Some more follow-up on this idea ...
After visually inspecting the Logitech Quickcam Orbit AF Web camera, I do not believe it work as nicely for this application as a standard clip-on laptop webcam would.
Not only would the laptop webcam be a bit cheaper, but it would be dedicated to "peeking through the lens" ... and not hunting around with the tilt/pan capability. Its diminutive size also makes for a smaller installation ... and that is always good, too.
Because of its inherent design, the Logitech Quickcam Orbit AF Web camera's orientation is more for a flat, top of the desk mounting,
not on a ceiling, which makes placing its base rather difficult, directly behind the camera (which would more than likely obscure any forward looking capability) and with an upper tilt to operate. Anyway, let's just say ... I don't think so. :( Do not get me wrong here ... it is a marvelous device, but just is too cumbersome to deploy with my set-up.
So, with that issue, the pan/tilt of the tripod-robot is all you get, while looking TTL. Still, Remote "Live View" is your real need ... the "look around" was just gravy. Boy, if that new Alpha has USB Live View in it ... that will be something.
This Second Version poses to be:
- less "Frankenstein-looking" :rolleyes:
- weigh less overall,
- wireless (via WUSB)
- significantly less cost
- far more portable
- integrated for the laptop.
The system will be entirely USB controlled and operated ... and that makes life a lot simpler and most of all ... absolutely doable for the "rest of the planet."
I just didn't want anyone copying this until I was sure. Thanks for following along, if you still are. It is still a 'field experiment' of sorts ... or, just call it ... "a work in progress."
Through-the-lens made easier
In dr4gon's words: "α700 Live View"
Okay ... I wasn't able to get the cheaper Notebook Webcam, so I settled for the $50 Pro model. It's a little more flexible, anyway. ;)
It works pretty good and is a lot smaller, as I had hoped. That decreases overall weight, allowing the tripod robot to do things faster. I needed to secure it tightly to the viewfinder, but make it easy to remove. After evaluating how I could achieve this and make it easy, I came up with the idea of using the camera's "hot shoe" mount with a FS-1100 "SONY proprietary-to-standard hot-shoe" adapter. I fashioned a piece of mounting foam that came with the web camera's packaging into a small wedge, sandwiched it between the camera and the FS-1100, in order to tilt the webcam iris snugly against the α700's viewfinder. When it was properly positioned, I secured it tight with a lightweight cable tie.
It snaps right off and on, just like a SONY flash, complete with the "release" button.
Mounted on the α700's hot shoe, it is almost conformal.
Below, is the "working screen" with the necessary applications running ...
1 the DSLR captured image in SONY Image Data Lightbox SR,
2 the DSLR Camera Remote Control,
3 the "live view" Notebook Web Cam Pro control panel,
4 the Tripod Tilt/Pan Control panel,
5 the Web Cam "live" image (through the DSLR lens)
Everything you need for the remote control, in one place.