Sun & Cloud is a digital camera the features built-in components for generating power with renewable energy, including solar and mechanical power. The camera, priced at $200, could be an excellent learning tool for kids, teaching them just how energy is created and how much energy it takes to run an electronic device. Plus, it takes pictures, which kids love and so is a great reward for the kids to want to learn about the renewable energy aspect of the device.
It is also excellent for any camera enthusiast who is interested in taking photos with odd and sometimes tricky devices. And this is indeed more than just a toy. Capable of taking both videos and stills, the camera has 15 built-in filters for folks who love Instagram-ish apps, and has three shooting modes for portrait, normal and macro.
However, it does cheat a bit. For anyone too lazy to use sunlight or the hand crank, you can charge the device by USB. While we get that this is a nice option for getting energy fast, it kind of defeats the purpose and novelty of having an off-grid camera.
From the makers:
"On top of the camera a solar panel is capable of self-generated electricity power charged automatically. In addition, the camera can also be charged manually with a hand crank via kinetic energy, or through USB charging. So literally the camera can be used where you are! Don't be fooled by just its minimalist and distinctive look of a rectangle box, the Sun & Cloud is capable of creating all kinds of imageries and movies."
At any rate, we do love a camera with built-in renewable energy options, especially one that has powerful functionality so it's (hopefully) not just a junk toy. It's unlikely this will replace your "real" camera or even your cell phone, but it's an interesting option for backup and fun.