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instantphoto.eu                 Uleway P81 Kid Instant Camera

 

This is a digital camera/printer combination for thermal paper strips, widely used in supermarket check-out systems, cash machines or petrol stations. The paper is black and white only and comes in cheap rolls. The camera is designed for kids. This one is called Uleway, its model number is P81, it is made in blue and a pink. There are other versions and different names, but the cameras seem to be nearly the same. Different designs with different technical features also exist.

There is little technical information and the manual is short. This is the information I gathered from different sellers:

12 MP resolution, 4608x2592
1080p HD-Video
2,0 inch LCD colour screen
32 GB microSD card to store the images, at least 3000 images
1000 mAh rechageable lithium battery via USB
MP3 Player
Microphone
10 languages

Camera:
XNO CORP, model P10
Focal length 5mm
all images say F3, 1/50s, ISO 153


Features:
:
5 filters
20 cartoon frames
8 spezcal effects
4 Puzzle games


Size: 10 x .5 x 4 cm
Weight: 210gr with new roll of paper
Picture size: ~ 10 x 5.5 cm
Picture area: 8.5 x 4.3


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The box.

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The box unpacked

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What's in the box: camera, USB cable, short instructions booklet, strap, 3 rolls of paper (one I put already in the camera), colour pencils for colouring the prints.


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The front. Tiny lens and printer eject
.

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The back: small LCD screen and control buttons, easy to use.

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Camera on and ready for photo.

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Photo ejeted.

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Paper roll trap open.


The basic handling is very easy. The camera is relatively small and light. The plastic is o.k., rather on the cheap side, not high quality, but robust and fine for kids. Switching the camera on is fine, you press the "On" button for 2 seconds and it lights up. The menu is easy, there is some choice. With 4 buttons and the shutter release button you can access the choices: camera, video, medal (number of photos taken from a roll), playback, games and settings That's it. The screen is small, but clear and sufficient. No way to adjust exposure, not before, not after taking a photo. The photo is immediately printed and the file stored on the memory card. I you want frames, effects or filters, you have to choose them before taking the photo. The sceen shows the result in advance. No way to apply them afterwards.


The printed photos are OK seen the print medium used. I did not expect much and I was positively surprised. There is no focussing, it's rather fixed focus, but it's sharp from less than 10cm to infinity. The files are between 2 and 3 MP, contrast is heavily enhanced and with full resolution the look awful, but seen the resolution of the printer they are more than fine. 10 x 15 cm prints from the files are OK. The camera maker  XNO is into tiny surveillance cameras. The EXIF files are obviously wrong.
All images say F3, 1/50s, ISO 153. This can't be true, pictures are well exposed under all circumstances, even with dim light. There is no flash. This makes sense for a kid's camera, they could hurt their eyes holding a flash near to their eyes.

Putting a roll of paper is very easy, you just drop it into the compartment and guide the end of the strip out of it before closing the lid. A roll of paper gives 50 to 70 prints. At the moment offers are 10€ for 5 rolls. That makes less than 4 cents a photo. You can use thinner cash machine paper, which is less than 10€ for 10 rolls, these give nearly 100 photos which brings the cost down to 1 cent per photo. Rolls have to be 57mm wide (a standard), but not more than 30mm in diameter (a standard as well). There are also rolls with self-adhesive stickers, they are shorter. Often you can buy a lot of 3 ordinary rolls and 2 sticker rolls, still 10€ on offer.

It would be nice to have a "adult" model, with flash, exposure control and no gadgets. It would be a marvellous tool to categorize storing without many words.


And here are some pictures taken with it:

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First photo. View from my atelier over the roofs of Cologne with the cathedral in the background. A rainy winter day. You have to keep the camera steady while printing. If you move it, stripes on the top may occur as on the photo.

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A legend of instant photography.

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Less than 10cm. Note that the fašades to the right at more than 10m are in focus.

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My veranda in winter. Size comparison to an Instax Mini photo.

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You can insert (stupid) frames, ...

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...distort the picture...

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...or use other effects,


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