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RUHAcam is a retro 3D printable digital camera you can make with a Raspberry Pi

The camera capabilities of the Raspberry Pi took a pretty big leap forward when they released their new High Quality Camera module last year. The then-new module allowed you to finally get full manual control over your exposure, but it also lets you attach CS and C mount lenses (or just about anything else with […]

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RUHAcam Is A Raspberry Pi-Powered Digital Camera You Can 3D Print

Inspired by do-it-yourself camera parts and projects, Ping-Hsun Chen and Ruha Cheng took things a step further and released a retro-style RUHAcam kit built around a Raspberry Pi Zero W connected to the High-Quality Camera Module.

DIY photography kits have been the source of lots of incredibly unique and creative projects. One of the most recently loved and praised is the Raspberry Pi-powered digital camera released in March of last year.

As noted by Digital Camer World, the RUHAcam takes the 12.3MP Sony IMX477 Sensor powered Raspberry Pi digital camera with adjustable back focus support for C- and CS-mount lenses — shown in the video above — and adapts it into a fully 3D printed digital camera that can be built at home. Builders will need some additional components, the details of which can be found in the project’s GitHub page here, as well as the link to the software required to run the system for free using the MIT license.

This little homemade system boasts a built-in 2,000mAh Li-Pi battery, a 2.2in Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) display that behaves as both the viewfinder and review screen, and the 3D-printed body that is inspired by classic film SLR cameras. The C and CS-mount lenses are typically found on CCTV systems and 16mm film cameras, so there should be no shortage of online stocks for those who don’t already own them. To save some time, the Raspberry Pi dealers offer two lenses with their camera kit: a 6mm CS-mount for $25, and a 16mm for $50 (14mm and 37mm full-frame equivalent field of view, respectively).

The Sony sensor included in this kit is also capable of capturing 4k video, so with future updates from the Raspberry Pi community, this little system could be used to capture some incredibly versatile and creative works of art. The Raspberry Pi High-Quality Camera Module is a small and very affordable programmable computer that’s about the size of a credit card. This particular system costs about $50 and is meant to encourage people, especially children, to learn computer programming languages like Python and Scratch.

Cheng and Chen have also stated they plan to improve the software for the RUHAcam to add new and better controls to the user interface, as well as being able to communicate with smartphones to easily share and edit images captured by the device.

Image credits: Photos by Ping-Hsun “penk” Chen and used per MIT license here.

Aerial 8K 360° footage shows the beauty and power of Icelandic volcano lava flow

There’s been a lot of talk and coverage of the Mt. Fagradalsfjall volcano that continues to remain active in Iceland. Located in the Reykjanes Peninsula, the volcano erupted for the first time in 800 years and has continued to spew out lava now for over a month. Photographs and filmmakers who’ve been able to have […]

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This tinkerer built his own 18650-powered DIY battery grip for his Canon EOS M

If there’s one annoying aspect of cameras, particularly mirrorless cameras that are constantly powering an LCD or EVF the whole time they’re turned on, it’s battery life. There are grips you can get for some cameras to let you take advantage of multiple batteries or you can go with external power, but not all cameras. […]

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Engineer Builds a DIY Hot-Swappable Battery Grip for His Canon EOS M

An electronics engineer has created a do-it-yourself hot-swappable battery solution for photographers who want to keep their cameras going through shoots without stopping or losing any footage.

Needing to hastily swap a battery during a shoot so as not to miss anything is likely a familiar scenario to most, if not all, photographers and videographers. Sometimes, that swap needs to be timed perfectly at the risk of missing an important shot, especially if a photographer is tasked with documenting moments that cannot be repeated, like weddings, sports, events, or really any live coverage. However, camera batteries die: it is inevitable, and it is an inconvenience that can disrupt the flow of any shoot.

In an attempt to remedy this problem, U.K.-based electronics engineer and self-described embedded software artist, Olly Funkster, has successfully created a DIY response to this issue, which was first shared by Hackaday. The hack is based around a 18650 lithium-ion battery, which, as explained by Battery Junction, is often used in high-drain devices, such as laptops, due to its superior capacity and discharge rates. It is slightly larger than the familiar AA battery.

Funkster created a fully customized battery grip for his Canon EOS M, not just to deal with the battery run-time issue but also because when in use on a tripod, the battery cannot be replaced unless the camera is taken off the tripod to access the slot — another situation that is likely painfully familiar to photographers.

