how to hack a digital cemera.

Instructables user [Justin] generally enjoyed shooting video with his Canon 60D DSLR, though there was one small problem. The only way that the camera could be remotely triggered to shoot video was via a small IR remote with a paltry 10 foot range. Even worse, the remote had to be pointed directly at the front of the camera to work at all. To remedy the situation,

He cobbled together an Arduino with components he had sitting around, mounting it in a project box on top of the camera. A commercially available RF remote shutter release is also mounted on the top of the camera, and wired to the Arduino using a small 2.5mm plug. When he activates the RF remote, it sends a pulse to the Arduino, which in turn sends the appropriate signal to his camera via a small IR LED.

While he readily admits that he could have likely used a much simpler configuration, the Arduino does its job, and he’s quite happy with his solution. We agree with him about the Arduino, but it’s hard to argue with saving money by using components you already have on-hand.

While the Kinect is great at tracking gross body movements and discerning what part of a person’s skeleton is moving in front of the camera, the device most definitely has its shortfalls. For instance, facial recognition is quite limited, and we’re guessing that it couldn’t easily track an individual’s eye throughout the room.

No, for tracking like that, you would need something far more robust. Under the guidance of [Krystian Mikolajczyk and Jiri Matas], PhD student [Zdenek Kalal] has been working on
which has some pretty amazing

capabilities. The software uses almost any computer-connected camera to simultaneously Track an object, Learn its appearance, and Detect the object whenever it appears in the video stream. The software is so effective as you can see in the video below, that it has been dubbed “Predator”.

Once he has chosen an object within the camera’s field of vision, the software monitors that object, learning more and more about how it looks under different conditions. The software’s learning abilities allow it to pick out individual facial features, follow moving objects in video, and can recognize an individual’s face amid a collection of others.

While the software can currently only track one object at a time, we imagine that with some additional development
and computing horsepower, this technology will become even more amazing.

[Samuel Sargent] built his own lens for making stacked macro images.This project, which was completed as part of his senior thesis, utilizes a Zeiss enlarger lens. The aperture ring was broken, making it difficult to tell how much light was being let into the camera. Instead of scrapping the whole thing he turned it around, making it a macro lens when combined with a few other parts. He’s used a Nikon PB-5 belows, a PK-13 extension tube, and a body cap to provide a way to mount the lens to his camera. A hole was added to the body cap using his Dremel, and a liberal dose of epoxy putty seals all of the gaps.

After the break you can see a couple of photos that [Samuel] made of bismuth. He estimates the sharpest focal length by taking a few test shots. Next he captures a series of images, moving the bellows slightly between each shot. Finally, this set is


Commercial vest-based camera stabilizer systems are quite expensive, sometimes bearing price tags in the $700-$800 dollar range. Photographer [Miguel Vicente] has a pretty well-stocked workshop and decided there was no way he would shell out that much cash for a rig,

“Simply” is a bit of a misstatement, to be honest. The system looks relatively complex, judging by the build videos embedded below. Constructed of steel tubing, custom-built springs, and a really snazzy vest, the rig is adjustable in almost every direction. He has tested its capacity up to 2.5 Kg (roughly 5.5 pounds), though he says it’s pretty unruly to manage at that weight. [Miguel] says that 1.5 Kg (3.3 pounds) is a far more reasonable limit, and that the stabilizer works quite well at or below that weight.

While it looks pretty good to us, he says that there are plans to improve the design even further. One particular point that he wants to address is the ability for the stabilizer to accept asymmetric camera setups, i.e. cameras with attached lighting and microphones.

Stick around to see a short “highlight” film of the build process, as well as a video featuring a more thorough documentation of the stabilizer’s construction.
[Vicktor] has always been fascinated by photographs of lightning and decided to try his hand at capturing a few strikes on his camera. Every time he attempted it however, he didn’t have much success. Instead of trying to operate his camera manually to take the images, he decided to

His circuit uses a large photodiode to sense when lightning strikes, triggering the camera via a hacked shutter release cable. A PIC micro controller is used to adjust the sensitivity of the device, as well as to send the actual trigger signal to the camera. His circuit is connected to the camera via a pair of opto couplers to ensure that his circuit cannot cause any harm to the camera.

When the box is powered on, it enters a calibration mode where the user can adjust the circuit to compensate for whatever amount of ambient light is present. Once armed, the box waits for a sudden change in ambient lighting, sending the exposure release signal to the camera.

A schematic is available on his site, and he will send you the code he use on request. There is currently no video of the trigger in action, but hopefully we’ll see one soon.

If you’re interested in seeing some other remote camera triggers, check out this one

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