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Digital Photo Camera Synchronization – Summary

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  • Digital Photo Camera Synchronization – Summary

    Digital Photo Camera Synchronization – Summary of

    My grateful acknowledges to everyone who kindly
    responded to my questions. They have been very
    helpful. Here is a summary of responses:

    “Dear Colleagues,

    I need to use a digital photographic camera activated
    remotely by a computer or microcontroller. I did not
    bought the camera yet, since I'm looking for some
    model able to do this job. I do not need a very high
    shooting speed, say bellow 5 fps.
    I would like to make a few questions:
    1. Does anybody known if is there some protocol
    tocommunicate with a digital photographic camera?
    2. Is there some chip or hardware with this protocol
    3. The communication can be done by a simpler
    interface, like RS232, or must be done through USB?
    4. Some particular camera model/brand can be
    I will post a summary of responses.
    Thanks for all”

    Here is a summary of responses (some were in
    Portuguese, which I translated):

    >From Wagner de Godoy, AACD, São Paulo, Brazil

    I have a capture software that works for some devices:
    Active WebCam

    Perhaps you can use a photo camera in film mode, low
    frequency, and save a file remotely in the computer
    via USB.

    It should possible, tests necessary, a security board
    to manage images from the camera, that should work
    like a video-camera.

    Take a look at the forum:

    >From Uli Fehr, Germany

    “depending on the further circumstances I would
    suggest following two
    possible ways:

    1) A camara with a simple remotetrigger like the one
    with the good old
    SLR-Cameras - no protocol, no USB, just two wires.
    Perhaps with manual
    focus if possible (increase in speed for triggering).
    Perhaps you need a
    digital SLR- dont know if there's a simple digicam
    with remote trigger and
    not all models are able to do 5 fps with full
    2) A videocamera with direct connection to notebook/pc
    via firewire with a
    sinple kind of special software, which captures
    picture to harddisk every
    time you want. Poor quality in comparison with an
    digital 5+ megapixel

    >From JAMES (Jim) S. WALTON, Ph.D., President, 4DVIDEO,

    “This is fairly simple to do with Nikon Digital
    If all you need is an ability to take a few frames per
    second ...

    D200 specification is 5 fps
    D80/D40 specification is 3 fps

    (see spec sheet attached)

    and an ability to trigger from a computer ...

    the D200 and D80 can be triggered by a small 50mm x 25
    mm x
    5mm remote which would not be difficult to "fire" by
    a closure across the button (generated by a PCI card
    in the PC)
    and your problem is solved for the cost of the
    camera and a cheap PCI card for the PC.”

    >From Matt Patterson, Canada

    “Yes, it is difficult to get a digital camera to be
    controlled by a
    computer or microcontroller. UNLESS, you purchase a
    digital camera
    that comes with a remote, then the camera already has
    the internal
    devices to deal with external signals and it is easy
    to control with a

    >From Keith Fitzpatrick, University of Limerick,

    “I have performed some work by remote shooting.

    I used the Canon 350XT, but I believe it can be done
    on lower spec cameras as well. The software which
    came with the camera allowed for remote shooting via a
    USB lead. This software is free to download on the
    canon website. We required to be 6m away from the
    camera and with the average length of a USB cable
    being 2m, we simply connected 3 cables with no loss of
    quality. The system allowed us to name and rank the
    photos and save them directly onto the computer, which
    made post analysis much easier.”

    >From Edward Morra, MSME, Lutheran Hospital, Cleveland
    Clinic Health System, Cleveland, Ohio

    “You may find what you need at They
    have a variety of
    digital cameras, more suited toward research, that
    connect via different
    protocols such as RS-232, Ethernet, USB and Firewire.
    DCAM compliant is a
    standard used by the industry to describe uncompressed
    VGA video

    >From Rod Whiteley, University of Sydney

    “Depending on the image quality required, a digial
    video camera can do this
    natively through both windows and Apple's OS (Linux
    probably can as well,
    it's just that I'm not as conversant with that OS) If
    you used one of the
    newer HighDefinition (HD, or HiDef) cameras, then the
    screen resolution may
    be acceptable, and you are capturing at 24.96 or 30
    frames per second
    depending on PAL or NTSC ,and have full control over
    record and playback
    from the software, a lot of which is freely

    >From Dino A Palazzi, ASPIRE, Academy for Sports
    Excellence, Doha – Qatar

    “You can try Canon EOS 20D or Canon EOS 30 D. They can
    be connected and controlled by the computer through a
    USB cable. The maximum frame rate is 5 fps and 8.24

    >From Clark R. Andersen

    “Canon offers an SDK (free, last time I checked) for
    its digital cameras which would allow this sort of
    control. I'm not aware of any non-usb Canon digital
    cameras, however. Google "Canon SDK" for more

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