Digital setup

Gator

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After looking at Memory loss's pics with his digital cam, I was wondering if anyone had any info on how to build a digital setup? I noticed that Georgia hunter said his next one will be a digital setup. If anyone has any info that could be shared it would be much appreciated.  The biggest advantage to me would be not having to wait for a whole roll of film to be taken. If it only had 6 pics when you checked it you could still look at them. The deer movement has been slow here this year, I have 3 cams out that have less than a half a roll taken, and I hate to waste all that film. But it is hard to wait.
 

Archilochus

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Hi Gator,
Use the search feature of this forum to see info posted by 'Brian'  He drew up a digital cam control circuit - should work for most any digital cam with some adjustments.

Good Luck!,
Archilochus
 

GeorgiaHunter

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I guess one of the biggest issues with a digital is the battery usage and the need to wake the camera up.

Has anyone tried using two sensors? For example a MS20 180 degree long range sensor to trigger the half press and use a RS sensor to trigger the shutter?
 

Brian

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I have just recently given Jesse info on wiring into a Canon Elph S100 which is a digital camera.  Jesse is preparing a web page for this as we speak.  We are ironing out the details and it should be up and running shortly.  As far as the detailed circuit I posted a circuit some time ago that deals with the on/off control of the camera and the shutter.  It will turn the camera on and wait for it to power up then take a picture and wait for it to process and then shut the camera back off.  The circuit is a little complex so I am working on a single PIC micro to do the whole thing.  It is on my test bench now.

Brian
 

GeorgiaHunter

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Brian, Are you using the Elph because you happened to have one? Are there any specific features which led you to go with it? I am curious because the camera sells for $350. I can get a Yashica Micro Elite 3300 Digital Camera for that price. It is already used in the digital camtracker commercially.
 

Gator

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Thanks for the info, I am looking forward to seeing it, when jesse gets it going.
 

Brian

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GeorgiaHunter,

I used the Canon Elph S100 because it was small and at the time the Micor Elite was not available.  The Canon also has a strong flash for its size and boasts a 247 picture capability with one charge not counting flash.  Also, the software was easy to use and the time and date comes with each picture.  I may be wrong but I think the Micor Elite only has the date field and not the time.
 

GeorgiaHunter

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Brian,   Sounds like good enough reasons to me. I will be standing in line waiting for the results of your testing before undertaking the task of building my digital septup.  I am looking to go digital so I can roll into hunting camp on a friday evening, pull the weeks pics off the cam using a laptop and make a decision on where to hunt that weekend. Got to love technology!
 

jayber

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So what would be the pitfalls with the Yashica Micro Elite 3300?  Brian mentioned to me that the Canon Elph S100's lens moves in and out on startup which may or may not be an issue for some.  Me, I'd be willing to pay $350 for a digital camera as long as it will work.  I'm in line too (as you already know Brian).  :smile-blue
 

GeorgiaHunter

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The pitfalls appear to be no time stamp and a weaker flash for the same price. Also, having to wire it vs. comm port. I looked at the specs for the Yashica and it indocates no remote capability, which tells me it must be wired.
 

jayber

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From the other post, wasn't it the Yashica that Brian was referring to as possibly having a comm. port?  You've confirmed otherwise.  So it's a wash since it sounds like the CE S100 would need to be hard-wired too.  He told me of another that he was going to try that might overcome the lense movement.
 

Brian

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As soon as I get the money the Sony P50 is next on my to try list.  It has a fixed lens, time and date stamp, and the on/off button and the shutter button are separate and in a position I think I can wire into it.  I will have to wait till I pay off Christmas whewww.

Hopefully, in February I can get one.

Don't get me wrong on the Elph it is a great camera and it takes awesome pictures.  It is just a bit more difficult to work with.  Jesse will hopefully have the info I sent him up on his site before long and you can see just what the Elph is like as far as wiring and the way I get around the lens movement.

I just hated to get the Sony and find out it was so much easier to deal with and everybody had purchased an Elph already.
 

rangerdude

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I too am interested in building a digital setup.  I own a Fuji finepix 1400 (the 1300 is about the same but is cheaper).  You can turn off the 'Auto Power off' function and it has a power port built into the side.  And, you can get the camera for less than $200.  The downside is the flash is not great.

I have two issues to work out:
1. I wouldn't even attempt to try to figure out the wiring arrangement but I thought I might use a solenoid.  Any thoughts here???
2.  I know it draws 40mA in standby and 190mA when taking a picture.  I just need to figure out the correct battery setup.

Again, I already own one and am trying to make it work.  But to semi-quote Brian " I would hate working with this if someone else has figured a better setup"
 

GeorgiaHunter

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RD, good info. good price.

Questions:
does the camera go into sleep mode after a period of time? How long?

does half press wake it up?

Does it have a connection for an external flash?
 

Bald Eagle

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I'm wondering if anyone has tried a "slave" flash unit.  I personnaly don't know anything about them but I've seen photographers use them in the past.  They are simple little battery powered units that sense when another flash goes off and it goes off too.  It does this so fast that the camera shutter is still open when the slave flashes.  I think photographers use these to get some unique effects with a flash comming from a different angle.

I'm thinking we could put one of these on another tree close to the camera.  This would allow us to use some of the cameras that have a week flash unit built in.
 

Gator

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There's an idea! I don't know anything about them, but that sounds like an idea that would could work well on a 35mm or a digital cam. Maybe someone will have some more info as to weather that would work.
 

GeorgiaHunter

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Does anyone know of a digital cam that has a flash remote connector or a hotshoe? I have not been able to find one, at least one under $400.
 

Steiner

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Brian,
When you were testing with the Elph, how much time did you find that it took from initial trigger until the camera actually took a picture?  Just curious what can be expected when the camera is allowed to go to sleep.  Thanks.....
 

Guy Wire

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Hey Rangerdude,
What is the secret to turning off the autoshutdown on the Fuji 1300/1400?

I have a 1400 and I'll be darned if I can figure it out.
The manual makes one vague referance to being able to disable it, but I can't find where it tells how.
 

Bald Eagle

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Here's a follow-up on the "slave" flash unit.

I called two photo supply shops and found out that Vivitar makes a unit called a "slave unit" (immagine that) that is a very sensitive photo sensor built into a hot shoe type of housing.  You would have to attach an automatic electronic flash unit on top of this slave unit.  All of this stuff is battery powered and seems to be fairly simple.

Then I went to our good freind Ebay and found that there are several items like this listed for $10 to $60.

I think that it would be pretty cool if we could attach our camera to one tree and an additional flash unit to another tree.  This would deffinately cure the problem of weak flash on cheapy cameras.  Also we may be able to see all of those other critters that are lurking in the background of our pictures.
 


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