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Video Capture Project

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by biff, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. biff

    biff Guest

    Hi folks,

    I would like to do some experimenting with capturing pictures using
    some of the low-cost camera hardware that is around. I was wondering
    if anyone had recommendations on the a good place to start. I would
    like to capture the pictures using an AVR or PIC devlopment board.
    What would be a good way to begin?

  2. this link may show you the basics
    The average dev kits don't have enough memory to store a single
    field,let alone a complete frame.

    What are you going to do with the capture, store it on a flash card,
    or send to a PC?
    and more stuff here

  3. biff

    biff Guest

    Actually, I was thinking more of using an AVR or PIC to capture a
    still frame from something like a phone camera. I am looking around
    for cheap still digital camera-type hardware.
  4. linnix

    linnix Guest

    The cheapest cameras are USB based. So, the best way is to control
    them with an AVR USB host such as AT90USB647 or AT90USB1287. What are
    you going to do with the picture, after getting it into the uC?
  5. Si Ballenger

    Si Ballenger Guest

    You might search google for "astronomy quickcam", as in years
    past the parallel port based connectix quickcams have been
    popular for astrophotography. Some of the developed code might be
    portable to a eight bit parallel input chip.

  6. Martin
  7. Well I have reservations about that approach (not to the astro cam).
    If you really want to use 'camera hardware' with an FPGA board,
    then perhaps go TCP, use a camera like this, and the software is open source:
    (I wrote it), running Linux on an FPGA board with eitehrnet these days is
    not that expensive.
    But, this camera is about 130$ and the FPGA board will be some more.

    If you REALLY want to do hardware, get a CMOS sensor, and interface it to some
    FPGA IO lines.
    That is CHEAP.
    In both cases you will need lots of memory, upping the price and complexity.
    Somebody did a VHDL version for the mcam (8 bit parallel port) webcam but I cannot find the paper anymore with google.
    The par port versions are way to slow for fun.

    I guess with Linux and USB on a FPGA board you could use most cheap USB cams.

    All depends on what you want, if yo uhave enough memory for a frame store you can also run Linux...

    So the essense is use the sensor directly and get some cheap lens.
    National has whole range of simple CMOS sensors IIRC.

    And then what?
    compress to some format? Maybe have a look at the Altera site for algos
    and boards?

    Or just forget it and use a PC, proabbly cheaper :)
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