DigiCamControl – Eric Budworth

 

I recently camera across this program while chatting to a friend who had downloaded it and was trying it out, thinking it may be of use for taking some images I also downloaded the application and installed it on my desktop and also a laptop.

This application allows the user to connect their camera to a laptop via a USB cable and then control most of the camera functions from the computer using a mouse or keyboard. This can be a great asset when carrying out macro work and some studio work.  This type of operation is often referred to as having the camera “Tethered” to a computer. If used in Portrait work it can be a real bonus as it allows the photographer to get more relaxed images of the model as they are unaware of the time of the shutter release if the camera is tripod mounted and the camera is fired via the computer.

In my humble opinion this program is superior to Nikon’s camera control and is more versatile, the fact that it is FREE is a real bonus.

Anyone requiring an instruction manual can download a PDF from the website.

First off…..download digicamcontrol.com from the internet…..just “Google” it if your having problems. After installing the application create a shortcut on your desktop then it’s easier to locate when you want to use it. The digicam logo is a red and silver aperture style icon.

Connect your camera to the computer using a USB cable (the one usually supplied when the camera was purchased).  Double click on the “digiCamCo”  and switch on your camera. You will see your camera model appear on the computer screen as a fairly large picture which slowly reduces as it slides away to the lower left corner of the screen, (on my Nikon D90 the LCD on the top of the camera shows the letters PC  denoting the connection to the computer)

The computer screen will show a smaller window within the main one showing logos for various systems such as Facebook; Google; Twitter etc. If you wish to use any of these click on your choice otherwise close the window by clicking on the “x” in the top RH corner of the small window

Digicamcontroller `1

Opening screen of the digiCam control prior to connecting a camera

After closing the small window you’ll now be able to see the screen which lists your camera at the top LH corner listing the model and serial number……very clever!

Below the model and serial number the usual, File ; View; Session; Camera; Plug-ins & Help. In the options bar directly below there are 11 Options !

These are Capture (Shutter Release); Live View; Download Photos; Bracket; Time Lapse; Full Screen; Browse Session; Astronomy; Multiple Camera Control; Connect with DSL Dashboard Controller & Print. I think the DSL Dashboard is some form of WiFi judging by the symbol.

Down the LH side of the screen you will find a list of the camera’s settings…..Shutter speed, Aperture, White Balance, Exposure Compensation, Compression (Quality, Raw, Jpeg), Metering Mode and Focus Mode. All of these settings can now be adjusted and controlled using your computers mouse.

A horizontal graph in green shows the battery’s charge condition, also there is a transfer mode with a dropdown menu which allows you to choose how to save your images…….to the PC, Camera Card or both.

Listed in the lower centre of the screen are the Reverse, Forward, Pause & Stop  when displaying images.

Below this is another menu for Backward: Forward; Delete; Show in Explorer: Restore from Backup Copy; Rotate Left & Right & Open in an External Viewer, Whew!!  There really is a large choice.

Digicamcontroller `2

Screen with Camera connected and a thumbnail of a previous exposure

Located down the RH side are the Histogram and preview of the image and the Session details plus any Presets; Image Properties and the Metadata.

The main screen also has a choice of sizes for image display (Zoom to 1st Focus Point, 1:2, 1:1, Fit.), below this is a series of thumbnails showing the images with the camera settings at the time of capture.

Now to the best part…….to take a photo all you have to do is to click on the Capture Symbol (that’s the first one in the Options bar which looks like a set of Aperture Blades) with your mouse and the camera will Auto-Focus and take a picture after which the resultant image will appear on the screen and also as a Thumbnail in the lower portion of the screen. In Live view it’s possible to select Auto-Focus first and the release the shutter by clicking on Capture.

Digicamcontroller `4

Screen after shooting several images

It is interesting to note that if one clicks on the small arrow head located on the LH side another menu will appear giving even more information regarding the setting used, this type of info is usually only found in the camera’s menu.

As I’ve only had access to this program for a short while I’ve not had much chance to explore it’s potential fully and possibly never will use all of the facilities on offer but it sure has an advantage when shooting Macro & Astrological work. The ability to also carry out focus stacking is available as well.

The only thing I did notice however was that on one occasion when trying out the Live View option I found that it froze after taking the shot and wouldn’t allow me to take the next shot while in the Live View setting. After closing the Live View and turning the camera off and on the program worked fine firing off consecutive images without any trouble…….don’t know the cause.

Digicamcontroller `4

Above is a camera view taken whilst using the Live View facility.  The green rectangle is the focus point.

As I stated at the start this program gives the user more control than the Nikon Capture and it’s free, I was even notified of an update which I also downloaded. As this is quite a new application I expect there to be some minor bugs but so far it is very good. I have also tested this program on my Nikon D700 and it operated fine.

At present it’s only for certain Nikon, Canon & some Sony models. A list of models is available on the website. Pity for the Pentax users who are missing out at the moment.

Regards    Eric.

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