zombie's camera

A few readers have expressed an interest in what kind of equipment I use to take the pictures on this site.

I've created this page to answer that question.

My primary equipment is the StyleCam Blink made by SiPix.

Here's a picture of it:

It may look unimpressive, and that's because it is unimpressive. But much more importantly, it is also unintrusive. In fact, that's why I use it: the SiPix StyleCam Blink is the smallest digital camera ever made. The picture above actually shows it at much larger than life-size

To give you an idea of its real dimensions, here's a picture of it next to a coin; the size of the image in the picture below is the exact size of the camera in real life:

This promotional picture shows just how tiny the StyleCam Blink is on a human scale:

The image at this site shows just how easily a Blink can be hidden in a human hand.

And the Blink is remarkably thin (as seen in this photo) as well, making it the world's smallest digital camera taking into account all three dimensions.

But the question is: why the obsession with smallness? Because, in my line of work, stealth is of primary importance. In some circumstances, I take photographs openly, with the full cognizance of my photographic subjects. In those cases, I use a large, clunky full-size camera. But more often than not I find myself in situations where I need to take pictures surreptitiously. Either I am photographing people without their knowledge, or I am bringing the camera into an event where picture-taking is forbidden, or both. In those cases, I always bring my Blink.

But having a small camera is just the beginning. The reason I need such a small piece of equipment is that I can disguise it in a variety of ways so that it doesn't look like a camera at all.

A good technique is to place the Blink inside a crumpled food wrapper, which I can then carry around in my hand without arousing the slightest suspicion. Here's a good example I used recently, when I hid the Blink inside a discarded candy bar wrapper:

I pressed the shutter button right through the wrapper. The lens was essentially unnoticeable. No one suspected a thing.

Other times, however, a more sophisticated approach might be called for. As I once learned from an old Agatha Christie novel, the best place to hide something is in plain sight. With this principle in mind, the Blink could be worn as a piece of jewelry -- such as in the following example, as a pendant to a necklace:

Or perhaps as an avant-garde camera earring:

In case you're curious: SiPix has discontinued their camera lines, so the StyleCam Blink is no longer available. The old SiPix site can be found here.