Zumi Week: Deconstruction

Hacking a Hainezumi

This week I’m posting a series of posts about the Digital Harinezumi. See them all here.

Using an older model of the Digital Harinezumi (#2), my friend Jon and I decided to see what exactly these things looked like inside… and possible find some cool hacks. There’s very little info about the inner workings of Zumis online, so I’ll do my best to describe what we found. I’ve also posted this Lightt video too. Props again to my friend Jon for his help researching this.

The Digital Harinezumi is ridiculously easy to take apart. You’ll just need a small phillips head screwdriver and maybe a guitar pick (to delicately split the plastic seams once the screws are removed).
The heart of the Harinezumi is a Zoran COACH-9 processor, where “COACH” stands for “camera on a chip.” This was manufactured as a generic digital camera IC for any manufacturers to build around. The lens and monitor all seem to be part of this circuit, and the Zumi seems to have a few buttons and speakers added .

This board looks like it would be fairly easy to house in any other body. Personally, I’d like to try gutting some old 35mm film camera and placing this camera circuit inside. The only trick would be to solder up the buttons on the camera to be able to control the camera.

Hacking a Hainezumi

The Zumi’s monitor is connected via a small ribbon cable. This is short, but flexible. For our hack, we thought it would be cool to place the monitor on the top of the Zumi, so I could see the framing while shooting from my hip. To do this, we tried bending back the port that holds the monitor’s cable, but something went wrong and we appear to have disable the monitor. Probably some wires pulled up off the circuit board. No big loss… at least the camera still works :) I’d still love to try moving the monitor on one of these things to the top sometime!

The last thing I noticed was the zone focusing for the lens. On the outside of the unit, there is a macro and infinite focus setting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d love to try making these settings less “binary” and more variable. This could take a little more work though.. I’ll post if I get it to happen.

Have you tried hacking a Digital Harinezumi? If so, post about it in the comments. I’d love hear/see your results.