Spoil Your Point and Shoot By Making it A Waist Level Shooter

Jan 12, 2015

Paul Richters

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

Spoil Your Point and Shoot By Making it A Waist Level Shooter

Jan 12, 2015

Paul Richters

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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If you are missing the good old time where decent cameras shot from the waist, or if you just wanna shoot from the waist like they do in all the big fashion productions of the 80’s, then this is a tutorial for you.

The idea spans around taking a Canon powershot N (or a similar camera with a tilting screen) and adding a rectangular piece of wood (8x6x5.5cm) changing the camera into a Rolleiflex lookalike.

The idea is described in the schema below:


Then you add the LCD hood:


Here are some tips and pointers on building this beauty.

This diagram roughly shows the concept of the build:


Tips on building  the wooden body part

The camera body on the inside isn’t completely flat:

  • Make room for the battery compartment

There are two covers which need to be opened from time to time

  • Make room for opening the cover of the micro SD -card
  • Make room for opening the cover of the USB-port /power adapter

To actually enjoy holding the new wooden body part of the camera you’ll have to round the edges. For this I used a router

Tips on Strap and Mounting

New strap holes should be added. The center of gravity is changed by the added weight, so the original strap holes are now in the wrong place. We can use them, though to fix the camera to the new body

Before fixing the camera to the wooden body, make sure it fits snugly on the wood and that you have left spaces for the SD card, USB port and battery compartment.

The last step is fixing the camera to the wooden cube. You can do this by adding approximately 7cm of double adhesive tape between the underside of the LCD screen and the wooden body.

For further fixation use a small piece of rope from the “old” camera strap hole to the new screw with hole.

Attach the LCD hood on the top and you are done.

There you have it. Done right, you should end up with something like this:

waist-level-camera-05 waist-level-camera-04 waist-level-camera-02 waist-level-camera-08 waist-level-camera-07 waist-level-camera-06

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61 responses to “Spoil Your Point and Shoot By Making it A Waist Level Shooter”

  1. tempfile Avatar

    Top kek

  2. Michael Mulligan Avatar
    Michael Mulligan

    I kind of want to buy one just to have it…

    That’s kind of awesome..

  3. jojo Avatar

    Nice. I often shoot this way. I like a waist level finder, but they were more suited to the 6×6 square format and a square image or cropping after the shot, because with a reflex design the image was reversed left to right. Try following action with that!

    Using the LCD in this way overcomes that difficulty, but try a vertical shot….

  4. Ren Lok Avatar
    Ren Lok

    Great idea!! and looks pretty to me :D

  5. Kivi Shaps Avatar
    Kivi Shaps

    Price is right. Do it.

  6. Pubilius Avatar

    Round screw with hole? where does that go?

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      The screw with hole goes opposite the Original strap hole on the Canon N.
      I used it to fix the wooden part thightly to the Canon.

  7. Ilya the Great Avatar
    Ilya the Great

    Some possible improvement. In stead of a wooden block, use a box with a door where you can store additional battery, memory cards and other photo related items.

  8. buddah610 Avatar

    Is it a touch screen? How do you operate the different functions? I think it’s a wonderful idea. I just was wondering since everything is covered up. Or, are you able to get inside?

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      The powershot has a touchscreen. There are no buttons on the inside. The only thing the wooden body prevents is moving the lcd-screen back down again. On the upside, the grip and handling of the camera improves dramaticly.

  9. Ley Avatar

    Where can I get round screw with hole?

    1. Guest Avatar

      Just look for 1/4″ to 3/8″ screw adapters on ebay or any other onine store that might sell it. Like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-16-to-1-4-20-Convert-Screw-Adapter-for-Monotripod-Tripod-New-/181493433883?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a41da061b

    2. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Try your local harware shop or bicycle shop.
      It is a normal screwtype on bicycles.

  10. Jerry Avatar

    Or how to convert a tiny pocket size camera to a box that needs a bag to carry!

  11. Iggy Avatar

    Wonderful idea. I give it 9/10. I am avid shooter of mamiya and yashica TLR’s. The only thing I would change is to make box more part of the body, and to salvage an actual waist level finder from TLR. but other wise it’s a great idea to copy. I can only imagine how much joy it is to hold this little sucker!

  12. Humpty-Dumpty Avatar

    This is great for street photography. You want to avoid eye contact as you want to avoid interacting with the people you photograph as a street photographer to preserve the authenticity of the situation. You do not want people to pose but to act as normal as they do when they do not know that they are photographed.

