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'[PIC] Control digital camera'
2006\06\26@114608 by xkrja

picon face

Hi all,
I'm new to this forum and also fairly new to microcontrollers but I've
understood that the PIC controllers are one of the most common so thats why
I'm here.

What I would like to do is to create some kind of interface that let me
control a digital camera through its USB-port. Not all camera functions are
necessary to control, but for example shutter, aperture and zoom and maybe a
few more. The controlling should be done with some kind of simple keyboard.
So, a schematic idea would look like:

keyboard -> PIC controller -> USB host -> camera

I know that there are software for controlling cameras from the computer but
beacuse I will put everything in a Underwater Camera housing I'm not able to
bring the computer.

Are there suitable PIC-controllers for this kind of applications? Are there
PIC's and USB-hosts already in the same circuit? Maybe some kind of kits
available? Is this a very complicated thing to do?

Thanks a lot for your help!

/Kristian
--
View this message in context: www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-t1849719.html#a5049407
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2006\06\26@115638 by Robert Young

picon face

{Quote hidden}

There is no PIC with USB host capability.  There are ARM7's that can act
as USB host devices.  There is at least one (and maybe more)
pre-programmed ARM7 that claims to be a USB host bridge chip (USB to
UART/I2C/SPI, etc).  And of course there are the full blown USB host
chip sets.

You might be able to function with USB-TO-GO and that might be somewhat
simpler than a full blown host.

Rob

2006\06\26@121704 by Mat Clayton

picon face
Hey, have a look into using something like a nslu2, it s a small ARM based
linux computer, but they contain USB-host hardware and have been linked to
cameras in the past for similar projects.
Mat

{Original Message removed}

2006\06\26@121927 by John Chung

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www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2124&param=en022637&page=wwwLowSpeedUSB

Start with the page above. There is a development
board
on the page too. What is your level in programming
and electronics?

John

--- xkrja <.....kristian.jakschKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-t1849719.html#a5049407
> Sent from the MicroControllers - PIC forum at
> Nabble.com.
>
> --

2006\06\26@155051 by xkrja

picon face

Hi,
thanks for your answer. I looked at the site you recommended but I didn't
find anything about PIC USB hosts. Did I miss anything? A development board
like the one the page would be great but it must be capable of doing host
controlling too.

Regarding my level in programming and electronics its pretty low but I might
get help with the project but first I need to know a bit more about it
myself.

Thanks!
/Kristian
--
View this message in context: www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-t1849719.html#a5053709
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2006\06\26@155842 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
On 6/26/06, xkrja <EraseMEkristian.jakschspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
> thanks for your answer. I looked at the site you recommended but I didn't
> find anything about PIC USB hosts. Did I miss anything? A development board
> like the one the page would be great but it must be capable of doing host
> controlling too.

Mat's point was that as the PIC doesn't have USB host capabilities you
may want to look to an alternate platform. The NSLU2 has many people
working on it to run their own software, etc on it, and you will
likely have better luck with it than you will with a PIC.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

2006\06\26@155855 by Mat Clayton

picon face
Microchip don't make any PIC's capable of USB-host.
Mat

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu] On Behalf Of
xkrja
Sent: 26 June 2006 20:51
To: KILLspampiclistKILLspamspammit.edu
Subject: Re: [PIC] Control digital camera


Hi,
thanks for your answer. I looked at the site you recommended but I didn't
find anything about PIC USB hosts. Did I miss anything? A development board
like the one the page would be great but it must be capable of doing host
controlling too.

Regarding my level in programming and electronics its pretty low but I might
get help with the project but first I need to know a bit more about it
myself.

Thanks!
/Kristian
--
View this message in context:
www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-t1849719.html#a5053709
Sent from the MicroControllers - PIC forum at Nabble.com.

2006\06\26@165232 by xkrja

picon face

Ok, maybe you're right. One question though:
It looks like this NSLU2 is designed for network storage. The device I would
like to design should be used to control the camera with some kind of
keyboard connected to the NSLU2 (and no network). Is this possible?

Thanks!
/Kristian
--
View this message in context: www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-t1849719.html#a5054735
Sent from the MicroControllers - PIC forum at Nabble.com.

2006\06\26@170412 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
On 6/26/06, xkrja <RemoveMEkristian.jakschTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Ok, maybe you're right. One question though:
> It looks like this NSLU2 is designed for network storage. The device I would
> like to design should be used to control the camera with some kind of
> keyboard connected to the NSLU2 (and no network). Is this possible?

This is where the power of programmability shines through. If you want
it to do that, just program it to do that. The NSLU2 has USB
capability, so if you program it right you should be able to connect
to a USB keyboard. Keep in mind what we're suggesting here would
require a bunch of programming work on your end unless you can find
someone who has done exactly what you are trying to do. The NSLU2 was
not designed with this in mind, so it won't be as simple as just
plugging it in.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

2006\06\26@180431 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Just a few things...

