If you have a Canon compact camera running the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) firmware, you can create a simple shutter release cable using some cheap components. The firmware causes the camera to snap a photograph anytime 5V is sent down a USB cable connected to the camera. You can do this using a USB cable (e.g. the one that comes with your camera), 5V battery, simple push button, and some kind of housing (a metal candy tin, for example). Oh, and you’ll need to be comfortable cutting up and soldering wires. Luo Bo Te over at kisstheasphalt has written up a tutorial on how to put everything together.
DIY Shutter Release Cable For Canon Cameras with CHDK (via Hack a Day)
Hacker Rob Flickenger wasn’t satisfied with ordinary photographs of his ongoing Tesla coil experiments, so he decided to shoot Matrix-style “bullet time” images to capture “3D lightning”. He purchased 10 Canon A470 cameras and configured them to function as a single 70-megapixel 10-angle camera.
Why that particular camera? Partly because I found someone dumping a bunch of them on eBay for cheap, but also because they run CHDK, the infamous scriptable firmware for Canon cameras. This let me write some code to streamline the process of taking ten photos all at once, and then get them off of the cameras in a reasonable manner. By wiring all of them to the same 10-port USB hub, and using CHDK’s syncable USB remote feature, I was able to wire up a single button to make all of the cameras fire at once.
His hard work paid off, and Flickenger managed to capture some pretty unique shots of his Tesla coil in action.
Bullet time lightning [HackerFriendly.com]