Archive for February 2013
There isn’t much love for number eight in Aarhus. I trawled the city, but all the eights I could find were rather plain looking. Fortunately, my Yashica Electro 35 GX was willing to pose for me.
Taken with Nikon D90 and Raynox DCR-250. Processed in digiKam. Shutter speed: 1/60 sec. Aperture: f/11 ISO: 200
A new version of the digiKam Recipes ebook is available for download. The following material has been added since version 3.9.39:
- Create a Bleach Bypass Effect
- Export Photos via DLNA
- Process Film Negatives
- Calibrate and Profile Monitor for Use with digiKam
- Use Photoshop Curve Presets with digiKam
- Import Photos from a Remote Server into digiKam
As usual, the new release features minor fixes and improvements. Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge. If you haven’t received your copy, please send your order confirmation as proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll email you the latest version of the book.
I like my Yashica Electro 35 GTN a lot. It’s a stylish rangefinder camera capable of taking excellent photos. The only fly in the ointment is its size and weight. The camera wouldn’t fit even the largest pocket, and at 750g, it weighs more than my trusty Nikon D90. In other words, schlepping Yashica Electro 35 GTN around is not always fun. So I reasoned that a lightweight, no-frills, inexpensive film camera would be a useful addition to my analog toolbox.
While there are several cameras that meet these requirements, I went with Olympus XA2 for several reasons. This camera features a unique capsule design, and it’s so small that it easily fits in the palm of my hand. Better still, there are plenty of Olympus XA2s on eBay at very reasonable prices. I bought mine in near mint condition for ~75 U.S. dollars (this included the original box, manuals, and A11 flash as well as shipping and handling). But if you are not picky, you can find one for much less.
I won’t bore you with a description of the camera’s features as they are covered extensively elsewhere on the web. I’ll just say that it’s a real gem of a camera which feels great in the hand and is ridiculously easy to use. The only thing you need to remember is to set the focus slider to the appropriate focus zone, and the camera does the rest. I took my Olympus XA2 for a short photo walk, and here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.
If you want to know more about Olympus XA2, the XA2 page should be your first stop.
Spotting an interesting number 7 in Aarhus turned out to be more challenging than I expected. It took me several attempts to find the one I like.
Taken with Canon PowerShot S90 and processed in digiKam. Shutter speed: 1/100 sec. Aperture: f/5.0 ISO: 800
I’m still catching up on my Week Numbers photographic project. So here are the shots for the last three weeks. All photos in this batch are taken with Canon PowerShot S90 and processed in digiKam, except the Week 6 photo which has been processed using Snapseed for Android.
Shutter speed: 1/30 sec. Aperture: f/5.0 ISO: 800
Shutter speed: 1/60 sec. Aperture: f/5.0 ISO: 800
Shutter speed: 1/80 sec. Aperture: f/5.0 ISO: 100
I spent the best part of a day trying to create a lens profile for my trusty Canon PowerShot S90. In theory, it should be a rather straightforward thing to do. The Creating lens distortion models with Hugin’s lens calibrator article provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to create a lens distortion model.
I used a single RAW file to generate a simple model (see the screenshot above). I then added the following lens profile to the /usr/share/lensfun/compact-canon.xml file:
<model>Canon PowerShot S90</model>
<distortion model="ptlens" focal="6" a="0.01463" b="-0.07992" c="0.00461" />
So far, so good. digiKam seems to pick the added lens profile, but the Auto-Correction tool (Enhance → Lens → Auto-correction) produces a rather strange result:
I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, so if you have a suggestion, feel free to chime in.
Install the DSLR Dashboard app on your Android device, and you can use it to control a Nikon DSLR camera via a USB connection. But in certain situations, tethering the Android device to a camera using a cable is not ideal. This is where DSLR Dashboard’s wireless functionality can come in rather handy. Using this feature, you can link up two Android devices running the app via a Wi-Fi connection. In this case, the device connected to the camera acts as a wireless bridge (or client in DSLR Dashboard’s terminology) between the camera and the master (or server) Android device. And the latter is used to control the DSLR camera remotely. Here is a diagram that illustrates this setup:
- Nikon DSLR camera
- Android device running DSLR Dashboard that acts as a client
- Wi-Fi access point (AP)
- Android device running DSLR Dashboard that acts as a server
As shown on the diagram, both devices must be connected to the same AP. Instead of using a regular wireless router, you can opt for a mobile router like TP-LINK TL-MR3020 to make the entire setup portable. The clever part is that many mobile routers can be powered via a generic power adapter which can be bought cheaply on eBay. This allows you to create a wireless network whenever and wherever you need it and use it to link Android devices running DSLR Dashboard.
To set up this portable wireless remote control solution, you need the following items:
- Two Android devices running Android 2.3 or later
- A USB OTG cable (can be bought cheaply on eBay)
- A USB cable supplied with your DSLR camera
- A mobile wireless router like TP-LINK TL-MR3020
- A battery power adapter
Power up the mobile wireless router and configure it as an AP (consult your router’s documentation on how to do this). Connect the Android device that will act as a server (i.e., the device for controlling the DSLR camera) to the wireless network created by AP. Tap the Menu button and choose the Start Network Server command. Connect the other Android device to the DSLR Camera using the USB OTG and the USB cables. Enable Wi-Fi on the device and connect it to the wireless network created by AP. Turn the DSLR camera on and launch the DSLR Dashboard app. Once the app has detected the camera, tap Menu and choose the Start Network Client command. This should automatically hand over control to the server device which you can then use to operate the DSLR camera in the usual manner.
Interestingly, 3 seems to be a rather popular number here in Aarhus. So I had no problem finding several possible candidates for the week 3 entry.
Taken with Canon PowerShot S90 and processed in digiKam. Shutter speed: 1/25 sec. Aperture: f/5 ISO: 800
A wireless shutter trigger for a DSLR camera can come in handy in many situations. And if you already own an Android device, you don’t have to splurge on a dedicated remote trigger. To turn an Android device into a flexible tool for triggering the shutter wirelessly you need three things:
- The DSLR Remote app installed on your Android device
- TriggerTrap dongle and cable combination for your specific DSLR model
- Generic Bluetooth A2DP receiver (can be purchased on eBay)
Start with installing the DSLR Remote Control app on your Android device. Connect then the Bluetooth receiver to the DSLR camera using the TriggerTrap cable as shown below.
Enable Bluetooth on the Android device, and turn the Bluetooth receiver on. On the Android device, switch to Settings → Bluetooth and pair the device with the receiver.
Next, configure the DSLR Remote app. The exact configuration profile depends on the particular receiver. In most cases, you only need to specify the appropriate cable type in the app’s Settings section. To do this, launch the DSLR Remote app, switch to the Settings section, and set the Remote Type option to Cable S. Close the settings screen, switch to the Remote section and press the S button. This should trigger the camera’s shutter. If this doesn’t work, then try enabling the Bluetooth option, or set the Remote Type option to Cable A.