Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Everything camera related. Includes triggers, batteries, power supplies, flatbeds and sheet-feeding scanners, too.
Doranwen
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Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by Doranwen » 29 Mar 2021, 11:46

I'm looking to build this scanner (well, my brother will do the building for me this summer, I just have to get all the parts): https://www.instructables.com/Book-Scan ... ages-an-h/
My thread on sorting out what plans to follow and all of that is here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3641

All that was said about cameras on the Instructable was the one the creator selected at the time (which, that Instructable was revised in 2015, so it's years old). Somewhere I came across this link but there are still far more cameras than I have the faintest clue about: https://www.dpreview.com/products/searc ... ontrol=Yes

How do I even begin to choose cameras from that huge list? And how do I remote trigger them? I'm not at all mechanically-minded, though my brother is, so if something has to be rigged up, that gets added to the list of things for him to figure out while he's visiting this summer. I like the infrared remote idea (it seems that's one of the parameters of that camera search?), but I don't know if that's a major factor in the price. Cost is something of an issue - I can't afford to spend massive amounts of money on cameras, but I do want to spend enough to get good quality scans. I'll be scanning books with both text and pictures/diagrams as well as books with just text (probably very little I'll actually end up running OCR on), and at least one thing I want to scan in for personal use has color drawings, so I don't want to go for something that'll only work well with b&w text pages.

I'm just overwhelmed with the options, with very little personal knowledge of any kind regarding cameras (photography was never my specialty), and my brain just freezes and doesn't know where to go from there. Any advice/suggestions would be helpful.

TS Zarathustra
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by TS Zarathustra » 01 Apr 2021, 15:48

Camera technology has improved greatly in the last few years. What seems to be the simplest solution these days is to use couple of smartphones, download the correct app (there are many to choose from), and activate the camera using voice command (or bluetooth remote shutter trigger).

Doranwen
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by Doranwen » 04 Apr 2021, 00:36

Oh, interesting! I hadn't thought of smartphones at all. I don't really own any current ones and don't know where one buys them, so I'll have to see where to get some. (I keep an old one around that I purchased some years ago for a texting app only - it's not on a phone plan - to use as an ebook reader because my e-readers all died on me. I use a "dumb" flip phone for actual phone calls and powerful desktop computers for my computing needs; I'm used to not having a computing device always at my fingertips so it works for me.)

Do you have any recommendations as far as apps go? I'm assuming just any standard Android smartphone will do - and are there considerations as far as the smartphones' cameras go? Or do all smartphones these days have cameras good enough for everything?

TS Zarathustra
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by TS Zarathustra » 06 Apr 2021, 05:07

Smartphone cameras today are as good as 10 year old professional cameras, or 5 year old point and shoot cameras. As long as you have plenty of light :).
Quality depends on your phone. Stock camera apps have different features. Some might be better than what you can install. I have used Open Camera from Mark Harman. It is one of the best, although possibly it might not work properly on your hardware.
https://opencamera.org.uk/

cday
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by cday » 06 Apr 2021, 05:45

I know nothing about modern cameras of any type, but two factors to consider for book scanning use are durability given the number of pages that might be imaged, and how two cameras could be triggered easily at the same time.

From the point of view of image enhancement, bright images enhance better than less well illuminated images.

Doranwen
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by Doranwen » 06 Apr 2021, 20:09

The rig I'm intending on building will have an LED light setup on it so should be fairly bright.

A smartphone should be pretty good as far as taking a ton of pictures as there aren't moving parts that I know of - turn off flash and let the LED lights do the illuminating and it's just a matter of having a remote trigger, like the Bluetooth idea suggested. Pretty sure all the smartphones these days have that feature.

I ran across this article: https://www.cnet.com/news/4-best-phones ... -and-more/
The Moto G Power is sounding fairly decent as far as battery goes - though obviously I could keep them plugged in - but I think it'd be best to only charge them between scans if possible, just because leaving stuff on the charger all the time isn't the best way to go, both for one's electrical bill and for the battery of the device. And it's Android which means I should be able to install that Open Camera app and give it a try.

Thanks for all the advice! This really helps me feel like I'm not totally lost in planning this part.

cday
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by cday » 07 Apr 2021, 03:58

Doranwen wrote:
06 Apr 2021, 20:09
The Moto G Power is sounding fairly decent as far as battery goes - though obviously I could keep them plugged in - but I think it'd be best to only charge them between scans if possible, just because leaving stuff on the charger all the time isn't the best way to go, both for one's electrical bill and for the battery of the device.
It's a detail at this stage, but establishing how to optimise battery life of Li-ion cells isn't too easy: I researched it recently in relation to my new laptop, closely reading both the manufacturer's recommendations and selected online sources, and still wasn't entirely sure. My feeling is that when the laptop is normally being used at home, it is probably best to leave it on charge most of the time, but to allow partial discharges occasionally, deep discharges are probably best avoided, and there is likely a benefit in reducing the number of charge-discharge cycles. As a modern phone has a much longer standby time than a laptop, leaving one off-charge may not be an issue as long as the battery doesn't drain too much.

Like you I am interested in minimising my electricity bills, and using a watt meter I bought some years ago have determined that my laptop, which is a low-power model (and fan-less as I don't like noise!), uses only 1W when fully charged, plugged in and not in use, so electricity cost isn't much of an issue. In comparison, my WiFi router uses around 5W, and I believe newer models with greater range now becoming common may use 10W or more continuously when plugged in, and switching off when not in use is not normally recommended although it might possibly now be worthwhile with a fast connection.

Doranwen
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by Doranwen » 13 Apr 2021, 00:11

I have one additional question regarding this area of the build: how do I select a Bluetooth remote to trigger the camera shutter on the smartphone? There are plenty of fobs out there to buy - but what I don't know is if all of them will trigger BOTH cameras simultaneously? Are there any other considerations? I definitely don't want to have to hit two separate remotes, one per camera, as that will really slow things down… I'm just looking at a page of results on Amazon with no idea what I should be going for specifically.

cday
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by cday » 13 Apr 2021, 02:47

Doranwen wrote:
13 Apr 2021, 00:11
I have one additional question regarding this area of the build: how do I select a Bluetooth remote to trigger the camera shutter on the smartphone? There are plenty of fobs out there to buy - but what I don't know is if all of them will trigger BOTH cameras simultaneously? Are there any other considerations? I definitely don't want to have to hit two separate remotes, one per camera, as that will really slow things down… I'm just looking at a page of results on Amazon with no idea what I should be going for specifically.
I have no direct knowledge of Bluetooth or any other camera triggers, but I assume that the signal transmitted will be received by all cameras within range, which will then be activated with minimal variation in the delay between reception of the signal and the images being made, especially if the cameras are the same model.

To be sure it may be worth searching online for an answer, or if necessary buying a Bluetooth remote trigger which seem inexpensive, and then making a simple test using two borrowed smartphones if that can be arranged. The following link from a very quick search does refer to an app ustilising WiFi as an intermediary, though: WiFi Remote Capture.

Doranwen
Posts: 43
Joined: 13 Aug 2014, 04:19
E-book readers owned: Onyx Boox (dead), Astak EZ Reader (dead)
Number of books owned: 2662
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Re: Cameras for PVC pipe scanner (2-camera rig)

Post by Doranwen » 15 Apr 2021, 20:06

Someone suggested I try setting them up to voice activate the shutter. I've never tried that, but I think they just came in the mail, so maybe it's time to give that a shot…

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