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Improving "live" video quality and clear display option for Powershot A620?

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Offline Anaglyphic

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I managed to find the topic I was talking about and here's the link:

http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=10&topic_id=2549&mesg_id=2549&listing_type=search
Thanks for the link; that was an interesting diversion. Ironic the $200 P&S runs on while the $2000 dSLR craps out.

Just from a casual cruising of the Camera & Lighting subforum, you can see the uphill battle fought by the would-be stopmotion animator... cheap webcam, frustration --> nicer webcam, progress --> still camera --> computer controlled still camera --> multi-thousand dollar dSLR and macro lenses and computer-controlled camera gimbals and robotic arms --> still wants MORE...

On that note, your A620 is what, 4-5 years old? What'd it cost, $300? So what if it breaks? It's way out of warranty. Will you repair it, or get a more modern, cheaper unit with more features and higher resolution? Something to think about.

On point, CHDK *may* be able to help you. If you can get the LCD to look exactly the way you want using the buttons, CHDK can probably (at least) automate the button presses for you. It can certainly disable auto-off for you. CHDK cannot however get to the video before the Canon firmware. While it's somewhat easy to overlay more info on the LCD, AFAIK it's currently not possible to take it away. (attached: CHDK sample drawing palette, but the low battery signal popped over.)

Considering Canon went with a 115k LCD panel on the 620 I'm guessing the video output is 640x480ntsc/576 pal, coming in via a 720x480/576 Dazzle, so even if you can get the video out to behave, is it of acceptable quality? Compared to gorgeous 3072x2304 stills, with zero problems with any override you can come up with ending up on the final image. CHDK could definitely help you in various ways if you go this route, especially automating DoF series - but you have to press the shutter. This doesn't take into account your toolchain; if you're set on video, then you need video. But no video is going to look like high resolution stills.

Whatever you decide, sounds like you're itching to get a project going... have fun!
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything,
 we ought to know a little about everything.
-- Blaise Pascal

You're right of course Anaglyphic...  :)

Except, I'm the type who once I find a suitable quality, I stick with it. It's not worth it to keep upgrading on and on. Otherwise you'd never stop buying. I find the resolution of the A620 better than most of the newer models out there. They may have nicer looking casings, extra attachments or more features, but when it all comes down to it, all I really wanna do is take a picture! If my current camera does that with no problems and I like what I see, why bother with anything else?

I got my A620 late last year, so I've got to get a lot of use from it first. I'd prefer to use it to take pictures of my sculptures instead.  :P This is just in case I never finish my project and I end up wearing the camera out before using it for its true purpose. Besides, reading what seasoned stop motion animators have to say, I don't really need 7.1 mp stills. It's just overkill and would be lost after all the rendering done on the finished movie (which would take longer if the images are huge).

Like I said before, I'm poor (as a lot of us are these days) and I just wanted to avoid spending more money in an area of stop motion I thought I had solved. But Microfunguy's idea with the Quickcam sounds good as I can kill two birds with one stone (quality and no shutter to wear out). I think I found one of the parts he used (C-mount ring), but not the IR blocking filter, as I don't know what size to get. Hopefully, he'll be kind enough to reply back soon with a little extra info?

By the way, are you into stop motion, or is it something that just interests you?

« Last Edit: 02 / August / 2009, 13:03:22 by chocochan »

Hopefully, he'll be kind enough to reply back soon with a little extra info?

Before going any further with this, I should say that for my application I needed to remove the lens, despite all the complications that caused.

I suggest that you obtain the camera, download Micam, setup your lighting and capture some frames.

Then, let us know how you are getting on and we will take it from there.

DO NOT attempt to modify the camera the way I did, it is not necessary.

The software allows you to adjust focus, brightness, contrast, white balance, etc.

I do not have the Logitech driver installed at present, unbelievably it causes problems for compiling CHDK !

David

Before going any further with this, I should say that for my application I needed to remove the lens, despite all the complications that caused. I suggest that you obtain the camera, download Micam, setup your lighting and capture some frames. Then, let us know how you are getting on and we will take it from there. DO NOT attempt to modify the camera the way I did, it is not necessary.

Aww, but I wanted to be able to attach a better lens like you did. Even if I don't know much about cameras, one thing I DO know is the better the optics, the better the captured image! That one in your picture looked like it would be great to focus with just like a pro (well, training pro for me anyway)...  :(

Besides, everyone (myself included from experience) knows that the Logitech software is more trouble than it's worth. I can't imagine what these newer drivers would do to my happily stable PC.
« Last Edit: 02 / August / 2009, 14:07:04 by chocochan »


I wanted to be able to attach a better lens like you did.

What makes you think that lens is better than the Zeiss one on the webcam ?

that is a C-mount CCTV lens and they are not particularly sharp.
It was attached just for the photo.

You can see from image above that it was not used on the macro rig.

In fact, CCTV lenses are such relatively low quality that manufacturers specially advertise their new, expensive  'megapixel' lenses.


You need to try the camera and Zeiss lens with good lighting.

Alright, alright, I'll give it a try just as it is. But there is one more question I have... Which is better, the Quickcam Pro for Notebooks (your one), or the Quickcam Pro 9000? I don't know which one to choose. Are they both basically the same, or are there specific differences? I'm leaning towards your one (because of the case and stand :P), but I've seen more reviews for the Pro 9000, so it's more popular.

Another thing was this "revision 2" thing going on with the Pro 9000. Apparently if the webcam lights up with an ORANGE ring, it's meant to be an updated one with sharper images.

Which is better, the Quickcam Pro for Notebooks (your one), or the Quickcam Pro 9000?
Electronically and optically they are the same, I thought the shape of the Notebook version was easier to handle.


Quote
Another thing was this "revision 2" thing going on with the Pro 9000. Apparently if the webcam lights up with an ORANGE ring, it's meant to be an updated one with sharper images.


Interesting, I will research that, do you have any links ?


Sure do. Right here:

http://forums.logitech.com/logitech/board/message?board.id=quickcam_hardware&thread.id=4724&nobounce

A reviewer on Amazon.co.uk mentioned it and now I can't decide. If I do buy one in the near future, there's no guarantee that one will be the one I get. The video review on the product page was done using the "orange ring" version (or so the guy said), and it looked good. Thing is, I haven't seen much info in regards to a comparison between the two.


 

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