Feature request: DSLR remote camera control from Isadora

  • Hello forum!
    I'm starting a time-lapse application in Isadora. I'm already able to control few motors of my motion control system through serial, from Isadora.
    I started looking for a way to control my EOS camera from the computer so I don't have to touch my camera or lens while shooting at all. Thats how it came to my mind:
    Wouldn't be great to have DSLR control inside Isadora? Is this even possible?
    This could be helpfull not only for applications like mine, also for remote control on live camera inputs.
    what do you think about it?

  • look at some of this

    and Arduino can communicate with Isadora

  • That is a great possible solution for my problem right now vanakaru! thanks a lot, I will try it out.
    Anyway, just as a possible feature request, wouldn't be a powerfull feature to be able to control DSLR cameras directly from Isadora? Seems to be possible checking this example. Not only for timelapse, but for real time motion-control applications.

  • Tech Staff


    for sure that would be great but, not every camera listens to the same control commands. The hassle will start when the question comes up, what camera should be supported, this could be a never ending story.


  • that's true Michel, but as far as I understand, most of them use the same comunication protocol. I found some info here. It would be problematic four shure, but as all features, it could be getting more complete as time goes by

  • Camera control is a bit tricky, the only easy multicamera opensource library is gphoto which works pretty well but is a bit of a dog to get going. To control the canon cameras there are already a few good options. I use the EOS utility to get proper live view and control of the camera. With watch folders etc this works well to take images and get them into Izzy Although the screen real estate is a bit annoying. For Canon specific you can try this

    gphoto is here
    You will need to write to canon and request the EDSDK, it cannot be re-distributed- to get live view this is the only option, gphoto does not support this.
    I did get gphoto working well at one time and could use midi to trigger the command line version from apple script in osculator.
    However the other brands Nikon etc use their own protocol for live view and camera control. I dont think this is something that could really be maintained in Isadora. As all cameras have different capabilities in gphoto, it would be hard to build an izzy plugin as you have to have a very dynamic system for controlling every different set of capabilities for different cameras.
    The eos utility is a good place to start, it comes with the camera- if you have lost the CD it is a little hard to get going, you can only download updates from canon and if the original is not installed it will not install- however if you search a little with google you will find a work-around for this.
    As it would be useful for myself I will have a look at making an OSC controlled canon DSLR app- however technically I think I am not allowed to distribute this...not sure.
    Ill let you know how I go, Please do the same.

  •  Ok, I did have a chance to look at this over the last few weeks. The two scenarios I see are:

    1\. Camera capture control - using a library such as gphoto, this will give some control over camera settings, capture and image download but no live view, this is what you see in the arduino example.
    2\. Camera capture control with live view- this means working with the SDK from the manufacturer. This is the useful one for me.
    I registered with the canon developer program and got the latest SDK, I have a running app with live view stream in (and out via syphon) and a capture command and download command via osc (with the appropriate file IO libraries and checking the camera status to check the camera is ready for the commands.
    I have not had any luck yet on getting control of the camera reliably. It feels like canon is really pushing the USB bandwidth here and so far I cannot get a reliable settings and syphon app.
    I was playing a lot with the eos utility which gives complete control over the camer and live view, even this is flaky and will only really function well on the right hand side usb port of my rmpb. 
    Getting this to work fully functionally is not a simple thing to do (well for me anyway), and even then it is only for one camera brand so a full izzy plugin would not be worth the time I think (well again for me).
    It is something I would like to make as a stand alone app and I will persist and see how I go.
  • Tech Staff

    Thanks Fred for looking into this.