Rollei Mini Digi

There is always, at any given time, at least three different cameras on my wish list.  But this one, this one is just a bit different.

Rollei is perhaps most well known for their signature Rolleiflex camera.  The Rolleiflex has a following among photography fans for its ability to capture fantastic portraits, even while being somewhat awkward for novice users.  The Rolleiflex is a TLR, or Twin Lens Reflex, meaning that the viewfinder is connected to a lens separate from the one that the shutter is connected to.  In other words, the photographer is looking through the top lens, while the film is being exposed through the bottom lens.  This, combined with the top-down viewfinder, can cause unwary photographers to take bizarrely framed pictures, sometimes even cutting the subject out completely.
However, the top-down viewfinder is a prized tool among portrait photographers as it can help recalcitrant or nervous subjects to relax; the viewfinder arrangement lets the photographer look at the the subject without the impediment of a camera, allowing for a closer connection and allowing the subject to feel more at home in the setting.  Further, the top-down viewfinder can be used for much more literal from-the-hip shooting, letting the photographer capture candid and natural exposures easily and simply.
Now, at long last, Rollei has made a digital, miniaturized version for the consumer market.

While some of the technical specs. do not seem to live up to other cameras on the market (only 5 megapixels, a 1.1 inch LCD), the unique shooting experience and relatively low price (around $300) should more than make up for what it lacks in the electronics department.
Having said that, I really wish they (Rollei) would put out a full-sized, pro-sumer version of their camera.  And soon.

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