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Old Jun 26, 2002, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Using digicam through computer?

Using digicam through computer

I know this may not be the proper forum, but it looked like one of the better ones for this question(s).

I'm contemplating purchase of a digital camera for a large & unusual project. The project involves the collection, saving and indexing of thumbnail digital images of about 7,000 maps.

The project would be facilitated if the digital camera could be connected to a computer so that the images would be directly saved to a database in the computer. Also, it might be nice if the images could be framed on the computer monitor. Are these applications possible with any digicams? I'm particularly interested in a model with something more than the standard 3X zoom, as this would facilitate framing of images of maps of greatly varying sizes.

Resolution is not much of an issue, since these images are really to be just 'thumbnails' that would indicate the general character of each map.

We would want the camera to work with either a Windows NT or XP machine. Memory and Hard Drive storage can be acquired as needed.

I'd certainly appreciate any suggestions or help anyone can offer!

Tom Crafford
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Old Jun 27, 2002, 7:13 AM   #2
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Ask the folks at HarborTronics - they have a forum here at Steve's about remote controls.

Probably your most difficult to fill request is: "Also, it might be nice if the images could be framed on the computer monitor" It takes a bit of time to transmit a photo via USB.
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Old Jun 27, 2002, 8:36 AM   #3
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Default Probably not a viable project as presented..

There are two difficulties that I can see with your project as you present it. The first is that you want "thumbnail" images. In order to get a thumbnail image from all commonly available digicams, you must either take the shot and resize it in software to the desired dimensions, or use specialized software to retrieve the small thumbnail image generated by the camera's firmware itself and attached to the exif header. Even if you could do this, you would either have to settle for the "as is" size of this thumbnail, or you would have to resize it in software then save.

The second part of the issue is being tethered to the computer for direct transfer. This requires a camera which is suitable to this activity and which has a fast connect (either SCSI or FireWire) cable connection to allow this "real time" connection. This eliminates most or all of non-professional digicams. Cameras such as the EOS-1D, D1X, D1H, Kodak DCS-760 or other Kodak pro models allow this, but not the run-of-the-mill consumer digicams. The only lower resolution and reasonably inexpensive (only because it's discontinued) camera which has this type connection that I'm aware of is the Sony DKC-ID1 which is about 3/4 megapixel, has 12x optical zoom and uses a SCSI connect for this purpose. The Sony DKC-FP3 uses a IEEE-1394 (FireWire) connect and could be a 1.5 megapixel candidate.

The largest obstacle would seem to be the instant thumbnail. My suggestion would be to batch process the captured images with a product like IrfanView rather than jump through hoops trying to save the additional step by directly capturing the embedded thumbnail. This approach sound like more work and perhaps ultimately less functional.

Best regards,

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Old Jun 27, 2002, 9:51 AM   #4
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Canon bundles RemoteCapture with its cameras. The software capures photos using a USB cable and stores the file directly on the hard drive. Breeze Systems also makes an enhanced version with more bells and whistles.
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