Camera video at high-res is choppy, focus struggles

Camera video at high-res is choppy, focus struggles

Hi. I have writing a very simple app for the Panasonic CF-H1 that uses the camera as a "preview" video window, and then I have a button that "snaps" apicture. This snapshot picture seems to be grabbed from the video "stream". I need the snapshot to be at the highest resoluton (1600x1200) but the video preview does not need to be high at all.

The problem is that the videogets real choppy when it's set to it's highest resolution -- at 640x480 the frame rate is 30fps, and the camera focuses real quick. Change this to 1600x1200 and it drops to about 1 frame per 10 seconds, and struggles to focus.

Is there a better way? Why is thefocusso slow to react at 1600x1200? I mean -- it's unusable, even in broad daylight.

I'm open to any ideas or suggestions ...
Thanks
Rob

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Hello robrud,

First of all, you will need to enable still pin capture in the MCA Configuration Editor. This will allow you to run the preview at a lower resolution than the image captured. Not all MCA devices support this option, but both the old and new CF-H1 support still pin capture.

So the basic steps to get it working are:

1. Enable still pin in the MCA Configuration Editor, under the camera plug-in section.

2. Set the image resolution to something like 1600 x 1200.

3. Set the video resolutions to something like 320 x 240.

This should provide the preview at 320 x 240 and the captured image at 1600 x 1200.

Thanks

John C

Thanks for the reply John.

This is certianly a step in the right direction -- I enabled the "still pin" and made the settings as you described.
When I run my app now, the preview is indeed at 320x240, but when I snap the picture it looks like it is trying to switch to the higher "image resolution"but it seemes to time-out and I get an error. The picture is never snapped. (Re-setting to the old resolutions and setting the "still pin" back on allows me to snap a picture successfully.)

Perhaps there is a code change required, but my VB.NET code is pretty simple (MCA SDK 2.0).
I havethe(simplified) code below -- With the "still pin" on, I never see my "after capture frame" message, and eventually it times out and throws it to the "catch" codewith a"Generic Camera error. (No error)" message.

Regards,
Rob

turn the video preview on, show it in a panel control:

MsgBox("videosize: " & oCam.VideoSize.ToString)
MsgBox("imagesize: " & oCam.ImageSize.ToString)
oCam.StartPreview(pnlCamera.Handle)

Snap a picture:

Try

Dim camFrame As Frame

MessageBox.Show("before capture frame")
oCam.CaptureFrame()
MessageBox.Show("after capture frame")

camFrame = oCam.frames(oCam.frames.count - 1)

'-- Display image on the PictureBox
picMain.Image = camFrame.Image

Catch ex As Exception

MessageBox.Show(ex.Message, "Camera Error")

Finally

'-- Success!
'-- remove the snapped picture from the camera's buffer ...
oCam.Frames.Clear()

End Try

Rob,

I looks like Panasonic is saying that you need 3.0 of the PD in order to enable still pin correctly. They are asking that you please contact them for assistance.

Thanks

John C

Hi John --
I just calledPanasonic Tech Support and they say they do not have a 3.0 version of their PD's available (yet).
I sent them a copy of this thread, so hopefully they'll have some other solution to the problem.

-- thanks
-- rob

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