Is the protocol used by the PC-application published ?
Or how are you going to know how to "control" the camera ?
Even if you're able to get something like an USB host running.

And, as you might have found out by know, USB was
designed to have it "host" on something not less capable
then a Windows PC (or similar)...

Doesn't the camera have some wireless (IR probably)
remote ? That one would/could be easier to emulate.

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2006\06\26@184511 by Jinx

face picon face
> Doesn't the camera have some wireless (IR probably)
> remote ? That one would/could be easier to emulate.

Does this camera have LANC ? You don't say whether the
camera is a still or video, presumably still. I've done a little
work with a professional underwater cameraman's digital
video camera, using a LANC feed into the underwater housing.
LANC controllers are available pre-made, or fairly easy to
emulate with a PIC

eg

http://www.boehmel.de/lanc.htm

2006\06\26@194343 by Zik Saleeba

face picon face
I've been trying to answer this exact same question. In fact I asked
this question here a few weeks ago. I ended up taking Henry Hallam's
suggestion and buying a USBwiz:

http://www.ghielectronics.com/USBwiz.htm

This provides a USB host interface on one end and serial/I2C on the
other. And an SD card interface as a bonus.

If you're looking to interface to cameras via USB you really want to
take a look at libptp. This has code to control cameras via USB.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/libptp

It may help you to know that Canon cameras generally have good support
for control via USB. Not all cameras do.

Cheers,
Zik

On 27/06/06, xkrja <spamBeGonekristian.jakschspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\06\27@015143 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Jun 26, at 15:04hrs PM, Josh Koffman wrote:

On 6/26/06, xkrja <TakeThisOuTkristian.jakschEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> Ok, maybe you're right. One question though:
> It looks like this NSLU2 is designed for network storage. The  
> device I would
> like to design should be used to control the camera with some kind of
> keyboard connected to the NSLU2 (and no network). Is this possible?

I agree with Josh.   Someone has figured out how to add a serial port.
www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddASerialPort
This is certainly something a PIC-supported keyboard can interface to.

Gus S Calabrese
Denver, CO
720 222 1309     303 908 7716 cell
I allow everything with  "spamcode2006"  in the subject or text to  
pass my spam filters


2006\06\27@063318 by xkrja

picon face

Hi,
that might be really interesting too! How have you continued from there?

Was it the USBwiz-OEM board you bought or only the USBwiz? Only the USBwiz
needed the ISP1160 host controller to work, right? But thats included in the
OEM-board so that must be an easier solution.

Do you then connect a PIC controller to the serial/I2C or do you need to
have something in between? What kind of PIC do you use, if any?

This solution seems to be very interestning because of the small size the
design can get (hopefully).

Lots of questions, I know, but thats just because it looks like you work on
exactly the same problem.

Thanks a lot for any help I can get!
/Kristian
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2006\06\27@065634 by xkrja

picon face

Hi Jan,
the thing is that I'm trying to find some kind of general solution that can
work for many different cameras and brands. That is for cameras that support
USB control of course. Hopefully, when I have the hardware, its just to
write different software for different cameras.

All major brands (Olympus, Canon, Nikon) have freeware/software for creating
your own software for controlling the camera from the PC and I hope to get
help from that.

>>And, as you might have found out by know, USB was
>>designed to have it "host" on something not less capable
>>then a Windows PC (or similar)...

What I'm hoping for is that my device can be so simple that very little
computer power is required. Maybe this is not possible and then I will take
a serious look at NSLU2. The only disadvantage with that is its size.

My camera has IR, but only shutter release and that's not enough.

Best regards,
Kristian
--
View this message in context: www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-tf1849719.html#a5063714
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2006\06\27@070350 by Mat Clayton

picon face
If you look hard enough there is also an IIC port on there and you can use
standard USB camera control software (for linux), I cant seem to find the
link anymore but dig around on nslu2-linux.org and youll eventually find
someone who has rigged onto upto a camera to take photos.
Mat

{Original Message removed}

2006\06\27@070428 by xkrja

picon face

Hi,
I forgot to mention it but you assumed right, its still cameras this device
should control.

Regards,
Kristian
--
View this message in context: www.nabble.com/-PIC--Control-digital-camera-tf1849719.html#a5063813
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2006\06\30@121933 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Jun 27, at 04:56hrs AM, xkrja wrote:


Hi Jan,
the thing is that I'm trying to find some kind of general solution  
that can
work for many different cameras and brands. That is for cameras that  
support
USB control of course. Hopefully, when I have the hardware, its just to
write different software for different cameras.

