Camera tethering

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elf
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Post by elf »

Charles Krebs wrote:Graham (and others),

Can you shoot a very rapid sequence of images while "tethered" or is it necessary to wait for each image to transfer?

For "normal" stacking of subjects that do not move it not an issue. But with the microscope I often need to take a very quick sequence of a live subject that has briefly paused (often these are later "manually" combined for DOF purposes). As long as I can still utilize the in-camera buffer it would be OK, but if tethering introduces any delay between exposures it would be a problem for some of my uses.
Olympus definitely does not allow capturing to the camera. I believe the Canon SDK does, so it would depend on whether the software supports shooting bursts. I haven't looked at the Nikon SDK. Both the Canon SDK and Nikon SDK are available for free ( at least I think they are). The Olympus SDK is around $100.

AndrewC
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Post by AndrewC »

Charles Krebs wrote:Graham (and others),

Can you shoot a very rapid sequence of images while "tethered" or is it necessary to wait for each image to transfer?

For "normal" stacking of subjects that do not move it not an issue. But with the microscope I often need to take a very quick sequence of a live subject that has briefly paused (often these are later "manually" combined for DOF purposes). As long as I can still utilize the in-camera buffer it would be OK, but if tethering introduces any delay between exposures it would be a problem for some of my uses.
On my D200, no need to wait - so long as you don't overrun the buffer. Most of the tethering programs I've used are really just file transfer systems. If you are actually trying to completely control the camera through a tether that may well run you into other problems. But, this is probably case specific so try it and see. FastPictureViewer has a free trial - give it a spin !

Andrew

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Post by gpmatthews »

If you save the image to PC, it takes a little time. The time taken depends upon your configuration: fairly obviously, if I save directly to the physically connected machine, it is faster than to a network drive.

Fastest is to save to the camera card, but at present I cannot do this with the EOS 500D as it hangs the Breeze software I am using. Saving to the PC varies in time depending on such things as time to save to hard drive, USB flash drive or network drive.

Even so, using Breeze, I can set up a time lapse sequence with only a few seconds between each shot, which I find fine for stacking with manually adjusting focus between each shot. There comes a point when you don't want it too fast!
Graham

Though we lean upon the same balustrade, the colours of the mountain are different.

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Post by Chris S. »

Like Andrew, I don't find any delay when tethering my Nikon D200 as long as I don't outrun the in-camera buffer. When I used to shoot RAW for my stacks, I did pretty easily outrun the buffer and had to wait while it emptied. My sense was that it took about 40 rapid shots to get ahead of the buffer, but I never tested for that and may be wrong about the number. Since I switched to the jpeg format for my stacks, I have not outrun the buffer.

To avoid any potential RAW vs other formats contention: I find RAW very useful for general shooting, but for tethered stacks, where I can adjust exposure, contrast, and other parameters very precisely before capturing images, the advantages of RAW seem less compelling. And if I have to convert RAW files to another format before stacking, it's another layer of hassle (even though I can of course batch that chore).

My guess is that the question of potential delay might vary greatly based on camera brand and model, software used, image format used, and other factors. As Andrew suggests, it's pretty easy to download a free trial (even of the overpriced Nikon software) and try it out.

Also, my D700 has Live View, but in my limited tests of it, it didn't interest me much. Part of this is that I use flash, rather than continuous light, for macro. But in our digital age, the film is free--so simply tethering and taking test shots, which immediately appear on screen in precisely the same form that they will later be captured, works very well in my book.

--Chris

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