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Digital Camera for embedded use?

2002-11-19 19:23:28+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

So, if you were going to start from scratch and choose a digital camera for use in a fixed focus, fixed lens length environment, with a Firewire/1394 or faster data transfer system and excellent manufacturer support for a Windows based API, which would it be? Looking for at least 2k by 1.5k resolution, roughly a 50mm 35mm equivalent lens length. API reliability and feature set is the primary concern, as that's the problem with our current hardware.

[ related topics: Photography Microsoft Software Engineering ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-11-20 06:34:14+00 by: TheSHAD0W [edit history]

Offhand, I don't know of ANYTHING that would fit your bill. All the digicams I know come with USB, not 1394. There are lots of DV cams with 1394, but the resolution isn't anywhere near what you want. I'll keep looking...

Update: Nikon D1 has a 1394 interface. Later Nikons probably will as well. Don't know about Canon.

Update #2: http://www.ioxperts.com/devices_fwwebcams.html is an interesting page to visit...

Update #3: http://www.mediacy.com/kits/evolutionmp.htm is the only "embedded" 1394 digicam I've seen. There's no price listed, but I suspect it's a bundle. 5 megapixel though.

#Comment made: 2002-11-20 15:37:30+00 by: Dan Lyke

There are tons of cameras that fit the bill, the Canon 1D[Wiki], the Fuji S2[Wiki], as you pointed out various Nikon[Wiki] bodies, a bunch of the high end Kodak[Wiki] bodies.

The problem is that I don't know how well their APIs work. The problem with the camera I'm using now (and I'm being deliberately vague because I don't remember what the license agreement said, but longtime readers can figure it out) is that the API sometimes doesn't do what I want. If I set the aperture, take a picture, and then immediately try to set the aperture and take another picture, the aperture setting doesn't stick. If I wait 5 seconds, or send the image to the computer rather than to the CompactFlash[Wiki] card in between the two, the second aperture setting sticks. I have no way of knowing from the API what the low end of that time is, in fact trying to uninitialize the API too fast causes problems, and setting the value and immediately reading it back gives me the value I just set, even though the camera doesn't appear to have taken that setting.

FireWire is in the mix because if I'm going to change cameras I want to be able to get these pictures down faster. And FireWire might even be fast enough that I don't care about saving them to the camera first.

What I really want is a camera with good strong developer support, and for that I need to find someone who's done similar embedded apps with a high end camera before. I think Kodak[Wiki] is the way to go if I can convince my boss that they're worth the dollars.

#Comment made: 2002-11-21 00:54:23+00 by: Jeffery [edit history]

I have no direct experience with what you want to do Dan, but in principle I would tend to agree that Kodak may be your best bet. You may have already seen this page:


Kodak's Developer Program is free, and you can download the products and supporting documentation from the pages found in the link above.

#Comment made: 2002-11-22 00:28:58+00 by: Dan Lyke

There's an Olympus Developer Program that has a small royalty charge for software for the camera alone, and $800 charge for systems which incorporate one of their cameras into a larger hardware system. Unfortunately they don't have any of their SLRs in the program yet, and don't list the cameras that have the feature set I want as compatible.