PetaPixel

17 of the Greatest Camera Hacks of All Time

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We recently took a look at some of the best camera hacks that will save you tons of money. Today we’ve decided to turn things up a notch and progress to the next level! If you’re the kind of person who loves to take things apart to find out how they work, you’ll love the ingenious camera hacks below.

1. Repurpose an old digital camera for macro photography

If you have an old camera you think is only good for the rubbish tip, don’t be too hasty — there’s still life you can squeeze out of your camera yet. This video made by an engineering student, shows you how you can turn your old, dated camera into a fantastic bit of kit for macro photography, without the expensive of buying a pricey new macro lens:

Source: Instructables

2. Create your own DIY webcam

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Many computers already have a built in camera, but if yours doesn’t, you can easily create one yourself! If you have an old digital camera that has video capture and video output capability, a computer with video input, and an adjustable grip tripod (which are available to buy at around £20), you’ll easily be able to make your own webcam without breaking a sweat.

Via: Digital Trends

3. Build your own infrared camera

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In this post, Pieter Albertyn goes into great detail about how to create an infrared camera from your old point-and-shoot digital camera. It can get quite fiddly, so be prepared to set aside a couple of hours for this hack!

Source: PictureCorrect Via: Digital Trends

4. Create your own (affordable) thermal imaging camera

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If you’ve ever considered buying a thermal imaging camera, but you don’t own one, there’s probably a reason why not. They’re incredibly expensive. But fret not as buying one isn’t your only option if you have your heart set on owning one — you can make your own, and the kit you’ll need to make one is much more affordable!

Max Justicz is the genius behind creating the DIY thermal imaging camera. With some RGB LED flashlights, an infrared thermometer, and some patience, you too could be light painting with temperature. Read Max’s guide to making the kit.

Source: Max Justicz Via: Hack a Day

5. Give an old lens a new lease of life

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We love this camera hack by photographer and film maker Jason Bognacki, which gives a new lease of life to beautiful old camera gear. In this case, Jason combined his 1919 Piccolette Contessa-Nettel folding camera with his Canon 5D for some stunning results. He says, “It truly is a magical thing to hold something so old in your hand and see it come back to life and produce images again.”

Read the story here or visit his blog, Today’s Tomorrow.

Source: Today’s Tomorrow Via: Digital Trends

6. Lumix G1 working with an ancient lens

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Jason isn’t the only person to have a passion for bringing old cameras and lenses back to life. Yuji Takahasi attached an old lens from the early 1900s to his Lumix G1 using leather and velcro among a couple of other materials. And voila! Here are the results.

Source: DIY Photography

7. Stunning aerial photography using drones

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Aerial photography could well be the next big trend in photography. Photographer Eric Cheng has done some extensive work and testing with quadcopters and cameras in order to try and capture the best results from his aerial photography. You can see all about his work on his new website Skypixel, and you can also take a look at photographs from his entire build process on Google Plus.

Source: PhotoShelter

8. Aerial shots using a hacked Lumix GH2 and hexacopter

Continuing on the subject of aerial photography, this video — called ‘Firefly’ — was filmed using a hacked Lumix GH2, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lenses, and a hexacopter from jamcompters.com. Amazing results!

Source: Vimeo Via: no film school

9. Lytro hack turns any DSLR into a lightfield camera

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We’re all very excited about the capabilities of the Lytro camera, which allows you to refocus images after you’ve taken them. This hack uses Lytro’s amazing technology on any normal video capable DSLR camera to create a similar effect. This post explains how this is possible, and what you’ll need to do to achieve the Lytro effect on your own DSLR.

Source: TechHive

10. DIY point-and-shoot made from 3D printer and parts from RadioShack

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This post shows you how to make a point-and-shoot camera using a 3D printer and parts from RadioShack. You can even download a template to print the body, using RadioShack’s JPEG Colour Camera Board to go inside it. This post shows you how.

Source: Instructables Via: CNET Via: PetaPixel

11. Hacking a Polaroid BIG SHOT

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The Polaroid BIG SHOT is a piece of kit used by Andy Warhol in the 1970s to photograph celebrities. Photographer Giovanni Savino was sold on using the BIG SHOT himself, but doing so presented him with a number of difficulties, including film and flash limitations.

Giovanni didn’t let these issues, or the fact that Polaroid had gone out of business, put him off. Instead he resourcefully gave his BIG SHOT a new life, enabling him to achieve the incredible shots we was looking to capture. Here’s how he did it.

Source: PetaPixel

12. Focus stacking macro photos with a hacked flatbed scanner

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The effects of focus stacking images can be incredible as it allows for a much greater depth of field than would otherwise be possible. It is a tricky process however, and often difficult to control using the zoom ring on your lens.

Looking for a solution, photographer and software engineer David Hunt decided to turn a flatbed scanner into a macro rail for his camera when shooting focus stacked photos. It’s actually not as difficult to do as you might think! He explains the process on his website.

Source: David Hunt Photography Via PetaPixel

13. Shooting space with two hacked cameras and a balloon

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could always try a hack that would enable you to shoot from space. That’s, incredibly, what Colin Rich did using homemade weather balloons. This video reveals what work went into sending his cameras 125,000 feet to the edge of the Earth:

Source: Vimeo Via: PetaPixel

14. DSLR turned into a monochrome camera

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Always wanted a monochrome camera? No problem! Follow Lasse Beyer’s instructions into how to achieve just this. It might be simpler than you think!

Source: preamp Via: PetaPixel

15. Homemade autochrome camera

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If building a camera from scratch was something you always wanted to do, you could mimic what photographer Dominique Vankan did and build a large format camera from LEGO, cardboard, and duct tape. He was trying to mimic the effects of the old Autochrome Lumiere process from the early 1900s, and the result wasn’t too far off!

Source: The Autochrome Project on Flickr Via: Digital Camera World

16. Motorised time-lapse slider

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Have you longingly watched time-lapse films of stars swirling around the sky and clouds tumbling over mountains and dreamed of creating something similar yourself? Why not build yourself a motorised slider, so you’ll be able to shoot stunning time-lapse films that look like they’d be good enough for the BBC, without breaking the bank!

Source: Digital Camera World

17. Make a tilt-shift lens from an ordinary optic

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There’s no denying that tilt-shift lenses are expensive, but the results they can deliver can leave us drooling. Is it really possible to achieve the results of a tilt-shift lens without the lens itself? Of course it is! Chris Rutter explains how he created his own DIY version of a tilt-shift lens at just a fraction of the price. Read his post to find out what you’ll need, and how to construct a DIY tilt-shift lens of your own.

Source: Digital Camera World


About the author: Samantha Stocks is a writer and photography enthusiast based in Bristol, England. When not hunched over her laptop, she can be found being pulled around muddy Somerset fields by her ridiculously strong dog. Visit her website, or find her on Twitter. This article originally appeared on PhotoVenture.