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Tilt-Proof Camera

Prevents user from taking tilted/offcenter pictures
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

Real simple, actually. I dont know what the correct terms to use are, so bear with me -- By "collecting surface", I mean the part inside of a camera where the film rests, ready to be exposed.

The X-axis of the collecting surface (film, or digital) is mounted within a ring-shaped bearing with a small lead weight on the bottom... So that however you hold the camera in your hands, the collecting surface is always level to the ground.

Perhaps you could have the X-axis ring within a Y-axis ring, so that no matter how you held the camera, it would always be level to the ground and looking at the same azimuth.

Bowie23, Nov 09 2002

Tilt-shift lens http://tiltshift.info/tilt-shift-lens/
More often used to cause distortion than to correct it [gtoal, Dec 18 2014]


       I question the value of this gizmo but if you have to have it . . . .   

       The gimble in which the film plane or image capture surface resides would need to have its motion dampened lest the oscillation following a reorientation of the camera cause circular motion blur upon exposure. Also, I think that in a mechanical film camera, the entirety of the film mechanism--the roll of film, film platen, feed and winder mechanics--would be a part of that which rotated and that's a lot to drag along. This wouldn't be as big an issue with a digital camera.   

       Maybe one way to approach this would be to fix the film plane in the usual way and to have an articulated intermediate piece of optics that reprojects a properly oriented image to the imaging surface.
bristolz, Nov 09 2002

       Or just have the camera produce circular neagtives, which are then printed on to circular pices of photographic paper. No need to hold the camera level, and you make maximum use of the circular image coming from your circular lens.
hippo, Nov 09 2002

       Yes, circular negatives or imaging area could work and the image would still be rectangular but just a subregion of the total negative area. The printing process would just properly orient the rectangular subregion to the paper.
bristolz, Nov 09 2002

       Every time I've read this as "Tit-proof camera". Take it which ever way you want.
PeterSilly, Nov 10 2002

       Correcting the tilt of a photo is potentially useful, but forcing a level azimuth is usually a bad thing. I like the notion of having the camera mark the negative (or file if digital) with a "gravity is this way" indicator. That way, you can ignore the marker for those times when the slant is beneficial or use it to correct unwanted slant during the printing process. The gravity indicator would need a resolution better than 1 degree to be useful in straightening a photo, as opposed to merely selecting which edge is up.
BigBrother, Nov 11 2002

       I just use a tripod, if it's a concern. In my case it's usually the photographer that's "tilted" or "off-center."
whlanteigne, Jul 27 2003

       A *hemispherical* (rather than circular) CCD (like who uses film nowadays...) might be interesting, with the pin-hole sized lenses of modern camera modules. Mind you given the angles involved a small patch on a hemisphere is probably close to being flat anyway for anything other than extreme macro work.
gtoal, Dec 18 2014

       I do like BigBrother's suggestion above of capturing the camera's orientation. In 2014 this is trivially doable with an IMU. I wonder if anyone is doing it yet? Cameras have GPS fitted, and orientation sensors for vertical/horizontal format - those ones probably all have the required hardware already. iPhones certainly do.
gtoal, Dec 18 2014


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