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Open Camera Controller >> OCC Developer Zone >> Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...

Message started by Kirt on 12/16/08 at 22:11:40

Title: Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...
Post by Kirt on 12/16/08 at 22:11:40
Hi.  Every time I you update the software, it gets better and better! THANK YOU!

However, I did a "real" shoot today during a production and came up with a few more suggestions that might help me and others in the future:

(In no particular order)

1)  Any chance you could add a battery level indicator of some sort? percentage? or a bar that shows full, halfway, and nearly empty? I was right in the middle of a major 5 shots per view spherical HDR panorama.. and my nintendo DS just up and died with no warning.  (Not cool!)  Yes, I realize this has nothing to do with your software.... but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask!  :)

2) Is there a chance you could set up the software to remember the last used settings each time?  For example, I generally shoot in 2 full F-stop brackets... and use a .5 second mirror lockup delay.  A few times today, I forgot one of these buttons.. and had to shut down and restart again either with my DS or shooting the pano all over again.

3A)  I LOVE that you have the total sequence time to shoot listed!  Very helpful.  But would also be very helpful, especially to my blood pressure when I am in a hurry.. is a count down to "Time remaining"...so I could know I still have 30 seconds left....etc.

3B) I also LOVE the voice at the end telling me my sequence is finished. I that that is very helpful. But what I were shooting in a museum or church with people? this could be very distracting or disrespectful?  So I am suggesting a button to turn the audio on and off.  Would this be easy to do?

4A) Finally...  I still find the buttons across the top a little confusing... Today, I shot in 5 shot brackets... 2 f-stops apart. But in order to shoot 5 shots, I have to click on the button that says "four stops"   Sorry, that just doesn't make sense to me. (But maybe its just me?)

4B) Related to that...  as I mentioned in one of my earliest direct emails to you, I would like to be able to shoot 5 shot and 7 shots at a time.. in 2-full f-stop brackets.... I can now do FIVE, but don't seem to have the option of shooting just 7 if I choose to shoot in 2 f-stop increments.  If I click on the "Four Stops" button in the 1/3 slot, I can take 23 shots total! Which is fantastic, but I am looking for a broad dynamic range for extremely contrasty lighting situations (ie: Aircraft cockpits) and I need (would like to) be able to shoot 7 shots at  a time.. that are all 2 f-stops apart.   I realize this may mean a major overhaul to those buttons on the top? But...?   I am probably not going to be the only one with this issue in the future?

Unless I am just not understanding your menu system? If I am, please tell me how I can take 7 shots!

So, just to clarify from a high level point of view... all (most) Canon cameras can already auto-bracket 3 shots at 2- full stops or less... if your device can get me to 5 shots, that is great!  But 7 (or possibly even higher?) would be more beneficial.. and would allow more creative HDR flexibility for photographers shooting various situations.

Otherwise, is it justifiable to spend $200+ (on a DS and your software/hardware) just to be able to take 2 more photos?  I don't mean this as an offense... your product is amazing and really cool, but I am trying to be practical and realistic with how I am needing to shoot.

So, if there really is a Santa Claus...?  Maybe he can make some software adjustments at some point?

Thank you very much.

I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas!

over and out.


Title: Re: Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...
Post by steve on 12/17/08 at 06:28:13
Wow, good stuff.

1.) The DS firmware only gives a "battery is discharged" or "battery is not discharged" indication. This signal is sent to the green/red LED on the left side of the hinge, so the only way to know battery level is to watch the LED. The only thing I can add in software (maybe) is a warning that the battery is about to die, probably too late to do much to save a sequence. However, I will research the market for "extra juice" battery packs, or figure out what cable one might need to make a custom one. I was at Radio Shack the other day hunting for bargains, and I came across a close-out DS battery for a couple of dollars. I'm not sure why I didn't buy it, because I could charge both the DS' battery and the spare before a shoot and pop it in when needed. (But you do need a jeweler's screw driver to get the battery door open.) I also came across close-out BP-511 Canon batteries for $4.50!

2.) Remembering settings requires that everyone use the same type of program card, or for there to be multiple versions of the code for every type of card. It's not impossible but it is difficult to implement. I think a short-term solution will be to hard-code the settings you want into special versions of the program, such as "mirror lock bracketer" or "two stop mirror lock bracketer." If you tell me exactly what settings you'd like to see on start-up I can make a version just for that, even multiple versions for many different contingencies. Then you would simply have to choose the version you want at the start. I know this is an issue because I often forget to set the mirror lock timing myself and have to restart...I feel your pain.

