Laser triggered photography

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Popped balloons or bullets fired into apples, anyone can photograph with a quick sound based camera rig. Lasers have been used forever in motion detection. And even door bell chimes have been used before for remote camera shutter releases. No, [SaskView] wanted to go further and created his Laser Triggered High-Speed Photography setup, to photograph (of all things) milk splashes. We liked the simplicity of the project however;  requiring no programmed microchips or overly complicated circuitry – rather he took a quick trip to the local dollar shop, used the amazing CHDK firmware, and he produced perfect results every time.

[Update: CHDK, not CHKD firmware. My mind must be elsewhere. Thanks jbot and agent smith]

Pictures from space for $150

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Ever wanted to be able to launch a balloon into space, track its location via GPS, take some photographs of the curvature of the earth, and recover the balloon, all for the low low cost of $150? [Oliver Yeh] sent in his teams project, Icarus, which does just that. The group of MIT students found that they could use a weather balloon filled with helium to reach heights of around 20 miles above the earth;  their particular balloon achieved 93,000 feet (17.5 miles). Then, utilizing only off the shelf components with no soldering, conjured up a GPS tracker using a Motorola i290 Prepaid Cellphone. They then used a Canon A470 loaded with the chdk open source firmware to take pictures. After seeing the results of their launch, the team hopes that this could rejuvenate interests in science and the arts.

Magic Lantern for Canon 5D

[Trammell] has released a new firmware for the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR geared toward film makers. The stock firmware was very limited on the audio side. This firmware adds features such as live VU meters, reduced audio noise, and crop marks for filming in different formats. The firmware is written in a manner that it can be extended fairly easily. Hopefully this will turn out to be as helpful as CHDK has been for point and shoot cameras.

Arduino camera laser trigger

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[Adam] made a remote camera trigger that uses a laser. He had to install CHDK on his camera, which we’ve featured in a how-to, in order for it to work. CHDK allowed for a remote shutter trigger through the USB port. The laser bounces off a mirror and onto the photoresisitor hooked up to an Arduino. When the beam is broken, the Arduino sets off the trigger. He also plans to use the trigger to tweet over ethernet. Embedded is a video demonstrating its functionality.

[Read more...]

High speed book scanner from trash

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[Daniel] sent us his entry to the Epilog laser cutter challenge on instructables. He made a book scanner, mainly out of found parts. The bulk of the project was salvaged from dumpsters, though if you’re not comfortable with that, the free section of craigslist might be able to do the job. The cameras are loaded with CHDK, using StereoData maker, and custom software to compile the images into PDFs. They did a fantastic job of documenting every step of the construction, including helpful tips for some of the more complicated parts. There are several videos in the instructable, so be sure to check them out. We’re particularly amused by the extra step of making the photo captions visually interesting. At 79 steps, it’s a long read, but well worth it.

Macro photography with CHDK

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[Tim] photographs insects for bugguide.net. As you can imagine, macro photography is a must. He was very frustrated with his camera’s stock ability to capture the insects. You can see in the example on his site that the image is blurry and has some color issues. He did some research and hacked together a method of getting fantastic macro images for relatively cheap. He used the reversed lens method to get his macro lens set up. He then modded his camera with CHDK for more control. He found that his focal distance was too small to get the entire bug in focus, so he took 15 images at different distances and combined them to make the final image. We’re curious how the pringles can macro lens would compare to this. Thanks for the submission [sp'ange]. Lets see some more tips.

Canon 40D hacked to record movies

Both Canon and Nikon recently released DSLR cameras that now include a feature that most consumer level digital cameras have had for sometime: the ability to record movies. What makes movie recording especially appealing on a DSLR is the wide selection of lenses available to get the look you’re after. If you’re an owner of Canon’s 40D you may want to follow [DataGhost]‘s progress on the CHDK forum as he is currently working on bringing this function to the 40D.

While [DataGhost] has a working proof of concept he notes that there are still some issues pertaining to the camera powering down while recording a video, autofocusing, and writing to the memory card. Aside from this, [DataGhost] has made considerable progress and is considering adding custom user settings via the mode dial to really give some creative control. We’re excited about this hack and can’t wait for its release to the general public.

[via CHDK forum]

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