looking for digital cameras that can be controlled from a computer,

Discussion in 'Photography' started by ddoiii, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. ddoiii

    ddoiii Guest

    I'm looking for the most inexspensive cameras I can find to meet the
    specs below and I'm wondering if anyone might have any suggestions.

    -7 megapixels or more (i'd definately prefer more than 7 but could
    MAYBE go a LITTLE below if it was a LARGE price drop)
    -MUST be able to be controlled remotely by computer (in fact, the goal
    is to be able to shoot several at the EXACT same time)
    ddoiii, Mar 6, 2009
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  2. ddoiii

    Justin C Guest

    If you're looking for precision, I don't think computer is the way to
    go. I'd suggest you speak to someone with electronics experience. Many
    modern cameras have a wired remote release which is little more than the
    making of a circuit. That'll give you much better chance of exact over,
    probably, USB. My camera, for example, the remote release connects to
    the camera with a stereo-type mini-jack giving the camera a half and
    full press of the shutter equivalent.

    With computer control you have to remember that the computer can only
    send so much information down a bus in a certain amount of time. If that
    data is "Hello, camera 1, can you hear me" and it has to wait for a
    reply before it sends "please fire your shutter" ... and it'll have to
    do that with each camera (not all programs can efficiently multi-task -
    and buses definitely prefer data to not arrive in parallel). It really
    depends on the level of precision you require, and the number of
    cameras. If it's three cameras, and you can live with a second or so,
    then USB may be fine. On the other hand, if you're talking 150 cameras,
    and them to be perfectly synchronised, then your best chance is going to
    be electronic shutter release.

    Mind you, if you're talking a large number of cameras, it's going to be
    hard enough stopping the first one falling asleep before you've got the
    last one ready - hmmm.... an electronic 'half-press' would do that. I
    don't know what you want to use if for, but it sounds like it'd be an
    interesting project setting it up in the first place.

    Justin C, Mar 6, 2009
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  3. ddoiii

    Ofnuts Guest

    Don't use a computer, because it will talk to each camera in turn so you
    may get off by some milliseconds.

    Many Canon (low end DSLR and some P&S) and the Pentax have a remote
    controller jack which is very easy to hack (standard 2.5mm stereo jack).
    So you could build some electronics to trigger these all at the same
    time from one input signal. Now it all depends how exact the
    simultaneousness is supposed to be, because even within the cameras the
    delays may not be identical enough.
    Ofnuts, Mar 7, 2009
  4. ddoiii

    DRS Guest

    The Canon EOS 1000D (10MP) is the cheapest Canon I know of that fully
    supports Canon's Remote Live View.
    I don't know if the Remote Live View software can support more than one
    camera simultaneously.
    DRS, Mar 7, 2009
  5. ddoiii

    Wayne R. Guest

    What's the precision required? What trigger source are you expecting?

    Perhaps you can use synced flash to do the "EXACT same time" function
    instead? That might be a lot easier.

    If it needs to be computer controlled to high tolerance timing, maybe
    you need a "Real Time OS".

    Wayne R., Mar 7, 2009
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