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mmccaws2 09-15-2006 02:46 AM

modding digital cameras
 
Hi

I am trying to get a used digital camera and mod it for long duration
photography in dark areas, exposures of greater than a minute. How
does one find out about the camera physical and electronic circuits to
mod it? I know they do it for web cams but the CCD arrays are very
small.

Thanks for your help

Mike


bugbear 09-15-2006 10:06 AM

Re: modding digital cameras
 
mmccaws2 wrote:
> Hi
>
> I am trying to get a used digital camera and mod it for long duration
> photography in dark areas, exposures of greater than a minute. How
> does one find out about the camera physical and electronic circuits to
> mod it? I know they do it for web cams but the CCD arrays are very
> small.


AFAIK some digi camera can do long exposures already.

I assume this is for astronomical use?

AFAIK the age of the modded webcam is over,
and there are reasonably economical
astro-cams (some with cooling etc) on the market.

Failing this, repeated exposures, checked and stacked
(e.g. registax) will give similar overal
results without a soldering iron ;-)

This was done (not by me) on a non modified Canon A510...
http://mikebeauchamp.com/dump/windmill1comp%20copy.jpg

whose longest exposure is 15 seconds.


BugBear

Don Stauffer in Minnesota 09-15-2006 01:52 PM

Re: modding digital cameras
 

bugbear wrote:
> mmccaws2 wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > I am trying to get a used digital camera and mod it for long duration
> > photography in dark areas, exposures of greater than a minute. How
> > does one find out about the camera physical and electronic circuits to
> > mod it? I know they do it for web cams but the CCD arrays are very
> > small.

>
> AFAIK some digi camera can do long exposures already.
>
> I assume this is for astronomical use?
>
> AFAIK the age of the modded webcam is over,
> and there are reasonably economical
> astro-cams (some with cooling etc) on the market.
>
> Failing this, repeated exposures, checked and stacked
> (e.g. registax) will give similar overal
> results without a soldering iron ;-)
>
> This was done (not by me) on a non modified Canon A510...
> http://mikebeauchamp.com/dump/windmill1comp%20copy.jpg
>
> whose longest exposure is 15 seconds.
>
>
> BugBear


Indeed, if the camera has a bulb or a time mode for the shutter, the
exposure is virtually unlimited except by noise. Many digicams have
time, others both bulb and time exposure.


Rutger 09-15-2006 02:54 PM

Re: modding digital cameras
 
"Don Stauffer in Minnesota" <stauffer@usfamily.net> schreef in bericht
news:1158328376.142854.105940@i3g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
>
> bugbear wrote:
>> mmccaws2 wrote:
>> > Hi
>> >
>> > I am trying to get a used digital camera and mod it for long duration
>> > photography in dark areas, exposures of greater than a minute. How
>> > does one find out about the camera physical and electronic circuits to
>> > mod it? I know they do it for web cams but the CCD arrays are very
>> > small.

>>
>> AFAIK some digi camera can do long exposures already.
>>
>> I assume this is for astronomical use?
>>
>> AFAIK the age of the modded webcam is over,
>> and there are reasonably economical
>> astro-cams (some with cooling etc) on the market.
>>
>> Failing this, repeated exposures, checked and stacked
>> (e.g. registax) will give similar overal
>> results without a soldering iron ;-)
>>
>> This was done (not by me) on a non modified Canon A510...
>> http://mikebeauchamp.com/dump/windmill1comp%20copy.jpg
>>
>> whose longest exposure is 15 seconds.
>>
>>
>> BugBear

>
> Indeed, if the camera has a bulb or a time mode for the shutter, the
> exposure is virtually unlimited except by noise.


AND by battery. Do not forget that keeping the shutter open drains the
battery. Normally i take about 400 pictures with onde battery, but an
exposure of just 30 minutes drains the battery.