  13. MARK Avatar

    Hi Paul,

    I have not felt confortable the way taking photos with LCD screen and
    with my eyes with ‘normal’ myopia and presbyopia, as it makes my face
    look like idiot with my glasses half down on my nose.

    Since I loved to use Rolleiflex before digital era, I have looked around
    the possibility for waist level finder with digital. Only a few choices
    were Rolleiflex Toy and Hasselbrad digital pack $$$$$ as you know. The
    body for 6×6 does not make sense for digital today, but as you
    presented, 6×6 body does something more for us.

    I happend to see your work about a year ago, and I want to have it. So I
    made my version with bland plate “EFFECT SKOTT”.

    My greatest appreciation to your idea. You make my photo life way more
    comfortable and challenging!


    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Hi Mark,

      Nice to actualy see somebody picking up this idea and making his own waist level camera. The viewfinder looks great. Did you use an old on? The corners of the body still look rather sharp to me. I like the more rounded (female) corners. The biggest compliment for me is that this camera actualy works for you.

      Greetings, Paul

    2. Richard Leeuw Avatar
      Richard Leeuw

      He mark, nice hood! Where did you get it and is there a possibility to order one? I couldn’t find the effect skott through google.

  14. slebovits Avatar

    this is awesome. if i can find a canon powershot n, would you please make a box set up for me. of course i’ll pay.

    invermere, bc, canada

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      I wil send you the 3D-models for the N-grip by mail.
      You can print them in the colour matching the Powershot N, or in any other colour available.

      1. slebovits Avatar

        hi paul,

        thanks but i don’t have a 3-d printer. would you print it/mail it? if not, i can try and find someone with a printer.
        thanks for getting back to me.


        1. Paul Richters Avatar
          Paul Richters

          Hello Stephen,

          If you upload the file to the website 3dhubs.com they wil give you shops in your neighbourhood which can print the model. That’s cheaper than printing it in Holland and sending it to Canada.

          Greetings, Paul

          1. slebovits Avatar

            thanks for the tip.

            send the plans when your ready.

            have a great day!

            Stephen Lebovits

          2. Paul Richter Avatar
            Paul Richter

            They should be in your email box.


          3. slebovits Avatar

            hi paul,

            i don’t see them, can you please resend directly to:



            Stephen Lebovits

  15. Katy Avatar

    Hello Paul

    I am very interest in the 3D models as well. I am an amateur photographer and would like to try this style of photography after watching the documentary on Vivian Maier. I would greatly appreciate it or will pay you for the 3D model! Thank you in advance. Katy katy.moy13@gmail.com

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Hello Katy,

      I wil e-mail them to you. The models are free. They are for a the Powershot N but might be adapted for the Powershot N2.

  • Kelly Bruce Avatar
    Kelly Bruce

    Hi Paul could you mail me the 3D plans – it’s my birthday at the end of the week and would love this!

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      If you give me an e-mail adress, I wil send them to you.


      1. Kelly Bruce Avatar
        Kelly Bruce

        HI Paul thank you so much my email is kellybbruce@gmail.com


        1. Paul Richters Avatar
          Paul Richters

          They shhould be in your e-mailbox.
          If you don’t see them check your spam.

  • Lauren Kinney Avatar
    Lauren Kinney

    Paul…you are a genius. I echo the sentiments of so many posters before me. I would love to have the 3D plans for this. I just ordered the camera from amazon after seeing your DIY project. Thank you in advance for your generosity! Please email to lauren8402 @gmail.com at your earliest convenience! I can’t wait to try it out! Do you have any suggestions for neck straps? That’s the only thing I have yet to order on amazon, because I just wasn’t sure what would work with this set up. I have never shot from the hip before…

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      The models should be in your email.
      I’m using the neck straps from my Ricoh cameras (GRD’s/GXR’s), the GS-1 and the ST-2. They are long and small enough and go well with this small camera.
      Greetings from Holland and succes with the assembling, Paul.

      1. AMorgan Avatar

        Paul, I agree with Lauren, your Rolleiflex lookalike is genius.. Please, send me the 3D plans I have also ordered the camera and neck strap.
        My email is ssmelser714 @gmail.com Many thanks in anvance.

  • Björn Avatar

    Hi Paul, can you send me the 3D plans too? My email is thorxbrun@gmail.com.
    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Dear Björn,
      I’ve posted the 3D-plans today. Check youre spam if you don’t see them in your inbox.
      Succes with the assembling. I wouldn’t mind seeing a photo of your finished camera.
      Greetings from Holland,
      Paul Richters

  • radax Avatar

    Hallo Paul! I love this project, and just ordered the PowerShot N based on your tutorial. Could you send me the 3D plans? Brerrin@outlook.com Greetings from NYC! Dank je :) looking forward to using this for some street photography!

