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Old Jan 1, 2007, 8:54 AM   #1
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Hi Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade from a Minolta Dimage A1, for the purpose of stop-motion animation. The problem with the A1 is that you can neither control it remotely, nor operate it using an AC adaptor. I was wondering if there is an SLR on the market with all of the following features:

- full manual controls,
- Video-out,
- Digital-out (USB/ FireWire),
- AC adaptor (in order that the camera can operate from the mains electricity supply),
- Remote capture software (allowing the user to control the shutter, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc., from a computer). The software doesn't have to come with the camera, only be available on the market.

If there are many cameras with these features, an indication of the best / best for their price and the cheapest models available would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks!
Alex
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:16 AM   #2
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no

no slr will have video out

the mirror must flip out of the light path (and return) for each photo taken

the KM 7D has remote capture software available and an AC adapter port

any digital camera will have a USB port, but most will not allow 'in use' transfers



?JimC?
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:17 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if this meets your needs, but check the section under camera control here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse1/page14.asp

And from the specs page:

Remote control • Wired by RM-CB1
• Wireless (IR) by RM-1 Connectivity • USB 2.0
• Firewire IEEE 1394
• Video out
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal
• PC Sync flash terminal Video out Selectable NTSC or PAL Storage • Compact Flash Type I or II
• Microdrive supported
• FAT32 filesystem support (for CF cards greater than 2 GB) Power • BLM-1 1500 mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• Optional Power Battery Holder HLD-2 and Lithium-Ion battery
• Optional AC adapter AC-1


I would guess you might also like timelapse recording, which some models (like this) support.



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Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
no slr will have video out
Ah, true. Most do list "video out" but what they mean is for transfering still pictures. If he needs a live feed (I'm not sure from his post), he may need to look at the R1 or the E-330 (the only actual DSLR with "live view" - but I'm not sure if they can send the live feed throught he video out).

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Old Jan 2, 2007, 4:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for you help.

Indeed, no SLRs have live video feed, however it was the basic stills feed that I am looking for.

I think the Olympus E-1 covers all the bases at a really excellent price (it's droppped to about £400 in the UK). Alternatively, the Nikon D70 or D80 have all the features I am after at a slightly higher price, but I'm unsure as to whether there is remote capture software available for them. Can anybody tell me this?

Cheers,
Alex
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 6:17 AM   #6
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Hi Alex,

Canon's DSLR can be used for remote capture and time-laps photography.

I still have to try this option on my Canon 350D, but the basic software for remote capture is supplied with the camera and you can check and set the exposure parameters using your computer over USB (Firewire on Canon 1D and 5D I think:roll. The images can be saved directly on your hard drive. There is no live video feed from the camera I'm afraid, you can only view the images after they were taken and transferred to your PC.

AFAIK several Canon PowerShot series p&s cameras also allow remote capture with live video, but you have to check it out.

There is a third party more sofisticated remote capture program, have a look here:

http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/index.htm

With Canon DSLR you can also use the AC adapter and you have all the manual control you need over the camera settings.

You can also google ZIGVIEW-R - it's an LCD viewfinder attachment suitable for several DSLR models, may be it can work for you as well.

Just my $0.05

Alex
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 4:04 PM   #7
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OK, I had some spare time and I was curious myself, soI finally tried out the remote capture with my 350D. From your list:

full manual controls - yes

Video-out - no

Digital-out (USB/ FireWire) - yes, saves files directly onto your PC's HD and opensthem for a preview/editing

AC adaptor - don't have one, but available as an optional accessory

Remote capture software - yes, allows to control shutter, shutter speed, aperture, WB, metering mode, ISO, laps and delayed laps photography. You still have to frame the shot using the OVF. The DSLRRemotePro gives more options, but it's a pricey extra.

All in all, works a treat. Apparently, all Canon DSLRs have a remote capture option and the 350D/Rebel XT is a bargain now, and the 400D/Rebel XTi has a very attractive price. You can have some problems with handling (it's a small camera with tiny grip), but I solved it adding a vertical battery grip that improves the handling dramatically. Or you can go for a 30D/5D/1D if your budget allows.

regards, Alex
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 9:11 PM   #8
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I don't think the grip will matter for stop motion animation shooting since the camera will most likely be mounted on a tripod.

There is also a Canon SLR SDK if you want to write your own software to control it.



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