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Palm-sized camera has more to offer than meets the eye

By Connie Sceaphierde, grape Japan

For those of us who like to see the world through a viewfinder and a lens, we’re always comparing which sort of camera is better; DSLR, mirrorless, film, polaroids, action cams, phone cameras...the list goes on.

But for those who are new to the snapshot game, all these options can be just a little bit overwhelming.

The general advice is to use what you’ve got, which these days means the camera you’ve got sitting in your pocket right now, aka your smartphone. Whilst this advice is good, plenty of beginners have already become the master of their phone camera and are aching to get their hands on something more specific, yet taking the plunge into technical cameras can still seem a little too much of a jump. That's where compact cameras and action cameras come in.

Small and less intimidating than DSLRs, mirrorless and classic film cameras, compact and action cameras are a great choice for those looking to get started in photography. Though their abilities may seem limited in terms of manual functions, such as focal range and a lack of interchangeable lenses, these limitations can in fact lead to greater creativity and are perfect for the beginner photographer.

Other great features of these smaller cameras is their affordability and availability.

Of course, any quick google search will take you down the road to famous brands such as Sony, Lumix, GoPro and many others. These are great options to choose from, but for those on a tighter budget who don’t mind taking a risk, there are cheaper and lesser known options on the market.

One such camera is this unique colorful compact camera available from Japan’s quirky goods retailer Village Vanguard.


Despite resembling a gachapon toy, this palm-sized camera actually packs quite a punch; with an image sensor of 300,000 pixels and the ability to shoot both pictures and videos. The camera also comes equipped with a digital 4x zoom lens, a rear view LCD monitor, a self-timer function and a tripod hole.

Pair the camera up with a 16GB MicroSD card, and you’ll be able to take up to approximately 53000 images (at 300kb per image) or 260 minutes of video (10MB).

Sure, it may not be considered as professional as a Canon EOS Rebel T6i, but who says it can’t be? In fact, it could even be more professional if you use it as a webcam for important zoom meetings – which is possible by connecting the camera to a PC using the USB slot.

The camera, called Bonzart Lit, is available from Village Vanguard’s online store in two bright quirky colors – fuchsia pink and sky blue.




Bonzart Lit

Price: 5,980 yen (tax included)

Available from: Village Vanguard Online Store

Camera Specifications

Image sensor: 300,000 pixel CMO

Focal length: 50 cm to infinity

LCD monitor: 1.44 inch color TFT

Zoom: Digital 4x zoom

Self-timer: Off, 2 seconds, 10 seconds

Color mode: Normal, black and white, Sepia, Negative, Red, Green, Blue, Vivid

Recording media: microSD card (sold separately) Up to 16GB

EV value: ± 2.0 (0.3EV step)

Language setting: Japanese / English

Still image resolution: 3M (2048 x 1536), 1M (1280 x 1024), VGA (640 x 480)

Video resolution : 640 x 480, 320 x 240

Power supply: Built-in lithium battery

Body size: W66xH43xD20 (mm)

Weight: 33g

Included accessories: Camera body, USB cable, strap

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© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Toy cameras like this can be fun, but I can't imagine it being anybody's main camera if they already have a smartphone. For budding enthusiasts that have a bigger budget, there are cheaper options available on the market these days for mirrorless cameras.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why? 300,000 pixels. Smartphones are better.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You can get such low specs camera at Aliexpress for half of the actual price here...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not bad for the price and performance.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I would buy a gadget like this if it had a viewfinder instead of an LCD display. For catching a quick snapshot, viewfinders are so much better than holding a camera at a distance and focus on a small LCD display. Why did they go away? I never understand that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WilliB, that’s true.

LCD displays are impossible to see under various light conditions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You certainly can still get viewfinder cameras, although admittedly they’re a bit more expensive than this. I wouldn’t buy anything else. Just look around for a few minutes online, you’ll find one. I have an Olympus micro four thirds and a Fujifilm. I think fun cameras like the Bonzart, though, can be a fun way to introduce younger people to cameras and photography generally. You can still do more with a real camera than with a phone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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