Camera Hacker


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Crazy Disposable Video Hack idea

I have this crazy Idea, that I am hoping for comments on. I have an old 8mm film video camera. A picture is here:
Since the "collector value" is about $0 (I paid five bucks for the thing) I thought I might try and adapt a cheap digital video camera to look through the existing lenses. Since this would mean disassembling a working camera to mount the ccd or cmos chip in the right place, I don't want to spend big bucks on something I could very well destroy. If I could find a "CVS one time use camera" I might try that. (But there are no CVS near where I live and I don't know if those things are available any more.)

Any of the Guru's here have any thoughts on this? How you might approach such a project? Other strategies I might try? Thanks.

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 17:47:50 +0000

A while back, I started the "Sony Cyber-shot and Canon EF Hybrid" project. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and couldn't continue.

Is that what you have in mind? Just with a video camera rather than digital camera?

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 07 Aug 2009 18:04:28 +0000

I think maybe. But my camera has room inside for an 8mm film cassette, and there is quite a bit more room if I take out the mechanical winder. (Though leaving it in to be able to whirr merrily away while taking pictures would be entertaining!)

The basic idea is to leave the case looking exactly as it does except for a couple of buttons on the outside, one to toggle start stop, one to power on off. (In fact, I could probably rig switches to the existing moving parts on the outside of the box.) View finding would be though the built in finder, focus the old school manual guesstimate from reading the scales on the lenses. I'd probably want to put a 1/8" jack on the outside for a mic too.

What I think would be required would be an existing video camera, where the ccd chip can be removed and connected to the circuit board by a cable, mount that chip into the focal plane of the lenses and mount the other electronics into the box. You would have to open the side to attach a usb cable, remove sd card or whatever the memory solution is.

In a perfect world, I'd want the ccd to be a 1/2" size because I understand that is the closest match to an 8mm film frame. I thought about disassembling a little used webcam I have laying around as proof of concept, but I understand that the chips are tiny.

Thanks for your interest. I guess the bottom line is that I need a working camera that can be disassembled and does NOT have its CCD, power and on off switches soldered on in such a way as I will destroy the entire thing if I remove them.

Or . . . I could be nuts ;-)

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 02:10:14 +0000

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