Bigshot might not be the most advanced of digital cameras, but it offers something you won’t get from any Canon, Nikon or Pentax point-and-shoot: an education in the inner workings of digital cameras themselves.
The camera, created by Columbia University professor Shree Nayar, comes in kit form for user assembly. The idea is that as you build it piece by piece, you’ll gain a greater understanding of aspects of the digital photographic process including electromagnetism, optics and mechanics.
The 3MP camera features a flash, 1.4in LCD screen, USB connection and the ability to shoot regular, stereoscopic 3D and panoramic photos through a twistable lens wheel. There’s a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, but if that runs dry when you’re out shooting you needn’t worry: a handcrank can be used to top it up using good old-fashioned elbow grease.
To our knowledge the Bigshot is the first camera of its kind, although analogue hipster favourite Lomography does offer a built-it-yourself film camera in the Konstrucktor.