Love or Hate That Pretty Little Camera: Bonzart Lit

Before I start, it takes awhile before a come up with a post about a toy camera. To be more 'objective',  I start typing away only after shooting at least 2-3 rolls for film cameras and a couple of a hundred photos or so, for toidejis.

My expectations for this lo-fi camera was set pretty high, with all the good press that it has online. It was pretty, tiny and took 'artsy' pictures.

The Bonart Lit, has 2 timer modes, a burst mode and 5 different color modes. Added to these features are adjustable exposure and white balance. You can even mount it on a tripod and it stores photos on a micro SD card (not included).

Unlike it's other mini digi counterparts, it has a LCD screen. Most importantly this gadget won't burn a hole in your pocket. Before I forget, picture quality can be adjusted from super fine, fine and normal and the resolution could be adjusted from VGA to 1MP to 3M. All of these features for about 45 USD? To good to be true? Maybe...

The first time I took pictures with the Lit, I had buyer's remorse. At 3MP the pictures looked like "a cross breed of a photo and a painting" - I'm not sure if the term for that is 'fringing'. That being said, those photos were not 'lomo-ish' enough for my taste. ("Lomo-ish" to me would be digital photos which looked like they were taken using film/retro cameras).

 At 1MP the camera had less "fringing" but the pics still look "too painted' for me.

At VGA there is minimal fringing but there is still fringing - I could live with that.

(Note: I'm not really sure what the toideji's 'raw' megapixel count is or if there is any in-camera "extrapolation". I was hoping it produced images similar to vistaquest's key chain cameras - it didn't. I started writing this post a week ago and it seems that the "painting" effect that I absolutely detested is growing on me...)

Encountering battery issues didn't help either. It took hours to charge such a small internal battery and the camera died, after about a little over a 100 photos. However, after 3 cycles of charging and shooting, the battery life seems to have improved - enough for me to take all the pics I want without the camera going MIA.

Those were the 2 biggest issues I've had with the camera. Now, for the reasons why I decided to keep it...

This toideji is just so tiny, that I bring it with me anywhere - whether I have big or small bag or whether I don't have a bag at all. Use it as a keychain or bagcharm, turn on the power button and you'll be taking pics in a few seconds. No fumbling with your cellphone (no worries that the phone might get snatched) , no struggling to open your bag.

It's inconspicuous - perfect for ninja shots or street photography (not that I'm really into street photography...).

Due to it's kawaiiness, it's an instant ice breaker or conversation starter.

The square LCD gives you an idea how you're photos are going to look like on IG. The LCD show a cropped photo of the actual image that the camera saves.

At this point, I absolutely loved the Bonzart Lit's form and function but I just wasn't satisfied with the pics it took.

Tinkering with settings, I was able to get the 'right mix' for my lo-fi tastes. Set at VGA and with white balance set at tungsten. The Lit was definitely a keeper.

Granted, toidejis are purchased out of their novelty and cuteness and the lofi or lomo-ish characteristics of their photos. Each has it's own quirkiness to set it apart from the rest. The Lit's strongest selling point is it's mini body with an LCD screen, that doesn't cost as much as a Harinezumi. On the other had, I think the images it produces is an acquired taste - initially I didn't like it but I've grown to love it. Inspite of issues I've had with this pretty little camera, the Bonzart Lit is still a good addition to ones toy camera collection.

more Bonzart Lit photos on my tumblr photo dump

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