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Camera Gun Would Let Hunters Get Killer Wildlife Shots 263

Posted by samzenpus
from the humane-hunter dept.
Zothecula writes "Not too long ago, brothers Randy and Michael Gregg were out on a hunting expedition. It was the day after deer season had ended, yet they spied a handsome animal bedded down in the snow. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity, they silently crept up on their quarry, raised their rifle, lined the deer up in the crosshairs ... and then took a picture through the scope with a mobile phone. That photo provided all the proof they needed that they had successfully stalked their prey, without bringing home an illegally-obtained carcass. It also inspired them to create the Kill Shot — a replica hunting rifle, that takes pictures instead of firing bullets." The Kill Shot isn't just for hunters. Think of how great this would be at sporting events or family reunions!
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Camera Gun Would Let Hunters Get Killer Wildlife Shots

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:38PM (#39343641) Homepage Journal

    It's too bad they didn't have these in 1963. It would have been nice to have a close-up of Kennedy's awesome hair.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:41PM (#39343699)

      Yeah. And I suppose we'd have 20 photos, then? All from different angles?

    • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:46PM (#39343809)

      From multiple angles too...

      Seriously even I think this is tasteless and only going to get more so before we are done.

    • by ViperOrel (1286864) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:51PM (#39343891)
      I want a SLR shaped gun to go with my gun shaped SLR... Soon as someone says to take the shot, spectacular confusion ensues :D
    • Too soon, man, too soon.

    • Maybe not in 1963- but I could have sworn I saw one on a TV show back in the early 1990s. Northern Exposure had an entire episode with a former hunter who to please his environmentally conscious girlfriend, had put a sportsman stock on a 35 mm camera to go bear hunting with.

      • by squidflakes (905524) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:11PM (#39344173) Homepage

        Yep, those have been readily available for quite a while. Wild-life photographers like the stock holders because they make working with a very long lens a much simpler affair. They also help with providing a more stable base so you get less blur and thus can use a slower shutter speed at very long focal distances.

        • Me, I like tripods. Never have seen anyone put a long lens on a gun stock. Unless you had a smallish lens, the gunstock would be overwhelmed by the lens. If you've got a smallish lens, then I'd just handhold it like I'm supposed to.

          If you were going to put the gunstock on a bipod or rest, then you might as well use a tripod.

          • by flyneye (84093)

            You could do it, but you'd have to use fast film or a digital action setting on a camera that doesn't have to think for 3 seconds before deciding to trigger a shutter.
            I swear cheap cameras run on Windows95 w/ 16 mb ram...
            I'm with you though a long lens on a tripod w/ a cable release.

      • by polymeris (902231)

        The Zenit/Tair Photosniper [wikia.com] was relatively common in the 90s around here. Mostly because people like its looks, I think.

        • by PaulBu (473180)

          These were quite popular in Soviet Union back when I was growing up (80s), and the name for the hobby of photographing wildlife was actually (fotookhota), literally "photo hunting"...

          Paul B.

      • by Deadstick (535032)

        Gunstock mounts are quite common. They used to look like a real rifle stock, carved from wood with a tripod fitting at the front to hold the camera, and a cable release fitting connected to the trigger. They form a useful compromise between the freedom of action of a camera alone, and the steadiness of a tripod.

        I had one of those in the Sixties; since then they've been built to look much less like a gun, for obvious reasons. Lots of designs to be found on Google.

        But who needs this gadget to get a picture o

      • by flyneye (84093)

        Hollywood shouldn't encourage the enviro-mentally challenged to feed the bears. Activists give them diarrhea...

  • Problematic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DakotaSmith (937647) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:40PM (#39343687) Homepage
    I think a replica rifle is liable to cause some consternation at your average sporting event.
  • And just think... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NecroPuppy (222648) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:43PM (#39343741) Homepage

    Police will be called out to those events because "there's someone with a gun!" Family reunion becomes a family bloodbath.

    • by gknoy (899301)

      Exactly. While it's moderately cool to think, "oh hey rifle for pictures", someone didn't think through the ramifications.

      Why does it need a barrel? Attach the optics to the scope, and have just the stock and the scope. That's a lot more clear that it's not a hunting weapon.

    • You know, some family reunions are pretty cool about guns.
    • by Kanasta (70274)

      Police are already frequently called out because "there's someone with a camera!" in public "acting suspicious" (taking photos). Do we really want to change those cameras to look like a rifle now?

