This new digital camera looks just like a Zippo® style lighter, but inside, it conceals the ultimate spy tool, the first officially licensed 007 James Bond digital camera. Made in the UK by Digital Dream, and available in the US exclusively from ThinkGeek.com, this camera can go in your pocket and take cool pics, completely unnoticed. Best of all, this baby is only $100, and will make a great impression with the ladies, after you get their picture of course.
The camera itself is nice and compact, only slightly larger than a Zippo®. There are only two buttons to fool with. The mode button and the shutter button. It has a view finder instead of a video screen, but you can't really be looking at one of those when you pretend to be lighting a cigarette. There is a LCD display on the back to signal when you change modes, and how much disk percentage is left. There is also a green LED light to let you know when it's on. It runs off of a single AAA battery. I've been using it regularly for about 3 weeks, and haven't had to change it yet.
Simply flip open the lid, hold down the mode button for a few seconds, and start snapping away. How do the pics turn out? Well it will completely depend on your conditions. The clearest pictures I got were with optimal lighting, and holding the camera up to my eye to line up the shot. NOTE: All of the images taken by the JB1 are untouched except where noted. So when attempting to be tourist incognito in our fine nation's capital, I was able to snap some cool pics without looking like a tourist, or being burdened with a bulky camera.
That's all well and good Mr. Stinkhead, but I want to take spy shots. I hear what you're saying. You're not always going to have optimal lighting, or the opportunity to hold up the camera and use the view finder. Here's what I recommend. Practice. I took this camera everywhere and practiced, over and over again, the whole whip it out, take a shot, put it away unnoticed for weeks. To the right is the first good spy pic of a hot girl that I got, and my damned finger is partially obstructing the lens. The problem I found was that I didn't keep the camera still enough when taking pictures, and blurred most of my early shots. But after awhile, I got much better at keeping the camera still.
Another aspect of shooting spy pics is the less than perfect lighting conditions. The camera does not have a flash [Ed note: C'mon now, that would so give you away] but the lens has been optimized for fluorescent lighting. There is a mode that utilizes lower light for indoor shots. This pic was taken inside a subway station, and it came out pretty decent.
What about, um, concerts and clubs and what-not? Yeah, you're going to go ahead and try aren't you? You know they'll break your arms if you try and disrespect the ladies... This pic was taken of me and a friend singing You Give Love a Bad Name at a karaoke night. We gave karaoke a bad name let me tell you. The lighting was low, and mostly neon, and you can tell what's going on.
That's not all this cam can do. There is the obligatory movie clip mode for taking up to 30 seconds worth of video. There is also audio record mode that will record 8 minutes of top secret conversations. You can take 150 images at the default 640X480, or switch to 352X288 to fit 310 pics. My favorite mode is James Bond Mode, a surveillance setting where you can leave the camera in once place, and it will take pics at a programmed interval for up to 19 days. It'll automatically shut off in between shots, and not kill your battery either. The adjacent animation here shows my evidence in learning who was stealing my lunch. (This has been optimized for download, and compiled into an animation.) Ooh, something else cool, the instruction manual comes with a business-card shaped CD to pop into a friends computer. You can keep this CD of installation drivers in your wallet, and if you want to share your pics straight from the camera to a friend's PC, you can install it anywhere.
The Best Part
So what you're going for here is the capability to take images like you would with a camera-phone. You always have it with you, it's light, discreet and compact (like those new comfangled tampons) and it's great for cool shots to e-mail your friends. What I loved the most was the attention I'd get when I did show it off a bit. No one had seen such a camera before and every single person I showed it to asked me where to get one. It was easy to keep out of the spot light, but be a little less than smooth, on purpose, and people will come up and ask about it. Bond did it for the chicks. Secret agent my ass.