Friday, May 29, 2015

MMS Photo-inator Xsi -- 1 May 2015 Session

Even though I am posting this near the end of May, I am describing my efforts from 1 May 2015.

While at the Milwaukee Makerspace for my weekly Maker-time, I started 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.  I think I will call it the MMS Photo-inator Xsi.

Setting up the Pi
The Pi came with a micro SD card that was already formatted with Raspbian and ready to go.  So I did not have to mess around with that.

First of all, as always, I ran sudo apt-get upgrade and sudo apt-get update to make sure everything was up-to-date.

Changed the password for the pi user to wrenchiron.

The keyboard was setup for British English.  Used raspi-config to change it to US E


Camera-controlling Software
The software that will control the camera is called gphoto2.  Installed gphoto2 by typing "sudo apt-get install gphoto2".  <note> It turns out that this was not the correct way to install gphoto2.  I document the correct way to install it in a future post. </note>

Typing gphoto2 --list-ports reveals two USB ports, usb:001,003

Connected a USB cable from the pi to my Canon PowerShot A470.  gphoto2 could not find it.  I tried 3/4 USB ports.  My keyboard was plugged into the fourth USB port.

I had to turn the control knob on the back of the camera to "playback" mode.  Then, gphoto2 could see it on the USB port.

Did gphoto2 --list-cameras.  It does not list the Canon PowerShot A470.  There is a 460 and a 480 but not a 470.

The gphoto2 --auto-detect lists the camera as "Canon PowerShot A740".  That camera is in the list.

Some of the commands I tried returned errors.  For example, 
  • list-config: PTP I/O error
  • capture-image: said "your camera does not support generic capture"
I think I need to find a different camera.