We are all accustomed to having cameras that are really small but nonetheless very functional at this point. After all, they are present in our cell phones, in small recording devices, in covert CCTV systems, and in a great number of other applications. The technology can be seen and appears to be put to good use. But even so, it is one thing to see and grasp the applied necessity for a tiny practical camera, and it is another to see an actual camera, classic body and all, workably applied in miniature form.
There is something about this later feeling that simply begs to fool your mind into thinking “Toy!” In the instance of Tokina’s adorable and impossibly small Pieni II, though, you would be somewhat incorrect in your assessment.
These goofy-looking cameras include the core capabilities and features of a contemporary tiny mirrorless compact, but they push the concept of small size to a ridiculously extreme level. The cameras, which more or less seem like a toy version of a shooter made by Leica or Fujifilm, have very serious applications if nothing else.
Tokina, a well-known and highly regarded manufacturer of excellent lenses has now announced the debut of its incredibly portable Pieni II digital cameras. As the following video and accompanying photographs demonstrate, they are really little in real life. These cameras are so little that they can fit in the palm of your hand, yet they come with their very own miniature lenses and only have a 1.3-megapixel sensor for still images and video.
The Pieni II versions have a weight of just 18 grammes, and their proportions are as small as 51 millimetres across, 18 millimetres deep, and just 36 millimetres tall. Even when you put in a microSD card and batteries, the tiny cameras only gain a few of grammes in total weight.
There are also cameras with a smaller form factor available. One example is Lucas Lander’s Mini View Camera, which is scarcely larger than an American cent and even captures film images; nonetheless, the Mini View was made as a speciality hobby project by a camera-making enthusiast in Brooklyn, New York City. Lucas Lander lives in New York City. The Peini II is a consumer market model that is now available for online ordering. This ratchets up the excitement a little bit.
The fact that it is being produced on a commercial scale also makes it feel extremely genuine as a tool. The Pieni II is capable of performing standard photo, video, and audio recording functions. Your material may also be saved to a microSD card, which can be inserted into the camera’s dedicated slot exactly as it would be in a compact camera made by Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, or any other manufacturer. It is only capable of storing images in the JPEG format at a resolution of 1280 by 1024 pixels and is unable to take RAW photographs with a high level of detail; nevertheless, it can record AVI video with a resolution of 720 by 480 pixels and 30 frames per second.
The image sensor of the Pieni II is also, surprisingly for something that looks so ridiculous, and fairly useable. The resolution is 1.31 megapixels, and the model is a 1/10 CMOS type. We believe that Tokina might have done a better job in this regard, given that the majority of smartphones, each of which has its own extremely limited sensor space, are nonetheless able to achieve 10 or more megapixels by making use of small micro pixels.
The operation of this little camera is not overly complicated. It just has two buttons: one for turning the power on and off, and another that toggles between video recording, audio recording, and still photo taking. It will display you what mode it is now set to by changing the colour of a rear-facing LED, with the red LED representing photographs, the blue LED representing video, and the purple LED representing audio.
The small camera has a fixed shutter speed of 1/100, a fixed aperture of f/2.8, and a fixed ISO setting of 100. These are the additional performance specifications of the camera. Due to the fact that it can concentrate on subjects that are as close as 0.3 metres away, the camera lens is not adjustable in any manner, although it does produce simple macro images that are passable.
Tokina, with a sunny disposition, reveals that the camera may produce photographs that seem like watercolour paintings. In other words, you shouldn’t put too much stock in the way it will be resolved. Tokina further says that because the lens is positioned somewhat off-centre, it is recommended that subjects be positioned just to the right of the centre of the frame. Despite the fact that several of the images have a blurry pixel effect, we cannot deny that a few of the still photographs it contains have an oddly charming retro aesthetic.
It is possible to charge the Pieni II using a USB connection, and it even comes with its very own little neck strap. When this strap is used to hang the camera around your neck, it will give the appearance that you are wearing a camera-shaped necklace brooch rather than a real gadget. On the back of the camera is a tiny magnet that may be used to attach it to metal surfaces, such as a refrigerator door.
If you’re wondering why Tokina would create and share with the world this adorable little item, the answer is simple: why not? We have, without a doubt, witnessed gadgets that were considerably less worthy of serious consideration being regarded far more seriously than they ought to be.
The Pieni II is offered in the following colour options: mint, peach, orange, and if you want to appear more mature while carrying this beast, grey is your best bet. It can be ordered right now for the relatively affordable price of 4,880 yen, which is equivalent to about $35 USD.