A700 "really" Remote Control - from PC
The α700 is one of the first cameras that comes with a optical remote control accessory for not only shutter trip, but actually playback control of the camera. It removes having to handle the camera during a playback on a monitor or television. That's cool and useful, but this thread is NOT involved in that. It is concerning using the "tethered" function of USB control of the camera.
When most people consider "tethered" control of the camera, it is typically through the rather "limited" 5-foot Standard USB-A-type port-to-A700 USB mini-port cable that came with the α700. That really does NOT give you a lot of room between the camera tripod or other camera support holder and the PC. I tried something similar taking portraits with the Canon EOS 20D and a third party program. I mean the idea was cool and all ... but, the distance was a little TOO tight.
Using USB, you can safely add another 10-feet to the overall wire length, usually, by using a USB Male-A to Female-A extension cable.
I am currently seeing if I can use a 165-ft USB extender (two units) that are powered by the USB-ports of the devices they are hooked to, which would be the PC on one end and the α700 on the other.
This would allow you to almost completely operate the camera effectively inside the house, while it does all the foul or fair weather work, outside. Yes, I know it should be shrouded, to protect it from the elements ... let's just say I have considered that.
Anyway, got the 150-foot Cat 5e Ethernet cable that goes between the "local" and "Remote" USB Extenders ...
and that's a start. I am still waiting for the extenders to arrive. As this develops, I will follow-up.
A little History ...
This idea came up as a side-by-side concept when dealing with timed shots, using a Timer Remote Cord. The timer cord will cause the Alpha-camera to focus, between each shot, using whatever Focus Area mode you previously selected. The α700/α900 USB-tethered mode provides almost complete control.
In other words, specific control of:
- White Balance,
- Drive mode,
- Image size,
- Aspect ratio (all modes) over the shot,
with the PC offering not only real-time control over the camera, but an image transmitted directly from the camera to the PC.
The PC also collects the captured image directly to where ever directed (hard drive, CD, etc), instead of storing it on the memory cards (CF or Memory Stick) (BTW: You must have a memory card in the camera, otherwise the "USB-connection" hangs on the camera and will require a complete power down (battery removal) to clear it.). In that way, if the camera should be compromised, your collected image data is not subject to being lost, also.
The SONY's "tethered" application also displays the camera's battery condition, which will be very helpful, because I suspect that this idea, if it is viable, may be a significant drain on the power resources. I do have an AC-VQ900AM AC Adaptor/Charger that can be used to power the camera indefinitely ... just need a 150 ft (or whatever length) power cord to get power out there, too.
If this does work, it could a $150 extension cord to nature lovers, when the animals or whatever do not appreciate your all too human-intrusion into their world.
Last edited by DonSchap; 04-05-2009 at 09:54 PM.
- BFA, Digital Photography
A Photographer Is Forever
Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.