Camera bags can get pricy, and when it comes to camera bags that travel well (i.e. on wheels) prices can really skyrocket. In fact, if you type “Rolling Camera Bag” into Amazon your first three options will run you $262.54, $171.07, and $249.00.
So if your idea of prepping for a vacation with your camera doesn’t include a hefty bag budget, Jerrit Pruyn over at FStoppers has a great solution: take your ordinary rolling carry-on bag, buy a matching Calumet Padded Insert for about $30, and put the two together. The result is pretty indistinguishable from some of the rolling camera bags you’ll find on the market.
If you have an old mount for attaching a GPS or cell phone to your windshield, you can upcycle it into a suction cup tripod for your camera (just make sure it’s not the flimsy kind that falls off on its own). What you’ll need to do is flatten the mount surface and then install a tripod screw. Nano_Burger has a step-by-step tutorial on how he did this conversion over on Instructables. The resulting tripod allows you to fix your camera in locations that aren’t accessible to tripods that don’t suck (hah, get it?).
If you have an old or broken flatbed scanner lying around and gathering dust, a neat thing you can do is convert it into a cheap, do-it-yourself lightbox for viewing negatives and slides. Photo-enthusiast James Wilson did this as a weekend project:
It was a simple process; gut the scanner, hook up a light fixture inside it, and paint the inside of the glass white. Total cost was around ten bucks for the light fixture, wiring, and paint. [#]
Nikon is a player in the 3D game now, though not by releasing any 3D-capable camera. Instead, they’ve announced my Picturetown 3D, a 3D conversion and sharing service for registered members of their photo sharing and storage service my Picturetown. The service can take your boring old-school 2D photographs and convert them into 3D for you.
Converted images are viewable on a special viewer — the NF-300i — provided to subscribers for the duration of their membership (you can’t buy the viewer). For ¥1,995 per month (~$25) or ¥19,950 per year (~$247) you can borrow the frame from Nikon and have three photographs converted. Converting additional photographs will set you back ¥300 (~$4). It’s only available in Japan for now, with no word on whether it’ll ever be available elsewhere.
This neat DIY video shows how you can convert an ordinary digital camera into a night vision camera. The video uses a digital video camera, but the same concept can be applied to still cameras as well.
Digital camera sensors are sensitive to both visible and infrared (IR) light. However, there’s a special IR filter used to block IR light from the sensor, keeping images from being washed out. If this special filter is removed, the camera can be made sensitive to IR light. The hack in this video involves replacing the filter with the black end of a film negative, and then using red and blue lighting gels on a flashlight to have it give off mostly IR light. The result is a camera/flashlight setup that can be used to take stills and videos in the dark where ordinary cameras can’t.
This is similar to the pricey modifications you can have done to your DSLR to use it as an infrared camera.
I have been using Holgas on and off for many years, and I have always had the idea of how to make it digital. There are many current options one being strapping a medium format digital back to your Holga, but that method is very cost prohibitive for most people messing around with toy cameras. I have seen lens mods on DSLR cameras that take the body cap and glue the holga lens on, but they are upwards of 50 bucks each.
I like a challenge so I decided to make one myself! Here is my method for doing so, so you can do it too. Read more…
Photo Magician is a free and lightweight (less than 1MB) program for Windows that allows you to batch convert a directory of photographs. It’s similar in functionality to Photoshop’s “Image Processor” feature, with one difference being you can’t select the output quality like you can using Photoshop.
The program also features a “Quick Convert Mode”, which minimizes the program to a little box onto which you can drag and drop folders of images. If you’ve been looking for a quick way to resize images in Vista (like the Image Resize PowerToy allowed you to do in XP), then you might want to check out this program.