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Video Pinhole

pinhole image taken with a video cameraFollows the same rules as regular pinhole cameras, the only difference is that the CCD sensor is substituted for the film. 

IT IS ESSENTIAL TO GET A LOWLIGHT CCD CAMERA. Remember those F#s for pinholes! Also, with video, there is no way to adjust the exposure to be longer than 1/60 of a second (video frame rate). So the typical several second to several minute exposure of a large format pinhole will not work here

There are inexpensive B&W cameras available. See suppliers. You will need a VCR or other capture device to use this camera as it is just the camera not a camcorder. (in fact, on most camcorders, it is impossible to remove the lens, so they are not suitable for pinhole video). Some of these suppliers sell the entire pinhole video camera, so you do not have to come up with a pinhole yourself.

Size in mm

Focal Length











NOTE: because of the small size of a 1/3 inch sensor, the focal lengths corresponding to wide angle, normal and telephoto are different than for 35 mm.

Incredible images from the "bugs eye view" are possible. Images can be captured into a computer and used as is or captured onto a VCR or DVR for some bizarre special effects.

Chris Patton, cpatton@stanford.edu