Stereo Bar Vendors
- Sunway Photo DPG-3016 double-rail heavy duty camera bracket (ships internationally):** product info
The Sunway Photo DPG-3016 stereo bar provided a good all-round solution in terms of weight, ease of setup, flexibility of design and cost.
The Manfrotto 430 Long Plate provides another good solution but allows less freedom in terms of positioning the cameras.
The Manfrotto 131DD Tripod Accessory Arm is a heavy-duty solution for heavier equipment. The freedom of adjustment makes it less ideal for stereo imaging as it is hard to align the cameras properly.
Do-It-Yourself Stereo Bar Solution
A stereo bar can be made from raw materials or by modifying off-the-shelf hardware. A template is provided below for making your own.
We suggest the following materials for making a stereo bar:
- steel bracketing (often sold as shelving hardware)
Picture: drawing showing DIY stereo bar template with approximate dimensions
Book Positioning and Cradle
The following are links to off-the-shelf as well as do-it-yourself book cradles or products that could be used as book cradles (e.g. two lap-top stands set up to face each other).
Camera Selection for Stereo Capture
Tethered and Untethered Capturing
Tethered capture means that the cameras are attached to the Decapod system using USB cables, and the Decapod Capture tool controls the cameras and downloading of images.
With untethered capture, the images are saved to memory cards and then imported into Decapod.
With tethered capture, the Decapod software manages all the file naming and ordering, whereas untethered capture requires the user to manage files manually. Tethering support is only available on a select number of cameras.
Decapod has been tested to work with the following cameras when tethered:
- Nikon D7000
- Nikon D90
- Canon Powershot G10
- Canon Rebel T3i
- Canon EOS 600D
Tethered Support for Other Cameras
Other digital cameras may work with Decapod, but the camera control software used has limitations so it is hard to specify which models are supported. Digital SLR cameras have a higher probability of working with Decapod, in particular Canon and Nikon branded DSLR cameras.
Decapod v0.7 uses gphoto 2.4.11 and libgphoto 2.4.13 open source camera control libraries. To see a list of cameras supported by gphoto visit this website: http://gphoto.org/proj/libgphoto2/support.php.
The cameras listed by gphoto may be out of date and may not work with Decapod - the gphoto camera support list should be used as a reference or a starting point to discover supported cameras.
Since Decapod was built to digitize printed material, cameras capable of 10 mega-pixels or more is recommended.
If doing stereo 3D captures, the stereo 3D dewarping process will reduce the overall image resolution. Therefore higher resolution cameras are recommended for stereo 3D capturing.
Cameras with Interchangeable or Zoom Lenses
For Decapod it is recommended that images be captured at a fixed, consistent focal length. This ensures consistent images when capturing, and if capturing in stereo 3D, reduces the likelihood of poor calibration and dewarping results. For this reason, some precaution must be taken with cameras with interchangeable lenses or cameras with zoom lenses.
Zoom lenses can be used however, but keep in mind that it may be more difficult to make text sizes to appear consistent from image to image.
With stereo 3D capture, it is not recommended that zoom lenses be used since the dewarping process depends on both stereo 3D images to be nearly identical save for the differences in position of the cameras. If zoom lenses must be used, then take care to make the focal length / zoom level identical.
If the camera has a built-in zoom lens and is supported by Decapod, then the system will use default settings without the need for controlling zoom / focal length.
Have a camera that works with Decapod? Let us know.
If you have successfully used a camera with Decapod that has not been documented, please let us know. Send a message to the Decapod user group: groups.google.com/group/decapod/ .