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

Newbie questions about cameras

Everything camera related. Includes triggers, batteries, power supplies, flatbeds and sheet-feeding scanners, too.
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recaptcha
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Sep 2010, 13:23
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Newbie questions about cameras

Post by recaptcha » 21 May 2018, 22:46

I don't know anything about cameras, and don't know what to look for, or what all the different numbers and models mean. It was suggested to me that an electronic shutter camera would almost never wear out, so long term they would be a good choice. They suggested a Panasonic G5.

1). Is an electronic shutter camera the same as a shutterless camera? And is a shutterless camera the same as a mirrorless camera?

2). re: a Panasonic G5... Is this the Lumix G5? On eBay I see 'G5' with a variation of other numbers, such as DMC-G5, DMC-G5K, DMC-G5KK, G5 W, DMC-GH5, etc. Most of them are sold as 'body only'. Does this mean I would need to buy lenses for it? Are lenses for the G5 expensive? Do other companies like Nikon or Fuji also make electronic shutter cameras?

3). According to the Tenrec guide on cameras. I need a camera to control the following:

1. Shutter speed.
2. White balance.
3. Aperture.
4. ISO.
5. Flash on/off.
6. Any custom image processing (sharpenng, color enhancements, etc).
7. Focus (ideally being able to lock focus).
8. Exposure compensation.
9. Zoom.

4). And CHDK is apparently a software tool that allows one to control all these things remotely via usb, is this correct?

I better stop here. Sorry for all the questions. :-)

duerig
Posts: 358
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Newbie questions about cameras

Post by duerig » 21 May 2018, 23:56

I don't have experience with the Panasonic G5. So I can't recommend it (or dis-recommend it). But to answer your questions:

(1) I think 'shutterless' and 'electronic shutter' are the same thing. Mirrorless cameras can have either mechanical or electronic shutters. The thing that mirrorless cameras don't have is the viewfinder you put your eye up to that DSLRs have. They just have the screen on the back. That viewfinder is implemented with a small mirror that flips up out of the way when you actually take a picture. Mirrorless cameras do not have that mirror and so don't have that mechanical device to flip the mirror up. And that is one less thing to go wrong.

Mirrorless cameras (even cameras with electronic shutters) are not required for scanning. But they will likely be able to scan more pages before failing. So if you have a relatively small project, don't worry too much about it. It is only on large-scale projects where it really makes a big difference.

(2) The mirrorless camera I currently recommend is the Nikon 1 J5 model. It seems to have a very high durability while producing high quality images. And if your budget doesn't go that high, I'd recommend a cheaper point and shoot Canon model (these work with CHDK) like the A2500, ELPH 160, or SX710 models.

(3) Ideally you want the computer to control all of those options. In practice, there are usually compromises. For example, cheaper point and shoot cameras do not have aperture controls. And gphoto (a library/tool to control DSLR and mirrorless cameras via USB) often doesn't allow for controlling many of these features either. So sometimes your best bet is to set some of them manually (especially those items where the selection is saved), and have the computer control some of them.

(4) CHDK is software that runs on some models of Canon point and shoot cameras. I mentioned three recommended models above (A2500, ELPH 160, SX710) that I have tested myself and these all work with CHDK. You can then use Pi Scan (if you want to run on a Raspberry Pi) or TwoCamControl (for a windows PC) to actually trigger the cameras.

Or if you have the budget for a mirrorless camera, the Nikon 1 J5 model works with gphoto and also Pi Scan. There are also other free and commercial programs to trigger DSLR cameras from computers. If you want to use one of them, it would be best to look at the compatibility list of the program in general.

-Jonathon Duerig

recaptcha
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Sep 2010, 13:23
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: Newbie questions about cameras

Post by recaptcha » 22 May 2018, 00:58

Thanks. I have about 600 books to scan, approximately 350 pages each on average. They are mostly academic books, and almost all are tightly bound paperback. Some are larger hardbound books.

