Vintage camera designs are coming back, tapping into photography lovers’ nostalgia for the analog days. The Croz Vanguard from Paper Shoot Camera captures that retro spirit in a uniquely customizable digital form.
In this article, we’ll break down this Indiegogo-funded camera’s standout features, image quality, and creative flexibility. You’ll get an unbiased look at the pros and cons to determine if the Croz Vanguard belongs in your gear bag.
Croz Vanguard Design – Classic Meets Custom
One glance at the classically styled Croz Vanguard models makes it clear this isn’t your average digital camera. The design exudes vintage charm while still feeling fresh.
But Paper Shoot Camera takes it a step further by offering DIY assembly. You piece together the camera components to create a completely personalized device.
We found the craft project enjoyable and accessible. The included instructions break down the build process into clear, illustrated steps.
Once assembled, the Croz Vanguard’s compact body is easy to throw in a jacket pocket. Small touches add to the retro vibe.
“It successfully merges nostalgic style with modern imaging tech.” – Digital Camera Reviews
While casing options accommodate different tastes, the camera components remain consistent.
An SD card slot holds up to a 512GB card to store your photos and videos.
Intuitive Controls and Handling
Given its pared-down retro design, we assumed operating the Croz Vanguard might involve some old-school difficulties. Happily, that’s not the case.
Key settings and shooting modes are changed easily. There’s no fiddling with complex on-screen menus. Turning the camera on, switching to video mode, and snapping a pic all take a single button press.
The button offers a satisfying feel when capturing photos. There are three effect filters: black and white, sepia, and blue.
Ergonomically, the boxy shape sits nicely in the hand. We didn’t feel in danger of dropping the camera when roaming around town.
Shooting Modes and Effects
Beyond the standard color mode and a trio of effect filters accessed via the physical switch, the Croz Vanguard has several additional tricks up its sleeve.
This mode lets you create mesmerizing time-lapse videos. You can watch as events unfold before your eyes in hyper speed when played back.
While automatic operation covers most scenarios, the app unlocks manual exposure, focus, white balance, and more. Useful for experienced photographers who want to fine-tune settings.
Image Quality – Vintage Effects
The Croz Vanguard is equipped with a 16MP CMOS sensor capable of producing pleasing images, especially for a camera of its size and price.
When used in color mode under favorable outdoor lighting, the Croz Vanguard delivers satisfactory shots with accurate colors and fairly good detail. Expect a vintage film-like quality rather than the hyper-realness of premium digital cameras. This aligns with the Croz Vanguard’s nostalgic charm.
Black and White Effect
The built-in black-and-white effect filter succeeds in giving photos an artistic, monochromatic look reminiscent of analog B&W film. While contrast and grain aren’t extreme, they contribute to the overall lo-fi and nostalgic aesthetic.
Low Light Performance
In dim indoor scenarios or night shooting, noise becomes more visible – hardly surprising for a small-sensor camera. Stick to daytime shooting in natural light for best results.
Casual 1080p video clips up to 10 seconds are possible, useful for capturing fleeting moments. Don’t expect advanced controls or pristine quality, but the dreamy retro look has its own appeal.
The Croz Vanguard prioritizes style over top-tier imaging. While technical performance
Who Is the Croz Vanguard For?
We’re confident the Croz Vanguard will delight a certain type of photographer. Here’s who we think will get the most from this camera.
Nostalgia Seekers: Lovers of all things analog and vintage will swoon over the Croz Vanguard’s retro charm. It takes the convenience of digital but wraps it in heritage style.
DIY Enthusiasts: Building your own camera is deeply satisfying. The Croz Vanguard lets all skill levels partake in this creative hobby.
Gift Givers: An extra unique present for the photographer in your life. It shows you put thought into finding a camera that reflects your personality and passions.
Students and Beginners: A fun way to learn the foundations of photography. The automatic operation keeps things simple, while the manual controls offer room to grow.
Travel Photographers: The lightweight body won’t weigh down your backpack or luggage. Discreetly capture candid moments of new destinations.
Limitations to Consider
While versatile for its size and price, the Croz Vanguard has some inherent limitations to factor into your buying decision.
No Optical Zoom
The Croz Vanguard has a fixed lens without optical zoom capabilities. You’ll need to physically move closer or further away from your subject to frame tighter or wider shots. This requires more effort than just zooming in and out but does align with the camera’s pared-down approach.
Limited Battery Life
Battery specifications are not provided, but reviewers mention the battery life is just “okay.” Plan on packing an external charger or backup batteries for extended shooting off the grid. The portable form factor somewhat offsets the average endurance.
No Advanced Capture Options
Don’t expect RAW image capture, 4K video recording, or other higher-end features. The charm of the Croz Vanguard partially lies in its simplicity. Focus on nailing the fundamentals of composition, lighting, and moment capture.
Low Light Limitations
Like any small-sensor point-and-shoot, low-light photography is a challenge without a flash. Stick to outdoor and well-lit indoor scenes for best results. If dim lighting can’t be avoided, use a tripod or external LED light to minimize blur.
While not the most feature-packed camera, the Croz Vanguard shines when used for its intended purpose as a fun, portable shooter. Set proper expectations and play to its creative strengths.
The Bottom Line
The Croz Vanguard delivers where it matters most – imaging performance and creative flexibility. While not a replacement for your smartphone or DSLR, it occupies a happy medium.
Nostalgic style, charming DIY assembly, charmingly lo-fi effects, 1080p video, and pro-level controls … what’s not to like? This Indiegogo darling aims its appeal squarely at photography buffs.