I found a Canon PowerShot A540 camera sitting in a drawer in the 3D printer area at the 'space. I hooked that up to the PI to see if I would fare any better with gphoto2.
Executed gphoto2 -auto-detect. gphoto2 will only detect the camera if the power is on. It says that capture is not supported by the driver. This could be a problem if I want to save power by turning the camera off when the photo-inator is not in use. The power button is a momentary switch. So, it has to be pushed to turn the camera on or off. This is not the ideal situation.
The batteries are low. Need to find a 3.15v DC power source with a male plug if I want this camera to stay on indefinitely.
I did not have much luck playing with this camera compared to the Canon A470. Ed from the Makerspace told me about software called CHDK. CHDK is software that runs on a Canon camera. It gives you a new user interface and more options. This might be an option.