vintage newspapers on the windshield. By using the Lytro software, I could process the picutre inot a short video where first the hood ornament was in focus, then the newspaper was in focus and finally, the whole scene was in focus.

Thank you Gary - Since I do in fact photograph old cars I will definately keep this handy nugget of knowledge in mind.

And you can take 3D photos which are viewable via two different 3D modes. The glasses can be had for ten cents each which means you can afford to print 3D images and send them out with the glasses.


And why you are blocking me from posting a comment? Waw very impressing!

Very bad article. Why the Leica M-D is there? What's that spy smile hidden camera is doing on your top list? Come on BH, this is not your usual way to write about articles..


Sorry I/we let you down M.

The topic of this article is subjective, which means my thoughts and yours (not to mention other readers) may not concur?

So which cameras would you have chosen?

I'd be curious to know which cameras you would have included.

And thanks for the feedback.

- AW

I like BOTH the Leica and the spy camera. Very glad they were included. But that is only my opinion and I don't berate you for having a different one, unless it is someone you have just voted into the presidency - then I complain loudly!

If you are letting politics onto this site please remove me from your e-mail

This forum is about cameras - not politics.

We have enough politics everywhere we look.

This site is pure escapism...

Have a swell day!