Hack a Camera, Win a Nikon

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Several juicy prizes from Nikon are ripe for the plucking. Our friends at MAKE are hosting a Nikon sponsored challenge. Grand prize is an Nikon 1 V3 with three extra lenses, and there are two runner-up prizes which offer the same without the extras. They’re basically asking for your best camera hack. Now the submission process is a one-shot deal (no posting and iterating) which may explain why the contest — which started 4/15 and ends 5/13 — only has two entries. Still, we’d love to see a Hackaday reader waltz in and claim the loot.

Need some examples to get you rolling? Connectivity is a fun topic; try interfacing your camera with something like a Nintendo DS. Everyone needs to make at least one motion rig like this Ikea slider. We can’t stop listing examples without at least one shutter trigger. Here’s a sound activated one to capture things that happen extremely quickly.

If you end up winning make sure to tell us so we can share in your delight.

36 thoughts on “Hack a Camera, Win a Nikon

    1. Make is a mixed bag. The magazine is a good entry point for people who are new to the DIY scene. I’ve participated in a few of their contests and hack sessions and I enjoyed them quite a bit (the shwag was awesome, too- I’ve received about $500 worth of books and kits from them in the last year or so!). The hack sessions really challenged me to learn some new things and flex my maker muscle. The social aspect and interaction with other makers really helped me solve some design problems and get my projects done.
      That said, the blog has gotten pretty lame lately. There are fewer posts and too many of them are just promoting licensed Maker Faires while ignoring other festivals and events. They also changed their comment section so that it now funnels everything through Facebook, so I no longer post there. Some of my favorite contributors left, and the flavor has changed quite a bit. I still tend to check them every day as there’s usually at least one post worth checking out.
      I guess the take away here is that Make is a corporate entity. We cannot expect them to truly embody the real DIY scene. We can, however, cherry pick our interactions with them. They still have something to offer some folks.

      1. I would also like to add that the decline in quality over at Make was what brought me here a couple of years ago. I really like the community here, which is something Make has lost.

      2. Those are great points. All I can say is: Guess who is in charge of the blog now!

        I have to admit that I also noticed that so much of it was inward looking (make events and stuff), That is changing. Make should be a celebration of all things being made, and that is what it will be!

        1. Cool! The biggest improvement would be a return to a more open commenting set up. I noticed a sharp decline in feedback when they went to the new system. Your target demographic also tends to be the folks who least trust Facebook and their ilk.
          Also, bring us more Collin Cunningham, Nick Normal and Forrest Mims. More projects and user generated content!
          Thanks Caleb.

          1. We turned on Disqus this week. I realize a lot of people might have issue with that, but it is a big improvement over the facebook-only comments we had. Don’t worry, content is going to be freaking awesome, it just takes a little time to shape things.

            On a different note, hackaday is kicking some major ass in my opinion. The new owners are pretty damn awesome.

          2. I just noticed the change to Disqus after I made that post. I’ll have to check them out.
            I’m also impressed with the new owners of HaD. Also, Geoff Manaugh’s take over at Gizmodo is working out great. With you at Make maybe things are looking up all over. Those three make up about 3/4 of my daily internet diet.

    1. Yea, the US-only thing is really a load of bollocks.

      But we probably should be happy that there are companies that are willing to sponsor events/competitions even if they are limited geographically….

      1. Maybe they limited the contest to the US because Germans are too good at it? Many of the most involved and intricate hardware hacks are from Germany… :P

  1. Anyone know the pinout of the Canon XL2 viewfinder?
    Or maybe know a way to connect an external HD that does not cost upwards of $400 (FireStore FS4)?

    Hooking it to a RaspberryPi (or other) would be great.

    Sure, HD cameras have mostly replaced the XL-series, but the XL1 & 2 have advanced features not commonly found in most camcorders, and IMO can still compete.

    1. I’ve got to think that this would require some pretty hefty man-in-the-middle hardware for live streaming what is on the viewfinder (like an FPGA to do the translation). I could see you building and SD card adapter and intercepting images as they are written to the card. Pair that with remote shutter hack and you’re in business.

  2. Ohhhhh, Nikon?

    Why don’t you show what a nice guy you are by lifting the aggravating and artificial video recording limit you impose by software for certain european camera models?

    Because crippeling Hardware in Software (and only in certain countries) is not very nice of you.

    And it would show that this is not only a publicity stunt, but you actually care about nikon buyers.

    1. Actually, I believe there is a very good reason for the video recording limit: There are different toll fees for a video camera and a digital camera (at least in Sweden, I guess other EU countries may have similar laws). A video camera has a customs duty of 4.9-14% whereas a digital camera has a customs duty of 0%. I’m guessing that the artificial limit means that they don’t have to classify it as a video camera, hence it will be cheaper for the consumers. See also http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/18/WTO-looking-at-moves-to-remove-30-minute-limit-from-digital-cameras

      1. The recording limit is well hidden from the manual, nikons website, and most sellers don’t mention it. Looks like Nikon tried to make the price more competitive by trying to trick customers (“they won’t find out”).

        Not to mention that Canons recording limit is three times that of Nikons and Canon users have access to something like CHDK. My last Nikon product.

      2. Yes the limit was made by EU directive, to protect camcorder makers from competition from photo cameras, which is funny since most camcorder makers also make cameras, plus it seems rather arbitrary – and unfair to force the existence of camcorders artificially if they can’t make it without such help.

        Anyway it is the same for all brands in all of the EU (and EEU I expect)

  3. US Only.. too bad if you live in Canada with a great project! US ONLY ?? MAKE: There are other places in the world than the US..

    1. Yes and you can ask a Canadian company to run a promotion for you. US companies do not have to cater to the rest of the world.

      1. Wait a minute. You are telling that US companies do not want to made trade with rest of the world? Oh, wait again, Nikon is a Japanese company. What was it what you wanted to say?

        1. First, I never said trade or anything related to trade. Second, this is hosted by MAKE… an American company.

    2. I think it’s just a hassle to get all the laws figured out when you expand it to other countries. although canada being such a close, and western, nation.. surely they can do the effort to include them you’d think.
      Plus if it’s in cooperation with nikon, who has experience being present in all countries, then maybe they could have helped.

  4. I just entered this. It would be a cruel irony if the contest accepted US-only submissions but accepted votes from anywhere in the world. Help to shine the light on this hypocrisy by voting for ME. In return I promise nothing.

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