The Beautiful Work of the Folks Who Do Camera Customization

“I had no idea what it would lead to,” says Aaron Parke of Camerakote about the first time he attempted to customise his beloved Spotmatic with a new coat of paint. What started as a personal project to spruce up his camera has turned into something that has gotten him a steady stream of clients. He’s not the only one doing this in recent times. I spoke to three customisation experts specialising in giving old cameras a brand new look by overhauling their exterior. The personalisation possibilities are endless once you realise what these specialists are capable of doing to turn your beloved camera into a one-of-a-kind collectable. What’s amazing is that I contacted each of the three independently, but it turns out they’re all quite well connected with one another.

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A Laser Artist Gave My Cameras a Refreshing Look

As photographers, we are immersed in a world of creativity,  expression, and individuality. Our craft is one that we pursue to create something that evokes emotion and thought, insight, and so much more. And as we continue on our journey as artists, because that is what I believe we are, we find that outside of the actual art itself, there is little in the way of individuality and expression when it comes to our equipment. Sure, some of the more adventurous among us may venture into the world of film if we only shoot digital, and some of us may start adapting vintage glass to use on our digital cameras. However, at the end of the day, we are still left with equipment that looks like every other photographer’s gear. But what if you get bored of the same black box with the same familiar lens attached?

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This Canon Demi EE17 Looks Gorgeous in Custom Green Cover

If you’ve ever wondered about personalizing vintage cameras like this Canon Demi EE17, opting for a new custom leather cover could give them a fresh look.

While our favorite vintage cameras are classic beauties as is, we understand how it can be a fun idea to make them extra personal. Reskinning with custom leather covers is a popular way to do this. In some cases, this customization is necessary when the original leather cover has started to deteriorate or peel away. In any case, if you’d like your vintage cameras to have a pop of color to suit your style, we think this customized Canon Demi EE17 may inspire you with some ideas or finally convince you to give it a go.

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In the UK, Fujifilm Will Now Put Lizard Skin on Your X-Series Camera

Fujifilm camera leatherette microsite

If you’re a reputable camera manufacturer, especially one serving a more demanding selection of customers, then you have to have an in-house customization program. Leica has had one for years, called ‘Leica à la carte,’ which would let you customize your camera’s button design, color, and leatherette, among other things. Hasselblad lets you choose how overpimped you’d like your new Lunar or Stellar camera to be. And now it seems that Fujifilm has decided it was about time to offer custom design options for its X-series cameras.

On a new microsite, Fujifilm offers current owners as well as prospective buyers of select X-series models to have their camera equipped with a customized leatherette. There’s a vast selection of different colors and materials, including some with the names of animals in their designation–we assume that ‘Beige Lizard’ and ‘Black Croc’ merely describe the look of the leatherette, and not its actual provenance. However, judging from the price tag at which the customizations are offered, we’re not entirely sure.

Currently, it seems the program is only available in the UK, and if you’d like to get your X-series camera officially pimped by Fujifilm, then you can order a skin of your choice for as little as GBP 129.99–that’s US-$ 217 at current exchange rates. Quite honestly, we don’t think any of the (presumably) synthetic leatherettes look good enough to warrant such a high price tag.

In our humble opinion, you’d be much better off ordering a third party leatherette from eBay and applying it to your camera yourself. Not only does that give you many more (and nicer) options, it’ll also cost you less. And if you absolutely must spend that much money on a new skin for your camera, you can at least get one made from actual crocodile leather. Or better yet, leather from a python that recently devoured a crocodile. Yeah, that sounds very manly, doesn’t it.

Via Photo Rumors

Your Brand New Ricoh GR Can Now Be Dolled Up To Match Your Fashion

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One of the points of the Ricoh GR being designed the way it was is for the low profile look. But Ricoh thinks that your camera should be snazzier. According to Rice High, you’ll be able to customize your camera only in Japan at this point. And from the looks of it, you can doll up the top plate, lens, grip, and the shutter release.

While those in Japan might want to embrace their crazy customized colors more than we might, we still believe that the Ricoh GR is one of the best damned point and shoots that you can get your hands on. So much so that we gave it an Editor’s Choice rating. Check out our review, and then figure out if you might want to dress yours up in time for the upcoming Fall fashion changes.