I bought my wife a new canon sd 780 camera for her birthday. This thing is smaller than a deck of cards but shoots 720p video! So of course I want to play with it. I do have a tendency to wreck things I use though so I wanted to find a way to protect it from the elements. I was doing some shooting in a light rain and was really paranoid about frying the circuits. I came up with the idea to make a super simple small rain shield out of some scrap I had lying around.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
For this job I used some scrap stainless steel sheet metal I had lying around.
I needed one 1/4 20 bolt to attach it to the tripod mount.
I used an angle grinder with a zip disk, I used about 4 clamps, a drill and a hammer and center punch. I also used a small sheet metal bender but this could be done with a vice if you don't have one.
I also used the 3d cad program called solidworks to help me design the shield. If you don't have or know this program there is google sketchup which I hear is good, easy and free. This could also be figured out with a tape measure and a piece of cardboard.
Step 2: Design
I used the cad software to model the camera first, then I created the shield around it This gave me the size and the bend angles. I was able to print out a flat pattern at a 1x1 scale.
Step 3: The Build
I cut out the flat pattern and taped it onto the stainless steel. I used a center punch to mark right through the paper. I marked the hole for the mounting screw, all the corners in the outside shape and the bend lines. I then used a straight edge and a marker to connect the dots. Drill the hole slightly larger than 1/4 inch. With a zip cut it took about 2 minutes to cut out the pattern. Make sure to clean up the edges because they will be razor sharp. If you have a break press you can finish now but my bender won't handle much in the way of steel. If you are bending with a vice you will also need to do this extra step. I scored the steel by cutting about 1/3rd of the way through on the inside of the bend. After this it is easy to make nice straight bends. Use the bend template to approximate the angles and fine tune it right on the camera.
Step 4: The Installation
Installation is as simple as it gets. You can just line up the hole and shove the screw from your tripod right through it and into your camera. If you want to use it hand held, just use your own 1/4 20 screw to hold it in place.
The whole project from start to finish took about 15 minutes and cost nothing because I had the stuff lying around.
I also made a video for my friends podcast of this build.
my part is at 5m55s