If you've ever thought all cameras look pretty much alike, think again. Manufacturers are coming up with new and unusual ideas in an attempt to breathe some life into the point and shoot camera market.
From a bending gadget that resembles nothing so much as a cute children's toy, to a tiny wearable cube and the return of the instant photo, here are three intriguing new cameras that bring something new and exciting to the world of travel photo and video.
Of all the oddball cameras out there, the Pic has to be right near the top of the list – at least in terms of looks. The bendable, snake-like design makes it easily one of the cutest cameras out there, with the character-model versions, in particular, looking more like a cartoon character than a piece of technology.
The tech specs are nothing too exciting, with just an 8MP sensor, 16GB of storage and an hour of battery life when shooting video, but it's the bendability that gives the Pic its edge. You can wrap it around pretty much anything you like, from your wrist to your ankle, bicycle or skateboard, and take photos or video just by pressing the single button at the bottom.
It's an easy way of getting interesting shots from unusual angles (yes, including selfies), as well as reducing the need for a tripod. Just wrap the Pic around a nearby object and away you go.
You can also use the companion app to take pictures, as well as check battery and storage status. Once you're done, copy the files off to a computer or mobile device with a USB cable, and share them with the world.
The Pic shoots in full HD and is splashproof to deal with a bit of rain. Just don't try attaching it to your air tank when heading out SCUBA diving for the day.
Polaroid practically invented the 'instant camera' concept, and its latest invention is a total throwback to the company's glory days. The basic version of the Snap instant camera doesn't have an LCD screen, flash or Wi-fi, with a relatively small 10MP sensor. What it does have, however, is the ability to print photos straight from the camera in under a minute.
Using a special paper that costs around 50c a sheet, the Snap automatically prints out 3x2” shots in under a minute. The paper has an adhesive backing, so you can stick it to whatever you like, or just hand it out to new-found friends or the local kids.
In a world of selfies and Facebook albums, the Snap is a fun and unusual way to capture your trip memories. It comes in a range of colors, and costs around a hundred bucks.
Check prices on Amazon.
Narrative Clip 2
If you want to keep a record of your travels, but can't be bothered taking the camera out every few minutes, the Narrative Clip 2 will be right up your alley. It's a small cube that comes with a bunch of mounts to attach it to your clothing, hang it around your neck or clip it to your backpack, and it silently records what it sees as you wander around.
You can shoot full HD video, or take 8MP photos every five seconds. In a cool feature for travel, the camera includes GPS and embeds the location of each photo so you know exactly where you took it.
There's 8GB of storage built into the camera, plus 10GB of cloud storage for when the Clip automatically uploads its files. You can also offload your photo and videos via Wi-fi, and alter settings and take photos manually via a smartphone app.
The Clip 2 is available for pre-order and costs $199.