Photography & Video
When is a Camera not a Camera?

When it’s a Mac Mini? It might look like a film camera, but “the Betty” is a custom camera housing for a Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini Camera Head and an Apple Mac mini. Designed to include all the features film makers coming from the 16mm world want, the camera has just two buttons—on and off, start and stop—everything else is controlled from a 7-inch HDMI touchscreen. Weighing in at just 9.8 lbs, the Betty actually weighs less than most 16mm cameras.

The makers behind the camera, Adam Van Voorhis and Mike Szegedi, have documented their two year build born out of a film maker’s frustration with cameras that increasingly had to be rigged in order to be functional…

I missed the run and gun cinema approach that I could operate efficiently by myself with a 16mm shoulder camera and zoom.

Their next project? A pocket cinema rig.


Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

View more articles by Alasdair Allan