The project began with a 3D-printed battery grip with a boost converter and two slots that fit one 18650 battery each. This means that the camera is constantly powered using one of the inserted batteries, while the other is kept in reserve. The cells are monitored by an STM32 microcontroller, which, as explained by an electronics engineer Sanskar Biswal, is applied to many areas in electronics, from printers to complex circuit boards in vehicles.

The STM32 microcontroller enables a seamless switch between the batteries if one has been fully drained or is removed, meaning the camera remains turned on and the capture of footage is not interrupted. Funkster’s battery grip even has an OLED display which shows which slot has a battery inserted and how much charge is left in each.

While not a recommended action for those who are not confident in their DIY skills, Funkster used a drill to allow the battery grip — which is tightly wrapped around the camera — to connect directly “via pin headers that pass through a hole drilled in the camera’s case.” This is a permanent modification to the camera, but it allows Funkster to easily access the SD card slot without having to remove the DIY battery grip.

Funkster has shared his 3D pattern, however, because this grip requires custom electronics installed, it is primarily meant to serve as a reference for anyone who wants to attempt creating something similar for their own camera.

If you want to learn more about the whole process and electronics used, you can read a detailed explanation on Funkster’s blog here.

Sony launches the ultra-wide 14mm f/1.8 G Master lens

Sony has now officially announced its hotly anticipated ultra-wide, large aperture 14mm f/1.8 G Master lens. This compact little lump of plastic, glass and electronics weighs a mere 460g and measures only 83mm x 99.8mm. Sony says it “sets the standard for 14mm primes, by delivering extraordinary corner-to-corner resolution”. They also boast its autofocus capabilities […]

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Premiere Pro gets dynamic Lumetri previews and Premiere Rush is now native to Apple M1 Silicon

Adobe’s just announced their newest Creative Cloud updates for Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush, adding some new features including native Apple Silicon support for Premiere Rush, speeding up its capabilities on Apple’s latest M1-based computers. And Adobe Premiere Pro gets some H.264 & HEVC performance improvements for hardware acceleration. Premiere Pro also now gets dynamic […]

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Make your own DIY foldable V-flat for $100 or less

A V-flat is a versatile and useful tool to have in your studio. While you can certainly buy one for around $200, it’s one of those things that’s pretty simple to make, and it will cost you half that much or even less. In this video, Nicole Bedard will show you how to make your […]

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Photographer and Designer Builds 3D Printed Stereoscopic ‘Wiggle Lens’

Designer and commercial architecture photographer George Moua has designed and 3D printed a highly unusual photo tool that he calls a stereoscopic “wiggle lens.” In short, it allows you to combine multiple frames shot with a single lens into a moving image that appears to have depth.

Example of an image captured using the wiggle lens.

These bespoke 3D-printed lenses use a trio of 30mm optics to project three slightly different perspectives across the sensor of a full-frame camera. It creates a parallax shift between each frame, so when combined into an animation they appear to show three-dimensional depth. You can see examples of what this looks like in the video above as well in the Instagram videos below:

“I love making stupid things,” Moua says. “To me, there is such a simple joy in the spontaneity of a stupid idea or a stupid thing. With each one I’m able to make or each idea I’m able to realize, slowly lifts the veil of what I think I can or cannot do. It also helps remove any preconceptions I might have about how I should be approaching design problems. It serves to make me a better designer and a much more efficient maker.”

Below Moua shows how he makes what he calls “wigglegrams.”

Initially, Moua only had a Sony Alpha camera on hand, limiting what he could make it for, but he eventually also designed one for the APS-C Fuji X-Mount and APS-C E-Mount. His plan was to release 20 initial pre-orders of the lens for each of the three mount options. The full-frame lens he sold for $80, and the two APS-C lenses retailed for $70.

This self-described “stupid idea” appears to be anything but, as Moua Sold all 60 of his pre-orders, which closed on April 5, 2021. He plans to start shipping them out to buyers as they are produced off his printer starting on April 12. His plan is to use the funds from the current pre-order to fund the purchase of a Canon EOS RP so that he can design a wiggle lens for the RF mount. According to DPReview, he also plans to make a Nikon Z mount version down the road as well.

If you were hoping to grab one, don’t fret, as Moua notes that he will be updating the order page in the future with more information. He also encourages those who have questions to email him with any questions. You should bookmark the wiggle lens page if you want to check back for his impending updates.