That's why I thought a shutterless camera might be more cost effective in the long run, especially if I have to take into consideration wearing out a pair of cheaper used cameras with already a number of previous actuations on them. My search so far hasn't come up with anything within my budget (about $1000. total for 2 cameras and scanner build, but this is flexible). I don't know how expensive lenses are.

Here is a Nikon 1 J5: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_ ... _id=109918
I can probably find one cheaper, but for the sake of discussion...is this shutterless? Does it have everything I need? Do I need to buy certain lenses for it? If so what kind, and what are they called?

I also don't have a laptop. So I guess setting up the shots will have to be done in camera.

BillGill
Posts: 81
Joined: 18 Dec 2016, 17:13
E-book readers owned: Calibre, FBReader
Number of books owned: 7000
Country: USA

Re: Newbie questions about cameras

Post by BillGill » 22 May 2018, 10:00

My first suggestion is that you not get too uptight about what camera and the setup you need. Since you say they are mostly text books they are probably of good quality. That means that you should be able to get good scans with a reasonably priced camera. I am using a Canon Elph 160, but that is no longer in production. It is still available, but you might have to buy a used one. However, then you need to ask yourself how fast you need to scan the books. In my scanner I use one camera. That means I have to take a picture of each page individually. In the 'traditional' book scanner such as the Archivist Quill you take 2 pages at a time and that cuts the scanning time about in half. With my setup I recently timed myself and found that it took me about 50 minutes to scan a 300 page book. That would probably have been about a half an hour for a 2 camera scanner. Notice that a 2 camera scanner is going to be more complex than a one camera scanner. You might want to take that into account.

As far as camera control is concerned, you may or may not need to use computer control. It certainly helps if you are using a 2 camera system. For a single camera system you can just position a mirror so that you can see the display to check for registration. Then you can use some kind of remote trigger or just press the camera's button. I believe some people have constructed mechanical shutter releases that would trigger 2 cameras at a time. If you do this then you just take the pictures then transfer them to a computer after you have finished the scan.

Then you have to figure out what format you want the output in. If a picture of the page is all you need then that is about all you have to worry about. You might need to use a software package to rotate and clip the images. Such software is available for free. That helps with your budget. If you need more then you might need to invest in an OCR software package. I use ABBYY Fine Reader, which is a commercial product. There are some free OCR packages. Their quality probably varies, and I'm not sure which would be best. If you need editing beyond OCR then there are several software packages that can do it quite handily. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are 2 free office packages that can output various formats depending on your need. They both are almost as good as Microsoft Office.

Of course having said all that I have to tout my own scanner. I have posted about it before. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3467.

Good luck.
Bill

recaptcha
Posts: 58
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: Newbie questions about cameras

Post by recaptcha » 22 May 2018, 16:28

Thanks. My output will be PDFs. I will be using Scan Tailor and/or BookScan Wizard. I'd prefer a two-page scanner, and have my own design in mind.

I'm just looking for cameras right now, and trying to understand what I need, what my options are, and what's available.

L.Willms
Posts: 108
Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 10:51
E-book readers owned: Tolino Shine
Country: Germany
Location: Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Re: Newbie questions about cameras

Post by L.Willms » 22 May 2018, 17:35

duerig wrote:
21 May 2018, 23:56
The thing that mirrorless cameras don't have is the viewfinder you put your eye up to that DSLRs have. They just have the screen on the back.
Have a look at this mirrorless camera Canon EOS M50.
It has a 2.36-million dot OLED built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF).
Image

L.Willms
Posts: 108
Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 10:51
E-book readers owned: Tolino Shine
Country: Germany
Location: Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Re: Newbie questions about cameras

Post by L.Willms » 22 May 2018, 17:43

Besides, I think we should have a closer look at those industrial cameras, which are barebone camera modules without a viewfinder or screen or release button, they are built to be remote controlled from a computer.

As mentioned and discussed in "Libreflip - a new open source page-turning bookscanner"

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