  • by Resol (950137) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:44PM (#39343763)
    My aunt and uncle are avid bird watchers in Canada. My uncle built up a spotting scope on a rifle stock that he uses up there all the time. He brought it down here to SoCal and was out at the edge of a lagoon looking at shore birds when all of a sudden a number of police cars showed up, lights flashing, and the officers jumped out and drew their service pistols. Seems a number of folks had reported a lunatic (I'm not dismissing that assessment) with a gun out in the lagoon. Luckily they didn't shoot my uncle, but instead had a bit of a chuckle about the whole thing with the ultimate suggestion that his selection of bird watching paraphernalia could be better ;-) Relatives!
    • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:59PM (#39344001)

      Sounds more like evidence that the US needs to sit down, shut up, and take a chill pill. Just mellow out.

      • by sjames (1099)

        If only I had mod points! YES. We are well past needing to chill out and stop responding to every sneeze with a paramilitary assault unit.

        Note to cops everywhere. NO, it doesn't make you look badass, it make you look like armed and dangerous lunatics who need to grow up.

        • by bandy (99800)

          If only I had mod points! YES. We are well past needing to chill out and stop responding to every sneeze with a paramilitary assault unit.

          What, you want the paramilitary assault units that you can find in every police department of size to just sit around and twiddle their thumbs, waiting for the real emergency?

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        Sounds more like evidence that the US needs to sit down, shut up, and take a chill pill. Just mellow out.

        His story was about California, not the US.

        I'm only partly joking: California is insanely paranoid about guns, far more than most parts of the US.

        • by myth24601 (893486)

          I think it may be bad everywhere. A college campus in NC got locked down because someone saw a man walking with an umbrella slung over his shoulder and reported a "man with an assault rifle" to police. Buildings evacuated and dozens of officers from who knows where went on a man hunt.

          http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10387437/ [wral.com]

      • by tomhath (637240)
        Where I live (rural Appalachia) it's quite common to see a person walking around with a gun whether it's hunting season or not (although offhand I can't think of any time during the year when it isn't open season on something, woodchucks if nothing else). Many times I've stopped to chat with the person even if I don't know him.
    • Those things are old hat. Here's one that was in the news recently: http://www.petapixel.com/2011/10/17/the-leica-gun-for-wildlife-and-sports-photography/ [petapixel.com] but virtually all the major camera and accessory makers have done something similar at one time or another.

  • by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:46PM (#39343791)
    Given the current political climate, this is a good idea gone incredibly wrong. If you come too close to law enforcement with something resembling a rifle, be prepared to be in a very sticky situation. These days even "toy" guns can get you in a ton of trouble. Cops' trigger fingers seem even itchier than ever.
    • by mvar (1386987)

      - Excuse me Officer, can i take a photo of you in your car?

      /smiles while preparing the rifle

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      I understand cops trying to ban cameras, but then you can claim it's a gun. There's a damn explicit line in the Constitution about them.

      Oh wait, does that damn piece of paper still count?

  • by lemur3 (997863) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:48PM (#39343831)

    http://www.cryptomuseum.com/covert/sniper/index.htm [cryptomuseum.com]

    Hooray for the russians!!

    The Photo Sniper was initially made for the Russian market. The text on the camera body, on the pistol grip and on the container was in Russian. ÐÐzÐÐz ÐÐÐÐ(TM)ÐYÐÐ means FOTO SNAIPER (Photo Sniper). The container was usually painted in the typical Russian grey hammerite colour.

    • by billlava (1270394)

      The Photo Sniper was initially made for the Russian market. The text on the camera body, on the pistol grip and on the container was in Russian. ÐÐzÐÐz ÐÐÐÐ(TM)ÐYÐÐ means FOTO SNAIPER (Photo Sniper). The container was usually painted in the typical Russian grey hammerite colour.

      Does Slashdot STILL not properly render unicode text? I recognize those characters as being Russian characters in UTF-8 being rendered as Latin-1. Shame on Slashdot! ?

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        Does Slashdot STILL not properly render unicode text? I recognize those characters as being Russian characters in UTF-8 being rendered as Latin-1. Shame on Slashdot! ?

        Well, to be fair, this is Slashdot, a US based and US centric website.

        Not a lot of call for needing to print Russian or other foreign characters around here....

        • by gknoy (899301)

          Yes, but on a site that claims to be for nerds, you'd think that the pursuit of technical excellence in rendering text might be something people cared about -- after all, not all nerds are US nerds.

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          well, slashdot doesn't like basic typographic symbols either. at least i can use html entities for endash and emdash, but it will strip out a proper ellipsis, even as an html entity.

    • by RDW (41497)

      The Photosniper was my first thought. Though it's often thought of as a 'KGB' camera, they were made mostly for the civilian market, particularly (like the modern equivalent) for wildlife shots. They were exported to western Europe, and I remember seeing them in the catalogues of mainstream UK camera dealers in the 80s. Apparently they're surprisingly practical, despite the heavy lens and Zenit SLR:

      http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/tobiko/fotosniper.html [fu-berlin.de]

      Camera geeks might want to check out the very first version

  • I'll bet that the brothers did not consider this for anything other than for the game hunter, where it would not be out of place. Any other situation and I'd guess they'd say "uh, why not just use a regular camera?"

