Ever seen a film camera that shoots GIFs? How about a camera with 16 lenses? Or a camera with a left-handed shutter button? Meet the Fujifilm Rensha Cardia Byu-N 16 – a crazy camera that does all of the above.
Released in 1995, the Fujifilm Rensha Cardia Byu-N 16 is an incredibly unique camera. It boasts 16 lenses, each one 27mm f/9.5, which can fire sequentially to capture 16 consecutive square sub-frames across two 35mm frames (8 per frame).
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The camera was designed and marketed with golfers in mind, as evidenced by the packaging, the golfer logo on the front of the body, the golfer icon on the LCD screen, and the golf ball-shaped shutter button on the left-hand side of the camera.
Yes, the old April Fool's joke about left-handed cameras is rendered redundant by the fact that the Byu-N 16 actually has a left-handed shutter!
This is used to take a single frame; there is a burst shutter button in the traditional position on the right-hand side of the camera, and depressing this will fire each of the 16 lenses one after another to capture motion.
It seems that Fujifilm envisioned this as a way for golfers to capture their swing, but of course you can shoot absolutely anything with the camera – which is exactly what professional photographer Taylor Noel did on his fantastic YouTube channel.
The Byu-N 16 was the successor to the original Fujifilm Rensha Cardia released in 1991, which featured 8 lenses (20mm instead of 27mm, but still f/9.5). Both cameras had fixed focus and a single shutter speed (1/125sec on the original Rensha Cardia, 1/250sec on the Byu-N 16), making them fairly limited in technical terms.
As Noel brilliantly demonstrates, though, it's not about the gear – it's all about the idea. The only limit is your imagination!