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Succes with the construction of your waist level shooter.

  • Steven Hall Avatar
    Steven Hall

    Hello Paul,

    I just stumbled across this (a year and a half late to the party). A very fun project. Thanks for posting it. It gives me some ideas of my own.

    I’d like to also be sent the 3D file if possible. You can either e-mail to shallnotlive.ca (replace the with the appropriate symbol) or drag and drop it to the balloon located at https://balloon.io/shall

    If you have access to a dropbox or google drive account you might just upload the file there and get a link to it to share instead of sending mail directly to folks. Just an idea.

    Thanks again,

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Hello Steven,
      I’v created a google drive account and added the files.

      1. Steven Hall Avatar
        Steven Hall

        Thanks for the link. Files received. You might want to double check to see if the Netherland photos are really supposed to be there.

  • Louie Hotop Avatar
    Louie Hotop

    Thanks for the post, Paul! I am very interested in getting one of these printed for my canon powershot n. Could you send the files to my email? (LouHotop@gmail.com).

    Thank you very much!

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Hello Louie,
      I’v created a google drive account with the 3D-files.
      You can download them here: https://goo.gl/hywb39

  • Richard Leeuw Avatar
    Richard Leeuw

    He I just finished my n2 upgrade. Works like a charm now. I printed the body (with the adjustments needed for an n2). And I added some sticky foil with leather texture to the sides.

      1. Zippy Avatar

        Hi Richard. Just picked up a N2 and am about to order the body from Paul’s 3D file. I’m hoping you can share link or description of which viewfinder hood you used and the bolts/rings for the strap. my email is vermelho mac.com

    1. Ferdinand Avatar

      Dear Richard, your camera looks great. which material did you use for 3d Printing? Many thanks in advance, Ferdinand

      1. Richard Leeuw Avatar
        Richard Leeuw

        he hi, sorry for the late response and another sorry for the non-info i’m going to give you.

        i honestly don’t know anymore. it was mostly technical what he said and i trusted him to make it out of the wright material. i asked him not for the lightest material and that it should be good in hot conditions since i travel i warm countries a lot.

    2. Tibo Carr Avatar
      Tibo Carr

      hello, I just came across the discussion… I’m years late. If someone still have these 3D plans, it would be great? could you send them to me? I tried to click on the Google drive link, but it’s no longer available. thanks in advance


  • Paul Richters Avatar
    Paul Richters

    For those people who own a Canon Powershot N2 instead of a N, I added the 3D model for the N2 to my google drive account.

  • Ferdinand Avatar

    Which material is best to use for 3D printing? Thanks!

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      The ones I use were printed with the material PLA which is biodegradable and created from plant matter. Another possibillity is using ABS. These plastics have almost the same properties so it doesn’t really matter.

  • Vanessa Avatar

    Hi Paul, This is fantastic!
    I am interested in receiving the model for 3D printing.
    Can you email me so I can send you my address?

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      Hello Vanessa,

      The 3d-models are available at my : https://goo.gl/hywb39.
      You can download them there.
      There also some pictures from Holland I took with my Powershot.
      I like this camera because the way its making composing a picture more natural.
      I hope you will have fun with your camera.

  • Zippy Avatar

    I’m years behind on this thread I realize, but hoping to do the project with a powershot N2 I just purchased, and Paul Richter’s 3D model file. I’ve also order the thread for tripod mount. Outstanding parts I’d like to know more about are the LCD viewfinder – I see a few generic 3.5″ folding ones on ebay, but unsure how they might attach – is there one that clips on to the screen? Also there appear to be some studs for strap mount in photos of parts. Any hints for sourcing these would be appreciated. My mother is turning 83, and used a mamiyaflex C330 from the 1960’s – 1990’s, but it’s a challenge to carry for her these days despite being still sharp where it counts! my email is vermelho mac.com

    1. Paul Richters Avatar
      Paul Richters

      1. For the LCD hood I use the JJC LCH-3.0B LCD Hood. You will have to get rid of the protective screen. It can easily be removed by pushing. The hood connects to the screen with double adhesive tape (enclosedin with the hod). I use some very small screws at the inside corners of the hood to affix the two parts. Otherwise the hood might come lose unwanted.
      2. The studs are regular bicycle parts in Holland (known as, Oogbout Spatbordstang M5 x 18). Something like Cable Pinch Bolts. These studs connect very well with the Optech Mini QD Loops™ (1mm & 1.5mm).

  • ron Avatar

    can anyone print me a body for the n2 – how much postage to uk.
    thanking you in advance