A project log for E-paper instant camera

An instant camera where the "film" can be used again and again.

cameronCameron 02/09/2023 at 21:020 Comments

So when I first had the idea for an e-paper polaroid in 2019 I bought a basic SPI e-ink screen (actually a couple because they looked fun) and played around with an RPi and RPi camera to put images on it. It worked, almost too easily.

I was immediately struck by the images, there was definitely some kind of style to them with the low resolution, binary black and white display. I don't know if other people find the style so attractive, but it inspired me to keep going.

So I did a slightly more polished version in a 3d printed case with buttons. I also printed a case for the screen itself. Issues were however is the connections for the e-paper screen were just whatever kind of plastic connector came with it, which was not so great for easily swapping the screen. I had ideas to replace it with potentially a blade connector or maybe pogo pins eventually. The 3d printed case also looked like crap, but it got the idea of a "camera" across. And using an RPi for this was complete overkill, and the issues with safe shutdowns and start-ups on battery power and all that were basically a big distraction.

A very basic solution for the viewfinder.

It might not be the best camera in the world, but as the output is a 300x400 pixel binary display it was already massive overkill.