April’s 1st (aka April’s fools) is upon us, and it is important to remember that you should be specific of anything funny, suspicious, or generally too weird to be true. It’s also worth remembering that We are now living in a global world, and while your date may be March 31st, in other places, it can already be April 1st (hello, Australia). Likewise, While your clock may already say April 2nd, in some parts of the world, it’s still April 1st. So Take anything you hear today with a grain of salt.
Now, without further ado, here are the best photographers April’s fools pranks readers and brands sent us. If we missed any post-worthy jokes, let us know in the comments.
Pranks are fun as long as everyone are laughing. I have a soft spot in my heart for a well-executed prank. But there are two terms for this to happen:
- No one is getting hurt – pranks that cause real damage may be fun for some, but if you are one of the few who took the bait, the sting may last for a long while
- There is a grain of truth or at least the possibility of it, so its easy to belive. Of course, on a closer look, you would see that something is off, but it’s enough to have you for a few seconds to get a smile on your face.
With that, let me move to the first prank:
Sony A7L V for left-handed shooters | Kamera Express
The team over at the Dutch camera store Kamera Express came up with a full unboxing video of a new Sony camera targeting left-handed photographers. The team went through the effort of not only producing an unboxing video, along with a real model of a left-handed camera, but they also created a “buy now” page for it.
On the page, Kamea Express says that (google translate)
The Sony A7L V has the features and specifications of the high-end A7R V, but with all controls on the left side. That’s what makes the new Sony A7L V so special. Curious about the camera”.
The point where the A7L V distinguishes itself from the rest. Left-handed image makers will recognize it; you can never control your camera with your favorite hand. That is now in the past. The A7L V has all the familiar control buttons, but on the other side of the camera so that you can easily operate it with the left.”
So, if you are left-handed, this may be a piece of exciting news for you.
Why it’s a good
Well, firstly, the team says its a prank, right there on the first line of the page, so really, the risk and disappointment are kept to a minimum: “UPDATE | The first camera for left-handers, the Sony A7L V, would be exclusively for sale at Kamera Express. We are not afraid of a joke here. This left-handed system camera is an April 1 joke from Kamera Express in collaboration with Sony.”
But it’s also fun because, hey, who wouldn’t want a left-handed camera? I know of at least 10% of the population who would be happy.
Lastly, it’s good, because we did have a real left-handed camera for a while. Digital Camera World points out that in 1987, Samurai came into the market as a half-frame SLR-like camera. Not only that, “The Samurai line was a huge success, going on to sell some 600,000 units in its lifetime, and in 1989 the Samurai Z and Z-L (for left-handers) was released. The southpaw version operates identically to its standard sibling, though all the controls are mirrored for left-handed operation”
Potato Camera | Kolari Vision
Gotta say, this is probably one of the most elaborate pranks I saw this year. And the team Kolari team actually produced a real, life-size working potato camera.
The Kolary team goes through a process, which is pretty similar to a full real product development. Including a body, a film holder, and even the lens is a crisp potato pinhole
Why it’s a good
Well, firstly, it’s a great video to watch. It is fun and entertaining, and there is certainly no one who can be offended by building a potato camera.
But, aside from the entertaining value, there is actually quite a bit to learn from the process. from creating a pinhole camera body, to light-sealing a camera, all the way to creating a potato-base chrome plate.
Solar Light Catcher System | SmallRig
This is one of those pranks that I just wish were real. In this prank, SmallRig introduced the “𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐜 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝, 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭-𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐥 𝐒𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐦” – wit the first product being a “SOLAR Light Catcher” – a conceptual product, that according to its description provides a “Clean, green, recyclable, and reproducible UPS” (uninterruptible power supply) solution is perfect for your camera shooting.”
This SOLAR Light Catcher is born for providing stable increased battery life for its Ultra-thin Solar Flag with the high-efficiency photoelectric conversion which can reach 23.5%. Storage capacity up to 4400mAh, to keep the camera shooting for 1 ~ 2.5 hours while charging. Supports USB-C, DC-8 /12V interface synchronization of the power supply, to achieve interval shooting and unlimited battery life.
Why it’s a good
Using the matte box flags to collect light and energy is just too good to be true, I suspect it is, indeed, not true. But it is a great reminder that we should use clean energy when possible.
The Worlds [sic] First Modern TLR | OfficialRollei
A few days ago, a Twitter account that goes by OfficialRollei teased a comeback of the iconic camera brand. The story was picked up by DCW, PetaPixel, and about half of Twitter. Shortly after the account was remanded to RolleiFans and issued an apology
First off, I would like to apologize to everyone who got their hopes up for this new revolutionary camera, that was never my intention. This project originally started as a study on the world of product pirating and the spread of misinformation on the internet for my schools pirating course. The intention was to see how far the product could grow only for it to be revealed that the whole thing was not real to begin with. Obviously, I knew there was going to be some disappointed people, but overall it seemed like a harmless project. I never expected the project to grow into what it did. I thought about starting over with a fake name. In fact I had even started recreating the page with a fake name, but then this project made me realize there is a large community of photographers who would really look forward to something like this actually existing. Thanks to this realization from here on out I will be collecting ideas and information from the community, so that maybe we can make this product a reality. I think if enough of us can come together we could really create something truly beautiful. I hope you will continue to join me on this journey.
Why it’s a
good bad prank
To start with, it was not on-date with April 1st, so alarms and red flags did not go off. Secondly, this is quite lazy work. It is one thing to announce a “new” product behind your brand (as SmallRig, Aputure, and Sony has done really well. Just scroll this page.). But it is a completely different thing to ride on another brand for a prank. Nothing is stopping anyone from making a new Canon camera, a new Google camera, or a new decide by a known brand and ride on that brand familiarity for views. It is much harder to come up with something that is either so original that will create its own traction or will be on brand.
Aputure 1c candle | Aputure
With NAB coming, everyone is expecting Aputure to break the floor again. So it’s no wonder they are announcing a new “light”. And going back to the origins with a candle. No pun was left unturned from “built-in fire effect” through “who needs to adjust color when you are dealing with the original source”, to “best practical”. I am not sure if aputure considered the knockoffs they would have to fight at every Walmart though.
Why it’s a good
Come on, making a new candlelight? The name it self is iconic. And if nothing more, you can probably measure the output by, well, candle light.
The Rota-Z Adapter for vertical video | Mors Media
Back in the day, it was cool to make fun of vertical video. But the world turned faster than you can say, “rotate your phone’, with even giants like Arri, joining the vertical video revolution. But this “adapter” from Mors Media probably trumps us all.
There are vertical video adapters out there. The Atoll is one example that makes rotating your camera easy. But Mors Media is pitching a new and improved optical-path-adapter that uses two million DLP mirrors (the same ones found in a projector), to transpose the light coming into the sensor. This invention “makes it possible” to shoot vertical videos on horizontal cameras.
Keep your eyes open, your brain on full power, and remember, not everything is as it seems today. Hit us in the comments with more great pranks.
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