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This Polaroid camera instantly transmits photos to a digital frame, from anywhere!

Jul 21, 2023

A broken Polaroid has been transformed into a digital camera that instantly beams pics to a photo frame, wherever it is

A YouTuber, designer and tech maker has breathed life back into an old Polaroid by connecting it to a digital photo frame that displays the latest photo you took – no matter where in the world you are. With so much waste being sent to landfill, we love a project that combines photography and recycling – and this is one of the coolest yet.

• These are the best instant cameras including Polaroid, Kodak and Instax

We’re no strangers to photography-related Raspberry Pi inventions. What can be made with Raspberry Pi – a small single-board computer – is pretty limitless, so long as you have an imagination and some knowledge of circuit boards. We’ve seen everything from a Peica (a Raspberry Pi, 3D-printed Leica) to a broken film camera being brought back to life, and one company even made a 16MP thumb-sized camera costing just $25.

Max Van Leeuwen used a broken Polaroid Land Camera that once belonged to his grandfather to create this quirky, instant photo device. Check it out below:

The frame itself is made using 7-color e-paper (the type of screen you get on a Kindle) with a resolution of 600 x 448, so it really does look like a paper-printed photo. It even takes a couple of seconds to develop! There’s no way of saving the images, as once you take the next snap the previous one is gone for good, but there is a magical element in that.

The camera is made using two Raspberry Pi 3A+s, Python (the coding language, not a real python) and “some improvized woodwork” to create the frame. Van Leeuwen shares more in-depth instructions on how he made the device on his blog , so if you happen to have a broken Polaroid camera lying around you could have a go at making one yourself.

In a touching gesture, Van Leeuwen gifted the frame to his grandmother so she can keep up with his activities from the comfort of her home. We love seeing inventive Raspberry Pi creations, and those that have such a sentimental meaning behind them are even better.

Also check out the best film cameras, including a range of classic 35mm cameras that we still love today. And if you're shooting Polaroid, make sure to check what type of instant film you need.

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Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.

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