The Electro-Optic Camera was designed and constructed by Eastman Kodak Company under a U.S. Government contract in 1987 and 1988. Kodak’s Microelectronics Technology Division (MTD) had announced the first megapixel CCD in 1986. In 1987, a government customer asked Kodak’s Federal Systems Division (FSD) to build a prototype camera around the new CCD. It was a true skunk works project with a very small team.
Continue to read Electro-Optic Camera: The first DSLR.
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:
Wireless remote setup diagram
- 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.
Here is a simple DIY project for a rainy weekend: replace the neck strap that comes with your DSLR with a less obtrusive and more practical wrist strap. This strap is ideal for photo walks and situations where you don’t want your DSLR dangling on your belly.
DIY DSLR wrist strap
For this project you need a piece of 550 Paracord parachute cord which you can buy cheaply at eBay. Attach the cord to the DSLR, make a loop, and make sure that your wrist fits comfortably and you can reach all camera controls. Cut the excess cord off and tie a tight knot. Use then a lighter or matchsticks to melt the cut ends, and your new strap is ready to go.