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.