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Overview         (For age - group : Below 16 )

This educational science animation shows, how can a pin size hole in the cardboard box can become a camera used for covert operations and as a observatory for solar calculations, this animation covers the physics behind a pinhole camera and variations of the object positions. It also deals with image formed due to multiple holes. Applications of pinhole camera are also detailed.

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Animated Pinhole Camera:

  • How is a pinhole camera made ?
  • How is the image formed inside a pinhole camera ?
  • How the image size and clarity varies with changes in object in a pinhole camera?
  • Effect on image as more pinholes are added ?
  • Measurements needed for constructing a pinhole camera ?
  • Application of Pinhole camera : Surveillance equipment
  • Application of Pinhole camera : Solar Observatory

Pinhole camera uses the principle of rectilinear propagation of light
An object placed in front of a Pinhole Camera forms a clear image on the film
Pinhole camera uses the principle of rectilinear propagation of light
An object placed in front of a Pinhole Camera forms a clear image on the film
bigger image formed in pinhole camera

The image formed in a pinhole camera is inverted

By Increasing the distance between the pinhole and the screen. a bigger image is formed
The image formed in a pinhole camera is inverted
Details of the animation/ movie /software

This school science animation is about a pin hole camera, also known as 'Camera Obscura'. A pinhole camera consists of a rectangular box, closed on all sides and having a pin-hole on one of its faces and a screen on the side opposite to the pin hole.

Pinhole camera uses the principle of rectilinear propagation of light. A Pinhole Camera consists of a small aperture through which the light passes, a dark enclosure, and a piece of film. An object placed in front of a Pinhole Camera forms a clear image on the film without the need for a lens. Because the aperture is so small (diameter about 5mm), from each point on the object, only one ray of light may pass through and then move on to the film. Thus there is a one-to-one correspondence between points on the film and points on the object.

The following questions are explained in the "animated pinhole camera" are :
1) What is the effect of variation of the distance between the pinhole and the screen and the object and the screen and the image size ?
2) What happens to the number of images if the number of pinholes are increased in the pinhole camera ?
3) What happens to the images in the pinhole camera If the number of objects increases ?
4) Why is a blurred and bigger image formed by making the size of the pin the pinhole camera bigger?

Extra information : Pinhole cameras have infinite depth of field. Everything from the closest object to the most distant object is in the same relative focus; objects at a far distance will be less sharp due to particles in the atmosphere. A pinhole reproduces a scene just as the eye sees it. While there is no focus for different planes in pinhole photography, there is a relation of pinhole to film that gives the maximum definition and it is this combination of softness with strength that gives to the pinhole photograph its essential character.

Despite its distant past and apparent simplicity, the pinhole camera offers several advantages over lens optics, particularly when resolution is not especially important. These include

i) complete freedom from linear distortion
ii)depth of field from a few centimeters to infinity
iii)wide angular field
The pinhole's light-gathering ability is poor, but this is largely offset by the high sensitivity of modern films and television cameras. In addition, pinholes can be used in the ultraviolet and x-ray regions of the spectrum when reflecting or refracting materials are not readily available.

Make your own pin hole camera:

1. Punch a hole in the center of the box using the pin.
2. Remove the top of the box. Put a wax paper over the box's open end to make the screen. Use a rubber band to hold it.
3. Point the camera at a brightly lit object in or outside the dark room. What do you see on the wax paper screen?

If you are still unclear about the concepts, please refer the animation .

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