Working DIY Lego Camera!!!

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: Mike | Filed under: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

This is a working digital Lego camera that takes real photos.

One day recently, I was sitting with my son and we were tinkering with his Legos.  I made something that looked like a camera and pretended to take some photos of my son with the Lego camera.  Then thought that it might be fun if I could build a little case for the iPhone 4 so that I could actually take some photos and videos with something that looked like a little Lego toy.  I used a wheel as a fake lens, a window as a fake viewfinder, and round button-like piece as the fake shutter release button.

If you actually build something like this, you’ll notice right away how much easier it is to hold the camera steady in almost all situations.  If needed, a tripod mount can easily be created by gluing a 1/4″ nut into a couple sacrificial Lego pieces.  But the functionality of the case is only half the point of this thing.  Try taking a toy camera like this to a party – it is the ultimate ice breaker.  You’re sure to enjoy compliments from curious onlookers about your one-of-a-kind photographic device!  C’mon, who wouldn’t want their portrait captured with a Lego camera?!

This is a very simple and fun project and can be used to turn any smartphone into a Lego “camera”.

Update (7/19/2011) – I finally got around to making a build video. Enjoy!

Update: Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to build this particular version.

Here are some photos of my Lego camera!

Update:  I created a ringlight for this camera.  More info here.

Update:  Just for a fun comparison, I thought I’d add a couple photos of the Lego camera that is made by Lego.  It is a 3MP digital camera with a 1.5″ display and a built-in flash.  It holds up to 80 photos, but does not shoot video (at least not without a hack).  It retails for about $60.

The Official Lego Camera (back view)

The Official Lego Camera (front view)


12 Comments on “Working DIY Lego Camera!!!”

  1. 1 CPR said at 11:31 pm on May 17th, 2011:

    I’m building this tonight.

  2. 2 Vampie said at 12:26 am on May 18th, 2011:

    Great idea. Gonne try that out!

  3. 3 MAtt said at 6:01 am on May 18th, 2011:

    Brilliant! Love the little window, Mike.

  4. 4 wendysurf said at 6:28 am on May 18th, 2011:

    Very cool and creative!

  5. 5 Mike said at 4:45 pm on May 18th, 2011:

    Thanks so much for your comments! It makes me happy to know you like it!

  6. 6 DIY Lego iPhone 4 Camera » Geeky Gadgets said at 12:17 am on May 23rd, 2011:

    [...] iPhone 4 Lego camera was created by Mike Kim, and Mike decided to build his Lego camera around his iPhone 4, creating a form factor similar to a [...]

  7. 7 Um iPhone 4 junto com alguns blocos de LEGO se transforma em uma Câmera de LEGO! | ROCK N' TECH said at 12:39 pm on May 23rd, 2011:

    [...] Para saber mais sobre a brincadeira de Mike acesse seu site neste link. [...]

  8. 8 minah said at 9:53 pm on May 25th, 2011:

    mike, this is soooo wonderful! I feel like a dufus having bought marcus the Lego camera…

  9. 9 LEGO iPhone 4 Camera |Gadgetsin said at 7:22 pm on May 26th, 2011:

    [...] has posted the full steps on his blog. If you also want to make a LEGO iPhone 4 camera, jump to his blog Nacionate for more details. Additionally, if you like the LEGO creation, you might like to check the LEGO [...]

  10. 10 Cámara DIY LEGO iPhone 4 « Beat Geek said at 5:09 pm on June 2nd, 2011:

    [...] de una cámara para usarse en un iPhone 4 hecha completamente con piezas de LEGO. Creado por Mike Kim. [Armando LEGOS desde Geeky Gadgets] Etiquetas: Lego, LEGOS Categorías: [...]

  11. 11 Carley Jacobson said at 2:25 pm on August 10th, 2011:

    This is a really awesome project! I am a site manager on Instructables.com. You should consider submitting this as an entry to our Camera and Photo Skills Challenge. We’re giving away an Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Printer along with other great prizes.

    You can check out the contest here: http://www.instructables.com/contest/cameraphoto/

    I would be happy to feature it on our site if you decide to post the instructions there and help get it noticed among our 10 million visitors. Let me know if you have any questions!

    Cheers!
    Carley
    carley@instructables.com

  12. 12 super lego builder said at 7:51 am on April 9th, 2014:

    I built it using video and it went too fast but otherwise GREAT!!!!


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