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40 cameras - need help

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Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #40 on: 02 / June / 2013, 07:05:45 »
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Hi again and good morning,

the last shot will be the last shot. Sad yes - but thats our life. If you talk to this people you will enjoy your life better.
The place will be untouched for the next years and I can charge the cameras via DC. Hopefully the "camera-box" runs 5 days a week and for a long time.

What I will do this week:
Which camera to buy? (Any recommendations? Cheap, but OK quality)
Buy 5 of the cams
Buy 1 of the gent stereo with USB Hub
Buy 5 eyfi┬┤s and check how to upload the stuff to a cloud automaticly and how It might colide with the filename
Wait for your good thoughts and maybe for new initial solutions ;)


Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #41 on: 02 / June / 2013, 08:17:25 »
The place will be untouched for the next years and I can charge the cameras via DC. Hopefully the "camera-box" runs 5 days a week and for a long time.

Charging the camera batteries tends to require that you have to remove the battery from the camera and insert it into the charger... Another option is to replace the battery with an adapter. Most if not all Canon cameras allow to use such an adapter, even the cheap ones. An example: The A810 is normally powered by two AA batteries, but you can use the ACK800 adapter http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_184261_-1 or the DC coupler DR-DC10 http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_273385_-1. A warning about the latter: I bought one since it is cheaper than the ACK800 and it is easy to find cheap power supplies -- but it can be a nightmare to find a connector that fits into the adapter, so I'd recommend to buy the whole set.

Both the ACK800 and the DR-DC10 are relatively expensive (especially when you multiply the price by 40...), but as somebody else already mentioned, you find lots of cheaper alternatives from other vendors on Ebay or Amazon. Just search there for ACK800 or DR-DC10 or whatever the camera's manual mentions in it accesories section as an external power supply.

Which camera to buy? (Any recommendations? Cheap, but OK quality)

I mentioned the A810. It is cheap (a few months ago, I bought one for 50 Euro from one of the big German electronic chain stores), it is offered for about 60-70 Euro on Ebay/Amazon. The image quality is not overwhelming though, and I have the impression that the auto focus is not very fast and reliable. But other people are probably better qualified to assess the quality of this and other cameras.

But when you got shopping, print first a list of supported cameras from http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK and check that the camera you want to buy is mentioned there ;)

A remark about the Eye-Fi and similiar devices: Having the ability to automatically upload the images via WLAN sounds nice and convenient, but I would not be surprised if the WLAN connection breaks if the camera is more that 10m or 20m away from the acces point: An SD card is simply not big enough to include a decent antenna, and metal parts of the camera's case may shield the radio waves. So you might need to configure more than one AP.

Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #42 on: 02 / June / 2013, 08:21:25 »

Which camera to buy?
Wait for your good thoughts and maybe for new initial solutions ;)

For me, that will be later today.

The long distance visibility is described by BBC local weather forecast as 'excellent' so I want to take some 360 degree movies and panoramas of Liverpool (25 kilometres away), Cheshire and the Welsh hills from Wales.


David

Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #43 on: 02 / June / 2013, 10:51:00 »
Both the ACK800 and the DR-DC10 are relatively expensive (especially when you multiply the price by 40...), but as somebody else already mentioned, you find lots of cheaper alternatives from other vendors on Ebay or Amazon. Just search there for ACK800 or DR-DC10 or whatever the camera's manual mentions in it accesories section as an external power supply.
For a permanent setup on a long duration project like this, I would not recommend anything but a genuine Canon adapter.  I have several of the cheap Chinese supplies  ( $8 vs $50 for Canon at the time ) and I have had failures. So far its been the output capacitors, which I simply desolder and change.  But that does not sound like something you are going to want to do even occasionally.  Especially as the failure mode is for the power supply to appear to work until you either move the zoom lens or take a shot  I also worry a bit about fire and make sure the adapters are not running when I am away and that they are positioned to melt down without affecting anything else.

Which camera to buy? (Any recommendations? Cheap, but OK quality)
Off hand,  I'd go for something in the $150/110 euro range.  The challenge with using CHDK is that the latest cameras  (i.e. the ones in the stores) are usually not supported yet.  In fact the most recent releases seem to have changed their firmware enough that it could be a long time before CHDK is ported to them - if ever.  If you buy 40 cameras,  its also likely you will get different firmware versions. This is managable but means the SD cards will not be all the same - the CHDK release has to match the firmware version.   If you run into an unsupported firmware version let us know - there are a few people here who have become quite good at cloning new firmware versions from working ones.

