Not all cats are bad photographers

Camera project reveals that cats do a lot of staring out windows during the day.

The cat cam doesn't lie. Mr. Whiskers

In September, I, or should I say my cat, was an unknowing participant in a project put together by Nestle Purina PetCare's Friskies brand of cat food. The company doled out 50 little digital cameras that slip onto a cat's collar and then the cameras were set to take a shot once every 15 minutes. The 10 best photos were then uploaded to Flickr at the end of every day. (You can check out the Flickr group and see the results for yourself.)

The project ran for about a week and once it was over, I didn't really hear anything much about it again. Until Thursday. A reporter with the Associated Press put together a story about what cats do during the day based on statistics garnered from the cat focus group. The key stat: 22 percent of the cats' time was spent looking out of windows. (Of course, the percentages listed in the story are, you know, based on a group of 50 cats with only the best, most interesting photos used.)

That's all well and good, but I figured you might be more interested in how the camera performed. It's basically a toy and I wasn't expecting stellar quality. And, well, the results look like they were taken with a toy camera, which if you're into lomography can be pretty cool. Once you've grown tired of seeing the photos your pets shoot, you can always clip the camera to whatever else you want. What's nice is you can set the camera to take shots every minute, 5 minutes, or 15 minutes, and that the camera is rugged enough to take quite a bit of abuse.

The biggest downside is that the memory stores up to only 40 photos at 640x480-pixel resolution. Plus, if you're not fast about offloading the photos and the battery dies, you lose everything.

If you want to run your own focus group, the camera sells for about $50.

About the author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

 

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