Instructables

Self-Portrait Camera Mirror

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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!




 
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Step 1: Inspired by Samsung

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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

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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

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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

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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.
DMiyash2484 years ago
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.
That's a really good idea.
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
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.
halvis4 years ago
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! ;)
toogers halvis4 years ago
possibly, you could use a one-way mirror over the lens?
qtpie1214 years ago
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. :}
halvis qtpie1214 years ago
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.
noahw (author)  qtpie1214 years ago
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.


fwjs284 years ago
congrats on being featured on Lifehacker
http://lifehacker.com/5467624/add-a-self+portrait-mirror-to-your-camera 
Jayefuu fwjs284 years ago
I came here to post the same thing :p Congrats Noah
fwjs28 Jayefuu4 years ago
he-he
didnt i beat you to it one other time :P 
poi_pai4 years ago
Great idea!,  Simple, effective, and cheap!  I just have to ask, is that a Squirrel you're holding in the picture?
noahw (author)  poi_pai4 years ago
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...
I like it. Although I think trying to see my whole big head in such a tiny mirror might be a problem.
sjoobbani4 years ago
 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?
mylesgee4 years ago
I absolutely detest adverts which advertise "free download" and then go on to look for cash- zeech I give up !!!!
brainwise4 years ago
 I can't believe I never thought of this. Well-played.
 Rated and faved it.
Chromatica4 years ago
Sweet!
That was a punch in the face to samsung!
http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/flagship/TL220/animation.html
Of course it can't do this.
joebucka4 years ago
Probably would work good for candids over your shoulder. Spy type pictures. The subject would not be aware of your intentions.
buteomont4 years ago

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!

clarkie54 years ago
that makes alot more sense than 2 screens.good work.
capricorn4 years ago
Easy, cheap, effective smart.

A wonderful 'Ible mate, kudos :)
This is the definition of the word Ingenious. 

Amazing job.
scoochmaroo4 years ago
It works SURPRISINGLY well.  You should mention that part.  Really really good.
I think Nikon got it right with their D5000.  The screen tilts and swivels to almost any degree you need.
Brilliant. Nice work.
Hiyadudez4 years ago
Looks good.

5*