Lumigraphe introduces the camera obscura to the smartphone

The camera obscura was an optical device invented thousands of years ago that eventually led to the creation of the film camera. While many photographers still prefer film cameras to the digital cameras that have replaced them, there’s also a contingent of photography fans out there who like the distinctive look of images created by the camera obscura, including its unique color saturation and soft, dream-like focus.

patent-claimedThe Lumigraphe is an updated version of the camera obscura that was designed to be used with smartphones. The accordion-like device looks very much like early film cameras and creates images that look very much like those created by a camera obscura. The Lumigraphe was designed for outdoor use specifically. The user just has to open the device’s chamber and attach a smartphone to it to take photos. A pared-down, non-collapsible version will cost about $99, while the full-featured, collapsible version will cost about $219. Both will ship in December. The Lumigraphe’s maker is hoping to raise $49,276 through Kickstarter by July 6.

The device offers an imaginative way to use a smartphone’s camera that will likely appeal to a small segment of photography fans.