Shooting in the real world ...
Well, I do not want to be too predictable, as you can imagine. I have a separate security camera which monitors the A700's location. I then have a security camera that monitors the actual shoot (subject) location, so I can relatively detect when there is actual "live" activity (that part works pretty good, actually). I then can remotely tell the A700 to start a series of timed shots (10 seconds apart) with the PC and capture the subject/action.
Originally Posted by dr4gon
Frank did come up with the idea of using some type of camouflage or a blind to shoot from. That would pretty well "mask" the camera from being immediately spotted. Heck, the birds are pretty disinterested in such things, so it works fine. But, have a human just try walking out there and the birds scatter to the four winds.
Now with this setup, I also have an alternative control method ... using a twenty-foot remote control cord for the robot and a 16-foot electronic release cord for SONY A700, where I can also clandestinely monitor without using the PC. I am experimenting with some old Gemini "Rabbits" that were used to transmit VCR outputs wirelessly to receiving televisions. Using the A700's "Video Out" jack (same idea), that will give me momentary image results, on a portable television (Channel 3), from each shot using this more primitive tethered local control. Once I get the bugs worked out, I will offer that idea. :)
Moving into oncoming ... traffic?
Sean ... your are reading my mind ... with some of this. GMTA, I guess.
I also have a different approach that I am looking into and this one is a little more ... uh, mobile. Hell, I don't even know if it'll work, yet ... I am looking for a missing part, but here it is:
- The A700 is capable of generating direct video out (NTSC/PAL). It also does HDMI, but I am not concerned with that.
- When the "Video Out" of the A700 is used (plugged into with the accompanying cable the camera came with), the rear LCD screen blanks out and the “Video Out” becomes the default control screen for the camera.
- When the image is taken, the image appears for only one second, and then the “video out” becomes the control screen again (everything you see on the camera's LCD).
- I have a set of "Rabbits", which were designed as a video extender between a remote television and a source VCR. As a matter of reference, the “Rabbits” have three optional frequencies they operate on and a range of thirty-to-fifty feet, in clear space. Basically it is a one-way transmission of video and sound wirelessly from the "Transmitter" unit to the "Receiver" unit.
- The “Receiver” unit is wired to the remote television and you can see the control panel of the A700 through standard Channel 3 (antenna) of the television.
So, here’s where the fun part comes in and SONYNUT should just love this (a word problem) …
Imagine two cars … separated by a traffic lane, going in the same direction, at the same speed. One car has the A700 mounted on a tripod, inside, directed and locked at a particular angle, with a wide-angle lens attached (for argument sake, a SIGMA AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX … which has just been “adjusted” by the manufacturer :p). The other car has a portable television in it, receiving the control transmission from the A700. Also, there is a wireless shutter release involved, to trip the shutter of the A700. (These are readily available through ebay with a variety of optional features.)
The two cars are whizzing by a landmark of easy recognition … and the control/subject car starts the high speed sequence of shots of itself, taken from the other vehicle. The "camera vehicle" has nothing more to do but maintain speed and proximity, as the "photographer" is controlling the imaging (framing and timing) from the "subject vehicle."
I really hate relying on other people to take MY photographs. LOL :D :p
"Almost" like being there ...
Actually Sean, this stuff is using old technology in a relatively new way. With the government abandoning the standard televisions, you have to do something with 'em, right?
I have three portable (battery operated) televisions that will have no method of receiving much of anything. The old "Rabbit" keeps the dream alive. LOL
As far as Zoom goes ... that's got to be another project, using a USB controlled "stepping-motor" with a friction wheel and clutching mechanism (to keep from ruining the lens) to spin the outer zoom ring of the lens in use, effectively automating it.
Anyway, we are way ahead of where I am, right now, with this. I figure this part is at least three weeks out ... from actual testing, but parts of it are working. The remote aspect is the most exciting part of it, because it frees you up from having to hold the camera. I am hoping SSS can deal with car vibration, too. That's the real test. ;)
"Will you watch where I'm going"
Until said extended pole strikes something either stationary or oncoming, God-forbid, the other way. :eek:
Originally Posted by dr4gon
Like I said, this is all for the sake of the test ... and having some fun with it all. I may get some decent shots ... I may get nothing at all. If I can prove it works ... that's where my head is at in all this. Other people can worry about replicating it at their leisure. Gotta get out of them sweaty gymnasiums and get some fresh air, eh? Whew! :D ;)
Weight is the biggest issue in most of this. There are just certain limits that have to be dealt with to make it viable and usable. And no Sean, I am not tying helium-filled balloons to things. One good, stiff wind and ... it will be my little dog, too. :D
I walked into the Camera Store, today, and they were discussing the use of helicopters and gyro-scopically controlled camera rigs for stable imaging while hovering and turning. A little beyond the "scope" of what I had in mind, but here is some flight video and aerial footage from just such a tool.