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Old Nov 8, 2007, 5:02 PM   #1
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I'm in need of a camera that fits the following criteria. As most people don't care about these needs it is very difficult for me to determine which cameras will fit them.

I have an industrial setting where the goal is to have a camera will take pictures of products for quality assurance on a regular basis. Every 10 minutes or so a tech will place a product in front of the camera, press some button (on the camera or in some software) and then the photo will transfer to the system. (I'll write the transfer software, that isn't an issue.)

Needs:

· Can take photos while plugged into power, preferably without batteries
· Can take photos while plugged into a computer, preferably transferring them automatically
· Has a resolution of 5MP+ so that product defects can be examined in the photo


Not Needs:
· Size / Weight – it will be bolted down so it can't "walk" away
· Zoom – It can be positioned at the correct location above the desk to always take correct photos
· Battery Life – Always plugged into the wall
· Frames / Sec rate – Stills only and can be several seconds between shots
· Movies – Not going to use

Thanks for any suggestions!

-Will

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Old Nov 8, 2007, 7:43 PM   #2
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Have you looked at http://machinevision.navitar.com/?
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 8:52 AM   #3
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Some of the new Canon cameras can be controlled from the computer. I've seen a Canon SDK, so maybe you can use that to develop the software you need to control the camera.
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 11:42 AM   #4
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The Canon DSLR cameras come bundled with software you can use to control the camera remotely.

That plus a decent macro lens should give you what you need. There is also a Wi-Fi module available which will allow you to automatically ftp the files to your server.
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 12:56 PM   #5
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Canon PowerShot G9 will do nicely imho. It has a 1/1.7 in. sensor (larger than most P&S cameras), 12MP (more than enough for most purposes), hot-shoe to connect a TTL flash if you need it. There is an optional AC adapter to power the camera. The camera comes bundled with remote capture software and can be connected to a PC via USB cable and controlled from a computer. You can change most of the camera settings from a PC, including zoom and focus, ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings, WB etc. There is a live preview on a computer screen and the final images can be saved either on a camera's memory card, or on a computer's hard disk (including shared network computers and servers).

Canon's DSLRs also support remote capture, but don't give a live preview on a PC, also their price with a macro lens will be higher (the IQ will be better though).

just my $0.05 worth.


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Old Nov 9, 2007, 1:58 PM   #6
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I'm liking the G9 option, but the next step is a good TTL flash... again, I'd like to go with one that doesn't need batteries and am having a difficult time finding that. Anyone know of one that plugs into standard AC?
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 7:51 PM   #7
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How about a Sunpak 383 with an external battery pack, but keep the battery pack plugged in. If you're the least bit savvy with electronics, you can probably just get the flash and and a universal a/c power adapter, and then figure out which plug and voltage to use. I may be getting a Sunpak soon, and I have a universal adapter, so if you're not in a rush, I'll figure it out myself.
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