3.) Will do. You must have a lot of pressure.

3b.) I think the volume slider on the front of the DS is sufficient. But if your local museum's attendance is anything as sad as LA's museums, there won't be anyone around to hear it anyways.

4.) I'm going to have to force the longest shot arrow to move with the stop interval buttons to make this display accurately. We'll see this in the next rev.

4.) I need to get my head around this. You must not want 7 shots at 2-stop intervals each, or you'd get some really long shots. I think you are describing 7 shots inside a single 2-stop jump in timing?  Keep in mind the presets at the top row of the bottom screen describe the bracket steps on either side of metered, so hitting 2-1 sets 2 stops below metered and 2 stops above, at 1 stop intervals. Unless I have the whole concept wrong! So touching "One Stop -1" sets a 2 stop bracket, and "One Stop 1/3" sets a 2 stop bracket with 7 shots....this is where I'm confused.

Ok, I am re-reading your post. "I need (would like to) be able to shoot 7 shots at  a time.. that are all 2 f-stops apart."

I'm not sure what's stopping you.  :P (Again, I may have a fundamental misunderstanding.)

If I set, for example, a shortest shot at 1/20, set the stop intervals to 2 stop, then bump up the longest shot until the display reads "Total shots planned: 7" This creates a 1' 25" sequence when mirror lock is at .5 seconds. I don't need to touch the presets, and I leave the metered shot setting alone. Correct me if I am incorrect, but I believe this is what you are asking for?

Perhaps it is long overdue to make an instruction page.

This is all good stuff Kirt, it will only serve to make our $230 DS intervalometer (try and get one on Amazon for less than $75) /sound trigger/bracketer (You could instead use one of the new "mini" netbooks, $400, along with DSLR Remote Pro, $100) / ebook reader / Sid Meier's Civilization 4 compatible controller/Nintendo DS combo a much better thing. :D My DS is also helping me learn Italian. I tried doing that with my old intervalometer, but all it said was "5 SEC". I emailed the manufacturer to see if they would add new features, but they didn't seem to know what I was talking about.  Sorry, I'm kidding and getting carried away.

Incidentally, I run DSLR remote pro on a Sony Vaio UX. The last time I ran the software, it popped up saying a new update was available, and kindly pointed me to the download of the installer. Only after installing and wiping out the old version did the software mention that I had to PAY THE F*^& UP for the new version and now won't run at all. Since I purchased and downloaded it as a file originally over a year ago and have no original media, I am ^%$^@(! unless I pay.

Update: I broke down and purchased the new revision.

Title: Re: Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...
Post by Kirt on 12/18/08 at 03:07:55
1)  Battery... well, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask! :)   Actually, I'd be interested in getting another battery for this thing. I cannot afford for it to go out during a real shoot!  agh!   Also... another idea for you... you might sell a 2nd longer cable, as an extra option to buy... it comes standard with 4 foot, but maybe you can get the extra long 6 foot version? (just an idea)

2) Great!  I foresee I would only (at least initially?) need two versions.... one that defaults to 2 stop increments with a 0.50 mirror lockup delay....
one that defaults to 2 stop increments withOUT a mirror lockup delay.

I assume the rest of the buttons will still work normally? Right?   So I if need to turn on manual trigger, that would still work when I occaisionally need it, right?

At the same time, as you create more and more of these...  it will eventually become very impractical for you to make 99 versions of each update. But, yes, I will take it!!  Thanks!
(btw - got my replacement cable today.. thank you.  I will test it out soon.)

ps- I also just found your hidden "easter egg" of hitting the start button to get to your telescope adapter thingy.... I wondered where you put that.  Nice touch!

3)  I was on film shoot this past week (Ok, well, shooting the RED at 4K and 12-bits... Yeah!) and it boils down to time is money...  I also often shoot $40-50 million dollar aircraft... and there is a team of people waiting around on me... avionics, ground crew, etc...  so when I am taking long shots (more than 30 seconds) it seems like an eternity waiting on the thing to finish up!  So, yes, some user feedback would be beneficial!  and hopefully an easy fix?  :)

3B) Volume slider... yeah. Good point!  I am still a DS newbie, so I forgot about that.  :)

4) First, yeah, the instruction thing would probably be good.  hehe

Now, after reading your reply... and trying it out myself, it does work... but...

