Digital Pinhole Camera
Build Your Own Camera
Timeline: 6 months
Client: Institute of Physics, Lab In a Lorry
Aim: The aim was to extend their simple pinhole camera exhibit, showing a bit more about optics and the development of the camera.
What we did: FifeX worked with LIAL right from the concept to completion. We developed the idea and worked out something that was achieve-able on their budget.FifeX built a set of robust pin-hole cameras into which users could place lenses and tracing paper to image light sources. This was taken further with the addition of a 8x8 photodiode array.We also provided a light source in the form of the 'FifeX LED Matrix' which shows very simple patterns for the camera to image.The final image from the photodiode can be captured in custom software and saved. It can also be manipulated by using more advanced features such as auto-contrast, which gives users the idea of relative or absolute brightness. A recent update to the exhibit adds the ability to investigate how a colour image is produced.The whole set-up sits on a rail on which keeps the whole experiment lined up. It has a ruler on it allowing users to make some simple focal length measurements.The first project on the camera experiment was so successful that we were asked to do some more work on it and add in a section on colour photography. The colour element really completes the educational resource, allowing users to explore the whole development of the camera. LIAL also has some small cameras from some modern phones just so that users can see how small everything needs to be.Check out the images on the right, the last one shows an overlay of our colour image on the camera with a colour image on a canon camera in the same position. There is so much exciting science to talk about with this kit!This whole camera project has been funded by the Rank Prize Fund.
Testimonial: "FifeX have provided Lab in a Lorry with great experimental kit that the students find engaging to interact with. The bespoke solutions help us to present our experiments in ways that schools ordinarily can not do. By making the kit user friendly, interactive and fun, it helps us to get across the wow factor as we try to inspire and enthuse the next generation of British scientists."
James Bamford, Lab in a Lorry, Operations Coordinator
External Link to Client's Website: http://www.labinalorry.org/