This is a picture of the first zoomcam. The body is made from a plastic drain pipe
connector with the ends made of wood. All the optics have been salvaged from an old cine camera with
the digital sensor being removed from a webcam.
On this first attempt the webcam, being cheap, the sensor is only 100k pixels. This isn't so much a problem as the very slow capture/transfer rate. My next attempt will use a higher specification webcam and optics.
A second version was made to the same design using a 300k pixel sensor from a Logitech webcam. This has a USB2 interface and it performed a lot better. I replaced the sensor of the first camera with the same Logitec PCB. Using the same electronics improves ease of testing but running both cameras at the same time became problematic. Probably a driver clash. One problem with this combination became apparent in so much as there wasn't the dynamic range to light intensity. Either the driver or the hardware could not cope with brightly lit scenes. The increase in aperture from the original webcam lense to the ex-cine zoom lense as well as the removal of the IR filter may be a factor. Solved by using a card with a 5mm hole placed after the zoom lense.
The third version used a macro-zoom lense, again taken from a cine camera and a 1.3m pixel sensor from a Genius webcam. This is a larger device but gives very good results. The driver/hardware are able to cope with the increase in aperture. The intention is to use this device for converting cine film to video as the lense has the macro setting.
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