How to Build a Digital Camera with a DIY Image Sensor By Hand
It's alive! It's alive! This guy not only built his own camera but also made the 1-kilopixel brain by hand.
Having a digital camera that only has a single kilopixel isn't really anything to brag about...unless you built that friggin' thing with your own two hands, sensor included. That's exactly what YouTuber and creator Sean Hodgins did.
Meet the "digiObscura", a hand-made digital camera made from 3D-printed parts, a custom image sensor, and a broken Canon 35-105mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Find out how Hodgins built this thing from scratch in his video below.
As you might be able to tell from the camera's name, the digiObscura was originally meant to be a pinhole camera. However, when Hodgins realized it wasn't producing enough light, he decided to repurpose the front glass of an old Canon 35-105mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.
And even though the image sensor itself is only comprised of 1000 pixels, I think we can all appreciate the fact that Hodgins placed and soldered each and every photo cell by hand.
His DIY camera is actually relatively straightforward and is really only comprised of a few parts: the microcontroller circuit board, the image sensor circuit board, the camera body, the lens mount, and the lens.
Though the digiObscura was built by hand in an office rather than in a professional, contaminant-free factory in a Japanese prefecture, it's not as inelegant as you might think.
Hodgins gave this thing a few bells and whistles, including a shutter button, an SD card holder, and the cutest little OLED screen you've ever seen.
Last but not least, what in the world does an image taken with Hodgins' digiObscura look like? Well...
This is not a DIY build for the faint of heart. If you really want to take a wack at this, Hodgins' walks you through every part of his process step-by-step in his post on Instructables. He even provides a parts list, 3D print files, and source code.
Let us know if you try this build, because we want to see pictures!