Any way to get 5+ megapixel "webcam" stills over ADSL?

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Peter, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    This isn't exactly on topic for a broadband NG but somebody here may

    I am setting up a video surveillance system and that part is
    progressing well on the specification.

    However I would also like to be able to take high-res still images and
    both record them locally and transmit them as emails to a remote site.

    It should be easy to do; one can buy a ~ 5MP consumer camera for
    £200-300 which would do perfectly well. The basic problem is that I
    can't find any that can be commanded to take a picture and return it,
    over the USB connection that most of them have.

    The normal thing is that still cameras emulate a removable storage
    device via USB. But there isn't a command set for getting them to take
    a picture.

    Does anyone know of any digital cameras that can take pictures and
    return them immediately through the cable?

    Peter, Apr 27, 2005
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  2. Peter

    Mike Scott Guest

    Peter wrote:
    FWIW my fuji s5500 has three modes - file transfer (maps into a disk
    unit), printer transfer, and also webcam mode; but I don't have any
    software installed to test the latter. So they do exist.....
    Mike Scott, Apr 27, 2005
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  3. Peter

    Trev Guest


    Cannon sureshot range such as A95 have supplied software that controls the
    camera from the computer
    Trev, Apr 27, 2005
  4. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Yes, a lot of digital cameras have a webcam mode, bit it works in
    low-res video, e.g. 320x240 or 640x480, not for returning the full-res

    For example I have an old Nikon 5700 which would do this really well.

    There are other challenges e.g. how to prevent auto shutdown of the
    camera, etc.

    Peter, Apr 27, 2005
  5. Peter

    Owain Guest

    .... and many of them detect USB connection and go into "upload to PC" mode.

    Some form of relay to (a) connect/disconnect the camera's USB as
    required (b) operate the shutter release would be required, connected to
    the PC either RS232 or a USB interface. Maplin or adverts in one of the
    electronics mags should provide inspiration to external control.

    I would suggest using secureFTP rather than email - more robust and, er,

    You could also have a third relay, connected to an autodialler/burglar
    alarm. Have the computer trigger the relay say every hour. If the
    autodialler *doesn't* receive a housekeeping signal then it calls/texts
    you as an alert that something may have stopped working. Andrew Gabriel
    on has his central heating system do this (and a lot more).

    Owain, Apr 27, 2005
  6. Peter

    Simon Guest

    Hello -

    If you are able to compromise on resolution, then how about using Axis 206W
    IP cameras which have a resolution of 1024x1280? I've found that IP cameras
    generally give better results than USB webcams with the same resolution, eg. (USB webcam on left, IP
    camera on right, both 640x480).

    A 206W can't match the resolution of a digital camera, but it is likely to
    be more reliable and easier to program against.


    Simon, Apr 27, 2005
  7. Peter

    Peter Guest

    That's an interesting site - however I think that both sets of images
    are poor compared with a real 640x480 camera, and poor compared with
    640x480 stills from an old (c. 1999) Sony TRV900 DV camcorder.

    Could be his dirty windows :)

    Peter, Apr 27, 2005
  8. Peter

    Stephen Guest

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Peter" <>
    Newsgroups: uk.telecom.broadband,
    Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:16 PM
    Subject: Any way to get 5+ megapixel "webcam" stills over ADSL?

    Canon supplied an application called RemoteCapture with my 300D. Not in
    your price range (yet) but such a thing does exist and perhaps it's
    available with other cheaper Canons.

    Stephen, Apr 28, 2005
  9. Peter

    Peter Guest

    This is a great lead - thank you!

    I've found it at various places e.g.

    but it looks like a Mac version only...

    Peter, Apr 28, 2005
  10. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Peter, Apr 28, 2005
  11. Peter

    Trev Guest

    Look at Digital camera reviews on powershot cameras it shows the software
    and reviews it . I discovered it when thinking of buying a A95
    Trev, Apr 28, 2005
  12. Peter

    Peter Guest

    There is also

    which seems better than the Canon software, and is cheap.

    Peter, Apr 29, 2005
  13. Peter

    Trev Guest

    Trev, Apr 29, 2005
  14. [Peter wrote in]
    In case you happen to be familiar with Linux..

    Motion is a useful piece of software :

    Would work well as a motion detector in a video surveillance system, and
    best of all - completely free !
    Andy Davidson, Apr 29, 2005
  15. On Wed, 27 Apr 2005, Peter wrote:

    P> It should be easy to do; one can buy a ~ 5MP consumer camera for
    P> £200-300 which would do perfectly well. The basic problem is that I
    P> can't find any that can be commanded to take a picture and return it,
    P> over the USB connection that most of them have.

    Have a look here:

    I'm afraid if appears to be window's software though.


    ( If replying by mail, please note that all "sardines" are canned.
    There is also a password autoresponder but, unless this a very
    old message, a "tuna" will swim right through. )
    Alan Clifford, Apr 30, 2005
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