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Tactical Camera 137

An anonymous reader writes "What do you get when you mount a Nikon D200 with a standard rifle stock? Why a Tactical Camera of course! One that no reporter would be caught with in a war zone or covering any armed action anywhere. What started out as a tongue in cheek project for April Fools wound up being quite the successful demonstration of concept. It features a fully functional trigger; it has controls for operating the shutter and auto focus; and for the patient shots, it has a mounted bipod. Carry sling optional."


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Tactical Camera

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  • Photo Sniper (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misanthrope ( 49269 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:52PM (#27837417)

    This was done a long time ago during the cold war, it's slightly less inconspicuous than a tripod, though much more likely to get you shot by the police. []

    • Re:Photo Sniper (Score:5, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7.cornell@edu> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:57PM (#27837493) Homepage

      Darn, you beat me to this.

      Modern equivalents (which probably function better for camera purposes but don't have the "cool factor" of using an actual rifle stock) are the BushHawk (highend unit) and the Agonic Stedi-Stock (relatively cheap, doesn't have the trigger switch and cabling the BushHawk has)

    • Err. slightly more inconspicuous.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Leica made a rifle stock camera pre-war as well. It's [] truly a beauty, though incredibly hard to find these days.

    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:54PM (#27838405) Journal

      Come on, this is slashdot.

      Q:What do you get when you mount a Nikon D200 with a standard rifle stock?

      A: "You can have my rifle-camera when you pry it from my cold .. " BANG!

      A2: Imagine a Beowolf cluster of those? BANG! BANG! BANG! RATATTATATATT! INCOMINGGGGGGggggggg ......

      A3: Netcraft confirms it - photo sniper is dead!

      A4: In Soviet Russia, photo shoot gets YOU!

      A5: Did it survive field testing?

      A6: Why does the "after picture" of the user look like the goat guy?

      A7: Why not just mount it in a Zune? They might still shoot you, but at least it would be justified.

    • Re:Photo Sniper (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:09PM (#27838687) Homepage

      Yup applying gun parts to cameras is old hat. I find it funny as kids "discover" new things that us old geezers have done for decades.

      Like a shotgun sight on the top of your SLR. works awesome for fast action or sports shots, you can shoot without looking through the lens and with both eyes open. I get perfect shots every time with it. and I dont get killed by that motorcycle that was 20 feet in the air and is now coming down wher I am standing.

      The fresh new hires for the local news look at my camera with questions, and then say "you cant get a good photo that way"

      I ask to look at their camera, they dont even have a focus prism. None of these "photographers" coming out of college know how to take photographs or how to use a camera. They all rely on autofocus and program modes.

      Athough IS lenses area godsend for still life or low motion zoom shots. but they are worthless for action shots where you are panning trying to catch a bike doing 200mph around a track.

      • by ZosX ( 517789 )

        I like the gun sight idea, but I think live view really trumps everything now. Just hold the camera up and compose. :)

        I still prefer the viewfinder though, but then I'm not usually trying to take pictures of fast moving action. You are right though. I see all these people with Mark IIs and D90s and it makes me really sad to see them using them like P&S cameras. I mean, they could have saved $1000 and bought a coolpix or something and probably gotten about the same results. I'm no expert, but I always st

        • If I could afford (or, more accurately, justify) a DSLR, I'd drop my P&S in a second. It didn't matter as much when we were all film - grab a Yashica T4 and you got great pictures because you used the same film. Most digital P&Ss have such little sensors that the noise is significant for anything other than full daylight. The bigger sensor gets you lower noise and more useable shots. I don't want my inside pics looking like I picked up a roll of Konica 3200.

          Digital photography really just takes a lo

      • I just got a new DSLR, and I love it with one exception: the lack of focus prism. I like to do everything myself, and the presence of brackets for auto-focus zones makes me feel like I'm using a camera for lazy people, and it ends up taking me longer to focus without the prism I'm used to on the film SLR I used to use. I wish I could find a company that could swap out the prisms.
        • by Carik ( 205890 )

          What kind of camera do you have? I've got an old Canon 20d, and focus prisms are easily available, and simple to install. They're not cheap, but admit it, photography isn't a cheap hobby. I don't have one yet (spent all my money on lenses), but I'm hearing good things about Katz Eye Optics [].

          • Nikon D60, admittedly a bit tempermental in low light, but otherwise admirable. Thanks for the link, they appear to have exactly what I'm looking for.
            • by Carik ( 205890 )

              No problem... like I said, I don't have any personal experience with them, but I've heard good things. There are a few other manufacturers as well, at least for some models. You might try a google search for "split prism nikon D60".

