Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
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#18220 - 09/11/11 05:42 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
I do believe, when the clouds move, I see a dusting of new snow up there. Brrrrrrrrrr.

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#18222 - 09/11/11 06:08 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: wazzu]
wagga Online


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Certainly on Williamson.
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#18256 - 09/11/11 07:34 PM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: wazzu]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: wazzu
I do believe, when the clouds move, I see a dusting of new snow up there. Brrrrrrrrrr.


I saved one from this afternoon. Check out the cloud, too.

Click on the image for the full-size picture.

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#18278 - 09/12/11 07:15 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Moon set this morning

Click on the image for the full-size picture.

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#18283 - 09/12/11 09:59 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
Great moon shot!

What's going on with the focus of the camera?

Or do I need to set up an appt to get my eyes checked?


Edited by wazzu (09/12/11 09:59 AM)

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#18284 - 09/12/11 10:04 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: wazzu]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'm going to have to switch it to "manual focus", which is not as crisp as automatic (when it works).

Apparently in certain light situations, such as when there are lots of clouds, the focusing mechanism can't figure it out. So we get blurry pictures.

I have just switched it to manual focus, so it will be better now.

I'm heading over this weekend to clean the window of the camera box, so I hope it will help.


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#18285 - 09/12/11 10:15 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I'm going to have to switch it to "manual focus", which is not as crisp as automatic (when it works).


well, you'd think that once focused on the mountain, at that distance and then switched to manual, it should be perfect.
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#18286 - 09/12/11 11:20 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
> well, you'd think that once focused on the mountain, at that distance and then switched to manual, it should be perfect.

Yes, I thought that too. But the program driving the camera has a focus setting, and setting it to infinity does not achieve the best focus. Go figure.

I am guessing that is why Olympus stopped making the camera with computer-driven capabilities. There currently isn't a reasonably priced camera on the market that provides these features:

  - Zoom level appropriate for the Lone Pine to Whitney distance
  - Can be controlled by computer software.
  - Reasonably priced

Current reasonably priced point-and-shoot cameras will zoom and take better quality pictures. But none can be controlled by computer.

I fantasize about a computer-controlled robotic setup that could be built to run a camera. It would need to be able to mechanically operate the camera, PLUS connect and disconnect the camera-to-computer USB connection, since the current cameras (at least the Panasonic I have) won't take a picture when connected to the computer.

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#18287 - 09/12/11 11:40 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C


I fantasize about a computer-controlled robotic setup that could be built to run a camera. It would need to be able to mechanically operate the camera, PLUS connect and disconnect the camera-to-computer USB connection, since the current cameras (at least the Panasonic I have) won't take a picture when connected to the computer.


If I find some time I'll take a look at what camera may take images while connected to a computer. I always thought that you can do that with any decent DSLR, bypassing the internal storage while doing studio work. Gonna have to see what I can find out. Once you have a DSLR that can do it, manual focus glass is a dime a dozen and worlds better than anything you get these days on a point and shoot camera unless you go with something exotic like the Nex-5 or Leica.

Triggering the camera may require a little more, but I know I can run my cameras on the panorama bot fully unattended and that doesn't even take a computer, just a PDA. Just not sure if I can do that directly to computer drive. Never tried it.
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#18288 - 09/12/11 11:48 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Fish, I really appreciate your looking into it. But beware of the price of the DSLR. Of course, we don't need new -- used cameras are ok.

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#18289 - 09/12/11 11:58 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Fishmonger]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
wel, that didn't take more htan one google serach - my old (and dirt cheap) Nikon D40 has this setup option:

Quote:


USB Menu

This selects how the camera behaves when plugged into a computer via USB.

I leave it at mass storage, which means my D40 appears as an external hard drive between which you can drag and drop images and folders in Mac OSX Finder or Windows Explorer.

PTP is used if you want to control the D40 as an external device, for instance, via Nikon Camera Control Pro for remote camera control. PTP makes the D40 look like a device instead of like a drive.

