'Sun & Cloud' Camera Runs on Solar or Hand Crank

Though there have been self-powered flashlights and radios for decades, cameras have lagged behind. The Sun & Cloud camera, made by Japanese designers, is the world's first digital camera that can be charged without plugging into electricity. On a sunny day, this camera uses solar panels to charge. If it's nighttime or a cloudy day, the small hand-crank can charge the battery. As a last resort, the camera can also be charged via USB.

The camera isn't otherwise incredibly advanced; it only has a 3-megapixel sensor. In terms of the environment—and probably image quality, too—it's probably better for someone just to use the camera on their smartphone. You'd avoid the environmental impact of manufacturing a new device, and use just a small amount of the power your phone is already using. But this is a good example of a direction that other cameras (or phones, for that matter) might take, as the power used by devices declines and renewable sources become feasible options.

Image courtesy of Superheadz