Adding a digital timer to a cable release camera


Here’s a completely non-invasive hack for a classic Minolta SLR camera. [Robby] wanted to add to the options available when it comes to remote shutter release. He ended up building a cable release add-on that mounts on the hot shoe.

He drew some of his inspiration from a similar project we saw back in March. He took the engineering example from that project which uses a small servo motor to actuate the cable release. But along the way added his own features.

The system centers around an ATtiny4313 microcontroller. It provides feedback using the character LCD on the back of the auxiliary flash body. That flash body also offers a battery compartment which provides power for the control circuitry as well as the servo motor. Right now it functions as a count-down timer, and also can hold the shutter a specified amount of time. But we could see this extended to work with external sensors to trigger at a set light level, when sensing motion, or from a remote control.

No more blurry pictures

Say goodbye to ruined images thanks to this add-on hardware. It measures the movement of the camera when a picture is taken and corrects the image to get rid of motion blur. Above you see a high-speed camera which is just there for testing and fine-tuning the algorithm that fixes the photos. Once they got it right, the setup that the camera is attached to only includes an Arduino board, Bluetooth modem, 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, and a trigger for the camera. You use the new hardware to snap each image and it takes care of triggering the SLR’s shutter in order to ensure that the inertial data and the image are synchronized correctly.

[Thanks Rob]

Machining an SLR camera from scratch

It took us a while to stop drooling long enough to write about this amazing machining project. [Denis MO] made a single-lens reflex camera from scratch. The banner image above is not the finished product, but just one step in the production chain. [Denis] has been thinking about doing this project for 25 years and finally took the plunge. From the start, the only parts he planned on NOT making himself were the screws, ball bearings, shutter, curtain fabric, and interchangeable lenses. Everything else is his own creation based off of his own design. Spend some time looking over his project. There’s plenty of information and images of both the machining process, and the drawings he mocked up in the design process. We’ve also included a pic of the finished camera and the contact sheet from his test roll of film after the break.

[Read more...]

Simple shutter speed tester

[Pablo] likes to buy and repair broken cameras. When he was in need of a way to test the shutter speed, his brother came up with a great idea. Harvest the photo transistor from an old ball mouse. It turned out to be just as easy as it sounds. He plugs the circuit into some sound editing software to get the signal. We think this is pretty slick.

[via Makezine]

Fisheye lens for your SLR

[Bhautik Joshi's] fisheye lens hack works well and looks OK too. It uses a door peephole from the hardware store as the fisheye and a slide projector lens to enlarge the image for proper sizing on the camera’s sensor. He included an EOS lens adapter so that it is easy to install and remove, then grabbed a soda can and some foam for the rest of the build. This will take those fun bendy pictures but don’t forget that you can correct for that in software if you wish.

Open source digital camera


Those brainy folks over at Stanford are working on an open source digital camera. This is an effort to advance what they call “computational photography”. Basically they’re looking to combine some of the functionality of Photoshop or Gimp right into the camera. One example they discuss is utilizing an algorithm to even out the light levels from one side of the picture to the other. Another trick they’ve already accomplished in the lab is increasing the resolution of full motion video. They take a full resolution photo once every few frames and use the computing power of the camera to incorporate that information into the low-res frames around it.

We like the idea of being able to get at the firmware that runs on our digital cameras. Going with open source would certainly provide that access, but cost will be an issue. The Stanford team hopes to produce a model of what they now call Frankencamera that sells for “less than $1000″.

[via crave]

Simplest macro hack ever


This quick little hack is beautiful in its simplicity. Need a macro lens to play with? Simply rip the lens out of a pair of binoculars and tape it to the end of your slr lens. The result is pretty good. If you need something a little higher quality, you could always hack an extra AF lens.