  • Much longer season. Problem solved!

    In CA there is such a hunter shortage I can get 6 tags a year. (2 early season primitive, 2 rifle, 2 late season primitive.)

  • Imagine getting a photo of a politician with this camera: http://www.novacon.com.br/odditycameras/mamiyapc.htm [novacon.com.br] Or going to a (US) National Park with one of these: http://fedka.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=610&osCsid=726706c7db885cd7ea53125689e0e62e [fedka.com]
  • Needs to be painted bright, NERF yellow and orange to have at least a chance of not getting shot at by a trigger happy cop. Why does it even need a barrel if it's not shooting a bullet? I can understand the stock, trigger and scope part.

  • Wildlife photography [bbc.co.uk] is not a new thing, but this is a shitty tool for it.

  • and they don't taste as good either.
    • by Surt (22457)

      There are cake makers who can print your digital images as frosting. Tasty!

  • by Tynin (634655) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:00PM (#39344011)
    As a kid, I would go on hunting trips with my dad, almost every summer. During one of our trips, I was maybe 8, I asked him if they made such a camera, and he thought nothing of it, said no they didn't, and why bother since you can just get a real camera. He then quip that whenever he would carry just a camera he would see more wildlife then when carrying a rifle. It never dawned on me later in life (actually, I had forgotten the event until just reading this article) that it might actually have a market.

    Now, take it to the next level. Have these camera gun's all get wifi and can do video (not just freeze frame pictures), and all connect to a central server. Then as "shots" occur, the server has them time stamped, and can do inspection on the images to see where the shot would have landed, and if it would have counted as a kill shot. Then just have the handle of the gun shake if it registers that you have been killed. Afterwards the server could take the feeds from the camera's and give a kill shot run through, perhaps using some video from some of the players who didn't have shaky hands or whatever heuristics you wanted to make... and ta da! You now have The Worlds Most Expensive Laser Tag game with extra video goodness!
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > Now, take it to the next level. Have these camera gun's all get wifi and can do video (not just freeze frame pictures), and all connect to a central server. Then as "shots" occur, the server has them time stamped, and can do inspection on the images to see where the shot would have landed, and if it would have counted as a kill shot.

      I think I saw that ride at Disneyland.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:06PM (#39344099)
    Part of the fun of hunting is physics in action. You have a possibly moving prey X meters away. You need to know the wind, hold the gun steady, lead the prey, and know the drop of a bullet. If you just take a picture, that could be a complete miss from bullet drop. If you just take a picture, you could have missed with a bullet because the prey was moving.

    Regulated hunting is good because it keeps the animals from overtaking the environment and being pests as most of the natural predators are gone.
    • Part of the fun of hunting is physics in action. You have a possibly moving prey X meters away. You need to know the wind, hold the gun steady, lead the prey, and know the drop of a bullet. If you just take a picture, that could be a complete miss from bullet drop. If you just take a picture, you could have missed with a bullet because the prey was moving.

      So it sounds like what is needed is a more sophisitcated instrument that will only capture a well framed photo of the animal if you aim your shot appropriately, according to the measured physical and environmental factors that would guide a well-aimed bullet.

      • by tomhath (637240)

        Nah, GP is right. Unless you restrict the camera to a single picture it's too easy to cheat and take a second one if the first shows the crosshairs on the deer's butt. Plus gauging the time of flight versus the target's movement would be very difficult to capture with a picture.

        And pressing a shutter button is nothing at all like squeezing the trigger of a high powered rifle that will make a very loud scary, blast and recoil when it goes off.

  • Think of how great this would be at sporting events or family reunions!

    And speeches, don't forget those. I'm sure no alarms would go off using it there.

  • ...for hunting the most dangerous game >:)

  • Mod me all to hell but this just seems Un-American (disclaimer: I am not American)
  • I've seen something like this before... Oh yeah, during the vietnam war....

    http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20090129/hi-8-camera-gun/ [coolest-gadgets.com]

  • As cool as it is to have a gun looking camera, you get much more stability out of a camera on a monopod.

    And to prove your hunting skills, you could use shorter and shorter prime lenses, which would force you to get closer to your 'prey.'
    A screen filling head shot with a 30mm would be pretty impressive!
  • ... I could take her out, buy her things and go anywhere with her... but I couldn't get sex. Sounds like "the friend zone gun" to me... you get to do everything except kill and eat the animal.

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @07:24PM (#39345901) Homepage
    Just buy a good DSLR and spend the bulk of your money on a fast long lens. A 300mm f2.8 telephoto lens will cost you a lot, but it's worth it for wildlife photography. Either that or just go to the zoo.

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