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Old Feb 7, 2004, 12:52 AM   #1
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Default webcams, or really computer controlled high-res digicams

I am interested in finding a camera that can be used as a high
resolution, computer controlled camera. I would have called this
a webcam, but that seems to be attached to low-res images with
video capability, which is NOT what I am looking for. I want the
computer to be able to signal the camera to take a picture over usb
or firewire, have the camera react as quickly as possible, and immediate
download the full resolution (at least 2MP, preferrably more) image
to the computer for manipulation by other software. I don't think
I need to take a picture any more often than once every 5 seconds
or so, and probably less frequently. If the computer can manipulate
zoom, exposure, or other camera functions, that would be even
better. Think of this a a replacement for 35mm time-lapse
photography, if that helps. Low light capability would be good.

Does anything have that sort of capabilty, outside of very expensive
things designed to do ONLY that (and who makes them, anyway.
Aside from NASA, I mean...)

Bill W
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 8:37 AM   #2
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Your best bet would be to install a video capture card and hook up a good quality digital video camera. There are several cards on the market designed for just the purposes you describe. I've never used any, so I've pretty much exhausted my knowledge of the cards and/or cameras to use.
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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Well most new digital camera's USB connection is treated like a mass storage device. Meaning that it can only access the memory card.

And to the best of my knowledge the USB usually has no control of the camera's functions (besides the memory card).
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 6:29 AM   #4
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The problem with most cameras, is when they are put in their controlled webcam mode, they default to 640x480 resolution or less.

I'm sure this question came up once before from posters wanting to do time lapse photography and capture full res. images straight to PC, with the camera controlled. I may be wrong, but I think Nikon may do control software, and Canon have talked about it this potential functionality through their latest firmware on A series cams.It would be nice to do this wireless. VOX
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 2:09 PM   #5
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The Minolta DiMAGE A1 should do what you're trying to accomplish.

The A1 has a time-lapse or intervalometer shooting mode built-in . You can take full resolution time lapse sequences or you can set it up to make a low res (640x480) time lapse movie.

Minolta also has a PC based control program for the A1 to allow your computer to operate the camera via the USB connection. It controls the camera in all modes except zoom (A1 has manual zoom). This optional software is called DiMAGE Capture. Read about it here:

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