Looking for a Multi-Head, Detachable-Head Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Richard Alexander, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. I have a project that would be facilitated by the use of a multi-head
    digital camera. I would like to have ten image sensors feed into a
    central body. The distance from the image sensor to the control and
    memory body will have run lengths up to 20 feet (or 10 feet, if that's
    the best I can get). As I envision it, each sensor would be at the end
    of a cable (maybe USB), which would plug into a small box. A wireless
    version would also be possible, which would connect the sensors with
    the image body. My quick search of the Web has not turned up such a
    camera, though.

    Will I need to design and manufacture my own, or does someone know of
    one on the market, already?

    If I need to design and manufacture my own, would anyone else likely
    to be interested in such a device?
     
    Richard Alexander, Apr 26, 2004
    #1
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  2. Richard Alexander

    Bill Funk Guest

    Maybe if you told us what you wanted to do, rather than how you
    thought it should be done, we can come up with a solution.

    As asked, I can't think of any device that will do as you describe.
    Each sensor would require a lens, body, something to act as a shutter,
    etc. Seems like a camera to me.
    Maybe 10 small, inexpensive cameras with wireless triggers would do
    the trick?
     
    Bill Funk, Apr 26, 2004
    #2
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  3. Richard Alexander

    Frank ess Guest

    I'd start by looking into the communications technology involved in
    (home) security cameras.

    Upgrading the sending units and central display(s) to digi standards may
    be the route to follow. It might require a camera for screen shots, or
    computer display for screen captures.

    As the man says: if we don't have an idea what your output will be used
    for, we have no hint about where to begin.

    If it is for upskirts, I take it all back and give this advice: "Sod
    off".


    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Apr 26, 2004
    #3
  4. That's an idea, but the resolution on those usually is too low.

    [snip]
    I'll say this in different posts, but my goal is to make my vehicle
    (currently, a pickup truck, but maybe some other type of vehicle at
    various times) a data collection device. At the least, I want to
    capture quality still and video images of everything that happens all
    around me, the entire hemisphere surrounding my vehicle. I can detail
    more in other posts.
    Nah, that only takes one camera. I wouldn't have enough places to
    stick ten.

    Seriously, in most of my photographs, I try to avoid having any people
    visible. I take a lot of pictures of buildings and landscapes. I would
    like to use the output of this project for virtual driving. Maybe I
    could even stick it into a driving simulator, so a person could see
    what it would be like to drive through Dallas, for example. If someone
    needed to know how to reach an unfamiliar destination, this would show
    them how to get there and what everything looks like along the way.
    Or, they could simply enjoy the scenery.
     
    Richard Alexander, Apr 27, 2004
    #4
  5. [snip]
    I'll mention this several times, but what I want to do is to turn my
    vehicle (currently, a pickup truck) into a mobile data collection
    device. I have started with cameras. I want to collect a complete
    hemisphere of images, both still and video, and I want the image
    quality fairly high (some of the images might make it to print, but
    the project is intended to be displayed on a computer screen).

    You might get some idea of where I'm going with this by looking at a
    few of the pictures I posted to a Web page from a recent trip. I took
    over 1400 photographs on this trip. I would like to have taken a lot
    more, and I would like to have gotten more video. I also would like to
    have taken the pictures without having to worry so much about hitting
    something while I was driving.

    At the same time, I enjoy looking at videos of myself, so I would like
    to have interior cameras watching me as I drive. So, a camera pointed
    in each of the ordinal directions, plus one looking straight up, plus
    at least one interior. I have sketched out between 3 and 10 cameras,
    depending on how involved I get.

    If I get really fancy, I am going want to have a track-mounted
    telescope in the back, so I will be able to drive to the outback, put
    down my stablizer arms, open the top, and do astrophotography.

    When I return home, all the photographs collected on my mobile server
    would be downloaded automatically to my home server. Perhaps I would
    use Wi-Fi, or maybe have an optical cable.

    I also want to be able to access the contents of my mobile vehicle
    server wirelessly via a handheld computer (PDA). I could also use the
    PDA to control any of the cameras independently.

    If I get even fancier, the internal cameras could follow me when I
    point at something, and tell an external camera to zoom in on whatever
    I point at.

    OK, for now, I just want to mount some cameras on my truck.
    Inexpensive is good, but I want good quality, too.
     
    Richard Alexander, Apr 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Yeah, 640x480 if you're lucky, sometimes half that.
    So what resolution do you need? What kind of frame rate?

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Apr 27, 2004
    #6
  7. "Good quality" is meaningless on its own. 640x480 is good quality
    video, but awful for a still camera. Is 2 megapixels more than you need
    or is 6 megapixels too little? It all depends on what you want to do
    with the images.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Apr 27, 2004
    #7
  8. (Dave Martindale) wrote in message
    [snip]
    I would like at least 1024 x 768 for still photos, and at least 30
    fps. Resolution is not so important to me for video, though I would
    still like it to be high enough not to have noticeable blotches or
    smears or other obvious artifacts, but if those are only in a single
    frame, it should not be too noticeable when playing the clip.

    I would like the still photos to be clear enough that distant text
    (such as, say, a "No Parking" sign or license plates at 50 feet) are
    legible.
     
    Richard Alexander, Apr 27, 2004
    #8
  9. I use a 3.34 Mp camera now, an Olympus C-3040. I would not want
    anything of less quality. Maybe I am becoming too familiar with it,
    but I notice so much imperfection in the photos I take, the lack of
    resolution of sharp edges on blades of grass, the fuzzy blurring on
    all text. To make matter more apparent, I have been scanning my old
    film negatives and other film photos with my Epson Perfection 3200
    flatbed scanner. I can easily make out my iris striations from my
    graduation photo using my flatbed scanner. I have never been able to
    get such a shot using my digital camera. This makes me unsatisfied.
     
    Richard Alexander, Apr 27, 2004
    #9
  10. This has happened so often over the last 25 years, and seems to be
    happening with increasing frequency. I imagine what I would like, and
    someone else brings it to market. That saves me the trouble.

    "NEW YORK – An odd-looking van sprouts 13 digital cameras that its
    builder wants to use to photograph 50 million buildings in the country
    while driving, taking pictures every 15 feet.

    "The van's drive-by snaps would be matched against GPS satellite
    positioning data and aerial photographs in a database. Police,
    insurance agents and others then could call up overhead and
    street-level views simply by entering an address.

    "The setup from Imageos Inc. was one of the security-related exhibits
    on display at this year's CeBIT America technology trade show, which
    opened here Tuesday."

    Tech show report: How to photograph 50 million buildings at 40 mph
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/computing/20040525-1257-techshow.html

    The only thing I don't see is a video feed. It looks like it takes
    only still photos.
     
    Richard Alexander, May 26, 2004
    #10
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