Use whichever works best with your computer and workflow.



Nikon and many others have created software for it. Have not really looked for the right solution but here's a youtube clip showing the basics:

'

From what I can gather, the software used in the video is free

http://www.gphoto.org/

hey - maybe your camera is listed as supported:

http://www.gphoto.org/proj/libgphoto2/support.php

even my old point and shoot Canon PowerShot A590 IS is listed as supported.

Obviously, this all requires that the rest of your setup can deal with an image input directory, rather than directly control the software.


more interesting reading: http://www.gphoto.org/doc/remote/ shows that you won't ever run out of memory card space

and lots of usefull info here http://www.moreno.marzolla.name/software/time_lapse_movies/

I'm sure if I had a real goal, I could probably build my own webcam app using these tools. In fact, I bet there's a lot of people out there reselling stuff based on these libraries.


Edited by Fishmonger (09/12/11 12:23 PM)
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#18290 - 09/12/11 12:10 PM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Fish, I really appreciate your looking into it. But beware of the price of the DSLR. Of course, we don't need new -- used cameras are ok.


A used D40 like mine is worth about $120-150, and then add a 55-200mm lens (can turn AF off) and you're set. $120-150 max for the lens and it rocks for the money, giving you 300mm equivalent range)
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#18292 - 09/12/11 02:27 PM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Interesting links, thanks. Looks like the gphoto site lists the Olympus SP500 among the many supported cameras. The drawback for gphoto is that it doesn't run on a Windows platform. We'd have to completely redo our host computers.

In the discussion, they lament that most cameras will no longer support remote control -- the ability to take a picture and upload it to a computer automatically.

That is why I was fantasizing about using robotics: Mechanical robotic controls, driven by the computer, to take the picture. Then a control to switch over to connect to the camera via USB, and transfer the picture off the camera's memory card into the computer, and erase the memory card file.


...I'll look at your links more.

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#18322 - 09/13/11 07:39 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
yeah, the unix platform is a bummer, but it's about the only way to control cameras that aren't high end. Seems like even expensive dedicated windows software like Nikon Camera Control Pro may be limited in the capabilities useful to set up a web cam.

They have a free trial - I'll grab it later this year when I get some time and play with it. Thing is - software, camera, lens, and you're suddenly spending $500 on stuff.
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#18548 - 09/20/11 10:40 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
Whitney webcam working - check

Williamson webcam working - ?????

Steve, do you need to order another power supply for Williamson?

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#18552 - 09/20/11 12:17 PM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: wazzu]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Well, someone is paying attention! cool

The Williamson webcam computer is on-line, but not the camera. That camera is an older camera model, Olympus C740. The Whitney cam is an Olympus SP500 UZ.

Unfortunately, there was a power outage yesterday. When that occurs, the C740 needs to be shut off, and back on again. Pulling the power and plugging back in doesn't work.

I have emailed Dmatt to ask him to do that. It is on the back porch of his office, so not a huge operation.

Here's the older C740


And the Olympus SP500






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#18573 - 09/21/11 05:01 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Monday evening's whitney webcam image at 6:56pm was pretty spectacular. Had to save that one to my desktop.

It almost looks like there was a light filter on the camera to get the burnt sienna tone.


Edited by tdtz (09/21/11 05:07 AM)

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#18580 - 09/21/11 09:22 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: tdtz]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Spectacular indeed!

Here's the picture Tom saved:

      (click on it for full-size)


And another from last evening:


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#18584 - 09/21/11 09:58 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
over the last 2 years I saved about 30 shots I liked - they keep cycling randomly as backgrounds on my laptop. One day I'll get around to making a small gallery. Everything from sunsets to blowing snow.
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#18587 - 09/21/11 10:47 AM Re: Whitney webcam [Re: Fishmonger]
CMC2 Offline


Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 160
Loc: CO
Hope the Twins are in at least one of the 30 or so shots

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