Introduction: Self-Portrait Camera Mirror

Inspired by Samsung's new Dual View TL220 digital camera that has a second LCD screen on the front so you can see yourself when you snap your own picture, I velcroed a small mirror to my existing digital camera and saved over 300 bucks!

When I thought about how many pictures I have taken of myself while holding the camera at arms length, I realized that a feature that would allow you to see what you're shooting would actually be pretty darn useful.  

The mirror shows exactly what's in the center of the photo, so as long as I can see a nose or an eye in the mirror when taking a self portrait, I can be pretty sure that the photo will come out well situated.  Bye bye half-head self portrait photos!




Step 1: Inspired by Samsung

Way to go Samsung - this is a good idea!  But, since I've already got a digital camera that meets my needs and hasn't broken *yet*, I thought I'd take 5 minutes and 2 bucks and modify my existing camera to have the same functionality using some old school technology - mirrors baby, mirrors.

Step 2: Materials

This project is dead simple:
  • Digital Camera
  • Sticky backed Velcro
  • Small 1" - 2" mirror (convex is best, flat is ok, concave w/magnification is no good)
Small mirrors are everywhere.  Check out mirrors from compacts and make up.  The one I liked best was from an "Inspection Mirror" made by "General Tools" bought for 2 bucks from a hardware store.

Step 3: Liberate Mirror

Unscrew the wingnut and liberate the mirror from the handle.  Then, pry the little bracket off of the back of the mirror using your hands or a pliers.  Careful, don't break the mirror.

Step 4: Flatten the Back

The bracket leaves two little bumps on the back of the mirror.  Since the mirror has got to lay perfectly flat on the camera body to work, use the pliers to squash the bumps down and make it smooth.

Step 5: Stick Velcro

Take one piece of the sticky backed Velcro and attach it to the camera just below the lens.  Take the other piece of Velcro and attach it to the back of the mirror.  Press firmly.

Step 6: Attach Mirror

Attach the mirror to the camera.

Step 7: Use

The reflection in the mirror isn't nearly as big as the entire field that will be captured in the photo, so I just use it to target the center of the image, making sure that my self portrait captures the most important stuff - ME, or me and my loved ones/friends.

We've all seen bad examples of how bad self portraits can be, where half of someone's face get's chopped off.  The images below are of some of the Instructables Staff testing the self portrait mirror out, and as you can see, the result look pretty good!



Comments

author
DMiyash248 made it!(author)2010-04-27

Buy a small 2" round convex blindspot auto mirror. The mirror usually has a self adhesive backing which I do not advise on using. Unless you prefer the mirror to be attached to your camera permanently.

author
egbertfitzwilly made it!(author)2010-10-28

That's a really good idea.

author
bloomautomatic made it!(author)2010-02-10

Nice work.   Here's what I used to do in the pre digital days.  If the camera has a regular viewfinder, line it up so you can see light through it from the front.  if you can see through the viewfinder from the front, the camera should be pointed directly at you.  should be, that is...  more and more point and shoots don't have viewfinders, so this trick is quickly becoming obsolete.

v

author
wobbler made it!(author)2010-08-20

I like this tip, which I didn't know about. If there's no viewfinder, why not create a viewfinder on the camera by putting a small tube on the top. When you are looking through it, the lens is pointing at you. Or even better might be just two raised blips, one behind the other on the camera surface. which line up when you are pointing the camera at yourself. These don't need to be big, they could be two small dots of raised paint or two small cut off pin heads. You'd then just need to look at the dots and move the camera so they overlap. This appears to work in a quick mock-up I've tried with a couple of blobs of blutak.

author
halvis made it!(author)2010-04-17

I like this idea a lot! Sadly (or maybe happily), I've got a G10, and there's no room for such a mirror. I plan to make one out of a blind spot mirror for cars and making a bracket to fit to the tripod hole. Need it for videos and such! Maybe I'll make an instructable for it! ;)

author
toogers made it!(author)2010-07-25

possibly, you could use a one-way mirror over the lens?

