Instructables

Blackberry Battery Canon Camera Ring Light Hack

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This is my first Instructables post. I apologize for the formatting issues. I wanted to put text in between the images but this only allows me to make boxes with captions on the images. I hopefully will learn how to layout better in the future.

The images show 3 camera hacks as follows:

1. Red Canon Elph110HS + 3AAA battery pack connected by USB
    (hot glued ring light, removable battery)

2. Black Canon PowerShot SD780IS + Blackberry D-X1 battery connected by USB
   (magnetic removable ring light and magnetic removable battery)

3. Black Canon Powershot 3400IS + Blackberry D-X1 battery permanently wired in.
   (hot glued ring light, hot glued battery pack)

I want to share with you my "hack" that I have been applying to most of my Canon cameras. This is a quick and cheap way to add a macro ring light to your camera which still allows it to be used for regular purposes, and macro photography, or even just to improve low-light regular photography without needing to rely on a flash or external light source. The ring-lights use an external battery source, and I typically use a Blackberry battery but any other should do. I prefer Blackberry because I have a few old phones with spare batteries laying around, and found it easy to charge the batteries in the phone and use for this project. They last months on a single charge because LED ring lights use very little power, and they are lightweight and relatively small.

I found the PowerShot series is easy to modify and many of the models have good macro focus features, although other camera brands may also be suitable.

Watch this video to see the 3rd hack in action and summary:




I based the hacks on Canon and either using a Blackberry battery as a power source (3.7V) or 3 AAA batteries (4.5V). The ring-lights which I hacked were designed to run on USB originally which supply 5 V, but they still work fine on 3.7V... in fact, I find they are not as bright and actually the images look better as they are not as washed out.





 
Misac-kun1 year ago
Do you know that these magnets will drain your battery dry and it drasticaly redusces it's life?
I can't think of any reason why they would.
edy (author)  Misac-kun1 year ago
You may be right in certain circumstances, but I can tell you from personal experience that everything works fine and my batteries last and there is no problem.

I am using my camera hack #2 which uses magnets for my main work camera which I use 8 hours a day for medical clinic work. I charge the main camera battery every 3-4 weeks, and LED light battery I charge every 3-4 months.

I would suggest to avoid any possible issues, just go for hack #1 or #3 which doesn't use magnets, just in case.
Hello Edy, Your design looks simple and effective. I'm going to give it a try but I am having difficulty trying source a ring LED. Can you help me out with make/model you used. Thanks. Willie
edy (author)  williecleuch1 year ago
Hi Willie,

My friend went to Taiwan and bought a whole pile of them from some electronics shop. However, you can find them all over eBay if you search for the term:

"USB 18 White LED Flexible Light"

They are usually only a few dollars. Very cheap. You just unscrew the plastic and remove the magnifying lens in the middle. You can still use the plastic housing if your camera lens fits through the hole, like I did for camera hack #2, otherwise you take out the PCB and use it without anything like for hack #1 and #3.

Here is the ebay page:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=usb+18+led+flexible+light

They all look the same, I don't think there is a model number per se, just looks like all coming from the same factory in China made by the millions.


Sweet. I'm going to do this to my friend's camera without his permission. He can thank me later.

GM