    • So you can shoot from the hip or rapid fire without having to aim first. (You can photoshop out the red dot later...)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ArsonSmith ( 13997 )

      Here's a picture of someone carying one almost exactly the same back in 1977 Here []

    • I've got one of those Zenit's with the 300mm Helios lens and sniper mount. Here is an example shot of the Orion Nebula [] and here is comet Hale-Bopp []. Both were made in a light-polluted city (Athens), shot through a cheap lens and scanned with a crappy scanner, so don't expect quality.

    • It is much older than that: it was done in the 1850s (see page 2) [].
    • by MKBR ( 1346019 )
      Somewhat less "gun related" but still: Rollei had a pistol grip for their double eyed cameras (rolleiflex) in late '50-s. []
      • I have one of those; still have the Rollei too. It wasn't all that useful except as a flash holder. The value of the Rollei comes from shooting from the waist, where the pistol grip is useless.

        On the other hand, shooting chest-height with a standard two-handed pistol grip on the pistol grip and with elbows tucked against my chest made a really stable platform.

        I hadn't considered using it with the digital, where it could give you a solid hold while using the view screen. Something to try.

  • Northern Exposure (Score:3, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:53PM (#27837425) Homepage Journal

    The character Holling from the tv show Northern Exposure had something like this.

  • I do not recommend this for the "man on the street" journalist.

    Aim that at a cop and your more then likely going to get shot.

    Personally, I'll stick to cell phones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath ( 413667 )

      Personally, I'll stick to cell phones.

      That's better. Then you get a righteous tasering for 'failing to preemptively comply with police directions'.

      I prefer the Sgt Shultz response: "I see nothink!"

    • But you'll have first hand pictures for proof.

  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:55PM (#27837459)

    You want to run around either a Warzone or hell the Streets of any major city with this thing? You'll wind up getting either shot, or if you're lucky tasered.

    • by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:02PM (#27837595) Journal
      Many dSLR photographers are already hassled enough just walking around cities with their lenses and multiple cameras and such, taking photos of buildings, bridges, and trains. Anybody caught with this thing is likely to have more problems than he bargained for,...
      • by xant ( 99438 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:52PM (#27838363) Homepage

        Taking pictures is illegal now and helps the terrorists. But we still have our second amendment rights. This cleverly conceals the dangerous camera as a harmless rifle.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Make up some press passes. hang them around your neck and stencil on a kaki color fishing vest "PHOTOGRAPHER"

        You can walk past a guard and take photos of things you should not and they wont even bug you.

        And yes it's LEGAL to make a press pass for "daves news blog" or whatever blog you have.

        Cops dont bug you if you look like press, hell I have gotten into concerts and back stage to take photos of the singer from 8 feet away with my press and event passes and vest.

        If you look like a press photographer, nobod

    • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:10PM (#27837713) Homepage

      Sure, obviously it's a bad idea to run around with a camera attached to a gun stock. That's why instead I mount my camera to the front of my vest, with rows of cylindrical batteries with wires running to the camera (for extra picture-taking longevity) and a big digital timer (to indicate how long until I take a picture to anyone thinking of passing in front of me), and a dead-mans switch to activate the camera (for when I'm waiting forever for the perfect shot, and pass out just as the moment arrives). This should be much safer. Also great for those candid shots. People act different when they know you have a camera. So this way I can hide the camera-vest under my coat, and run up to people and throw the coat open so I can take a picture. Seems perfect to me.

      • It doesn't look even the slightest bit like a gun. Any policeman that shoots you for carrying that would have shot you anyways.

        You'd have to set aside two very important principles of using a loaded weapon in order for that sort of mistake to be made. First you're not identifying you're target and second chances are you're not checking your backstop either.

        • But, on the other hand, it probably does pass the "sure, I can say that I had a reasonable belief that it was a gun, with a straight face, in court" test with flying colors(of course, on some forces, so does virtually anything).
        • You would have to raise it in a similar action to raising a gun, it has an obvious stock, and weaponry imagery is more prevalent in society in general than rifle-stock-mounted cameras are. What do you think would be the initial gut instinct for an officer?
        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          You forget a very important point: it's a lot harder to use your loaded weapon if the other person shoots you first.

          Go point this at an armed cop (or even a soldier - since the idiot submitter mentioned warzone) and see what happens to you.

          You'd be safer with something that looks like a camera than something that resembles a gun.
      • but, what's wrong with this? I do this any day when it's cold enough...

    • Thats why there seems to be a small gun under the camera...

    • I take photographs of white water kayaking. You need to keep moving down river so cant really use a tripod and normally need a fairly large zoom so this actually looks pretty useful if it helped you steady a big lens better...
    • Yup. It probably stabilizes the camera quite well, but only an idiot would wander around with it on the street or in a war zone. It probably would be OK for motor racing and other organized sports where organizers control access, but I think I'd be sure to show it to whoever's in charge of site security.
    • And this is different then the way it is now?

