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!

A Simple DIY Slidecam Mount

DIY slidecam with wood and PVC

RT recently wrote in to tell me about a few of his DIY camera mounts.  One that was quite impressive was this DIY slidecam rig for video shots.  It’s made out of PVC pipe metal rods and wood blocks as shown above.  You can find further details in the linked article.

Wood and Pipe are fairly easy to procure, but another element you’ll need for this rig is a tripod head. This “Fluid Drag” model from Amazon looks quite good, but the $80+ price tag may be a bit much for DIYers.  Another possible option would be to instead disassemble this $22 tripod and use the tripod head for this slider.  Hopefully, another use could be found for the legs.

If you’re wondering what kind of results can be had with a slidecam rig, or how these kind of shots are made, check out the videos after the “read more.”  I was really impressed. Continue reading