Industrial - Bachelors

The Mark 1 Resposable Camera

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The Mark 1 Re-sposable is a product that encapsulates the essence and convenience of a disposable camera whilst being completely reusable as well as taking advantage of the already wasteful disposable camera market.

The Problem

Research Findings

The research conducted highlighted the importance of a focus on the collaboration between different sects of the analog photography community. The dynamics and interactions involved between these individuals are the core to the growth and continuation of the medium as individuals with higher levels of experience take up teaching and guiding rolls acting as the most effective avenues for entry into the medium for new-comers and amateurs. The importance of this community aspect of analog photography cannot be understated as it cements itself as the primary avenue for design intervention.

An analysis of the current issues faced by members of the broader photographic community highlighted the popularity of disposable cameras – Primarily for their ease of use, low cost, aesthetic, portability, and the lack of attachment. These cameras are not being recycled due to the high cost of associated with shipping them back to Hong Kong with many were ending up in landfill.

The importance of community and collaboration surrounding analog photography paired with the issues surrounding the disposable camera market led to the Mark 1 Resposable Camera. A Camera that invites film labs and users to interact on a macro level through the application of a reloadable and resalable design The Mark 1 aims to find use for components within pre-existing disposable cameras that otherwise would have been thrown away whilst simultaneously extending the lifespan of these components via testing and a modular design.

Research Report
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3D printing was used extensively in the development of the Mark 1 Resposable Camera. Each iteration was vital for testing the operation of various components of the Mark 1 including the Shutter mechanism, Frame counter, PCB/Flash mounding, Light seals, canister bays, viewfinder and cover fitment. PLA was the primary material chosen for the ideation phase due to its flexibility of application and availability.

The system

The Mark 1 Resposable Camera is a product that is initially purchased as a Kit in a Bulk by Film labs or photographic processing centres. After purchasing the Kit these Labs and Centres transfer certain components from any of the 5 compatible Disposable Cameras currently on the market to the Mark 1’s shell. Creating a fully functional reusable disposable style camera. The Mark 1 at this point can be loaded with any film the lab currently has in stock and sold. The user will then take 24 to 36 photos depending on the film stock loaded and return the camera to a participating lab to be Developed. The camera can then be tested by the lab and resold if it is in working order. If a component begins to lose effectiveness it can simply be swapped for a replacement. This Camera will act as a new revenue source for participating lab through the sale of film, the sale of return development services and the resale of the camera over multiple cycles.


The QR Code located on the Back of the Mark 1 serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it allows users of the camera to see information regarding the camera itself such as how many use cycles it has been through, general instructions and what film stock is currently loaded inside. The QR Code also allows users to see photos taken via previous users on their camera through a shared social media platform. This discrete and exclusive platform is optional with users selecting if they would like their photos to shared by the film lab to the Mark 1 app. This sharing of images through a single camera is aimed to appeal to the current user market of disposable cameras – individuals that are often sentimental and value the shared experience of analog photography and the aesthetics it provides.

Secondly the Lab can use the QR code to track the camera’s original sale point, internal component ware/replacement windows & revenue generated via each camera. The QR code makes it easy for Labs to upload the scanned photos if the user has elected to share their images whilst also informing the lab of the film within the camera in the case of bulk loading and the reuse of multiple film canisters.

Test Photos


Exploded view

Kentaro Mikami

An obsession would be an understatement for Kent’s absolute love for all things industrial design & photography related. The line where these two expressive mediums meet is a place where Kent finds his mind routinely wandering as he delves into the intricacies of the analog medium.