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
2,0 inch LCD colour screen
32 GB microSD
card to store the images, at least
1000 mAh rechageable lithium battery via USB
XNO CORP, model P10 Focal length 5mm all images say F3, 1/50s, ISO 153
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
The box unpacked
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.
The front. Tiny lens and printer eject.
back: small LCD screen and control
buttons, easy to use.
Camera on and ready for photo.
Paper roll trap open.
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
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.
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:
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.
A legend of instant photography.
Less than 10cm. Note that the fašades to the right at more than 10m are in focus.
My veranda in winter. Size comparison to an Instax Mini photo.