Designer working on Holga digital camera

Holga D Digital camera concept
A designer is working on a Holga digital concept camera

An Indian designer has outlined plans for the development of a digital version of a Holga film camera.

Holga cameras are cheap medium format film toy cameras, characterised by their unusual images which include light leaks, blurs, vignetting and so on. They have become extremely popular with followers of retro styled film camera manufacturers such as Lomography.

Discussing the design for the camera on his website, Saikat Biswas says that he is attempting to recreate the delayed gratification you get from shooting film with the Holga 'D' camera. That means that there is no rear screen to check image quality.

In a bid to keep it simple, there are very few features on the camera. It would be fitted with a last generation full frame or 1.5x crop sensor.

Simple design

As the original Holga has very few controls, the same design aesthetic will be brought across to the digital version. On board you'll find two ring dials for ISO and shutter speed control. You'll also be able to switch between 3:2 and square aspect ratio.

Aperture can be changed manually via the lens, where you can place discs with different sized openings depending on the aperture size you require. Biswas states that not only would some aperture rings come with the camera, but it would also be easy to create your own customised discs.

Other features include the ability to select black and white or colour shooting and a removable top panel for converting it from left to right handed design.

Accessories for the Holga D would include a viewfinder, mini flash and a hot-shoe for attaching your own flash units.

Open source platform

Biswas is now hoping to see the Holga D realised as an open-source camera platform, co-developed by like minded enthusiasts and and professionals from related fields.

Speaking on his website, he says that he has received a "huge amount of positive feedback and inquiries about Holga D".

Given the popularity of Lomography and iPhone apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram that recreate typical film effects, we can see the appeal of a digital Holga camera.

For information and to see more mocked-up pictures of the Holga D camera, take a look at the Saikat Biswas website.

We'll be following this story with interest, so stay tuned to TechRadar for more as it develops.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.