Author Topic: need tiny digital camera  (Read 4197 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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need tiny digital camera
« on: September 06, 2007, 08:48:47 AM »
I need a camera that can:

- somehow be wired up to a microcontroller to take a pic on command
- store the image (digital is better)
- small as possible - preferably under 2" x 1" width and height
- color/resolution optional

It will go on my underwater robot, so waterproof is desired but not required. Cost doesnt matter.

ideas?

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Offline h3ro

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 11:01:47 AM »
How about using a camera from a mobile phone?
I think sparkNote or something had a small tutorial where they did that.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=637


If your able to use a camera from a newer phone you can get 'really' good images (5mega pixels + zoom + flash)

EDIT:
If you search for 'spy shop' on google you find a lot of small cameras. Like pin hold cameras and like. Maybe useful?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 11:47:06 AM by h3ro »

Offline hgordon

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2007, 12:42:30 PM »
Do a web search on C328-7640.  That's the camera we used in our robot, though we are switching to a higher resolution camera module in the new version.
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2007, 01:07:42 PM »
Dont forget I need it to store the image, not just transmit it. It will be on an underwater robot, so I need the image to be uploadable after I retrieve the robot.

hgordon, any recommendations on storing the images taken?
something like this maybe?
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=752

But unfortunately adding that would make it bigger than those miniature cameras I already posted, and more complicated, too . . .

Offline hgordon

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 01:35:26 PM »
The C328 interfaces to your microcontroller via a UART, but you will have to add storage at the microcontroller.  The main advantages with this module are that it is small and cheap and would be easy to waterproof, as you could have it as much as 12 inches outboard from your other electronics.  Also, it can be run at 921kbps (not just 115kbps that is specified)

There are a variety of cameras that are popular for aerial photography, and some are quite small.  This might be a good starting point -
       http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138187
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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007, 01:59:46 PM »
hmmmm the cams in that rcgroups list were all too big . . .

but after more searching I found this:
http://www.amazon.com/Aiptek-PCM13-PenCam-Digital-Camera/dp/B000069Z5H/ref=pd_sim_dbs_p_3_img/105-3738955-5467622



Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.3 x 3.5 inches ; 1.6 ounces

At only $30 I could buy a few . . . still a bit too big though . . .

So it just occurred to me I will probably need a large LED array to light up the underwater targets for this to work . . . hmmmm . . . anyone know where I can buy one? (its cheaper than the time spent making one). Again, it needs to be about the same dimensions as the camera . . .

Offline dunk

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2007, 02:07:36 PM »
i came up with a few links using the search terms "digital spy camera".
for example: http://www.pimall.com/nais/digitalspypen.html

dunk.

Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 06:58:14 PM »
Admin - I have to assume that the size of the Aiptek camera you found at Amazon is mosty due to the batteries (it is probably two AAA or AA).  I would think that if you take it apart, the actual camera and memory portion is quite small.  No?

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2007, 08:43:09 PM »
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 08:44:09 PM by JesseWelling »

Offline crossroads1946

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2007, 04:00:58 PM »

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 07:53:18 AM »
found a bunch more, including watch cameras
http://www.pimall.com/nais/digitalsupply.html


Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 08:05:40 PM »
Admin - is this what you were looking for?  http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2581/.f

Offline hgordon

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 08:45:50 PM »
That's the C328-7640 I flagged above.  Again, note that it can actually run at 921kbps rather than just 115kbps.
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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2007, 01:18:19 PM »
best lighting system i can so far find . . .
http://www.dimensionengineering.com/EasyLights.htm

it looks real easy to waterproof

Offline cypher987

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2011, 07:20:40 AM »
I know this is an ancient thread and sorry for bumping. I really like what the o.p wants and I am trying to find this feature. Some of the replies are helpful but it didn't really meet my expectation. Someone wants to contribute?

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2011, 02:28:20 AM »
This thread actually is still relevant to me.

We ended up waterproofing the camera in the first image and it worked, but it's limitations were . . . very limiting . . .

I've done a new search in 2008, 2009, 2010, and most recently this year. In 2010 I had put in orders for a 'waterproof' spy cam and one of those rugged waterproof sport cameras to try out, but long story short government 'efficiency' resulted in nothing actually being ordered.

So yea, if you find anything, let me know!

ps - We are likely going to have double the payload space in our next robot fish platform, so probably can have double the camera size. I've seen plenty more cameras that can fit with that reduced restriction, but we'll see next year how things go before I look into the latest new camera technologies.

Offline Soeren

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2011, 07:16:32 AM »
Hi,

While quality probably sucks on most of the really small cams (pen cams, watch cams etc.), there's some acceptable ones if a little more volume is allowed.
Here is a video that compares 3 types and shows the innards of one (seems a good one to hack)
Mini DV D005 Spy Camera Review

This guy Techmoan have reviewed quite a number of cams.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline cypher987

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Re: need tiny digital camera
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2011, 08:42:18 AM »
hmmmm the cams in that rcgroups list were all too big . . .

but after more searching I found this:
http://www.amazon.com/Aiptek-PCM13-PenCam-Digital-Camera/dp/B000069Z5H/ref=pd_sim_dbs_p_3_img/105-3738955-5467622



Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.3 x 3.5 inches ; 1.6 ounces

At only $30 I could buy a few . . . still a bit too big though . . .

So it just occurred to me I will probably need a large LED array to light up the underwater targets for this to work . . . hmmmm . . . anyone know where I can buy one? (its cheaper than the time spent making one). Again, it needs to be about the same dimensions as the camera . . .



That is a cute camera,plus 30$ is a good deal!

 


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