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PICList Thread
'[EE] Disposable camcorder'
2005\06\07@152622 by Mike Hord

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www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=8710267&src=rss/technologyNews

http://tinyurl.com/czwv7

Basically the same idea as the disposable
digital cameras.  Although $43 seems damn
steep for 20 minutes of video.

I'm wondering if these would be any more
useful/fun to hack than the disposable still
digital cameras, or if it's the same thing,
with tweaks in its firmware.

Mike H.

2005\06\07@154539 by Robert Rolf

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They'll have a hard time keeping them in stock
since the geeks will be hacking them faster than
real customers will use them. Remember the $10 bar code
reader for advert URL scanning? Didn't last long.

And of course USA only. ;{

What does a CMOS VGA web camera cost nowadays?
And doesn't having to take the camera back to the store
to be 'processed' for a $13 fee kinda defeat the point of
'instant digital imaging'?

I await a hands on review by someone on the PICList.

R

Mike Hord wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\06\07@160619 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <spam_OUT88eca92205060712267e334928TakeThisOuTspammail.gmail.com>>          Mike Hord <.....mike.hordKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:

> Basically the same idea as the disposable
> digital cameras.

I wouldn't mind getting one of those to play with. Shame I'm a few thousand
miles away from the nearest place that sells them :-/

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
philpemspamKILLspamphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... 90% of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at.

2005\06\07@205334 by David P Harris

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Philip Pemberton wrote:

>In message <.....88eca92205060712267e334928KILLspamspam.....mail.gmail.com>> >          Mike Hord <EraseMEmike.hordspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
>
>  
>
>>Basically the same idea as the disposable
>>digital cameras.
>>    
>>
>
>I wouldn't mind getting one of those to play with. Shame I'm a few thousand
>miles away from the nearest place that sells them :-/
>
>Later.
>  
>
Ok, who's going to scoop up a couple of hundred and distribute them to
happy hackers throughout the world?

1 -> Canada ;-)

David


2005\06\08@035205 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> Basically the same idea as the disposable
>> digital cameras.
>
>I wouldn't mind getting one of those to play with. Shame
>I'm a few thousand
>miles away from the nearest place that sells them :-/

That was my reaction when I saw the item in The Times as well. Maybe we
could get someone in the USA to send us one each ;)

2005\06\08@044205 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Looks good, but wonder what resolution is like?  I'm thinking probably a pixelated 320*200 or simmilar.

Regards

Mike

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2005\06\08@140516 by Mike Hord

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> Looks good, but wonder what resolution is like?  I'm
> thinking probably a pixelated 320*200 or simmilar.

And $45 is a steep price to find out...

BTW, the chain that sells them is unfortunately NOT
nationwide.  I haven't seen one since I departed the
Souther-lands 8 years ago.

Mike H.

2005\06\08@185258 by Bob Blick

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>>> Basically the same idea as the disposable
>>> digital cameras.
>>
>>I wouldn't mind getting one of those to play with. Shame
>>I'm a few thousand
>>miles away from the nearest place that sells them :-/
>
> That was my reaction when I saw the item in The Times as well. Maybe we
> could get someone in the USA to send us one each ;)

If you don't mind buying something that doesn't require hacking, Aiptek
sells consumer versions of digital camcorders starting at $29.99

Their top-of-the line unit, 5 megapixels with image stabilizer, is $97 at
Target this week. Of course the internal memory is small, you will need to
use SD cards.

Still, it sounds like a better deal than going out of your way to get a
disposable one and needing to hack it. And you know they still make money
at $29.99, so you aren't saving money.

All of them, Aiptek included, do not use CCD sensors, they use CMOS
sensors, so the S/N ratio is poor.

-Bob



2005\06\08@204514 by Robert Rolf

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Bob Blick wrote:

> All of them, Aiptek included, do not use CCD sensors, they use CMOS
> sensors, so the S/N ratio is poor.

And yet CMOS sensors are now found on the megapixel (5-10Mp)
digital SLR's. So why the huge difference in performance?
R

2005\06\08@222424 by bblick

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On 8 Jun 2005 at 18:45, Robert Rolf wrote:
> And yet CMOS sensors are now found on the megapixel (5-10Mp)
> digital SLR's. So why the huge difference in performance?

It's a Marketing Breakthrough (TM). Sell CMOS as the new thing. But it's the new cheap
thing.

