It is here, it is basic, but it works (somewhat) — Bracketing. Once again I find myself either spending an hour I have available to work on the code, or publishing what I already have working, limited though it may be.
So here we have 4.0 – the Basic Bracketing version.
If you find that DIYPhotobits.com Camera Control crashes — then you may be suprised to find it does not appear in the Windows Task manager, so you can’t end the task as you might another application.
Well actually you can — but you need to know that it is actually an “HTA” which is a type of Internet Explorer script. So to kill it you need to terminate a process called MSHTA.EXE which is the container for these scripts.
So press Alt-Ctrl-Del (or Windows-K) to bring up the Windows Task manager, click on the Processes tab, then find and click on mshta.exe. You may then end click the End Process button.
You do not need to reboot or anything else, you can now run the script again.
If this happens to you please do let me know the situation (XP/Vista, what camera, and what you were doing right before the crash) so hopefully I can improve the software to avoid it next time.
Yes, at last, I’ve implemented — admittedly very very basic and boring — but still functional — time lapse. If you have a D300 or other camera with time lapse built in then this is boring, but for those of you with D40 and similiar then this gets you what you need to do all those fun time lapse videos.
Persistent download directory
It now remembers the directory you selected and stays with it when you restart the application.
File name prefix
This field allows you to specify something to prefix the file names with. The idea is that you use it when shooting a lot of people, say at a school or fair, and as each person comes up you can just type in their name, shoot a few shots, then change the name for the next person. Then each file name will have the person’s name on it.
Reconnect camera without restarting
If you need to reconnect the camera; say the usb cable came unplugged, or you forgot to change to M mode before starting, you can now just click again on Select Camera” rather than restart the script.
Ok so that’s pretty much it — plus some small tweaks and bug fixes. I’ll write or do a video soon with some howto time lapse, and how to actually turn it into video using free tools.
Until then, Happy New Year!
PS. If you’ve found this site and/or my scripts helpful, please do help to spread the word by telling a friend, posting a message on a forum, blogging about it or similiar — the more people who hear about it the better! Thanks very much for your help which I greatly appreciate.
Turn on the Language Bar (in control panel, regional and language, languages, details, language bar)
(Optional) Train Microsoft Voice recognition (in control panel, speech)
Turn on the microphone (click the mic icon in the language bar)
Run DIYPhotobits.com Camera Control 2.1
Say “Voice command”
(optional) Say “What can I say” then scroll down to the bottom of the list where it says “Menus and Buttons” and expand that list, ensure that “Shutter release” is one of the listed commands
Say “Shutter Release”
And yes, of course this thought is inspired by ShutterVoice, the Canon EOS front end that provides much better control via voice — with voice feedback even!
I wondered if I could do something like that myself — but when I checked I realized that basically everything I wanted was already either built in or a free microsoft download. I’ll have a think about if I can adjust the UI of my script so more features can be voice controlled, but for now shutter release is fun.
You know when you are a kid you have to eat your green vegetables before you are allowed to eat your chips (fries) and all that before you get dessert? It is a sequence in life — first good-but-nasty, then ok stuff, and finally fun things you really want.
Well for programmers the sequence is:
Fix the bugs (Greens)
Implement obvious useful but boring features (Chips)
Add the fantastic new ideas you just had in the shower (Ice Cream)
So welcome to DIYPhotobits.com Camera Control 2.1 – the Greens release!
This fixes inumerable small bugs — nothing earth shattering but some annoying things have been fixed.
Error on duplicate download of images is fixed
Default file location is now My Pictures to avoid the issue of the default location not existing
Exposure Compensation drop down now shows proper stop values
Shutter, Aperture, ISO, WB and Exposure Comp drop down boxes initiate to the value on the camera intead of meaningless defaults.
It doesn’t make a temp directory any more
Battery meter works all the time, not just when tethering
New limitation discovered
Due to the way WIA is working if you want to be able to control shutter and exposure from the PC you must start up with the camera in M mode. It isn’t good enough to switch to that later after starting up in another mode.
That’s all for now — I’ve already spent most of the day doing this while I should have been working!
Meanwhile I can go back to dreaming about the ice cream — bracketing, time lapse etc…
Man I knew I shouldn’t have released this — Camera Control 2.0 is stuffed full of bugs. None destructive, but they are bad enough to interfer with happy usage of the tool.
Two are biggies:
First of all for those people getting the “Error: File already exists” error — that was also in 1.0 — and it is caused by using the Shutter Release button while the Start Tether button is down. Just use one (Shutter Release with the “Download Immediately” ticked -or- use the Start Tether to do continuous tether) and it will be ok.
Secondly you only get the full set of exposure mode controls on screen if the camera is in M mode when you connect it.
Also it fails to create the default c:\tethered directory…
I’ll try to fix these today and put out a bug fix but I have to go do some work soon so might not make it – gotta earn a living you know…
Ok so here is DIYPhotobits.com Camera Control 2.0 — the Embarrassment release. I’ve named it that because I’ve had no time to work on it recently and so it still is a) very rough with major holes and b) fails to have all the obvious fixes and enhancements that I have discussed with people.
So why release it at all? Well because having control of the camera exposure from the computer is cool — and at the moment I have it sitting here on my PC working and maybe you’d like to have it on your PC working as well.
Control exposure mode (M/S/A/P) – Tested D300 works, D40 does not (because that setting is a physical dial on the D40 and software can’t override it)
Control Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO, WB and Exposure Compensation from the PC – Tested D300 and D40 work
Shows battery status while in tethered mode – Tested D300 works
New known bugs, issues and uglinesses
Exposure Compensation drop down makes no sense — 0 means 0 but the others are internal codes, you’ll see what they mean after a few moments though, each one is a third stop plus or minus.
Not all the exposure setting drop downs default to sensible values, e.g. the current camera settings.
Ok here’s something new — I’ve taken the various little scripts for tethered shooting and remote control and wrapped them up in a nicer interface. This is the first time I’ve tried writing a “hypertext application” or .HTA file and it’s quite an interesting mix of HTML and scripting. I think I can do quite a few interesting things with this. But for now here I have produced:
As I have wrapped up the script in a nice interface I thought I should fix up the download and install process as well. So it now has a real installer which makes a Start menu icon, installs and registered the Microsoft DLL, and it can be uninstalled via the Control Panel Add/Remove Program icon.
So if you are not happy about download and running text file scripts or installing DLLs yourself then this is the version for you. I’ve tried to “degeek” it as much as I can!
I haven’t added a lot of new features, this is more of a combination of existing stuff but you will notice:
It automatically detects your camera if you have only one installed, it only asks you to select if you have more than one. And it isn’t confused by scanners any more, it knows those are not cameras.
You can choose the output folder to save the files with a click of a button.
There is a preview window that shows the image you just shot. Size is adjustable. JPG only for now, but if you shoot RAW + JPG then both download and the JPG is displayed.
Existing features maintained include:
Choose Raw or JPG when triggering remote shutter
Download (optionally) when remotely releasing shutter – if you do then it becomes the “Self Portrait Script”
Tethered mode where all images shot using either the PC button or the camera shutter release button are immediately downloaded. Takes about 7 seconds from pressing shutter release to viewing it full size in Bridge.
Pushes external veiwers, including Adobe Bridge CS3 and Windows Explorer, to the next image.
As always comments and suggestions are welcome! Now that I have a nice solid foundation for this I can go and add some new features that might be fun, so get your suggestions in now.