      Read up on the number of reporters that got killed 'accidentally' in war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan.

      At least with such a contraption such 'accidents' can be covered up a lot better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:59PM (#27837543)

    At least 4 or 5 cameramen in recent years in middle eastern police actions (wars) have been shot due to large shoulder stabilized videocams looking threatening.

    And the army always gets off, even if caught with witnesses

    Better would be to start hiding propelled grenade launchers in videocameras to even the score.

    • I have long wondered why more public officials are not assassinated using a pistol mounted in a video camera.

      • Because the other means are a lot more effective. Like let's say blowing up the city block.

      • I'm pretty certain I've seen a film where that was the plot. Fucked if I can remember what it was called, and I sure can't be arsed to look it up. Sorry.
        • by etnoy ( 664495 )

          I'm pretty certain I've seen a film where that was the plot. Fucked if I can remember what it was called, and I sure can't be arsed to look it up. Sorry.

          From the top of my head I remember seeing this in a Tintin story, though it seemed more of an automatic rifle hidden in a large-format camera.

          • It was a Fantasy Island episode. A hunter wants to stalk the most dangerous prey, so Mr. Rourke has him use a camera gun to take pictures of a dictator to prove he could shot him. Mind you, it was about 30 years ago, but I remember the camera gun to this day.

        • I'm pretty certain I've seen a film where that was the plot.

          Federal agents used a video camera to sneak a weapon into a hostage situation in True Lies [].

      • Pistols have a short effective range and, oddballs aside, aren't powerful enough to guarantee a kill in one shot.

      • I have long wondered why more public officials are not assassinated using a pistol mounted in a video camera.

        The Taliban did it by filling camera batteries full of explosives for a targeted assassination: []
  • Why oh why would a photographer (excuse me, "Photo-Journalist"), want to be holding ANYTHING that looks remotely like a weapon, especially when in a War Zone?

  • Award time (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:01PM (#27837581)

    Nikon D200

    The "D" stands for "Darwin"

  • Would not something like this [] or this [] be far more practical? Now if this camera actually looked like a gun that would be something.
    • by Niris ( 1443675 )
      *looks at the watch*
      I've just found the next thing I'm going to have buyers remorse over.
    • For values of "practical" that don't include needing more than crap resolution and horrible optics, sure(and there are many such values, cheap and horrible aren't what they used to be). Once you get beyond the ones who just buy DSLRs for the e-peen, though, you get to the people who actually need the performance. They are unlikely to find those satisfying.
  • What I'd like to see is the youtube video of someone pulling this out in a highschool sports game to take pictures of the game while standing right next to the local policeman...

  • Definitely causes much more widespread destruction than a rifle. Expect a prohibition against these things at any major event, except for licensed professionals of course.

  • good old max headroom. One of his colleagues had this.
  • These have been commercially available for decades. Why was this even posted? Slow news day?
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      I remember rifle stock style camera mounts from the late 70s for use with telephotos. This is the first time I've seen an actual rifle stock used; the ones from back then were made from pine and had a simple cable release "trigger". This one looks nicer, and a lot heavier.

  • Does it have select fire to switch between semi-automatic, full auto, or three round burst? What is the firing rate? Can it be field-stripped with a minimum of tools?
  • Old concept (Score:2, Informative)

    by dmesg0 ( 1342071 )
    These things were mass-produced in Russia (and probably elsewhere) until very recently. Look here [] for an example.
  • This isn't exactly a revolutionary idea (no pun intended) []

    of course, being designed for the purpose this will probably work better.

  • ...probably don't need to finish it...

  • cell phone? look like your contemplating suicide all the time

    laser pointer? really give your presentation that extra POW

    pencil or pen? is it really mightier than the sword now?

    the point is, there's many things you could put a gun handle on, and announce to the world "i lack the social skills to understand what makes people uncomfortable around me or i am an antisocial loner is actively trying to chase people away from me"

    all at the same time making yourself 100x more vulnerable to getting shot by the police

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Unending ( 1164935 )

      I've never understood your antigun bigotry anyway, but in this case your just being silly.
      People have been using stocks on cameras for somewhere around a century now, they aren't useless they are actually quite useful.
      One area where they shine is if you are trying to do any sort of photography where you need to be able to take a steady shot of a subject that only holds still for a moment.