If I start at 1/20... doing 2 fstop brackets.. and get to 7 shots total... then yeah, you're right that is some long exposure times!  3 min 30 secs if I read it correctly! That's enough to blow out just about everything on a lot of shots.

However... a few issues/comments about this:

When I am exposing for a scene... I usually find the middle/base/normal exposure first.. then bracket above and below to get my hdr images.  Trying to give myself a paradigm shift to always start at 1/20 is just not feasible for me... (unless I get desperate!)   What is also throwing me off a bit still in regards to my need for 7 shots, is that I was not factoring in that 1/20 was my going to be my fastest shot.   Again with some of my aviation shots, I have some really bright, direct lighting coming in... and I need fast shots for those...

So far, I have been forcing myself to shoot with this 1/20 limitation by just closing down to f16 or so...   that has been what has kept me in the ballpark of being able to deal with this limitation. (BTW folks, its Canon's issue and lack of openness.... not the fault of our dear DS creator!)

So, if I now understand you... I have to figure out (and write down) all 7 exposures ahead of time... then slide them all mentally, to where the first one will be at 1/20 (or thereabouts).. then I can start shooting!?  Aaagghhh!

This is getting to be too much work.

There are times when my "find the normal exposure and bracket above and below the same amounts" doesn't always work.... but most time it does.  There are a few high contrast situations where I DO need to slide the entire exposure to the left or right... in order to get more/better exposures of dials/gauges/lights for example... so I undertsand the concept of taking my AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) setting and basically doing an exposure compensation on them.

If I am understanding, this is basically what you are suggesting... aka telling me, I will need to do, right?  (in order for your method to work)

What I am looking for ultimately... is a system where I can enter my "normal" base exposure... and then say I want, 3, 5, or 7 shots (in 2 fstop brackets) of that scene... and hit the "go" button.  When on set... or during an important/expensive shoot, I need less things to worry about... not more.

Obviously, I can and have been doing the manual method for shooting 7+ brackets... but that requires that I have to physically touch the camera to change a dial for each shot.  It works, but it makes me nervous and is likely to cause problems in the future, when I didn't notice that I slightly bumped the tripod, because I pulled on my Nintendo DS cable on accident. hehe

Anyway, starting to ramble.. on to the next topic.

5) Good point about all the extra software and features... intervoleter, etc...!  Touche!   It is definitely worth the price!

6) One comment I forgot to make initially... the idea of mounting the DS on the camera's flash hotshoe mount is a good one... BUT ONLY if you're shooting horizontal photos!! doh!  If you're shooting spherical HDR panos.. your camera will be on its side... and the DS is not going to be in an ideal position for that!

Maybe you can add an upgrade where it hovers in place above the camera!?  Just use THE FORCE!! ;)

That's all for now. Looking forward to the next version!  

Thanks again for your hard work.

over and out.


Title: Re: Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...
Post by steve on 12/21/08 at 02:51:37
The DS battery at Radio Shack turned out to be too good to be true...it's for the old DS, not the DS lite most people use.  However, at a Circuit City store closing I found a DS car charger for $3 and a Kensington portable power pack for mobile devices, normally $60, for $12. By splicing the wire from the car adapter onto a USB cable I am now able to use the portable power pack or any USB port to charge the DS.

Title: Re: Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...
Post by spdorsey on 01/04/09 at 15:56:53
A suggestion about the bracket arrow shapes.

 I noticed that, in certain circumstances, shots do not always land on the spot where the middle arrow is on the exposure table. It's hard to tell with the current arrow design.

 I'd suggest making the arrows about half their current width, and also making them a tiny bit shorter than they are now so that any white lines (representing shots) would poke through the top so I could see them.

 GREAT software, though! I brought Panoramio to it's knees on my 8-core Mac by asking it to process a 17-shot group. Hah!



Title: Re: Bracketeer V1.6 Christmas Wish List...
Post by steve on 01/04/09 at 17:02:18
You are correct, you can set up conflicting requirements by setting your shortest,metered, and longest shots to certain times then setting the shot steps to a stop increment that makes it impossible to land on those shot times you picked. I had to pick a time that the steps would be based off of, and I chose the shortest shot, which means that based on your stop increments, the longest shot you entered might be passed over.

I need to change version 1.16 so that the longest shot changes automatically to match the stop steps you enter.

As for the metered shot, perhaps I need to make "metered" the shot that doesn't change if you alter the stop steps. so the shortest shot also automatically changes to match the stop steps.

So that's why 1.16 isn't out yet!

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