eink.cam is a lo-fi digital camera with a tiny energy footprint that makes charming dithered pictures. I like to describe it as a “digital polaroid.”

eInk (or ePaper) is an alternative display technology that uses physical ink particles to produce images. eInk displays are much more power efficient and legible in sunlight in comparison to LCD screens, but suffer from slow refresh times and limited color reproduction. While these limitations will be overcome as the tech develops, they also give it an undeniable charm. The images on eink.cam look futuristic and retro at the same time.

Using an eInk display for photography has made me think about imagemaking in a new way. Since the photos I take with eink.cam remain on the screen even after I turn off the power, I've started to seek out subjects and compositions that would look nicely when displayed on my desk (where I keep the camera when I'm not using it). Color eInk displays are still very slow — each photo takes 30 seconds to fully show up on the screen after I press the shutter. While this can get annoying if I'm trying to catch a particular moment, it also gives me a very satisfying sense of delayed gratification.

I started eink.cam as my Computer Science thesis at Yale, and now continue to develop it as a toy project. The design has gone through numerous iterations, of which you can catch glipses in the Gallery section. Just like the camera, this website is always a work in progress, so check back soon for more sections and documentation ☼

eink.cam is interested in:
  • low tech
  • The Outdoors
  • mementos & widgets
  • solarpunk
  • dithering
  • bespoke software
  • social photography
  • Game Boy Camera
eink.cam is made inbetween:
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Sofia, BG
  • New Haven, CT
eink.cam contains:
  • Pimoroni Inky Impression 5.7"
  • Raspberry Pi Zero
  • Raspberry Pi Camera Module 2
  • 2500mAh Li-Po Battery
eink.cam to-do:
  • New translucent case
  • Add piezo speaker
  • Switch to RPi Cam 3
  • Companion mobile app