A review of my first multilens camera, the ActionSampler Flash.
When I first got into Lomography, there were many different cameras I wanted to get my hands on, thus I had a very long (mental) to-buy list. However, multi-lens cameras were not very high on said list. In fact, I pretty much dismissed them due to their bulky appearance, childish and toy-like aesthetics, and the small bug-eyes they had for lens.
Every now and again I would see lovely ActionSample’d shots on the Lomography site but, although I appreciated their charms, it wasn’t enough to persuade me.
I started taking many photos of my (first) baby nephew, and he pretty much became my main daily subject. You wouldn’t believe it but even at just 7 months old at the time, he seems to really enjoy having his picture taken: he would literally stop what he was doing and hold a pose when my cameras pointed at him. He would react to the sound of the shutter and would usually pull a cute face or chuckle. How I wish I could capture those moments… but wait, maybe there is a way! (Bet you saw that coming)
So, I became interested at the prospect of a multi-lens camera and being an impulsive buyer, it was not long until I parted with my money in exchange for a new camera. I opted for the ActionSampler Flash as I wanted the option of shooting at night and indoor shots (and the shiny gunmetal looked pretty cool as well).
I wasn’t expecting it to be compact in size, but I also didn’t expect it to be such a chunky beast! Some comparison shots follow:
I faintly remember seeing the ‘normal’ ActionSampler in the store once, and if memory serves correct, the Flash’s body is overall bigger, and much heavier than the others. It would have been nice if the glossy front continued round to the back but alas, what we are left with is a dull matt-black finish instead.
Unfortunately, I’ve yet to take this camera anywhere remotely fascinating so my pictures are slightly on the dull side (oh, and I’m a pretty crap at taking them as well).
I had lots of fun using this camera and it certainly raised a few eyebrows and smiles. I also managed to snap loads of pictures of my nephew in all his animated glory (regrettably, I don’t have his parents’ permission to upload – sorry!)
The barrage of flashes will not fail to dazzle (and blind) your target and make them feel like super stars, should that be their thing. Unfortunately, this also leads me to the biggest gripe I have about this camera – the length of time it takes to charge up the flash. I understand that there are more bulbs to fire than usual, but the 7-10 second waiting time seems drag on forever. The Diana F+ Flash and Colorsplash Flash both take only about 4 seconds to charge. You can see from some of the pictures that I was impatient or misread the brightness of the red light which resulted in selected flash-less slots.
What I like:
It’s fairly easy and straight forward to use.
Great for ’Don’t Think’ shots as there aren’t any settings to play about with.
Flash works well indoors (bear in mind I was using 100 ISO film)
Light Meter to determine whether the flash is needed or not.
Love the flip & turn flash.
What I don’t like:
Big and slightly heavy.
Dull back (could do with a film window at the very least)
Flash takes a long time to charge. A very long time.
This is a very fun, versatile and easy to use camera aimed not at those who demand the finest detail in every shot, but for those who simply seek to capture moments.
All I want now is for summer to come so I can have more fun and really make the most out of the camera!