GIFs have made a resurgence as of late and while there are smartphone apps to make short clips, Next Thing Co. wants to go one step farther with a GIF camera. Meet the Otto, a hackable, Raspberry Pi-powered camera that takes GIFs natively. It’s a charming little camera that looks like a toy Leica camera and you also record GIFs by popping up the film advance and cranking away at the lever. There is also a shutter button for just taking still images as well.
While the camera might sound a little old school it’s a completely modern take on capturing images. Everything this little snapper takes goes to a Wi-Fi connected smartphone app, which also controls the camera. From the app users can turn up and down the frame rate, chose whether their GIF loops, and add effects by changing modes. These modes can add effects like a distorting Stereo filter, crosshatched Map overlay, or throw on a pair of “deal with it” shades on everyone in the image.
While the built-in effects are substantial, perhaps the best thing about Otto is you can experiment and make their own. Afterwards you can submit them to a “Mode Gallery” for others to try them out.
For even more experimentation, Next Thing Co. has also developed a Arduino-powered “FlashyFlash,” though with a little tinkering photographers could probably connect their professional speed lights and strobes to the camera as well. To show how limitless the Otto is, Next Thing Co. created a GIF where the color saturation is controlled by decibels as a drummer rocks out.
Spec wise the camera isn’t going to wow anyone with its 5MP sensor or 35mm f2 lens. But it is an backside illuminated CMOS sensor, which should help it shoot in the dark, that can record 1080p video at 30fps and capture 2592 x 1944 resolution images. If you want to pick up this GIF shooting image a $199 pledge will net you a Complete Otto camera that will ship this December. Meanwhile $50 more will get you a camera complete with the FlahsyFlash