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Focal Camera is an open-source modular camera project

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

Focal Camera is an open-source modular camera project

A Dutch artist has created an open-source project consisting of a modular camera, called the Focal Camera, aimed at photo enthusiasts who want to become familiar with building a handmade photographic device from scratch.

Technology has reached a point where image sensors have dozens of megapixels, they are digital, and come packed with built-in image stabilization systems. The list could go on forever, but there are still consumers who feel like the camera to suit their needs has not been created, yet. Well, here is a way for photographers to create a camera to their own liking, courtesy of the Focal Camera project.

The Focal Camera is an open-source project consisting of a modular camera prototype that includes many designs for handmade cameras. It has been developed by Mathijs van Oosterhoudt, a Dutch artist who aims to teach people everything that there is to know of the technical aspect of a photographic device.

Now you can create your own camera thanks to the Focal Camera open-source modular camera project

Mathijs van Oosterhoudt has been experimenting with modular cameras for a number of years. The experiments have ultimately led to the Focal Camera project.

This open-source project is free to use for non-commercial purposes and it shows that it is easy to build your own camera with the right tools at your disposal.

Focal Camera example
Here is what you can create with 3mm plywood, black paint, and knowledge.

It may sound impossible to create your own SLR, but all you need is to learn how to do it. This is what the Focal Camera does: it provides instructions for creating handmade cameras.

The project shows that you need some 3mm plywood and a laser cutter. The former is easy to acquire, while the latter could be a problem in some countries. However, once you find a laser cutter, you can create the parts for the desired modular camera.

Focal Camera example with lens
One example of a Focal Camera with a dedicated lens.

The parts can be interlocked with ease, as this is the reason why the instructions have been created. The list of components depends on the camera type, meaning that you may want to add an optical viewfinder or different types of shutters.

There are plenty of examples available at the project’s official website. If you do not know where to get started, then check out the cameras and pick one that you like. One more thing worth noting is that even the lens design can be customized.

Focal Camera compact example
There are many Focal Camera models and the list includes compact units.

Let us know if you are planning to create your own modular camera with the help of the Focal Camera!

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Focal Camera is an open-source modular camera project