Dog snaps photos with heartbeat-triggered Nikon camera

Grizzler the dog may not be Ansel Adams, but he captured some charming photos with a chest-mounted Nikon that takes a picture whenever he's excited.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Grizzler the dog
Grizzler wants to be the Robert Frank of the dog world. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Watch out, cat photographers, you have some competition from the canine world. A black-and-white dog named Grizzler is capturing arty images using a new system from Nikon Asia. Heartography consists of a heartbeat monitor, a camera and a special housing that includes a shutter trigger activated when the dog's heart rate rises.

The proof-of-concept system seems to mainly be a publicity stunt for the Nikon Coolpix L31. The camera and 3D-printed case together are bulky, making the package an unlikely candidate for commercial production. It does give us a set of amusing images showing off all the things that get a dog excited, like people, upset cats and other dogs.

Grizzler the dog's photographic masterpieces (pictures)

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Grizzler won't likely be hailed as a genius photographer. The camera is mounted on his chest, so all the images are taken at about a person's knee level. There are a few surprises in the photo collection. Grizzler seems to be a fan of wild mushrooms, probably because he's excited about the prospect of eating them. He has a couple photos of a van filled with canola oil and Heinz Beans, so he's a bit of a foodie.

Grizzler does have a special touch with animal portraits. His work really captures the angst of a cat faced with a primal enemy and the curiosity of other dogs when meeting another of their kind. These are images human photographers can't easily capture.

This publicity move wouldn't be complete without a cutesy name. Nikon has dubbed the picture-taking pup a "pho-dog-rapher."