Long time since the last post. Fell ill after the previous recce for the camera at the camere-wali-gali in Chandni Chowk. Work had stopped for the last week, and the flight test has been postponed for the first week of Jan, tentatively. As mentioned in the last post, had to look for compact cameras that supported remote capture, which turned out to be surprisingly challenging, as apparently no more compacts are sold with that feature. Perhaps the manufacturers deemed it a frivolous expense.

Anyway, our first choice was the G10, which really blurred the boundary between a DSLR and a compact, but to our dismay, it was nowhere to be found (It’s been long discontinued) After a lot of haggling we finally managed to net the Nikon P1 at a pretty decent bargain, and are now fiddling around with it. As an added bonus, the camera supports WiFi, but well, that’s unnecessary.

Using gPhoto on the command line is pretty straightforward, and the hook-script param is really helpful. All I need to do is add the path of my shell script that transfers the captured image to the ground station via scp, and voila! All the capture business is done. Alternately, I could execute any image processing code on the image before transferring it. But that will require some conversion first, perhaps (unless some settings can be tinkered with) as the images are being captured in .nef format, and I doubt if OpenCV accepts that format (I have to check that, though). Another thing to note is the massive delay between consecutive pictures ~2-3 seconds. I think it autofocuses each time, so if I can omit the autofocus bit, hopefully the camera will be able to shoot faster. Hm. Or possibly try the burst mode. Have to work on all this retrieval stuff for the moment.