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(Pocket-lint) - Camera technology has come a long way since the early days of the camera obscura.

Manufacturers and inventors have tried and tested a multitude of different camera designs some quirky, some bonkers, some incredibly successful. Over the years, there have been plenty of weird and wonderful cameras in all shapes and sizes. 

From battle ready machine gun cameras to sci-fi designs and bizarre storage mediums, we round up a selection of the strangest, rarest and most usual cameras to be created.

Hannes Grobe [CC BY-SA 4.0]via Wikimedia Commons The most unusual cameras ever made image 2

Apple Quicktake 100

The Apple QuickTake was one of the first and last digital cameras developed by Apple. 


This camera looked more like a projector than the classic camera design and could take 32 photos at a staggering 0.08 MP or eight snaps at 640x480. Originally released in 1994, it was marketed by Apple until 1997 but failed to catch on and was abandoned in that year. 

Morio [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons The most unusual cameras ever made image 3

Sony Digital Mavica

In 1981, Sony launched the Mavica as the world's first electronic still camera. It wasn't a digital camera in the current understanding as its sensor produced an analogue video signal captured on Video Floppy discs. The captured images could then be viewed on a TV. 

Things have come a long way since then. 

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Leica DMR

The Lecia DMR was the world's first hybrid 35mm SLR camera with the option for either digital or analogue photography.

In typical Lecia fashion, it was priced at $6,000 and didn't make much financial sense but was seen by many as the holy grail of the transition between film and digital photography. 

user13867742/ebay.com The most unusual cameras ever made image 5

Leica S1

This Lecia camera was interesting not only for its shape and design, but also for the fact that it offered lens mounts for Nikon, Contax, Canon FD, and Minolta lenses.

The unusual design meant it captured square images using 35mm lenses. 

Don DeBold [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons The most unusual cameras ever made image 6

Rollei 35

The Rollei 35 was a miniature viewfinder camera that was originally introduced to the world in 1966 and was the smallest camera of the time.

Over the years that followed around two million of these cameras were manufactured and the design even continued on until 2015. 

Lytro The most unusual cameras ever made image 7


Lytro is a light-field camera that was originally developed in pocket-sized format and was interesting not only for its unusual shape but because it was capable of refocusing images after being taken.

Later models would also be intriguing, with a fixed aperture it measured resolution in mega rays instead of megapixels and was capable of focussing from 0 mm to infinity. 

George Raymond Lawrence, via Wikimedia Commons The most unusual cameras ever made image 8

George Lawrence's Mammoth Camera

In 1900, George Lawrence built the world's largest camera in order to take a photo of a train and capture all the carriages in one single shot - a ground-breaking panoramic for the time. 

George Lawrence made a name for himself with stunts like this and also took steps in aerial photography innovation that included taking photographs from hot-air balloons and with camera-carrying kites. Another of his famed panoramic images showed the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake with the ruins of San Francisco.

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Light L16

The Light L16 was a quirkily designed camera that used 16 camera modules to capture multiple high-resolution snaps at varying focal lengths, all at once. The idea here was to create a camera that worked as a nice middle ground between a large DSLR for quality and compact camera for portability. 

The captured images were fused together into a 52-megapixel photo which could have its focus edited afterwards and offered "exceptional low-light performance". This one certainly looks like it was inspired by a fly and stands out on our list of unusual cameras. 

westborncam1/ebay The most unusual cameras ever made image 10

Konishoruko (Konica) Rokuoh-Sha Type 89 Machine Gun Japanese WWII Camera

During WWII various battle cameras were built by military forces around the world for training purposes.

One of these cameras was manufactured for the Japanese airforce by Konishoruko, a camera manufacturer who would later go by the name Konica.

These sorts of cameras were mounted to planes in place of real machine guns and helped with testing and training of pilots by confirming kills and evaluating their accuracy. When the pilot pulled the trigger on his weapons, footage was taken of what he was aiming at and the captured film could then be analysed after the plane landed. 

If you like the look of one, it's currently available to purchase from eBay

Ilford The most unusual cameras ever made image 11


This pinhole camera was made from injection moulded ABS, stainless steel and finished with a non-slip coating that made it extremely durable and capable of withstanding both natural elements and rough handling.

In the era of the digital camera, the HARMAN TITAN pinhole camera is keeping one of the oldest forms of photography alive with traditional film capture through a pin-hole device. 

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Impossible I-1 Instant Film Camera

This unusual looking camera is pitched as one of the "most advanced instant cameras ever made". In an era of simple smartphone photography and digital cameras, this camera is designed to allow users to experiment with their photographs and give analogue enthusiasts the ability to snap instant photos with digital precision. 

It's an incredibly unusual looking camera in the digital era, but certainly has plenty of interesting quirks too with Bluetooth connectivity, a smartphone app and more allowing double exposures, light paintings and a multitude of other special features. 

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Lomography LomoKino 35mm Film Camera

A modern take on a retro camera, the Lomography LomoKino 35mm film camera is a classically styled, hand-cranked 35mm motion-picture camera that allows users to capture 144 movie frames on a 36-exposure roll of film.

No doubt a camera with a very niche market appeal, but also a quirky and wonderfully unusual addition to our list. 

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Minox DCC 14.0 Digital Camera

This is a miniaturised version of the classic MINOX camera and is pitched as a true example of first-class German engineering.

With precision mechanics and a high attention to detail, this tiny camera is capable of 14-megapixel snaps with a quality that belies its size. 

2003 - 2018 DxO Labs The most unusual cameras ever made image 14

DxO ONE Digital Camera with Wi-Fi

The DxO ONE digital camera is a weird one as it doesn't work as a camera in its own right, it needs to plug into an Apple iPhone in order to work.

This smartphone add-on captures 20.2MP images through a 32mm equivalent f/1.8 lens. With shutter speeds up to 1/20,000 of a second, a max ISO sensitivity level of 51,200 and a mass of other settings it delivers incredible photographs straight from your phone.

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Avangard Optics Smiling Face Brooch Spy Camera

A pinhole camera built into a smiley face brooch that works as a spy camera and can be pinned to clothing to capture 480p video at 30fps.

It's also capable of capturing still images and recording images on a microSD card. Certainly a weird camera, we doubt many spy cameras are this unsubtle. 

John Nuttall/Flickr.com The most unusual cameras ever made image 18

Konica AiBORG

This unusual looking camera by Konica was originally released in 1991 and quickly became referred to as the Darth Vader camera due to its unusual styling features.

The Konica AiBORG is a 35mm point-and-shoot viewfinder camera with a large and incredibly distinctive design. It's notably one of the first cameras capable of autofocus superzoom. 

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

The perfect gift for the photography enthusiast who already has it all is a box with a DIY camera inside. The Konstruktor F allows people to build their own 35mm from the ground up with all the necessary parts.

The idea here is to give the user a new found appreciation for the intricate mechanics behind the analogue cameras and how they work. Plus there's no doubt something special about using a working DSLR camera you built yourself. 

Ignis [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons The most unusual cameras ever made image 19

Contax AX

This podgy bulky looking 35mm film camera was released by Kyocera in 1996 and boasted a unique autofocus system that worked with manual focus lenses.

This was unusual for the time and made it stand out as a weird and wonderful camera design. 

Hiyotada [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons The most unusual cameras ever made image 21

Olympus Ecru

This unusually designed Olympus camera was part limited run of just 20,000 units.