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A digital camera is great for preserving family celebrations, memorable vacations, or just about anything that catches your eye. But what about thinking beyond this gadget's typical use? Here are 6 clever ways to use your digital camera as a tool during your next DIY project.

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1. Digital Camera as Reference Tool
Starting a project that requires you to disassemble something -- say removing a plumbing obstruction, cleaning an oscillating fan, or replacing your vacuum cleaner's drive belt? Snap some photos of the intact piece, then snap several more during the course of the dismantling. This way, when you're ready to reassemble, you can scroll backwards through the images on your digital camera to guide you.

2. Digital Camera as Replacement Part Stand-In
If you're not well-versed in home repair lingo, or you need replacement part for a fixed object (say, a missing knob for your shower or a broken shelf in your refrigerator), it can be hard to articulate what you're looking for. Instead, take a picture of the part that needs repair or replacement, and show it to an employee at your local home improvement store. We guess this is what they mean when they say, "a picture tells a thousand words."

3. Digital Camera as Periscope
Oops -- you think you heard something fall but you're not sure. Reach behind an appliance, inside a crevice or into a dark corner and take a digital picture so you can see what's going on there first. That way, you can avoid any unnecessary heavy lifting.

4. Digital Camera as Flashlight
Don't you hate it when you realize your flashlight is burnt out and you have no fresh batteries in the house? Luckily, your digital camera shines a light that's bright enough to help you get a closer look at the details of your project, especially when you're burning the midnight oil. It makes a great on-the-spot flashlight!

5. Digital Camera as Magnifying Glass
Eyes not what they used to be? Even if you've got perfect vision, the zoom function on a digital camera can make things much more crisp than the naked eye can. Keep your digital camera handy while you DIY, and take a picture of that little detail or that very fine print. Then zoom in all the way!

6. Digital Camera as Label Maker
Plastic shoe boxes are a great way to organize your closet -- but then you have to go through twenty boxes to find the one pair of shoes you want to wear. Instead, take a digital picture of each pair, print them from your home office and mount each image of the outside of its respective box. You'll find the pair you're looking for easily -- and you won't feel so guilty for having so many shoes.

22 Clever Uses for Your Camera
Logitech's DIY Video Security System

  • jim

    You can also use your camera to test your remote control. The IR singal coming from the remote when you push a button will be visible on the camera screen.

  • Christian

    I just tried it...That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cool!

  • Doug

    Take digital pictures of job plans to big to scan. Then make notes as you move along. Take pics of those on the plans. Email back to the office and save in your computor. Take pics of the permit board too.

  • Sam G.

    Take photos of any piping inside a wall before you close it up. Put a tape measure in the picture, from a known object, corner, etc. You then know exactly where something is for future repairs, hanging pictures, etc. It also shows proof for any code questions.

  • Robert J

    Well, I go the other way of Photography! I am a film-only 27 year old guy! Digital is not my thing, nor will it ever be! Film is so great that Digital can't beat! Just compare the two!
    (don't campare a DSLR digital to a film point and shoot) Using high-quality film cameras along with great film, there is no comparison at all! FILM ALL THE WAY! Digital black and white is awful! No detail in highlights/shadows! That is only converting a digital color file and is CRAP! (point made) The best camera I use is a Mamiya RB67 that uses 120 film! SO SHARP! (no digi made that sharp)
    Overall, I am sticking with film forever! (my awesome choice)

    On another topic---I'd LICK those girl's hands in the photo above! YES! Girl's hands taste so delicious! The dirtier the TASTIER! (this is just something I had to get out)


    If your ear is sore from the temple of your glasses, take a foto behind your ear, make a slight adjustment to relieve the touch at the sore spot and save a drive to the optometrist's office.

  • Juan Carlo

    Take a picture of the article you are writing, and then take a picture of an editor and maybe there will not be typos throughout the piece.

  • Gary

    I live on my sailboat, so space is at a premium. I don't have a scanner. I occasionally photograph a document and email it or print a copy. Handy.

  • myrna

    One day while staying in a motel after fixing my hair, I wanted to look at the back of my hair to be sure it looked nice. I discovered I had left my mirrow out of my suitcase. I turned my back to the mirrow above the sink and took a picture of the back of my hair by holding the camera over my head and pointing it slightly downward.. I no longer ever have to worry about taking a mirrow when I go on trips, my digital camera doubles as a mirrow and saves the image until I am ready to erase it!!

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