If your like me, and can't even afford a DSLR, then you probably can't afford a $300 ring flash either. Not to worry, by diffusing the light from your point-and-shoot's flash, you too can produce the same effect achieved by professionals (sorta).
Step 1: Materials
Black film canister
1/8" plastic sheet
Step 2: The Concept
Step 3: Building the Diffuser
After you have made your hole, sand any text or imperfections off of the bottom of the jar. This will be your diffuser, so try for an even frosty look.
Next, cut down the jar to a size that will accommodate the body of your camera. I notched out the side of the jar and then marked a cut-off line so that the back of my camera would line-up with the back of the diffuser, and would also still line-up with the inside tube. A Dremel with a cut-off wheel is perfect for most of the cutting.
Step 4: Put it Together
Step 5: Fine Tuning
I also found that by fitting a ring of white parchment paper or tissue inside the diffuser, you can get a more even spread of light than by sanding alone (just remember that each time you spread the light you are cutting down on the output).
Lastly, you will want to paint your new ring flash. I used a nice flat black to match my camera and to look more "professional". This is also your chance to clean up any uneven lines you have resulting from the foil inside the device. Just carefully tape-off the front ring with painters tape, then spray the whole thing with a few coats.
Step 6: Why?
Note: This project was inspired by Doug R's Coffee can diffuser for a DSLR that was posted over at the excellent lighting blog Strobist.
Thanks for reading. I have several other mods in the works for Point-and-shoot cameras so stay tuned!