Expensive camera

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( Expensive camera.png
Name expensive camera
Appearance expensive camera
Base price 200 zm
Weight 12
Material plastic
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

An expensive camera is a tool. When applied in the direction of a monster that has eyes, it will be blinded and will often turn to flee. Affected monsters will be blinded, permanently if adjacent, or for up to 13 turns, depending on the distance, if they are farther away from you.[1] They will also flee with 75% chance, provided they're no more than 2 squares away from you.[2] Shopkeepers will never flee. The flash will also cause 1d4 damage to gremlins (this will never kill them). Sleeping monsters will be awakened instead, with no further effects.

A cursed camera will blind you half of the time (for 1d25 turns). This is probably only a concern for cameras found in bones piles, as like most other tools cameras are never randomly generated cursed.

Cameras are generated with 30 to 99 charges, and like other tools can be recharged indefinitely.

The expensive camera is one of the items that is completely incapable of doing damage when wielded but instead is lost during an attack; the other such item is the cream pie.

Tourists start with a camera.

As of NetHack 3.6.0, breaking a camera has a 33% chance of releasing "The picture-painting demon", which will be a homunculus 2/3 of the time and an imp the remaining 1/3. The creature so generated will be peaceful unless the camera was cursed[3]. This is a reference to how cameras work in the Discworld series of novels.


  • Cameras are useful against the Riders, as they are the only method that will make them flee from you.
  • If you find a camera before you find a blindfold or towel, it can be useful to blind yourself (apply it at .) in order to use intrinsic telepathy. Since the d25 turns you will be blinded for is ordinarily much less than the 10d20 turns that a yellow light will blind you, it can be useful to blind yourself before one explodes as well.
  • Blinding a monster will negate its fear of Elbereth. Therefore, it is generally not a good idea to use a camera on monsters that respect Elbereth if there is any chance that you may need to use Elbereth before killing the monster. (While a camera will make the monster turn to flee, methods of causing fear other than Elbereth do not completely prevent monsters from attacking you in melee.)
  • In a pinch, you can use a camera to wake up a sleeping pet or other monster. (It won't work on paralyzed monsters, though.) Conversely, avoid using the camera around the monsters you don't want to wake up prematurely, e.g. in barracks.


This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.1.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.