      • stems from the daily body count of urban dwellers due to rural dwellers insistence on carrying around firearms. were it possible to have different gun laws for the urban dweller versus the rural dweller, i'd support the avergae rural hick's desire to have guns. which i understand: the police are far away. but as it is, right now, urban dwellers suffer for the sake of what rural dwellers want. yet we outnumber you. so i think it is time, in proper democratic fashion, that we reverse this equation and rural d

        • Um...
          a) I don't see how your reply addresses the PP's point. Did you read what he had to say?

          ...were it possible to have different gun laws for the urban dweller versus the rural dweller...

          b) There are cities -such as the one that I'm currently living in- which make it unlawful for a civilian to discharge a weapon within city limits. Concealed carry permits may be obtained. However, if you discharge your weapon -even in self-defence- outside of a designated area (such as an indoor gun range) you will be charged and legally obligated to haul your ass in to court.
          Folks that live in rural areas typicall

  • Although the combination of the SKS stock and the AR15 handgrip is odd, and wouldn't have been my first choice.

    Of course, I'm not a particular fan of the SKS in general. Mine was accurate enough for power-plinking, but the stock just sucked.

    • Although the combination of the SKS stock and the AR15 handgrip is odd, and wouldn't have been my first choice.

      I'm friends with the guy who put that together, and it's not an SKS stock. It's the rear half of a Czech Vz24 stock that he had left over after I had him cut the fore-end off to provide me with raw materials for a K98k stock restoration project I was working on.

  • Max Headroom did it. Season 1, episode 5: "War" [] had new staff reporter Janie Crane using an RR-7 camera gun. Camera lens was plugged into an interface at the end of the barrel, used for long-distance surveillance.

  • by kulakovich ( 580584 ) <> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:45PM (#27839227)
    "What do you get when you mount a Nikon D200 with a standard rifle stock?"


  • ... some years ago, I was talking to one of those New York model types. She kept referring to 'head shots'. So I told her that the odds were better aiming for the center of mass.

  • ...I have one of those that I ordered from one of the New York camera dealers thirty-odd years ago. It's a nice way of holding a long lens steady. Unfortunately, these days it tends to scream "I'M A TERRORIST!!!", so I haven't used it in quite a while.


  • That (Score:1, Redundant)

    by BeanThere ( 28381 )

    has to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

  • All our main battle rifles have optical scopes on them, and many other nations are using optics or red-dots like the Aimpoint sights.

    It is only a matter of time before someone integrates a cheap digital camera into those scopes that takes a picture every time the weapon is fired.


    • by lwsimon ( 724555 )

      Make it a video camera, and it would be an excellent teaching aid for long-range shooting or competitive events like IPSC or IDPA.

      Put one in a casing for a laser, or better yet, in the guide rod on a 1911, and you might have a valuable tool to be used in your defense in the case of a self-defense shooting....

    • by ksheff ( 2406 )

      They've been around for a while []

  • I've mounted the business end of a rifle to the body of my Nikon. It's pretty hard to hold and the recoil bruises my face where I look in the eyepiece but I'm the only one on my block with one!
  • You can capture some killer action photos with it!

  • This is the perfect design to get you an instant cavity search.

  • Could someone explain, in a few sentences, what exactly is the advantage of this over a regular camera, why/where would you use it and what do you expect to achieve with it there that you can't normally with a camera? Thanks!
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      It's about stabilization - keeping the camera steady when taking a picture with a long lens to reduce motion blur.

      It's not as steady as a tripod or monopod but gives a lot more flexibility/aimability.

      Rifle stocks were designed in the first place for the same purpose - resting the rifle against the shoulder increases stability, making aim more accurate.

  • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:59AM (#27842923)

    a Canon instead.

  • Combining cameras with a gun stock is nothing new; various manufacturers make something which either looks like a gun stock or basically is one. They're quite popular for wildlife photography because they make it easier to track and shoot at the same time.

    The KGB used something similar for covert photography in the 1930 and 40s, iirc. Come to think of it I've seen pictures of, I think, US troops using something similar.

  • ...if I was a photographer in a war zone, I think the LAST thing I'd like is something that makes it look like my camera is a gun?

    Wow. Worst. Invention. Ever.

  • The responses to this post make a couple of things clear:

    • The posters don't get out of the city much.
    • They don't know anything about shooting.
    • They don't know anything about photography.

    This setup is used by wildlife photographers. A couple of seconds and a friend with a three-digit IQ is all you need to figure out why.

  • This guy who invent the stuff, maybe a s-p-y. Not so fresh, I knew some photographer made something like that. Fun.
  • everytime you're ready to take a picture: "Ahh.. lighting is perfect.. KLicKBANG! Dammit shot it again!
  • Definitely, the best way to get yourself killed anywhere near anything protected by Americans... Shoot first - ask questions later. Let god sort 'em out.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?