Friday, May 26, 2006

First Post, Then, a Break....

Hey, all.... My first post and I am excited to find some information that may just help me with a project!

I read here in this website about a suggestion for a camera panoramic platform: "One or two servo motors could rotate a digital camera through set angles to take pictures for a panorama. Two servos would allow the panorama to span in 2 dimensions. Of course, there is the problem of instructing the camera to take a picture. Some digital cameras have an interface for this; a remote trigger. This could be a product." And I'm also seeing some spotty information about pan and tilt units.

I've been searching for months to find a pan and tilt robotic tripod head that I can mount a regular sized camera like a Nikon D2H/D100/D200 and program the smooth operation from start to finish for time lapse photography. The camera itself already performs interval capture @ one frame per second to one frame per minute or perhaps even longer. What I have purchased is a Celestron dual axis motor drive (part DA-G5, number 93523), which contains 2 6-volt motors powered by battery, a hand controller (that uses a regular phone connector RJ-11) and battery pack. The motors can only run in 3 different speeds, but with the time lapse photography, I want to control user-variable speeds: the motors can be programmed to start really slow, ramp up to a faster speed, and ramp down until they stop, and they should be independent movements and speeds. I also hope to do this by computer laptop (I run Macintosh OS X, which I believe, should run motors.

But, I am no engineer. And I don't understand computer codes and whatnot. If there's some software that I have those chart curves to help map out the movements...

The motors will be installed into a gutted security pan and tilt head. The gears and hardware from the gutted unit can be fitted with the 2 gearmotors of the Celestron kit I purchased. If this can be done... I recently visited a kind man in Canada who has a programmable pan and tilt head, and the gear and software cost him over $10,000. His results are beautifully clean and smooth. I don't need precise clean and smooth movements, because I can work that out in post-production. After finding information about the Phidgets products, I think there can be a cost-effective solution that I want to share with those independent film producers who have looked for similar results.

I'm off for several days, so I think I'll resume posting after Memorial Day. Have a great holiday, but remember what it's about.

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