Instructables

Camera Chest Rest

FeaturedContest Winner

When I fractured my right arm, I realised that handling a SLR camera with a plastered arm wouldn't be possible: the grip is on the right handside and so is the shutter release button.
After 6 weeks, when the plaster came off, my hand and arm were now to weak to handle the camera.

Luckily for me, this was a matter of time. Other people are less fortunate.

This has inspired me to develop an idea that I had during my period of discomfort and to share it with you in the "Health by Design Contest". If you like it, please vote for me!

The idea is simple: a device transfers the weight of the camera to your chest. This makes the handling of the camera very light and very stable (picture below was taken with one hand, shutter speed was 1/3 !).
All you need is some PVC tubing and a special hinge.


Note
This device can help people with a weak arm or hand, but it can be helpful to people with Parkinson to stabilise the camera.
Naturally it can be used for stabilising pocket cameras as well. You can then slim down the design by using smaller (copper) tubing. Moreover, you do not need a hinge as the lens is retracted in the camera.
 
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Step 1: What you need.


* Two PVC pipes (length 70 mm, diameter 32 mm)
* One PVC pipe (length 170 mm, diameter 32 mm)
* A PVC T-piece that can accomodate the PVC pipes. 
* A hinge. In the picture it's the rectangular Aluminium beam that will be cut to shape a hinge. 
* A bolt and a nut (50 mm long, 5 mm thread).
 
 

What a great idea... will pass this on to my camera mad brother-in-law... thanks for the instructable!
guyzo353 years ago
Just built one for my dad, I think he's gonna love it!
bertus52x11 (author)  guyzo353 years ago
That's great to hear!! Let me know what he thought of it.
June is " I made it challenge". You might want to check this out.. 
Thanks for the tip! Here is my take on it: the limiting factor for me was the width of the aluminum hinge, (the biggest size I could find was 1"/25mm square), which decreased the diameter of the pipes, but otherwise I kept your given dimensions. Unfortunately, my dad has a shorter strap than yours, so I found a quick fix and showed him how to just tuck his straps under the chest rest, which serves the same purpose.
0620101133.jpg0620101140.jpg
bertus52x11 (author)  guyzo353 years ago
Cool! The fact that you hinge is smaller, makes the entire design slimmer. I was forced to use 10 mm PVC pipe, making it rather bulky. Does it work as expected? I'll send you a patch this evening!
micobanff3 years ago
 PVC tubing is so awesome and versatile! There are some other great DIY photo equip made with PVC tubing on http://www.diyphotography.net
hogtowner4 years ago
Another suggestion....use a remote for shutter release.  Those with Parkinson's could use both hands to steady them.  Or weak handed people, like you after the cast or people who had a mild stroke could easy look through the finder and leave their hand by their side to release the shutter.

Great idea.  A lighter and more portable version of the camera rigs used in films where the person seems to glide to a location as you are looking at them.  Of course, that faces the actor not the audience, per se.
bertus52x11 (author)  hogtowner4 years ago
Yes, there are some great hacks for remote shutters and wired shutters here on Instructables. But since they very much depend on the brand of camera, I haven't added them.
jamowa4 years ago
Excellent design!  We have already begun assembling the materials.  Where did you find the caps for the pipe ends?
bertus52x11 (author)  jamowa4 years ago
They are used to cap the end of a pipe and are just for sale with the other PVC elements.
Ray-l-l4 years ago
Wonderful idea I will have to try this.
lemonie4 years ago
I dislike PVC as a construction tool, but this is a really great build - I hope you get a win in the competition.

L
Dislike PVC? Thinkenstein seems to disagree... Why don't you like it?
It's synthetic, needs glue usually wood / other natural materials appeal to me more.

L
nickodemus4 years ago
Great idea, this is great for those with Parkinson's disease. I'm sure it also keeps the camera fairly steady, I hope you win!
that's a great idea! I would definately use it in low light conditions.
bullen4 years ago
 I see this as a great useful aid, good luck and thanks for the camera rest
Entropy5124 years ago
Hmm...  A variant of this might be great for supporting my Bigma, and far less scary than a BushHawk.
gmjhowe4 years ago
 This is a great idea, even for normal photographers the extra stability can make the difference. What I like most is how the camera is worn around the neck as per usual, yet you can just flip it up and support and use the camera.
bertus52x11 (author) 4 years ago
Vote for me in the " Healt by Design Contest" !
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