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A530 script for high-altitude helium balloon photo shoot

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A530 script for high-altitude helium balloon photo shoot
« on: 31 / August / 2010, 22:08:40 »
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Hello CHDK gurus!

I'm wondering if someone could save me a lot of time by putting together a script that does the following for a Powershot A530 that will be attached to a helium balloon and float to 100,000 feet for several hours, taking photos continuously.  Two feet straight out from the payload will be a small packet of a retail product positioned at the edge of the field of view.  While operating in manual mode, I want the camera to zoom out fully, set the focus to two feet, take ten pictures (one every five seconds), then zoom in slightly so that the retail product is out of view, set the focus to infinity, take ten pictures (again, one every five seconds), and repeat this loop until the camera runs out of space or battery power.  I will set the shutter speed and aperture manually prior to liftoff.

I'll post all pictures on the web after the trip!  Thank you very much!!!!

~S~
« Last Edit: 08 / September / 2010, 21:32:52 by seerdman »

Re: Wanted: A530 script for high-altitude helium balloon photo shoot
« Reply #1 on: 08 / September / 2010, 21:31:32 »
I was eventually able to figure this out myself.  This uses UBasic, this build: a530-100a-0.9.9-932-full.zip; requires the A530 dial to be on "M", before starting the program you must be in Manual Focus mode with the flash disabled, and because each zoom of the A530 permits only two aperture values (it doesn't really have an aperture), you must set the aperture to the lower of the two available for whatever zoom you begin at.  I begin at full wide angle zoom.

With all of the above in mind, I seemed to find the following:

set_zoom and set_av do not work on the A530

set_focus val does work if the camera is in manual focus mode, and the dial is in M mode.  It seems to work better if you place it BEFORE a click "zoom_in" or "zoom_out" command.

A focus setting of 500 provides sharp focus of an object 15 inches from the front of the lens.

If you inactivate the display, it kicks out of manual focus mode and focus commands do not work.  A potential future enhancement would be to figure out how to solve this problem.  My only idea at this point is to use click commands to temporarily activate the display and focus to a shorter distance.  Otherwise, I believe the A530 is just going to sit in autofocus mode.

Here is the code:

rem Author - seerdman for A530
rem set dial to M, turn off flash, put in manual focus at full wide angle
rem set aperture to lower of 2 available settings to allow 1 step

@title Pix in Space
@param a Interval (Seconds)
@default a 5
@param b Batch frames
@default b 10
@param c Wide Focus (mm)
@default c 500
@param d Zoom Focus (mm)
@default d 65535

t=a*1000

if t<100 then let t=5000

n=1
x=500
y=0
z=1
goto "shot"

:shot
  print "Shot #", n
  sleep x
  press "shoot_full"
  sleep t
  release "shoot_full"
  sleep x
  n=n+1
  y=y+1
  if y=b then goto "toggle"
  goto "shot"

:toggle
  if z=1 then goto "zoomin"
  if z=2 then goto "zoomout"

:zoomout
  set_focus c
  sleep 1000
  click "zoom_out"
  sleep 1000
  set_tv_rel 0-1
  sleep x
  z=1
  y=0
  goto "shot"

:zoomin
  set_focus d
  sleep 1000
  click "zoom_in"
  sleep 1000
  set_tv_rel 1
  sleep x
  z=2
  y=0
  goto "shot"

end
« Last Edit: 19 / September / 2010, 21:13:19 by seerdman »

 

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