Frequently Asked Questions


  • What makes Bigshot different from any other do-it-yourself kit?
    Two things. First, as you explore this website you will see that Bigshot provides a deeper learning experience that any other educational kit or learning toy in the market. The camera and the website have been designed to reveal a remarkable range of science and engineering concepts. Second, unlike virtually all other kits in the market, Bigshot can be used after it is assembled - it is a fully functioning digital camera.
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  • What is the best age for a Bigshot user?
    On the home page we say that the age range for the product is 8 - 108 yrs. We truly believe that Bigshot can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The kit can be safely assembled by anyone 8 years of age or older. The content on this site has been designed to reach a very wide audience - young kids (with guidance from parents or teachers), middle school, high school and college students, as well as grown ups who are fascinated by cameras and would like to know more about how they work.
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  • My new iMac or Macbook Pro does not detect Bigshot. What do I do?
    A small fraction of iMacs and Macbook Pros is unable to detect Bigshot. In such cases, we suggest connecting Bigshot camera to those devices via a USB hub.
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  • How many times can the kit be assembled and disassembled?
    Strictly speaking, once. The screw threadings and connectors are not really designed for multiple assemblies. However, if handled with care, we expect the components should be able to bear about half a dozen assemble-disassemble cycles.
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  • Why do some of Bigshot's parts have transparent plastic casings?
    This is to keep you and the camera safe. Since Bigshot may be assembled by children as young as 8 years, we need to follow several international safety regulations related to exposure to electricity and materials such as lead. The plastic casings ensure that delicate electronic parts are not damaged during the assembly process.
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  • Can one use Bigshot without downloading its software?
    Yes, but not fully. Using the USB cable, you can connect Bigshot to your Mac or PC and download photos. However, only the regular photos will be useful to you. The software is needed to convert the wide-angle and stereo photos into panoramic and 3D photos, which are great fun. The software also improves the quality (brightness, contrast, color, etc.) of all photos taken with Bigshot.
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  • I am a teacher. How do I use Bigshot to develop an after-school program?
    There are many ways in which an after-school program can be designed around Bigshot. If it is a semester long program, you could spend the first half of the semester building some of the simple science projects described in Buildables. Then, you could use a couple of sessions to have the students put Bigshots together using the Build section. In between the above hands-on projects you could teach several of the concepts described in the Learn section. Once Bigshot has been assembled, the focus can shift to the art of photography. You can teach the students the basic rules of photography and how to operate Bigshot. The students can then go out on "shoots," where each shoot has a theme. Finally, the students can present their best photos to their peers. You could even curate an exhibition for the whole school to see.
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  • How do I develop a one-day workshop centered on Bigshot?
    We conducted several one-day workshops in the initial stages of the Bigshot project. In the morning session, we showed the students how to assemble Bigshot. We paused several times during the assembly to describe related concepts using the Learn section. After lunch, we took the group out to an interesting location for a shoot. The students experimented with composition and lighting, and tried their hand at panoramic and 3D photography. In the evening session, the photos were downloaded, viewed and discussed as a group.
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