Update 1/25/2011 – I’ve now made it tripod-compatible!
If you’re one of the 2 to 3 people that read this blog regularly, you might wonder how I take all of the blurry pictures of my projects. The Answer is with my cell phone. Or my Env2 “feature phone”, whatever that means. I do own an actual digital camera, but 2 Megapixels is plenty of detail for the pictures I usually post on this site and my phone is generally with me all the time.
This usually works fine, but when you want to hold a shot really steady or shoot video, especially when you’re working the controls of something yourself, the holding method could be better. After some marginal success trying to stack random objects to hold my phone steady, I thought of an extremely simple solution. After several minutes with a saw and milling machine, this is what I came up with:
Not elegant by any means, but for something that can be made in 15 minutes or so, it was really a great solution. All one needs to do is cut a piece of 2 x4 to 5″. Then mill a 1/2 inch slot .75 – .8 inches deep 4 inches long including radii (so with a 1/2 inch mill, plunge and traverse 3.5 inches). Start the cut centered .75 inches from the side and front edge and it should turn out centered with 1/2 inch space in front of it. Here’s an illustration:
As for still photo results while using it, here’s the setup and a picture of the resulting close-up of my vise using my “custom” stand:
As for video, here’s an example of panning on the flat surface of the top of my toolbox (setup is like the first photo). You can judge for yourself, but considering the minimal effort I put into this, I’m very pleased with the results:
Although the length and possibly thickness of the cut in the wood may have to be adjusted, this technique should work with other phones nicely as well. For more information taking pictures and video with your Env2, please see this post. Also, check out these stop motion animation videos that I did using this setup.