For Halloween 2011, I made a fully functional DSLR camera costume. That's right, it really takes pictures, and comes complete with LCD display, pop-up flash, and shutter release button. I built this entire costume in one week, for only $35 dollars (excluding the cost of the camera equipment and laptop), with materials located at any local hardware store.

Watch this video to see it work:

Watch this video to see how I made it, and see some pictures it's taken

This instructable contains detailed instructions on exactly how I made mine, but with some simple modifications, anyone can make their own with any digital camera and laptop.

Seen on The Discovery Channel, Yahoo! News, HuffingtonPost, Gizmodo, Gizmag, Mashable, BuzzFeed, WINS.failblog, DPReview, PopPhoto, Wired, LaughingSquid, The Metro, PetaPixel, Geekologie, and many more.

For the body/structure:
  • Black duct tape
  • Black spray paint (semi-gloss)
  • Plexiglass (16"x18")
  • window fogging spray
  • glue/ spray-tack
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • utility knife
  • scissors
To make it work:
  • Any DSLR*
  • Any External flash
  • Hot-shoe flash extension cord
  • remote shutter release button (wireless or not)
  • A laptop (that you don't mind disassembling)
*any digital camera can be used, but might may not be capable of having the external flash, and shutter release button features.

Step 1: Constuct the main body

I started by making a rectangular box with no top or bottom, that fit my body (shoulder width and body depth is the main measurements you'll need, but remained proportional to the dimensions of my camera. Remember that you'll need room inside for the computer body too. I put two small squares of cardboard on both the left and right side, top and bottom, to make sure the box stayed rigid and square.
From this, I added the the flash base/ viewfinder part on to, and the angled top on each side.
It takes a little measuring, some simple multiplication, and trial-and error. If you're not comfortable making some of the angled contours, don't worry, just stick to basic geometry like squares and rectangles, and it will still look great, and still function the same.

For this step you will need:
  • cardboard
  • duct tape
  • utility knife
  • scissors
  • Use a straight-edge and utility knife to cut the cardboard
  • For the round pieces, use scissors
  • tape both sides of every joint. You'll need the strength or the costume will fall apart!
  • USE GORILLA-TAPE brand duct tape. It is MUCH more more durable than any other brand I could find, and only slightly more expensive.
  • Save the painting until the very last step, or your tape won't stick.
  • The more precise your measurements are, the easier the costume is to make, and the stronger the structure will be, so measure twice and cut carefully.
Haha, thanks. Funny you should say that. It's in the <a href="http://www.instructables.com/contest/halloween2011epiccostumes/?show=ENTRIES&sort=INSTRUCTABLE">Epic Costume Contest</a>! Help me out, and vote!<br> <br>
<p>The best camera costume I've ever seen. I Made it!</p>
This is why I love this site! Awesome!!!!
I can't believe that you just flashed people in public! D'= lol awesome idea. :D I was laughing because I was surprised it really is functional but it was genius! @.@
Good job on the contest
amazing i saw you in the new paper with same costume <br><br>great one
Wow, that was a lot of work! Congrats on a successful project, and your contest win!
Endless creativity !!!<br>
Very creative - such an incredible idea!<br>Love this costume!<br>Great work!!
Well done sir!! I love that you can take pictures while you're wearing it. My one regret is that I never really get to take any pictures of other people's costumes, because I'm always wrapped up inside my own.
this is so friggin awesomee!!!!
You camera's creative construction and believable visual result is splendid. To put it over the top was your techy wizardry makes this my favorite Halloween costume to date.<br>Your generosity by sharing the 'how-to' impresses as well. Thankyou &amp; Good job, you!
Thank for all your wonderful compliments. I'm glad you liked it
What do I need to do? <br>My camera came with a remote shutter that's infrared and so I need to be in front of the camera to click away
Several cameras have an infrared shutter sensor built in, but can also have a wired remote shutter plugged in. If you tell me the name of your camera I can find out if it does or not. <br>If it doesn't, you'll have to mount the button somewhere that is in-line with your camera with nothing blocking the view from the remote to the camera.
Oh I see.... Was just asking... My camera is more of one of those vertical form factors, so-called &quot;DV camera&quot; that has the shutter and all the buttons on the back. I also forgot to research on IR repeaters... My camera is an unbranded one btw...
This is really cool! I can't wait to build one of my own!
Awesome, dude!! Let me ask you: how much did you spend on this costume (more or less)?
Thanks, glad you like it! Excluding the camera equipment and laptop, I only spent about $35. The equipment I needed was all things I already had.
Very Good!!!!!!!!!
Thanks! If you like it, vote for me in the<a href="http://www.instructables.com/contest/halloween2011epiccostumes/?show=ENTRIES&sort=INSTRUCTABLE"> &quot;EPIC COSTUME&quot; contest</a>!
Super cool! Voted and rated! Thanks for sharing!<br>sunshiine
WOW, this is seriously the most impressive thing I've seen. Way to go!!
Thanks Carly! Its up for voting in the Halloween &quot;Epic costume&quot; contest, so if you have a free chance, vote on it!
The best camera costume I've ever seen.
Thanks Mike!
This <em>just </em>aired on Discovery's Daily Planet!
Awesome! I did an interview with them last Thursday, but started to think they weren't going to run it. Thanks so much for the heads up! Was it on Discovery Canada?
Yes, <a href="http://www.discoverychannel.ca/episodeList.aspx?sid=13287">it's listed as</a>:<br /> <br /> <em><strong>Monday, October 31st, 2011</strong><br /> Tonight on Daily Planet....for Halloween, a local inventor drops in to show us a high tech costume. Only on Daily Planet!<br /> ...<br /> Halloween Costume<br /> A local inventor drops in to demonstrate some of his amazing Halloween costumes. </em><br /> ----------<br /> There was no interview, but they showed your project! Can you talk about the interview, and do you have more projects to share?
Interesting. I don't know why they named me as &quot;local&quot; and an &quot;inventor&quot; because I'm neither of those things haha. I am a photographer from Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. <br><br>I don't remember the details of that particular interview specifically, but if you google camera costume, you'll find dozens of interviews, that all answer prety much the same questions. I'd be happy to personally answer any questions that anyone might have though.<br><br>I don't have any more instructables made, but I do have several things which I COULD make an instructable for, including a book light that I designed a few years ago. It is a hallowed out book, with a diffused light inside it that turns on when you open the cover, and turns off when you close it. It can be stood up after the book is opened and used as a reading light, and or laid flat and opened and used as a lamp . <br>I've made several other book related items from a book shelf (a book that serves as a shelf, that looks as if it is just floating on the wall), a book clock, and even book speakers.
I'm so glad you posted this! It's a great costume, and I love that it is a Nikon!
Thanks Penolopy! It will be up for voting in 3 of the Halloween themed contests. So be sure to vote ;)

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