Rutger


--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zwaarddrager/



Bill Funk 09-15-2006 07:55 PM

Re: modding digital cameras
 
On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 16:54:34 +0200, "Rutger" <nospam@please.com>
wrote:

>AND by battery. Do not forget that keeping the shutter open drains the
>battery. Normally i take about 400 pictures with onde battery, but an
>exposure of just 30 minutes drains the battery.
>
>Rutger
>


That's where small gell-cell batteries, or battery packs of D cells
come in handy. :-)
--
Bill Funk
replace "g" with "a"

mmccaws2 09-17-2006 03:34 AM

Re: modding digital cameras
 

Bill Funk wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 16:54:34 +0200, "Rutger" <nospam@please.com>
> wrote:
>
> >AND by battery. Do not forget that keeping the shutter open drains the
> >battery. Normally i take about 400 pictures with onde battery, but an
> >exposure of just 30 minutes drains the battery.
> >
> >Rutger
> >

>
> That's where small gell-cell batteries, or battery packs of D cells
> come in handy. :-)
> --
> Bill Funk
> replace "g" with "a"


For those of us whom can't afford the Jaguar, we go to dump and buy the
minimally bent up Jag that we can, and start restoring that. The
difference between the modding a used 5 or 6 MP digital camera that I
can buy for 2 to 3 hundred dollars and the $5,000 to $20,000, which I
would be lucky to find used at $3000 is the order of magnitude in green
that I don't have. So I'm just trying to make do. I started
photography Konica because I could afford a new Nikon or Canon.

Sure, these camera's won't be able to produce the noise levels as those
specialized astrophotography cameras, however there are so many other
aspects of the photography skills I need to develope too.

Anyway does anybody have a good source?


Paul Rubin 09-17-2006 03:50 AM

Re: modding digital cameras
 
"mmccaws2" <mmccaws@comcast.net> writes:
> For those of us whom can't afford the Jaguar, we go to dump and buy the
> minimally bent up Jag that we can, and start restoring that. The
> difference between the modding a used 5 or 6 MP digital camera that I
> can buy for 2 to 3 hundred dollars and the $5,000 to $20,000, which I
> would be lucky to find used at $3000 is the order of magnitude in green
> that I don't have. So I'm just trying to make do. I started
> photography Konica because I could afford a new Nikon or Canon.


You can get a used Nikon D1 for a few hundred $ these days, a totally
professinal camera that's gotten behind the times but is maybe more
amenable to modding than newer cameras.


mmccaws2 09-17-2006 04:53 AM

Re: modding digital cameras
 

Paul Rubin wrote:
> "mmccaws2" <mmccaws@comcast.net> writes:
> > For those of us whom can't afford the Jaguar, we go to dump and buy the
> > minimally bent up Jag that we can, and start restoring that. The
> > difference between the modding a used 5 or 6 MP digital camera that I
> > can buy for 2 to 3 hundred dollars and the $5,000 to $20,000, which I
> > would be lucky to find used at $3000 is the order of magnitude in green
> > that I don't have. So I'm just trying to make do. I started
> > photography Konica because I could afford a new Nikon or Canon.

>
> You can get a used Nikon D1 for a few hundred $ these days, a totally
> professinal camera that's gotten behind the times but is maybe more
> amenable to modding than newer cameras.


Actually its truely amazing how fast their dropping. I still need to
find the schematics. They still make schematics or it's too much
bother in this throw away society.

Mike


Don Stauffer in Minnesota 09-17-2006 03:39 PM

Re: modding digital cameras
 

mmccaws2 wrote:
> Hi
>
> I am trying to get a used digital camera and mod it for long duration
> photography in dark areas, exposures of greater than a minute. How
> does one find out about the camera physical and electronic circuits to
> mod it? I know they do it for web cams but the CCD arrays are very
> small.
>
> Thanks for your help
>
> Mike


A method I forgot to mention in my earlier post will work if there is
no movement. Take a series of seperate exposures of shorter duration.
Then either reduce levels, or use an overlay function that normalizes
the images automatically, and overlay them all together. The exposure
adds linearly, the noise pixels add only as the square root of the
number of exposures you add together, so you do get an enhancement.

I believe there are some software packages on the market that do
automate this operation, though I forget the names at the moment.



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