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Building your own digital camera from a kit is a fantastic way to learn about optics, mechanics, electromagnetism, electronics and image processing. Shree Nayar, a professor of computer science at Columbia University, is the creator of Bigshot, a build-it-yourself camera kit meant for learning, creativity, and fun. I had the chance to talk to Shree at World Maker Faire New York in September as the camera kit made its Maker Faire debut.

After building the camera and learning how it works, you can then experiment with framing, lighting, motion, and lens selection.

“What’s unique about the kit is that it allows you to juxtapose an experience in the sciences with an experience in the arts,” said Shree. It also has a crank on the side to charge the battery. “The whole idea here is to include features that would expose the kids to not just how a camera works, but rather a variety of science and engineering concepts related to the camera.”

 

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.


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