I love those cute and totally pointless photography-related gifts. But here’s one that may not be completely pointless- and it’s still really cute! Tokina Pieni II is an ultra-compact digital camera. And when I say ultra-compact, I really mean it: it’s about the size of a flash drive. Although it’s a toy camera, it takes photos and videos, so you can use it as décor, a necklace, and as an actual camera.
The Pieni II reminded me of those camera keychains that let you press the shutter, which produces the clicking sound and triggers a tiny “flash.” And yes, of course, I have one of those on my keys. However, it doesn’t shoot photos, and this little toy from Tokina does. Of course, with the teeny tiny 1.3 MP sensor, the specs aren’t impressive. I think my first camera phone shot better photos, as a matter of fact. But hey, it could be a cute gift for a photographer, or the first camera for your child if you’re not comfortable buying them a proper one yet. They can add the included strap and carry it around like a proper camera (although it looks more like a necklace). Alternatively, they can attach it to a fridge since it has a magnet on its back.
Of course, being as tiny and simple, the Pieni II is pretty easy to use. Press and hold the ON/OFF button for about one second to turn it on, three seconds to turn it off, and a short press will take the shot. The MODE button will let you switch between photo, video, and audio modes, with an LED light indicating which mode is on.
Connect your camera to a computer using a USB cable to charge it and download your files. It takes only about 35 minutes to charge it completely. As for the storage, it uses micro SD card (128MB to 2GB) or a micro SDHC card (4GB to 16GB).
Here are the modest specs:
|image sensor||1/10 type CMOS|
|total number of pixels||1.31 million pixels|
|effective pixels||1.31 million pixels|
|shooting distance||Standard about 0.3m to ∞|
|Internal memory||No user usable space|
|external memory||micro SD card (128MB to 2GB),
micro SDHC card (4GB to 16GB)
|file format||Still image: JPEG, video: MJPEG (AVI), audio: MP3|
|Still image size||1280×1024|
|video size||720×480 (30fps)|
|shutter speed||1/100 second|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO 100|
|power supply||Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery|
|Size (width x height x depth)||About 51 x 36 x 18mm|
|weight||Approx. 18g (excluding microSD card and accessories)|
And here are some sample photos:
As I said, this isn’t the camera you’ll take to a photoshoot… Or even to a regular Friday night out. But honestly, I find it to be a really cute gift for everyone who is a sucker for photography knick-knacks like me. Tokina Pieni II is available on Tokina’s website for 4,881 yen (~$34) or 6,580 yen (~$45), depending on whether you want a plain version or the Sanrio Character Toy Camera.