Pinhole Digital Camera How to Make

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Updated February 13, 2023

If you are intrigued by the idea of a pinhole digital camera and how to make one, you are not alone. This fun and fascinating camera design have been around for generations. Even better? You can easily turn the best digital camera into a pinhole digital camera with just a little bit of time and effort.


  • Pinhole cameras are a fun and experimental way to take interesting and unique photographs.
  • Making a pinhole digital camera lens cover is easy, requiring just a standard drill, some aluminum foil, tape, and, of course, a lens cover.
  • You can also purchase pre-made pinhole lens covers, though be sure they can fit your camera before you buy one.

Why Make a Pinhole Digital Camera?

Why make a pinhole digital camera? For starters, it’s different than say a VTECH children’s digital camera. And, because it’s a fun project and the end result will be some interesting and unique digital images. Also, if you are wondering if you should buy a new digital camera or perhaps purchase a used digital camera for this task, you likely will not have to. This process should be easily reversible, and certainly a bit easier than stopping motion blur on a digital camera.

How to Make a Pinhole Digital Camera

Tools Required: Pre-drilled pinhole lens cover or a drill and a standard lens cover, aluminum foil, tape

Insider Tip

If you are buying a pre-made pinhole lens cover, make sure it can easily fit on your camera lens.


You can easily create a pinhole cover by drilling a small hole into the center of a standard lens cover. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-drilled and prefabricated pinhole lens cover on eBay and related online marketplaces. They are pretty inexpensive and will further simplify the process.


If you went the DIY route and drilled your own hole, this hole will be too large to make for a successful pinhole. It is called a pinhole, after all. Cover this hole with a patch of aluminum foil, taping it to the rest of the lens cover. Feel free to use black tape, electrical tape, or any other kind of tape you have.

STEP 3 Make the Pinhole

Now that you have aluminum foil covering the small hole you made with a drill, it is time to make an even smaller hole with a pin. Prick the aluminum foil with a small pin at exactly the center of where you drilled the earlier. This should be the perfect-sized pinhole for your photographic needs. Now get out there and have some fun experimenting and taking photos.

Be aware. You won’t be able to perform many functions with the pinhole cover attached, so if you are wondering how to white balance on a digital camera, do so with the lens cover off. Alternatively, if it doesn’t work or breaks the camera, you can always donate a non-functioning digital camera.


What is pinhole photography?

Digital pinhole photography is a type of photography that doesn’t even need a glass lens. How? The aperture, or opening, is so small that it lets very little light through, so it will not overwhelm the image sensor while taking photographic images. This creates the camera obscura effect and other effects, depending on the exposure time.

Can you make a digital pinhole camera for free?

So long as you already have a lens cover, a drill, aluminum foil, and some tape, the process will not cost you any money.

How do you take digital pinhole photos?

The same way you would any photo, though you may have to run some experiments to check if your viewfinder is sensitive to see what is going on through the pinhole lens.

STAT: According to inventor William Kennedy Dickson, the first experiments directed at moving pictures by Thomas Edison and his researchers took place around 1887 and involved “microscopic pinpoint photographs, placed on a cylindrical shell”. (source)

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