6 Ways to Use Your Digital Camera for DIY

created on: 01/07/09

Anecdote: When MWT and I first started dating, I assisted him in changing the brakes on one of his old beaters. I've forgotten which one. It could have been 'Herb', the 1964 Chevelle handed down from his grandfather, or the '76 Nova that he bought from his family's barber, or the rusty/orange GMC 10 pickup of an unknown year affectionately referred to as 'The Unit'. Whichever it was, when the tire was off and the parts were scattered across the garage floor, we realized we didn't pay close enough attention to how we dismantled the thing. We were in quite the pickle. We decided the only way were were going to get the job done was to disassemble the opposite tire/brakes, keeping track step by step how it came apart so we could put BOTH right again. It would have been the perfect opportunity to employ a Polaroid to shoot the dismantling process. Nowadays, of course, if we find ourselves facing a similar predicament, we whip out the old digital point and shoot. 

There are other ways a digital camera can come in handy for the diy-er. Here are six tips from DIY Life that you might want to keep in mind when starting your next project:

  1. Use it as a reference tool. (As exhibited above.)
  2. Use it as a replacement part stand-in. This way you can take the pic to your local hardware store to show the folks there just what you're looking for.
  3. Use it as a periscope. Your hand + camera can get into tight spaces your head can't reach!
  4. Use it as a flashlight. If you hold down the trigger half way, the autofocus infrared signal will engage, providing you with light in emergency situations.
  5. Use it as a magnifying glass. The zoom function can get closer than you can.
  6. Use it as a label maker. Take a picture of stored items that you put in boxes and then adhere the pics to the boxes for quick and clever reference. 

Did DIY Life miss a tip? If you have one to add, please post in the comments below!

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