Toy cameras aren't just for children There is a thriving art movement built on the out-of-focus, distorted, inaccurately colored photos that come from toy cameras.
Nevertheless, your first reaction to the Bonzart Lit digital camera, which measures less than 3 inches by 2 inches, and is only half an inch thick, will probably be along the lines of, "How cute!"
But the tiny toy can take some very artistic photographs.
For one thing, it has a fuller menu of options than you'd expect from a camera this size. Resolution can be set at up to 2,048 by 1,536 pixels -- the same resolution as an Apple iPad 3 Retina screen. You can also set light metering to measure the center of the picture, the whole scene or a small spot in the middle, just as you would on serious digital single-lens reflex cameras. And you can even set white balance for daylight, cloudy conditions, fluorescent or tungsten light.
You can also adjust exposure, and the camera has a rudimentary filter menu, which can make your photos color, black and white, sepia or negative -- or even in tints of red, green or blue.
That leaves a lot of room for creativity, but it would be a mistake to call the camera sophisticated. It essentially has a pinhole lens, fixed focus and a very slow shutter speed. That means that lots of your photos are going to be a little soft (although it does have a screw mount for a tripod, to help steady the camera). The color is quite muted. And you get a natural vignette effect, a kind of darkening around the edges that draws your eye to the center.
But it is those limitations that can make the images compelling.
Offered in red, black, blue, white and pink, the camera is available online for $40. But you will also need a microSD memory card, which is not included. A 2GB card can be found online for less than $10. ROY FURCHGOTTinteract
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.