Easy to Build Open Source Camera

a 3D printed open source cameraThis open source camera combines practicality, simplicity, and ingenuity to make a camera out of readily available parts. In addition, it gives individuals the chance to build their own camera. This encourages experimentation and forces the builder to learn more about the nitty-gritty of photography.

Even though there is not a detailed instruction list, the parts list is complete. It shouldn’t be too hard  to assemble the camera based on the pictures and some common sense. Being open source, maybe someone will contribute a full instruction manual in the future.

open source camera before assemblyThe body is constructed from 3D printed plastic and an adafruit trinket (knockoff arduino) controls the shutter. Actual film (as opposed to a CCD) is used to capture the image. This allows the design to stay simple and effective. The camera is simple and it’s easy to understand how it works. Because of this, it would be easy to experiment with long-exposure or other “exotic” filming techniques.  See our explanation of light graffiti if you need some ideas!

On the other hand, as a result of the simplicity there are two major downsides to this camera:

  • The battery is difficult to access
  • It is difficult to aim the camera

However, these things could easily be improved upon in a future design.

Undoubtedly, the best part of this camera is the fact that it is open source. This opens the door for all kinds of experimentation and new features. Maybe we’ll see a 3D printed tripod or other crazy accessory show up for it soon!

DIY Clamp Light Stand from PVC Pipe

clamp light attached to DIY stand made from PVC

One of the hallmarks of amateur video is poor lighting.  Or so I remember reading somewhere somewhere.  Having produced some pretty crappy videos myself, I’ve been really looking to up their production value (see my main Youtube Channel).  Being pretty cheap, I wanted something inexpensive to help me improve my lighting.  Thus the DIY clamp light stand was born.

After seeing clamp lights (Less than $6.50 on Amazon with Prime) used for another lighting setup (seen below), they seemed like a great solution to try.  I also had some CFL bulbs that I wasn’t using, so why not?*

clamp lights set up on curtain rod

Although I have some shelving Continue reading

DIY Slidecam – More Rigid and Adjustable

DIY slidecam

We’ve featured an early revision of this DIY slidecam here before, but RT at MakeMendMakeDo decided that the original camera slider wasn’t good enough and came up with this improved DIY slidecam mount.

The new slider is slightly taller and wider, and there are two beams on the bottom to give it more rigidity.  Additionally, the tripod mount sits higher above the rails to allow for more adjustment.

Hooks have been added to either side of the slider so that it can be pulled with an elastic band, which acts as a shock absorber.  Finally, rubber bumpers were added to keep the mount in place when filming.  Check out the resulting video after the “read more” link.  Really impressive! Continue reading