Friday, May 29, 2015

MMS Photo-inator Xsi -- 15 May 2015 Session

Even though I am posting this near the end of May, I am describing my efforts from 15 May 2015.

While at the Milwaukee Makerspace for my weekly Maker-time, I continued working on my idea to use a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B to make a device that will take pictures by controlling an SLR camera. 

Another New Camera
After posting my lackluster progress on the Makerspace Google Group, a Makerspace member named Matt
offered to let me use his Canon EOS Rebel Xsi DSLR camera.  Awesome!  It was waiting for me in my locker when I arrived at the 'space.  I tried using gphoto2 with the Canon.  gphoto2 detected the camera but I still had some issues.  I could not take pictures or basically do anything.

Did some searching on the internet.  One site said that the version of gphoto2 that gets installed with apt-get is not the correct version.  apt-get downloads version 2.4.14.  You need the latest version of both libgphoto and gphoto2.

First, I used sudo apt-get purge gphoto2 to remove the gphoto app.

Next, I did apt-get upgrade and update just because.

Next, I installed a bunch of libraries recommended by this website:

Next, I downloaded the latest versions of libgphoto2 and gphoto2 using wget.  For example, I typed in wget

In order to unpack the files, I typed tar xjvf libgphoto2-2.5.7.tar.bz2.  A web page that talks about this is here:

After unpacking, I cded to the folder.  The INSTALL file has instructions about what to do next.

Step 1: ran ./configure --prefix=/usr/local.  The second time I simply ran ./configure
Step 2: ran make
Step 3: ran sudo make install

Get some error that the install failed.  It could not remove anything in /usr/local.  I rebooted and got messages about stuff not working.  Looks like the OS on the SD card got corrupted.  The pi will no longer boot.  Yar!

I had to start completely over.  Downloaded a program to format the SD card.  Then downloaded the NOOBs files and copied them to the SD card.  The full version of NOOBs would not copy to the card.  I had to copy the lite version to the card.  That version downloads the install files over the internet when the Pi boots up.  That worked.

Did all the setup stuff again.  Downloaded libgphoto again and went through the complete install.  This time, it worked.


Downloaded the gphoto2 tar file from sourforge using the same wget command.  Used tar to unpack it.  Then, ran ./configure.  It failed saying "Cannot autodetect popt.h" 

This page ( lists other packages that need to be installed with gphoto2.  Installed all the packages it suggested:

  1. libexif-dev
  2. libpopt-dev
  3. libfuse-dev
  4. mono-devel
  5. monodoc-base
  6. libmono-2.0.1
  7. mono-gmcs
  8. python-pyrex
After installing all of this, I had to re-run ./configure.  This time it worked.  Ran make and make install.  It all worked.

Ran gphoto2.  It worked.  

The gphoto2 auto-detect sees the camera.  Was able to take a picture with gphoto2 and save it to the computer.  You have to specify a filename or it always uses the same one.

That's enough for this week.

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