Two of my scripts let you press a key on the keyboard, or click with the mouse, and remotely release the shutter. But just like the built in Windows Explorer technique for doing these they both only are able to trigger JPG, even if the camera is set to RAW.
Until today. It turns out this is not that hard to fix. But the programatic technique is a bit of a laugh; because Windows Image Automation does not officially support RAW the NEF files on my Nikon D300 are typed as being of “undefined” type. Unlike JPG files which WIA does know are JPG files and are typed appropriately.
So to get the WIA Take Picture command to get me a NEF I actually have to ask for a picture of type “undefined”! It’s amazing it works, I guess somewhere an engineer (I’m not sure Microsoft or Nikon) decided that undefined=NEF. I have no idea of this will also work with Canon, it might or it might not.
Anyway it works, and it opens up a whole range of possibilities I’ll be exploring soon with the scripting. But until then head over to the posts for those remote scripts and you can download the latest versions which support RAW.
Why? Obviously YouTube is compressing it more and making for a fuzzier image. But they CAN do higher quality, so don’t they? Well it turns out that YouTube can serve you up a better quality video — they just don’t by default.
See what I did? Added a parameter to the end of the url with fmt=6 or fmt=18.
So why isn’t there a user interface to let you choose this — yes I know occasionally you’ll see a link for “view this in high quality”, but only occasionally — or better yet why doesn’t YouTube detect your connection speed and adjust the format appropriately.
I guess saving bandwidth is more important than viewer experience — but if that’s true then people in my position are liable to just move to alternatives like Vimeo!
I explained before how my remote shutter release script was actually redundant, because Windows has a built in feature that does this. Of course I did then go forward and make the self-portrait script which does do something more useful, remote shutter release combined with immediate download and viewing, but the original idea of a simple remote shutter is still useful.
So I thought a better explanation of how that Windows feature works might help, and it’s good practice for me making videos as well:
Having found the RAW/JPG limitation though I’ll be taking a look to see if I can script my way around that. Stay tuned!
A lot of people ask and I don’t know — it probably does work as it is using a standard Windows way of talking to the camera — WIA — but I don’t have the hardware to test it.
If a camera supports a “PTP” or “MTP” mode — and if when plugged into a PC it is visible in My Computer under the section for Scanners and Cameras
(not as a removable disk drive) then it is liable to work. The only big gotcha I can see is that some cameras — all the P&S I’ve tried — will not let me press the shutter button while they are plugged into the PC. It seems that ability is a DSLR thing.
So, if you happen to have a non-Nikon DSLR handy and don’t mind spending a few minutes testing I’d be delighted to hear whether this script works for you. Obviously for Canon users it’s beside the point as proper remote control software is included with the camera — but it is still technically interesting.
If you get any results please leave me a comment, many thanks!
Since I first posted my free script that allows Nikon DSLRs to be shot tethered I’ve been very pleased with the response, it seems to have been helpful to many people. However I’ve hardly been very good at documenting how to use it. So in an attempt to fix that I’ve made this little video which shows how to use it.
This is my first video attempt so it is pretty basic — but it took me all afternoon to put together, so please excuse the rough edges. Hopefully I’ll work out how to do this better and perhaps make some videos explaining my hardware DIY projects which would also benefit from this type of explanation.
If you’re not sure about tethered shooting then ProPhotoLife has just released a great video
, as usual, explaining all about it – using Canon as an example. I particularly like his safety tips regarding long USB cables.
It does work fine — compare the first two images below — the first with the grid spot on, and the second without and the SB-800 just zoomed to max 105mm. But when folded down it literally fits in my wallet – though in practice I keep it in the little slip case that houses the flash, so whereever I have a flash I have a grid spot as well.
Again, images for us visual folks — and I’ll try to do some writen instructions soon as there is a trick to making that paper matrix easily. Double sided tape!
Why a bamboo light stand? Well if you are a reader of Strobist
then you know that lightstands are very handy — if not read here first. Of course a factory built one is simple and probably the best option
, but it isn’t exactly cheap. Particularly if you want more than one — and you will, you’ll want several. There’s your main light, then fill, then hair and rim lights, and what about some reflectors and… you get the picture. Just try not to over-do the whole speedlight thing, heh?
Now one good solution to keep Strobist from hurting your wallet is the Stick in a Can, click that link and watch the video if that name doesn’t mean anything to you, but good/cheap and DIY as that is it isn’t great for portability. I mean how many cans full of concrete can you carry about – even in the back of your car?
So here is my solution to the problem — which makes sense for me because were I live bamboo is cheap cheap cheap. This light stand uses three 6 foot pieces of bambo, some brass bolts and a piece of string. The bolts and string cost me more than the bamboo.
If you live somewhere where bamboo is an exotic import and costs a fortune, well then this post is of only academic interest. Though flip through the pictures and maybe consider doing the same out of PVC tubing? I understand that’s pretty cheap — using PVC tubing for photo stands is not new of course. But that’s another topic.
As we are visual types I’ll start with a slide show that shows what the stand looks like and how it’s used. And I’ll follow up with some more details in another post.