2D Camera Etched into Wood Shoots HD Video, Selfies

Arts & Culture

Not-A-Camera by artist Olivia Barr is a real camera designed to look like a fake 2D one

Leah Gonzalez Angue
  • 4 september 2014

Olivia Barr, NY-based artist, designer and a member of hacker collective NYC Resistor, has created a fully-functional, slim camera that looks like a wooden fashion accessory.

The product, called Not-A-Camera, looks like a 2D camera etched into wood. It has a hidden lens and microphone, and is capable of shooting HD videos and 3.5 MB JPGs. To create the camera, the artist used an 808 spy camera board shaped like a car key, disassembled the PCB, flattened it and attached extension wires so she could fit it into her design.


The camera is laser cut in solid walnut, with a thickness of only half an inch. A 2D rendition of a typical single-lens reflex camera is etched on the front, while labels and brief instructions are etched on the back. The artist also attached a gunmetal chain to the camera so that users can wear it around their neck like a chic accessory.

According to the artist, she originally created Not-A-Camera for her 101-year-old grandmother, who started taking pictures when she hit her 90’s – Barr wanted to make her a light, and easy-to-use camera.


Barr’s goal in creating such a device is to “bring conceptually driven fashion to tech wearable cameras.” Through her device she has stylishly merged electronics into fashion to give technology a well-designed edge.

At the moment, Not-A-Camera is a working prototype and Barr is currently on New York’s Next Top Makers to hopefully take the product to the next level. The electronic components that she used to make the camera are China-made, but Barr hopes to have the laser-cut wood or acrylic made and assembled in the US. One of the reasons that she wants to be in the Next Top Makers is to explore the feasibility of having her product partially-manufactured in the country.


As she continues to work on improving the design and manufacturability of the parts of Not-A-Camera, Barr is encouraging other artists and designers to work with the unique product. Images and videos on the ongoing project can be found on the dedicated Tumblr site.

Barr is also selling Not-A-Camera for $150 via her Etsy page.

Take a look at the video below of the artist talking about her project.

Olivia Barr // New York’s Next Top Makers

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