In fact, the better cameras have CCD sensors, even at 8 megapixels:
http://tinyurl.com/6qyqv

-Bob

2005\06\09@030714 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu]
>Sent: 09 June 2005 03:25
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [EE] Disposable camcorder
>
>
>On 8 Jun 2005 at 18:45, Robert Rolf wrote:
>> And yet CMOS sensors are now found on the megapixel (5-10Mp) digital
>> SLR's. So why the huge difference in performance?
>
>It's a Marketing Breakthrough (TM). Sell CMOS as the new
>thing. But it's the new cheap
>thing.
>
>In fact, the better cameras have CCD sensors, even at 8
>megapixels: http://tinyurl.com/6qyqv
>

A fairly balanced view of the benefits and disadvantages of each:

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/researchDevelopment/technologyFeatures/cmos.shtml

Regards

Mike

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2005\06\09@043348 by Dominic Stratten

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I've had some suprising results from these "cheap" cameras.

I got one free when I purchased over 30gbp worth of products from a
stationery store. I wasn’t overly happy with the focus so stripped it down
to see if I could improve it a bit.

It turned out the lens was stuck on with silicone adhesive and had moved a
bit. When removed and refocussed it was a lot better. Then I had a little
play and found you could adjust the focal length down to a few mm which made
it ideal for cheap macro photography.
I also had a play with fitting it with my Canon 35mm lens which with the
help of a toilet roll core brought up some good results as well.

If you're really bored I've uploaded some sample pictures to my site - worth
a quick look for a <$10 camera :-)

http://partsfortrade.com/macro/1.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/2.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/3.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/4.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/5.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/6.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/7.jpg
http://partsfortrade.com/macro/8.jpg

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2005\06\09@050440 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jun 9, 2005, at 1:33 AM, Dominic Stratten wrote:

> I've had some suprising results from these "cheap" cameras.

Frankly, given the "disposability" of cell phones, your chances of
finding
an interfacable camera may be better there.

Does anyone have any pointers to sites on hacking old cellphones into
general purpose compute platforms?

BillW

2005\06\09@063711 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Dominic,

On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 09:33:02 +0100, Dominic Stratten wrote:

> I've had some suprising results from these "cheap" cameras.
>
> I got one free when I purchased over 30gbp worth of products from a
> stationery store. I wasn't overly happy with the focus so stripped it down
> to see if I could improve it a bit.

Can I ask where this was (was it one of the chains like Rymans or Staples), and is the offer still going?

>...<
> I also had a play with fitting it with my Canon 35mm lens which with the
> help of a toilet roll core brought up some good results as well.
>
> If you're really bored I've uploaded some sample pictures to my site - worth
> a quick look for a <$10 camera :-)

Very impressive (and useful!).  The watch photo, in particular, is amazingly good quality.  

Just one thing, howcome the pound coin in picture 6 is reversed?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, Herts


2005\06\09@064605 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Howard Winter [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu]
>Sent: 09 June 2005 11:37
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: RE: [EE] Disposable camcorder
>
>Just one thing, howcome the pound coin in picture 6 is reversed?
>

Howard,

In what way reversed?  It looks ok to me, though obviously upside down.

Regards

Mike

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2005\06\09@073742 by Dominic Stratten

picon face
It was done ages ago with an offer from Staples Mail order. The offer got
closed down pretty quickly - you could buy a ruler for 20p and get a free
camera (plus shipping).

The camera that turned up was an ATiPix LS300 (300k pixels)

Very cheap and cheerful - no flash but operates (briefly) on a single AAA
battery.

And as someone else has said - the pound coin is upsidedown not mirrored ;)

{Original Message removed}

2005\06\09@074316 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
picon face
Mike,

On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 11:45:13 +0100, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

> >From: Howard Winter [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu]
> >
> >Just one thing, howcome the pound coin in picture 6 is reversed?
> In what way reversed?  It looks ok to me, though obviously upside down.

Oops!

(Face) <---- (Egg)

Well I never was much good before noon... the fact that the "N" was almost upside down made it look backwards,
and I only glanced at it very briefly before thinking it was reversed...

Please ignore my previous message!  :-#

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\06\09@143616 by Bill & Pookie

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Very impressive pictures.  
How do you interface to the camera?

Bill

2005\06\10@050050 by Dominic Stratten

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It came with a USB interface and lead.

Hardest part was getting the focus/position right as it didn’t have a
viewfinder. I used MSN Messenger and set up a webcam session between two
computers, got the position and focus right then used the camera function to
take the picture.

Fiddly but not bad for a freebie.

Dom
-----Original Message-----
From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspamTakeThisOuTMIT.EDU [piclist-bouncesEraseMEspam.....MIT.EDU] On Behalf Of
Bill & Pookie
Sent: 09 June 2005 19:36
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] Disposable camcorder

Very impressive pictures.  How do you interface to the camera?

Bill

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