Camera, look the other way!
June 2, 2009 4:59 PM   Subscribe

Is there some sort of adapter, like a small prism that I could clip on my laptop's built-in webcam so that I can record video behind the laptop (in front of me) of what I am looking at?

I have a 1.3M pixel cam built into the LCD panel of my Lenovo Y430 laptop.
What I want to do is be in class taking notes but have my webcam recording the teacher's lecture.
I've searched for prism adapters but I dont see anything. It would be something along the lines of this, but kinda doing the opposite I guess.
Or, any easy home made solutions?
posted by It's Austin, TX! to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This one is specifically made for MacBooks but might work with the Lenovo with some work. It's nothing more than a couple mirrors held together on the edges, something that seems like it'd be easy to DIY.
posted by zsazsa at 5:12 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't think a prism would be what you're looking for. A periscope might do the trick though. Here's a DIY setup for a macbook, but I'm sure you could mod it for your needs.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 5:24 PM on June 2, 2009

A prism splits light into its constituent colors. I don't think that's what you're looking for. A set of mirrors that reflect the image would be what you want.
posted by dfriedman at 5:30 PM on June 2, 2009

dfriedman: There are actually different types of prisms. Check out the porro prism, for example.
posted by niles at 6:00 PM on June 2, 2009

You want a miniature periscope.
posted by the_ancient_mariner at 6:41 PM on June 2, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, you guys got the idea. Yes, a periscope I guess is a better term.

Thanks, good suggestions all.
posted by It's Austin, TX! at 10:11 PM on June 2, 2009

All these optical tricks are cute, but you could just buy a USB webcam for $20 or so and point it the other way.
posted by mmoncur at 1:42 AM on June 3, 2009

mmoncur has the right solution, I think. Price would be the same, and the hassle of set-up would be the same. You'd still have to clip something to the lid of the computer every time you wanted to record video. And you would have better ability to aim an actual camera- the periscope thing would probably be dependent on the angle of the lid of your laptop.

If you're really crafty, you could probably open up the lid of the laptop, drill a hole and mount the camera pointing the other way...
posted by gjc at 7:08 AM on June 3, 2009

Yeah I vote webcam. Seems like you are going to destroy the already crappy optics of your built in webcam.
posted by sully75 at 10:10 AM on June 3, 2009

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