All major brands (Olympus, Canon, Nikon) have freeware/software for  
creating
your own software for controlling the camera from the PC and I hope  
to get
help from that.

Would you mind supplying some URLs for the freeware software ?
AGSC

Gus S Calabrese
Denver, CO
720 222 1309     303 908 7716 cell
I allow everything with  "spamcode2006"  in the subject or text to  
pass my spam filters


2006\06\30@125330 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:
{Quote hidden}

You might have a tough job, dependent on what you are trying to
accomplish. If you plan
to control a camera in the field, like to take security or animal
pictures, you might be disappointed.
When I looked at that a few years ago, the USB channel was only used to
pull pictures from the
camera, nothing else. I was not aware of any digital camera whose USB
port allowed you to actually
snap pix with it. But then, I am an ole guy and sometimes fail to pay
attention...

There are two major issues when trying to use a digital camera for
security or animal purposes. The
first is that the camera tries to shut itself off all the time with a
3-5 min timer. The way you can prevent\
that is by toggling the focus ring (the first contact when pressing the
"shutter button", partially depressed).
So, now, the camera is still on, so far so good.  Now you need to
actually press the  shutter button to
get a picture taken. Some  cameras have LANC capabilities, such as SONY
VTRs and Video cameras.
A few have the capability of being driven by a remote IR switch . Both
LANC and IR are easily handled,
but the inexpensive cameras require you to get inside the camera to make
hard connections, a tough problem.
The way we did it was to use optoisolators to isolate the camera signals
from the control board.

Is Olympus still making cameras? I thought they got out of that business...

--Bob

2006\06\30@144358 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Fri, Jun 30, 2006 at 09:51:22AM -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
> You might have a tough job, dependent on what you are trying to
> accomplish. If you plan
> to control a camera in the field, like to take security or animal
> pictures, you might be disappointed.
> When I looked at that a few years ago, the USB channel was only used to
> pull pictures from the
> camera, nothing else. I was not aware of any digital camera whose USB
> port allowed you to actually
> snap pix with it. But then, I am an ole guy and sometimes fail to pay
> attention...

Been a _long_ while since I last played with it, but the Linux software
gphoto could take photo's from cameras on demand back when you used a
serial port to connect to a camera... I remember taking a time-lapse
over a day with a really ancient, though horribly expensive at the time,
HP(?) something with max 640x480 resolution. Looks like it's still under
active development, http://www.gphoto.org

Interestingly, my dad won the camera at work after a supplier had tried
to give a "gift" to the very honest head of IT... The only computer I
had at the time was a very obsolete old IBM XT. Took another 3 years
before I finally got a 486 that could run Linux to actually get the
camera working, never used the software that came with it in the end.

--
RemoveMEpetespamTakeThisOuTpetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\06\30@150651 by David Euans

flavicon
face
Bob Axtell wrote:

{Quote hidden}

The Fuji S2 and S3 have this capabilty.  I use it frequently.  You can
use USB or Firewire with their Hyperutility software.  The auto-off
feature could be a problem.  I haven't yet tried using it as a security
cam or similar.

Dave

2006\06\30@155042 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Jun 30, at 13:06hrs PM, David Euans wrote:

Bob Axtell wrote:

{Quote hidden}

The Fuji S2 and S3 have this capabilty.  I use it frequently.  You can
use USB or Firewire with their Hyperutility software.  The auto-off
feature could be a problem.  I haven't yet tried using it as a security
cam or similar.

Dave

A number of Canon cameras allow USB control of exposure, snapshot, etc.
-- AGSC

2006\06\30@171508 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 30, 2006, at 9:51 AM, Bob Axtell wrote:

> I was not aware of any digital camera whose USB port
> allowed you to actually snap pix with it.

Some do, and some don't.  I think it's become relatively
popular to allow cameras to be used as "web-cams", although
frequently at lower than native resolution.  Other cameras
can be controlled similar to the IR remote functions, but
you can't retrieve the picture in real time.  If you want
to use the camera as a high-res webcam sort of thing, where
the computer periodically snaps and retrieves a picture, you
may indeed be very limited in your choices.

> Is Olympus still making cameras? I thought they got
>  out of that business...
>
That was Minolta.  Perhaps interestingly, one of the key
factors in my selection of a Minolta A2 a couple of years
ago was that it did have that capability, and Minolta even
sold a fancy "Dimage Capture" software utility:
<http://ca.konicaminolta.com/products/consumer/digital_camera/dimage/
dimage-a2/10_4.html>
I think there is open source software as well.

BillW

2006\06\30@222845 by Zik Saleeba

face picon face
Yeah. Things have changed. I'm not sure about other brands but all
aspects of the camera can be controlled via USB on my Canon.

Cheers,
Zik

On 01/07/06, Bob Axtell <engineerEraseMEspam.....cotse.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

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