Posted on March 4, 2013
It’s Zumi Week… so what is a Digital Harinezumi?
Update: check out Toy Electro, my new zine featuring my best black and white photos with the Digital Harinezumi!
This week I’ll be diving into the world of Digital Harinezumi, posting pics and tips and whatever else I can find. See them all here.So first off, WTF is a Harinezumi? Digital Harinezumis are lofi toy cameras, see the above video for a quick rundown. They haven’t been manufactured since 2010, but surprisingly you can still buy them from Photojojo. eBay works too…
but before you go reaching for your credit cards, these things aren’t for everyone. I first got my Harinezumi a few years back because I thought a low-tech super saturated camera would be super glitchy and fun….
I hated it. For many years, it sat in drawer gather dust, but with funds being super tight lately, I decided to try pulling it out again and seeing who I dig it now… surprisingly I loved it. So what changed?
First off, I’ve gotten a lot more experience taking shots. I’m standing more still, which is extremely important for any cheap digital camera, but I’m also better at working with the strengths of whatever camera I’m using. On top of that, I’m better at post-processing. 3 years ago, I just assumed you’d get perfect pictures, but I would never use an iPhone or DSLR shot without some light post processing.
I originally thought I’d be going nuts with the over-saturated colors, but it turns out these are awesome black and white shooters. Of course I have a strong preference to black and white anyways, but the lo-fi graininess of these cameras almost resembles the grains in Tri-X film… but blockier.
Finally, the Zumi seems completely invisible from most folks on the street. I’m not saying it’s easier to hide when shooting, but people literally don’t see it as some threatening thing. I’ve been taking iPhone shots for years, and have seen a heightened awareness of people being paranoid anytime they think someone is taking a pic with their cell phone. For whatever reason, I seem to be invisible when shooting with my Harinezumi.
Throughout the rest of the week I’ll be posting street photography, experiments, and videos from Digital Harinezumis. Stay tuned.