How can I 'harvest' the cameras from broken cell phones?

I have about 6 old phones, all with cameras - so not that old. They are not used because not reliable, or unknown reasons. I keep them around because I want to do something with them. Can I access the cameras, with some kinda of usb adaptor + some drivers? Maybe make webcams out of them?

4 of the phones are razors btw.

Thanks - really looking forward to your replies.

I like to tinker solder break things make things. I'm looking for the same thing. Hmm. My fave thing is to jerry rig everything to make everything work properly. Might not be pretty but itl work. Gimme a bit ;)
TJkml3 years ago
I know i am new to this but, i wanna do something similar, its a bit weird though. I wanna use my cellphone's camera to transmit video wirelessly from my RC hexapod. For that i have taken a old cellphone(its lcd was broken) with 2.0Mp camera. I wanna use the cellphone's internal antenna to transmit the video as its of higher range say 800, 900, 1800, 1900MHz. Is there any way i can do that ?
zack2473 years ago
well if the phones took memory cards and decent video then you could probably recase the phones and use them as video cameras, once i find the right one thats pretty much what im gonna do.
Joe Martin6 years ago
No, the phones have hardware for the cameras are they are designed to only work with the phone. The only think I could think of would be some sort of software to interface to phone with the computer for the use of the camera. Not sure if anything like this exists though
I have an Alcatel OT800 and it lets u hook to PC to use as a webcam or transfer files, so ur right on the PC interface part, other than that idk?

blakeredfield (author)  Joe Martin6 years ago
Yeah but a camera is a camera. Even if you have to keep some of the phone's orignial circuitry with it, all we want to do is re-use the camera itself, either by interfaciing it with a computer or some other application. The proof of concept would be to use the camera as a photodiode. Just get some brightness / intensity readings off of it. I'm surprised - REALLY surprised that someone hasnt done this yet, since everyone has old cell phones and we're all into recycling and technology. I'm leaving this question up and open.
That may by but the CCDs are designed most of the time designed around the phone and they don't all use the same type of interface which would make interfacing them with usb or something else. However to measure brightness sounds possible yet again we run into the problems of how the CCD is designed for the phone. It would be a great concept for the scene of recycling however I feel the cost of making a device meant for the use of something else for a another purpose would cost more than a dedicated device. I wish you some good luck in your quest and I hope you found some of this information useful.
jefletch6 years ago
making a hidden spy cam in like a hat or something, maybe having it transmit to a hidden recorder or wireless to a TV/ VCR would be a pretty sweet project with this too if any one could figure it out. If anyone knows how to make something like that, even without cell phone they should totally message me. I want one
jefletch; has a cordless color camera to place in a birdhouse. You can buy it for $180.00 then $40.00 for usb video adapter .
blakeredfield (author)  trogabird6 years ago
Thank you for the suggestion trogabirl, but that is an advertisement and not an instructable. Also, its not related to modifying and adapting cell phones, that is the subject of this question. RF, bluetooth and WiFi surveillance cameras cost around $50, so spending $220 for a birdie spy is simply bad economics.