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Automated Webcam Application / Hardware Problems
#1
I am starting to develop an automated webcam application. The goal is to automatically take pictures, do some image processing and then upload the results to a FTP site. All of these tasks seem simple.
However, I am having a hard time to find a decent camera. I don't want to use a simple webcam or hd-webcam because the image quality of still frames isn't very good. I'm also having a hard time finding an affordable digital camera supporting USB snapshot or control.
My second concern is the development itself. I'm not quite sure which programming language to use. I have experience with AS3, Processing, Java and some simple C++ and Open CV.
Do you have a clue?





CredibleBH
#2
Manufacturers have already rolled out webcam software for some of the system cameras, so you probably don't need that side of our setup.

e.g. https://fujifilm-x.com/en-au/support/dow.../x-webcam/
Chief Editor - opticallimits.com

Doing all things Canon, MFT, Sony and Fuji
#3
There are 2 different ways to go about it, and which one fits you best, only you can decide after research.
You can use cameras with their webcam driver/software, and your software has to use your computer's operating system's webcam API. This will probably give you access to a highly compressed video stream, not the best source for (very?) high quality still images, and maybe JPEG access.

Or, you can ditch the "webcam" idea, and use a camera manufacturer's SDK with APIs to control the camera, which will give you access to full resolution images if needed, in JPEG, HEIF (some newer Canon cameras) and even RAW format. Canon has a rather comprehensive SDK, not sure about how comprehensive Nikon's SDK is.
Canon: https://developers.canon-europe.com/s/
Nikon: https://sdk.nikonimaging.com/apply/

You also have to take special care on choosing a camera. Does the camera model, in combination with the SDK or webcam software, offer the function you are after (remote stills capture)? And is there a way/accessory to power the camera continuously (camera batteries run out rather quickly, so does not really sound like an option)? Also, the camera will "fall asleep" when used as remote stills camera. How quickly will it be awake when talked to by the software again? Lots of research then, for you.

There is even a 3rd way, Canon for instance offers remote camera software to control the camera tethered via USB (Canon Utility) or WiFi. You may be able to automate the control of such software, for instance (if you use Mac OS, https://developer.apple.com/library/arch...rface.html).
#4
I'd take a different approach. Instead of using a DSLR or ML camera, I'd go for an embedded system with a small programmable camera, such as a RPI + PI camera board v2.
You can find many tutorials on the subject ranging from beginner level to more adavanced here: https://learn.adafruit.com/products/3099/guides
Perfect for learning, hacking, much cheaper and probably more flexible than Canon or Nikon's SDK.
--Florent

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#5
(12-14-2020, 08:36 AM)thxbb12 Wrote: I'd take a different approach. Instead of using a DSLR or ML camera, I'd go for an embedded system with a small programmable camera, such as a RPI + PI camera board v2.
You can find many tutorials on the subject ranging from beginner level to more adavanced here: https://learn.adafruit.com/products/3099/guides
Perfect for learning, hacking, much cheaper and probably more flexible than Canon or Nikon's SDK.

That raspberry nonsense has a worse camera and worse lens than even most webcams... Way less flexible in many ways too.
#6
For the intend and purposes of the OP, quoted here "The goal is to automatically take pictures, do some image processing and then upload the results to a FTP site.", my suggestion fits the bill well.
He didn't talk about IQ. In term of programming the RPI solution is great, along the various tutorials. I this sense, I find it much more flexible.
--Florent

Flickr gallery
#7
(12-14-2020, 12:31 PM)thxbb12 Wrote: For the intend and purposes of the OP, quoted here "The goal is to automatically take pictures, do some image processing and then upload the results to a FTP site.", my suggestion fits the bill well.
He didn't talk about IQ. In term of programming the RPI solution is great, along the various tutorials. I this sense, I find it much more flexible.

"simple webcam or hd-webcam because the image quality of still frames isn't very good" that part makes it a bit less of a good fit, though.
The RPI solution is geeky, perhaps not great. No experience with the Canon SDK, but my impression is that it probably is way more "flexible". The shitty quality you can,t change as it has a fixed lens.
#8
(12-14-2020, 09:02 PM)Brightcolours Wrote:
(12-14-2020, 12:31 PM)thxbb12 Wrote: For the intend and purposes of the OP, quoted here "The goal is to automatically take pictures, do some image processing and then upload the results to a FTP site.", my suggestion fits the bill well.
He didn't talk about IQ. In term of programming the RPI solution is great, along the various tutorials. I this sense, I find it much more flexible.

"simple webcam or hd-webcam because the image quality of still frames isn't very good" that part makes it a bit less of a good fit, though.
The RPI solution is geeky, perhaps not great. No experience with the Canon SDK, but my impression is that it probably is way more "flexible". The shitty quality you can,t change as it has a fixed lens.

Indeed, I read too quickly and missed this part "... because the image quality of still frames isn't very good".
The RPI option is probably not a good fit if they want good IQ.
<geek_mode>I still think it's the most fun solution ;-) </geek_mode>
--Florent

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