Convergence X: Fake Camcorder Does It All - Except Shoot Video
Flea markets aren't jst a lot of second had stuff. You'll also find lots of strange new products that come from far off lands (I'm trying to be nice here...). I've seen this Nokina camera countless times, usually priced at $30-50. It looks like just another castoff 90s camcorder, but why so cheap?
Looks like Nokina has learned that the cheapest way to make a camcorder is to leave out the camcorder part. This is a 35mm still camera. The fixed-focus lens has a filter thread, an what looks like auto-exposure electronics. You can line up your shot in two ways - neither of which actually work very well. Either use the hokey viewfinder which gives you some vague idea of where the camera is pointing, or fold out the hokey fake side "monitor" to get a misty and vague idea of framing via a mirrored (that's right... the image is backwards) upright finder.
Four AA batteries juice the camera's powered film advance and rewind (a surprise luxury in an oddball unit like this). So when you're buying film don't forget to pick up some batteries... and cassettes - audio cassettes. Yes, there's a built in tape player. A little door pops open on the side where a video cassette would typically go, but it's really a Walkman type mechanism. You can either listen to music via headphones, or built in crummy speaker. So I guess you can use music to soothe your subjects before you snap a pic.
So there you have it. A fake camcorder that is really a somewhat advanced 35mm point and shoot and walkman in one. The viewfinders are both so crummy and misaligned, that maybe they actually DO give you an accurate preview of the rotten photos you're likely to get with this thing. The Nokina has some heft though, so I was curious what sort of image processing power was weighing the thing down. Turns out to be a metal weight inside. Always the sign of a quality product.
So who in the heck is this for? I can only imagine that it's for duping people at flea markets, or duping your family that you splashed out for a new 90s camcorder? The Nokina is too expensive to be a novelty or a toy, and clearly a lot off work went into creating such a bad idea... so who is the market for this?