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Family Tech: You may need to rethink your definition of a camera

You may need to rethink your definition of a camera 

An iPhone 6s and a Kodak Brownie from 1900 work essentially the same way. You hold it up, compose your shot and push a button to take a photo.

One could argue the 21st century has been a revolution for photography. Most of us have a phone in our pockets. There is no longer a cost-per-shot, where every time we click a picture there is an associated cost of film, developing and printing. We now can take thousands of shots on a vacation, where before we may have limited ourselves to 36 -- both a blessing and a curse.

And how we share our photos has changed. We no longer have photo albums or slideshows we have to convince people to peruse. We share our photos online. But the camera in our phone is still a point and shoot camera, as was that early Brownie.

Until now.

There is now a type of camera where you do not compose your shot, because it takes a photograph of everything, a complete 360 degrees around you. It gets everything, including you, what’s in front of you, behind you, above you and the ground you are standing on. There is no viewfinder, because your photo is not limited to what you see in the viewfinder.

We bought one a while back. I thought it would be a good way for my wife to take discreet street shots on her trip to Israel. You just hold it above your head, or to the side, and click a button. The device itself looks like a TV remote.

Ours is a Ricoh Theta S, at the time the only one on the market. In the last couple of months others have come on the market, such as the LG Cam for $199. Samsung has also announced one that should ship soon, but there is no pricing for it yet.


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