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Old Jun 26, 2002, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default 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, 1:30 PM   #2
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THis is a bit out of my expertise..., but I think there are some cameras suited for this sort of application. Canon has a capture program that I believe might work. Nikon has a similar deal with their SLR digicams. Most of the other cameras are not geared for operation from a computer.

It's certainly possible to acquire the images within the camera, and then download the batch to the computer, but it sounds like this isn't the preferred technique.

I keep waiting for someone to release a compact flash 'emulator', whereby you can plug in a cable adapter into the CF slot of a camera, and the other end plugs into a USB port, or a dedicated card in a PC to use the harddrive on the computer, rather than an onboard card. Seems to me it would be a very hot seller!
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Old Jun 27, 2002, 6:51 PM   #3
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Default TWAIN compatibility?


Yes, I think you're exactly right, a flash memory adapter that goes directly to a hard drive would be just the thing. However, I think many/most cameras have some kind of a safety mechanism that inactivates the camera if the door to the memory card is open.

I guess what I'm really looking for is a way to use a digicam as a TWAIN device, so the image can be saved directly into a program, in this case Micro$oft Access, on a computer. So far, it's sounding like this kind of feature is really only available on 'Professional' level cameras.

A related issue is, "Do any cameras allow you to assign a name/ID to the image being captured, rather than the camera assigning a name/ID.?" The reason I ask this is because the assignment of a name/ID to the image in the camera would help to assure that the image is ultimately linked to the proper record in the MS Access database. We're concerned that with batch downloading of so many images, even if done a few at a time, there are a lot of chances for errors in the renaming of the images to match the database IDs.

Nothing is ever simple.

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Old Jul 11, 2002, 10:58 AM   #4
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Default Control Digital Camera with Windows/Unix

Software that can control a digital camera using Windows or Unix is available at:
"Remote Control Driver and GUI for the Nikon Coolpix 990, 950, 880, 775, and 995 Digital Cameras"

Ed Kenny
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Old Jul 13, 2002, 7:27 AM   #5
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I have used CAME 0.9 in the past for doing similar things. the url is http://www.ba.wakwak.com/~tsuruzoh/index-e.html
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Old Jul 16, 2002, 6:09 PM   #6
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Default Digicam computer control software

egkenny & MoRpHiUs,

Thanks for the responses, it looks like they might be helpful.

I've also found out that the 'Pro' versions of the Nikon & Fuji digital SLRs have software that allows them to be controlled by a computer. This is, apparently, especially true for the Fuji S-1 & S-2 cameras. The S-1 can be controlled through its USB port, and the S-2 through its Firewire port. Some of the reviews seem to indicate that the Fuji computer control software is fairly mature, i.e., it's pretty functional and non-buggy.

These are higher end, more expensive cameras than I was considering, but maybe the price for the S-1 will come down now that the S-2 has been announced.
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Old May 20, 2003, 1:14 AM   #7
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I just bought a Canon G3, and that has a remote capture facility, straight to the PC. You're not going to be able to get it into an Access database directly (not without getting an API for the interface from Canon and/or MS and doing some major work), but you could take loads of photos and then import them to your dbase. The camera fulfills your "more than 3x zoom" criteria.
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