The Photography Accessory That Could Get You Killed

The Photography Accessory That Could Get You Killed

I've seen photography products that have made me laugh at their silliness. I've seen products that have made me roll my eyes at their absurdity. But it wasn't until I saw this product that I audibly cursed at my computer screen in sheer disbelief.

It's not exactly a secret that guns are a major problem; the United States is in the midst of a major crisis involving racial divides, guns, and police relations. In particular, questionably justified police shootings have been making national and world headlines for quite some time. 

That's why when I saw this accessory for the Olympus Air, I was flabbergasted. The designers have produced 3D-printing plans for a grip that makes the system essentially look like a snubnose revolver. Anyone can purchase these and quickly turn their camera into a gun look-alike. The designers are clearly aware of the implication, also showing off a tactical sight and a holster for the system. They even won an award for it.

To say I'm appalled is an understatement. What is the point of this? Is it the "cool" factor? The designers claim it is ideal for the Air system (which lacks a screen) because it obviates the need for a viewfinder or screen. Just point and shoot (pun sadly intended). It doesn't take much imagination to realize that if you're taking a picture of a person with this accessory, it looks very much like you're pointing a gun at their face.

Of course, gun culture in Japan (where this was designed) is vastly different from what it is in the U.S. Nonetheless, any device that possibly indistinguishably mimics a life-ending weapon both in its looks and its usage seems to only be asking for serious consequences. Furthermore, the prints can be purchased by anyone, anywhere. Your political views aside, does an accessory whose intended use will almost surely create serious misunderstandings that can possibly lead to life-threatening consequences have any place in photography? Let us know in the comments. 

Lead image by Shota Fukujima, used under Creative Commons.

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10 Comments

Jamie MacDonald's picture

I love my Olympus AIR A01...And I am a gun owner....And I think this is the WORST idea for an accessory yet.

Original? Yeah kinda cool in that regards....But to take it out of the house is an invitation for disaster!

I thought the same thing when I first saw this. My first thought was "how long before someone gets killed?"

That has to be one the most stupidest idea I've seen in a while. And to think that products need multiple people to agree on it before it gets produced is even weirder. Multiple people thought this was a good idea?

As stupid as it was to actually create this product, stupider people will buy it.

Charles Gaudreault's picture

try going thrue customs at the airport :P

Barry Chapman's picture

Well, we had someone saying street photographers should carry a gun for protection. I guess you'd need a double holster to protect yourself while using one of these.

Max Leitner's picture

dont draw the wrong one and shoot.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Idiotic beyond belief. From the country that (briefly) had a sports drink called "Mucus".

Clearly, Darwin is right again.

John Ruth's picture

Some mental pigmy is going to get killed with this in their hands. His heirs might have good footage for the lawsuit. Never underestimate the stupidity of mankind.