Photography

This classic bellows camera recharges with phone cord and spits out Instax film

If it wasn’t for the Micro USB port hidden in the side, the Jollylook Auto could fit right in with a collection of vintage film cameras. Launching on Kickstarter on January 28, the Jollylook Auto is a modern instant film camera disguised as a retro camera with a wood body and folding bellows.

The wood body of the Jollylook Auto is about the size of the box that your smartphone came in, but using old school bellows, the camera unfolds to its full stature to shoot. Continuing to channel vintage cameras, the focus is set using a knob adjusting the position of the lens, extending the lens out on those bellows. A flip-out Fresnel lens viewfinder helps guide the composition. Fujifilm Instax Mini film spits out the back after a turn with a hand crank.

At the front of the camera, a dial swaps through different apertures, from f/16 to f/64, while the camera automatically balances out that selection with shutter speed and a built-in flash, powered by a lithium-ion battery. The lens can slide out of the way to convert to a pinhole camera, while a polarizing filter can flip up over the lens or sit tucked underneath — looking more like a decorative piece when not in use.

Along with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery flash, the camera’s modern features include an electro-mechanical shutter. The camera is capable of snapping double exposures, as well as long exposures with the option for a bulb shutter.

The body is made with a biodegradable laminated wood fiber — but the environmentally savvy should note that Instax Mini film cassettes that come with every pack of ten images are plastic. While there are plenty of Instax Mini cameras on the market, none quite offer the old school aesthetics of the Jollylook Auto and the fold-out design.

The camera comes from a team of designers based in Ukraine — the same team behind the original Jollylook, which was constructed from cardboard and paper and doesn’t require any electronics.

While the manual focus and narrow aperture may be a turn-off for some — and may make the camera tough to work with indoors — the Jollylook Auto is already garnering support on Kickstarter, where the camera is more than 75% of the way to a $20,000 funding goal. If the project is successful, early backers can pick up the camera for $79, with delivery estimated for November.

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