Building a camera: the plan was simple Reviews

Building a camera: the plan was simple until it wasn’tand most of them don't even work, but I just love the look, and the feel, and the history that everysingle one of them holds. And it's always been a dream of mine to repurpose them and get them working!

Building a camera: the plan was simple Reviews
Building a camera: the plan was simple Reviews 


Building a camera:


So in the height of quarantine, when Raspberry Pi releasedwhat's in this box, whoo, I knew exactly whatI wanted to do with it. I don't know if y'all are ready for this. To be frank, I don't know if I'm ready. Who's Frank? That's such a bad joke. Ah, every time I just makin'bad jokes, open the box, Becca! (lighthearted funky music) You see friends, the wordcode, command, Python, are all terms I really had nointerest in knowing more about until I saw that Raspberry Piput out this new camera mod. It supports interchangeable lenses, and natively, it supportsC and CS mount lenses that my 16 millimeter Bolex uses. Hold on, I got one more. They're literally thecutest little lenses. Aren't these so adorable? Dudes, thousands of camera systems exist. So I'm gonna take some oldparts and some new parts, and I'm gonna finally learn how to code, and I'm gonna build a camerathat's completely my own. We're building the Becca cam, buckle up. (drums thumping) This is a Raspberry Pi 4,it's a super tiny computer that is highly programmable.


And folks have used these to program everything from smart mirrors, the portable arcades,to COVID case counters, and even the hella smart,super techie greenhouses. I mean, these are tiny boxes that if you know how to code,can do pretty much anything, and this is Raspberry Pi's HQ Camera mod that connects right to the Raspberry Pi. So, so far, so good, until (sighs) hello from the floor on day one. This is what it's come to. Dot get, not found. At its most basic level, to take a photo with the Raspberry Pi cam, you have to type code into a terminal. What? See, the Raspberry Pi cam uses a coding language called Python. And honestly, wait, it's noteven about the coding language. It's about the fact that Idon't know any coding languages. Oh my God. (screams) The (camera clicks) doestoo many arguments mean? That means nothing to me,that literally means nothing. Stay calm, Becca. I mean, there's no camera interface here. There's no easy way to just click a button and bring up the camera preview. Literally on every singlestep, there is a problem.


So I was able to takea couple photos today, which is hella exciting, but tomorrow's gonna beall about finding a program that I can run so that Idon't have to type a code into the terminal everytime I wanna take a photo. Basically, I don't wanna haveto carry a keyboard around when I'm using this camera. And I have this 3.5 inch touch screen that I'd really like to be using instead. So day two, baby day two. Oh God, I need help. So we're reaching out to the IG buds because shout out to all my IG buds, you know I frigging love you guys. Hopefully someone comes through. (energetic drumming) (sighs) Okay, while we wait for the buds to get back to us on whatcode I should be writing into my Pi, I wanna get the button set up that's gonna become our shutter button. So a little bit of hardware,thank God, let's do it. (lighthearted funky music) You gotta love a good button. Mm, just like I knew you would, the IG buds came through for your girl. Basically, you were like, Becca, you should've read the manual,like three more chapters. This is the officialRaspberry Pi camera guide. I love her. I love her so much. Y'all were like, there's a code in there for programming a selfie stick, and I'm not making a selfie stick, but I am making a camera thatuses a button to take photos, which is what a selfie stick does. The only problem with this code is that every time Iwas pushing the button, it was freezing the preview.


So I called a friend, who called a friend, who wrote me a line in the code that basically cuts theprogram after it takes a photo. And then I created a desktopshortcut that opens the program and runs it every timeI wanna take a photo. It's not quite as perfectas I would have liked, but I will take what Ican get at this point, and it gets my camera working, which means I can move on to hardware. I woke up this morning and I thought, finally, it's hardware day. Ah, let's go! (energetic drumming and snapping) (joyful jazzy music) Okay, buds, today we saygoodbye to the nk-700 and hello to Becca cam. (joyful jazzy music) (torch hisses) Buds, it's the moment of truth. And I'm really nervous, andI'm really freaking excited. We're gonna plug this camera in, and we're gonna see if it powers up. We're gonna see if it takes a photo. We're gonna pop one ofthose old vintage lenses on from my Bolex. (sighs) I'm just like taking a moment to soak in the happiness, just in case everythingcomes crumbling down. (gentle electronic music) All right, dudes, here we go. (Becca sighs) It worked, it worked, it worked! I just built a freaking camera.



Tomorrow, we shoot. (camera shutter clicking) (relaxing music) To take a photo on the Beccacam, you need to open Thonny, which runs Python scripts. There, I've already preloaded the script for the selfie stick. You run that program,it opens up a preview of what the camera's seeing, where you can focus and frame up before hitting the shutterbutton to take a photo. It then quits the programand saves the photo. (camera shutter clicking) And then, every time youwant to take another photo, you have to run that script again. (camera shutter clicking) (camera shutter clicking) (sighs) Okay, buds, so there's a little bit of movie magic in that last sequence,because when I first came back from shooting with the Beccacam for the first time, the photos actually looked like this. I truly don't know what I'mdoing wrong at this point. But what I do know is thatwhen I just use the terminal and type a simple command into the camera, it takes higher-res photos. So I got my keyboard and just a totally normal day outshooting with my computer. I'm gonna link all ofthe parts that I used to make this below, andif you get those parts or if you already have all ofthis and you had some code, put it down below, or shoot me a message on Instagram, I'd love to see what youguys are coming up with. And hopefully you're havingbetter luck than I am.


So the Becca cam, would I sendthose to anybody to review? No. Is it as first gen as they come? Yeah, absolutely, it is. Do I know what I'm doing? No, I still have absolutelyno clue what I'm doing, but this was actuallya really fun challenge, now that I'm done with it. In the heat of it, not so much. But now we're good. But outside of the software hellscape I have been truly livingin for the last week, the sensor's actually really cool and super capable forthe $50 it'll run yet. And I mean, that's not even the point. The point is I jumped into this project with a large amount ofknowledge of camera hardware, and zero knowledge of camera software. And I did come out of itwith a semi-working camera, but I now appreciate allother already built cameras so much more. And I can not wait to use a camera that doesn't require a keyboard. Oh yeah, and buds, welcome to Full-Frame. This is a place for us to talk anythingand everything cameras, from the tech that surrounds them to the new lenses that are coming out, to, I don't know, maybebuilding something again soon. What fascinates youabout the camera world? What do you want to know more about? What do you want me to build next? I really appreciate you being here, and I hope that you and everyonethat surrounds you is well. And (sighs) we'll beseeing you again real soon. Be well buds.

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