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Unusual, DIY ways to modify your smartphone's camera

Here are tips, tricks, mods and gadgets to make your smartphone's camera more interesting.

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Topic: Mobile OS
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1 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Use a laser pointer to create a macro lens

By dissecting an old laser pointer and removing the focusing lens from within, you can attach this in front of your smartphone camera's lens using little more than some duct tape and a hairpin. Try zooming in now -- and enjoy your makeshift macro lens. 

Via: randoh12

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2 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

HELMUT Film Scanner

The Helmut film scanner, available on Android, transforms your phone into a photographic film scanner. When you capture images through the camera or alternatively store them in a gallery after shooting them with a DSLR, save the frame using the Helmut application. Crop, tweak, and use a number of color balance tools after the scan to digitize your old negatives. 

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3 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Water drops that create a macro lens

One of the oldest tricks in the book, but still a valuable tip -- and free to implement. An alternative way to create a macro lens on your smartphone camera is simple enough -- place a drop of water on the lens and flip the camera over quickly so it does not spill, then have fun.  

 

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4 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Photojojo iPhone and Android Lens Series

If you're not interested in creating your own smartphone lenses, a reasonably-priced set of different lenses can be bought from Photojojo. Available for both iPhone and Android-based phones as well as a variety of other devices, the aluminium lenses are equipped with an adhesive removable metal ring to magnetically attach the lens to your phone. 

Fisheye, wide angle, macro and telephoto lenses are available. 

Via: Photojojo

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5 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The Optrix iPhone Adventure Suit

If you want to push your smartphone's camera to the limit and try out underwater photography, the Optrix iPhone Adventure Suit is a tough case to protect your phone -- while you use the inbuilt three-element wide-angle lens to take pictures.

The case is available for $130, and can be purchased with the 'super sucker' for $180. 

Via: Photojojo

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6 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The iPhone Lens Dial

The iPhone's camera is pretty good, but if you want to turn things up a notch, the iPhone lens dial is a cool-looking magnetized accessory that gives photographers access to three different lenses just by rotating the disc. 

The accessory -- priced at $249 -- has three glass lenses: a wide angle (0.7x), fisheye (0.33x) and telephoto (1.5x), as well as an additional macro lens for the iPhone 5/5s version. Two tripod mounts are included.

Via: Photojojo

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7 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Tilt and shift

You can do more than create makeshift macro and pinhole lenses with your smartphone. How about a tilt and shift effect?

By using a cheap CCTV lens, such as a Goyo 4.5mm, you can manufacture a DIY Tilt-Shift; take it apart, then combine the front element with one of the back elements using plastic screws. Once complete, using rubber bands and a smartphone case, you can put the makeshift lens in place. 

Via: Maciej Pietuszynski 

 

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8 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

How to create an iPhone ring light

Ring lights are used by photographers to give shadows less glow and soften images. While often expensive, you can make your iPhone a ring light for less than $20. 

You will need a rubber case for your phone, velcro, scissors and an LED camping light. After cutting the velcro to the width of your phone case and sticking the tap to the ring -- ideally with the lights 'on' button centered at the opposite side of the velcro -- all you need to do is line up line up the ring and the lens of your camera and velcro one to the other.

Via: DIY photography

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9 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Make your smartphone a thermal camera?

There are a few thermal-imaging apps for mobile devices on the market, but they are generally not very flexible and limited in effects. Instead, you can pre-order the $325 Kickstarter-backed Mu Thermal Imager, which is due for release in a few months.

The product turns your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer into a thermal camera with a resolution of up to 19200 pixels simply by clipping it on. 

Via: Mu Optrics

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10 of 10 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Create a pinhole camera

A simple idea for creating a pinhole camera to create different effects with your smartphone for the retro fans. Gather scissors, tape, a needle, cardboard and your smartphone, take the cardboard and poke a hole in the center of a small square using the needle, and then line up the hole with the smartphone camera lens -- using the camera function will make the job easier.

Next, secure the cardboard with tape, and voila!

Via: Robynonline

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