Experience & Review: Rensha Cardia BYU-N 16

I was super excited to get my hands on this camera. 16 lenses (yes, 16!), spread over two frames. I had been pestering Theo to let me shoot this semi-automatic weapon for some time, and he finally obliged me. Theo had shown me some pictures from this camera a while ago, and it sounded like so much fun to shoot. He told me he found it in a pile of junk for around 100RMB, the equivalent of just over Ten of the Queen’s finest English pounds.

Fuji produced various cameras with the name ‘Rensha Cardia’, and from what I can gather, this was their branding for their panoramic and action cameras. This particular model is the one I’ve found hardest to come across on the Bay of E, and Taobao. It’s got 16, fixed focus 20mm f9.5 lenses, and they all fire at 1/250 of a second, and given our imposed limitation of using C200, this was a bit of a problem (shoot ISO400 and above, or make sure it’s damned sunny!). It has a single, or burst mode, but also the ability to shoot single’s and finish with a burst. This makes it a great camera for story-telling, action and other projects. I feel it’s important to give you an idea of the size of each sub-frame, 9mm x 9mm or 9mm x 7mm (on the center 4 sub-frames), so don’t be expecting high-resolution images when you blow these up.  Honestly, this is such a fun camera to shoot.

I love the idea of being able to capture a scene, or simple actions like opening doors, and scooter armies flying across an intersection. Using this camera really got my brain working. I didn’t have to think of things to shoot, because there are so many ways to use it, they just popped in and out of my head. I’ve given it back now, and I still can’t stop thinking about it (I hope it still thinks of me too). The sound of the burst mode made me feel like a kid with a toy gun, popping off rounds without care for civilian casualties. Ultimately, after running a roll of C200 through this camera, it’s very obvious that you’re going to need a lot of light or faster film. If I were you (or if Theo ever lets me borrow it again), I would like to stick a higher ISO film, with really wide latitude in it, and see what I crazy idea flew into my brain.

Experience & Review:

Rensha Cardia BYU-N 16 + Fuji C200

*China Camera Style is dedicated to giving an honest, open review of all the cameras that are currently sat on your eBay watch list, or in your Taobao cart right now. Each camera is loaded with a roll of Fujifilm c200, rain or shine. It is always shot in one day, by the same nerd. It’s taken to the same lab, scanned with the same scanner and posted onto the site, as is received (via. Email).

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