author
qtpie121 made it!(author)2010-03-07

I just have one question. Lets say you were to decide you want to take the velcro off the camera. Will it come off, since its a sticky based or no? Answer asap pls, thanks. :}

author
halvis made it!(author)2010-04-17

Velcro can leave a horrible, sticky mess, at least the type I use, but there is a remedy: Gasoline. Or lighter fuel. Be careful, though, and use a rag just wetted with the stuff, or else you'll destroy the camera.

author
noahw made it!(author)2010-03-08

I didn't find that the brand name Velcro leaves any sticky residue on my camera, but I can't provide any universal assurances.  Even if it does, you could always use some of that Goof Off to remove it.  I've always found that stuff to work quite well.


author
fwjs28 made it!(author)2010-02-13

congrats on being featured on Lifehacker
http://lifehacker.com/5467624/add-a-self+portrait-mirror-to-your-camera 

author
Jayefuu made it!(author)2010-02-13

I came here to post the same thing :p Congrats Noah

author
fwjs28 made it!(author)2010-02-14

he-he
didnt i beat you to it one other time :P 

author
poi_pai made it!(author)2010-02-13

Great idea!,  Simple, effective, and cheap!  I just have to ask, is that a Squirrel you're holding in the picture?

author
noahw made it!(author)2010-02-13

That is a squirrel that I'm holding.  Mr. Squirrels as I like to call him. 

My friend and I taxidermied the little guy after finding it dead, but intact, on the side of the road one day in Oregon.

Sorry, no Instructable on that one...

author
misterpicture made it!(author)2010-02-13

I like it. Although I think trying to see my whole big head in such a tiny mirror might be a problem.

author
sjoobbani made it!(author)2010-02-13

 Great Idea! I was thinking about something along the lines of this, but just couldn't figure it out, that was right after I heard about the samsung camera on Gadget Pron.
What Lumix camera is that?
model?

author
mylesgee made it!(author)2010-02-10

I absolutely detest adverts which advertise "free download" and then go on to look for cash- zeech I give up !!!!

author
brainwise made it!(author)2010-02-10

 I can't believe I never thought of this. Well-played.

author
brainwise made it!(author)2010-02-10

 Rated and faved it.

author
Chromatica made it!(author)2010-02-10

Sweet!
That was a punch in the face to samsung!

author
Chromatica made it!(author)2010-02-10

http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/flagship/TL220/animation.html
Of course it can't do this.

author
joebucka made it!(author)2010-02-10

Probably would work good for candids over your shoulder. Spy type pictures. The subject would not be aware of your intentions.

author
buteomont made it!(author)2010-02-09

A lot of folks don't realize it, but most cell phone cameras have this feature built-in.  Ever notice that little shiny silver dome-shaped thingy right next to the lens on your cell phone?  That's what it's for!

author
clarkie5 made it!(author)2010-02-09

that makes alot more sense than 2 screens.good work.

author
capricorn made it!(author)2010-02-09

Easy, cheap, effective smart.

A wonderful 'Ible mate, kudos :)

author
mattthegamer463 made it!(author)2010-02-08

This is the definition of the word Ingenious. 

Amazing job.

author
scoochmaroo made it!(author)2010-02-08

It works SURPRISINGLY well.  You should mention that part.  Really really good.

author
guitarman63mm made it!(author)2010-02-08

I think Nikon got it right with their D5000.  The screen tilts and swivels to almost any degree you need.

author
Biohazard1194 made it!(author)2010-02-08

Brilliant. Nice work.

author
Hiyadudez made it!(author)2010-02-08

Looks good.

5*

About This Instructable

21,536views

34favorites

License:

Bio: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs ... More »
More by noahw:How to Send Art Into Outer SpaceCómo soldar意式烤面包食谱
Add instructable to: