My inspiration for this DIY modification was this post on the TwelveSouth blog, which links to an excellent camera cut-out by Patrick Ng, which is clean and painted black on the inside. This means that Patrick can take pictures without having to slide his iPhone halfway out of the case, which is a bigger deal in long term use than I had anticipated in my original review.
Now that the iPhone functions as my main camera, camera-friendliness is a priority for the cases I keep in rotation, and the BookBook just didn't cut it in this regard…until I cut it, that is.
I spent about an hour last night modifying my BookBook with an Xacto knife and the pair of scissors in my Leatherman. I cut through the four layers that make up the back of the BookBook with short strokes of the knife and cleaned up the resulting hole with scissors. The result is a camera hole that's just large enough for the lens, and doesn't seem to obscure my shots. The cut-out isn't quite enough to make the flash function properly, but I never use the flash for anything but illumination, so this doesn't bug me very much.
The mod still looks rough around the edges, but I'm still very happy I went through with it. You can probably get better results with a good hole puncher, but I wanted a more angular cut (hence the knife). So the BookBook now contains three things: my phone, my wallet, and my main camera – each of which is accessible with a quick flip of the front cover.
[In related news, there is a new version of the BookBook in black. It still lacks a camera hole, but it still looks very sharp. Check out more details on the Twelve South blog.]