From a photography point of view,  does the size of the camera body matter to you?  Also,  shooting indoors I assume you will be mostly using wide angle ? The specs on each camera vary - make sure the one you pick covers the focal range you need.   Flash on or off ?   On P&S cameras, the flash units are generally terrible.  You can mount external flash on the better cameras but that continues to get expensive.   Otherwise,  read the what the reviews say about "low light" performance.

As a baseline,  I'd suggest you look at the A2300 (supported by CHDK and still available in store for $120) and compare other choices to it. If money was no object and you want the best possible image quality,  both the G15 and G1X are well supported and readily available in stores.  But they will run around $450.

Quote
A remark about the Eye-Fi and similiar devices: Having the ability to automatically upload the images via WLAN sounds nice and convenient, but I would not be surprised if the WLAN connection breaks if the camera is more that 10m or 20m away from the acces point: An SD card is simply not big enough to include a decent antenna, and metal parts of the camera's case may shield the radio waves. So you might need to configure more than one AP.
I'll continue to play around with scripting multiple cameras and USB hubs for my own interest but the wifi cloud option sounds wonderful. 


One additional thought you might want to add to your "to do" list.   You can configure CHDK to automatically run a script when it powers up.  This can be very useful for setting things like zoom position to a preselected value.  Otherwise you may have to run around to all 40 cameras doing the final changes that the default Canon firmware does not save between session every time you turn the system on.
« Last Edit: 02 / June / 2013, 10:53:20 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16


Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #44 on: 02 / June / 2013, 11:31:42 »
So - just ordered 5 A2300 - they are on sale right now for 47,- Euro.
Any links to permanent power connections for this type?

The script for the autostart sounds great - so I can program every camera with all the settings I need?


Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #45 on: 02 / June / 2013, 11:35:38 »
the gentstereo will be the one for the A2000? Any ideas?

Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #46 on: 02 / June / 2013, 11:50:51 »
So - just ordered 5 A2300 - they are on sale right now for 47,- Euro.
Wow - I was just suggesting a starting point for comparison.  Not recommending a final choice.  Still,  the price is right and the negatives in the camera reviews for that model won't affect your situation.

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/canon-powershot-a2300-silver/4505-6501_7-35137473.html

Quote
Any links to permanent power connections for this type?
The official one is :
http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_294460_-1
You can probably find it for around $50 from reputable online stores like  B&HPhoto.   Sorry - no experience with EU online shopping so I can't help there.

Otherwise try eBay or Amazon and look for ACK-DC90 : http://www.amazon.com/ACK-DC90-Camera-Adapter-NB-11L-Battery/dp/B00A1Z3FII/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1370188094&sr=1-5&keywords=ACK-DC90

My caution about non-Canon products still applies though.


Quote
The script for the autostart sounds great - so I can program every camera with all the settings I need?
Pretty much. You might also need to work out the default configuration of the eye-fi card and base camera and do a big initial setup session.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #47 on: 02 / June / 2013, 12:03:24 »
The price was so hot - I had to order them. I will check the quality. I hope my 5 cameras test setup will make me understand everything better. Also ordered 5 eye-fi cards.
The guys from gentstereo are on vacation till next week - so I have to wait for them. But I can start hacking my cams. I will look in here for a tutorial hacking them.
Wow - the official power adapter are expensive - $150/each here in Germany. I will start my test setup with battery mode. If it works I will see what to buy next.


Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #48 on: 02 / June / 2013, 12:17:03 »
I hope my 5 cameras test setup will make me understand everything better.
It will.

The guys from gentstereo are on vacation till next week - so I have to wait for them. But I can start hacking my cams. I will look in here for a tutorial hacking them.
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_Links#Manuals_and_Documentation
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/USB_Remote_V2

If you are up for a little surgery, you can patch a few old USB cables together (I seem to have accumulated a large collection of them over the years) and simply plug & unplug from your PC to simulate shooting.  I'll post a simple wiring sketch suitable for 5 cameras if so.

Quote
Wow - the official power adapter are expensive - $150/each here in Germany. I will start my test setup with battery mode. If it works I will see what to buy next.
Ouch.   For that kind of money,  maybe go with the cheap Chinese ones and buy 10 spares.  Just make sure you tape (tie wrap) the power pack part to a tripod leg or something so that if it overheats it does not start a fire.  All those Chinese units have CE mark certification logo's on their cases but who knows how real that is.
« Last Edit: 02 / June / 2013, 12:19:48 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

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Re: 40 cameras - need help
« Reply #49 on: 02 / June / 2013, 12:27:57 »
All those Chinese units have CE mark certification logo's on their cases but who knows how real that is.
:) China Export http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CE_marks.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking

 

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