Programmable Remote Control for Nikon

If you’re an amateur photographer and own an entry-level Nikon DSLR, you might be dissatisfied with the lack of certain features these models have, which can be quite disappointing since high-end cameras are pretty expensive. But there is something that can be done. The cameras have an infrared sensor that can be utilized with great success using a remote control, so you are able to take pictures and control your camera from afar. And here’s where the programmable remote control for Nikon comes along, enhancing the capabilities of your camera.

This project is a small remote control based on the Atmega168/328 microcontroller from Atmel. It also has a bunch of 3mm LEDs (one of them is the power LED, the rest are for different programs for the camera), capacitors, resistors, 3 switches, a battery holder and an IR LED. The device ends up using all GPIO pins of the MCU (you can find detailed schematics and a complete parts list in the link).

The code is available for reading and download and is neatly commented so you can understand what it actually does. The code makes use of Cibo Mahto’s Nikon Library. Gerber files and Eagle files are also available for download. A nice device to have when taking difficult shots with your DSLR, the programmable remote control for Nikon can be a great addition to your photo gear, helping you make great use of your DSLR.

Programmable Remote Control for Nikon: [Link]

June 17th, 2009

Open Source Camera Axe

Open Source Camera Axe

Every so often you can find yourself unable to take a picture, because human reflexes can’t always handle the timing required in some circumstances. From wildlife photos of animals or lightning to various fast moving objects like bullets or even splashes or balloons popping, one can encounter many situations where hand-eye coordination or shooting skills just aren’t enough to get the job done. And here is where something like the Camera Axe comes into play.

This is an open source project, both hardware and software, that controls a camera or a flash, activating it at just the right time. The brain of the device is the ATmega328 microcontroller with Arduino Bootloader. The Camera Axe possesses a Flash Trigger to activate the flash with, a Camera Trigger for the camera itself, a Sound Sensor and a Light Sensor. The sound sensor is built using an electret microphone and its sensitivity can be adjusted with the potentiometer on the PCB. The light sensor is made with a photo transistor that detects both visible light and IR. The Camera Axe also has a RF receiver so it can be triggered remotely from about 200ft.

I have a lot of respect for open source stuff and this project makes no exception. You can find a detailed component list, schematics, pictures of the PCB, the enclosure and more pictures taken using the Camera Axe, as well as code and information about getting the board in the link below. The part list has detailed pricing for every component used, from voltage regulator and microcontroller to bolts and nuts and the whole thing costs about 120 dollars for a single Camera Axe, which is really cheap for what it can do.

A very interesting, fun, useful and detailed project, the Open Source Camera Axe is another tool for the photography enthusiast that is worth every penny. A demo video is also available in the link.

Open Source Camera Axe: [Link][via]

Open Source Camera Axe
June 13th, 2009

Huge Resolution Camera

Huge Resolution Camera

Super-megapixel resolution pictures are something that arouse awe in most people and one of the reasons for this is because they’re not easily obtained. The prices of professional DSLR equipment are pretty high, prohibitive for most casual photographers, so access to this kind of tools is rather limited. But you can build a 130 megapixel camera yourself, using a scanner.

First of all, this is not the type of camera that you carry around your neck for a quick point-and-shoot session in one of your holidays. It’s not meant for shooting fast moving things either. What it can do though is take 130 megapixel pictures. That’s 13,068 x 10,173 pixels, pretty impressive for a home-made scanner camera. The device is built from a 1200-dpi flatbed Epson scanner and a manual-focus Canon lens and has an old-school appearance. Although the author is an amateur photographer who claims that it’s a ‘just for fun’ project, the results of his work are quite remarkable. Not to mention the price of the parts used.

This is a DIY project for the photography enthusiast and, with a little imagination, it could pass off as a microscope. Kidding. Detailed pictures revealing the potency of the 130-megapixel monster are available in the link below.

Huge Resolution Camera: [Link][Via]

Huge Resolution CameraHuge Resolution CameraHuge Resolution Camera
April 29th, 2009

AVR Object tracker

AVR Object tracker

Just the simple interfacing of camera with the micro controller sounds a lot of fun, then how about real time object tracking? This device has an amazing 27 fps speed and can track multiple objects which are defined by colors. The image sensor is OV6620 CMOS, and the brain is the ATmega8, trough the serial interface the user can download snapshots, configure the device or just view the tracked objects.

This project is an ideal start-up for those involved in robotics, by upgrading the basic IR based obstacle detection your robots gain a lot more freedom and intelligence.  Beside the amazing speed of execution the hardware is quite simple, my first thought was that the firmware is written in assembler I was surprised to see that the entire project is written in C. The PC program is in java and made available by the author, great way to get started with image processing methods and algorithms.

If you want to embed this project into your application the best way is to build it as is, and use a second controller for the other functions, since the tight synchronization needed between the atmega8 and the image sensor any other functionality would greatly reduce the image processing speed.

AVR Object tracker: [pdf] [download]

August 22nd, 2008

Sony DSC H9 review

Sony DSC H9 review

You’ve probably noticed the pictures from my last projects… they look pretty cool. That’s because i got a new camera, a Sony DSC H9. The macros are great, i can see the particles of dust on my circuit boards, the landscapes are great, i took some stuning pictures in my vacation in the mountains.

I’m not gonna go trough all of the aspects in this review, I’m just gonna tell you what impresses me about this camera. I payed for it at a local retail store about $520 complete with a 2 GB memory stick pro duo. The camera was nicely packed and accesorized. For example i got a cool remote control, that i can use to take pictures remotely. I also got a shoulder strap which you don’t get on most cameras.

The battery, is sony, as expected and it last actually more than they say it will. They guarantee that it will last you 300 photos, but i take aprox 600 photos with one charge.

If you plan on getting one, i suggest you take no less than 2 GB memory card. Because on 2 Gb it rarely gets full, and you’ll alaways have room for more pictures when you’re away from your computer and you can’t download them.

Another good thing about the camera, it’s the 15x zoom complete with image stabilization, which helps you get more acurrate details into your pictures when shooting at a distance.

The camera also has other nice functions like many shooting resolutions, the i prefere beeing the widescreen mode. In my opinion this is the best choice in digital camera before moving into the SLR category.

I hear that digital photo frames are they way to show your pictures arround the house these days, maybe one from Sony will work ok together with my H9.

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