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Using Remote Camera Control

Remote Camera Control allows you to make changes to your camera’s settings via the new Scheduling feature on the Config page. Read our knowledge base article on Scheduling before using Camera Control.

Camera settings including ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, file type and and many others can be changed. 

Camera Control can be used to adapt to changing lighting conditions or project requirements, fix mistakes during set-up related to camera settings, and make settings optimisations. 

Some technical knowledge of JSON is required to use remote camera control. 

Warning: Using the Camera Control feature incorrectly can result in undesirable or missed photos. It is recommended not to alter camera settings during critical shooting times. Read this article in its entirety before using the feature. 

How do I use the Camera Control feature? 

Camera Control is a sub-feature of Scheduling, now available on the Config page with the release of APEX firmware.

So, to make use of it you will need to be running APEX firmware on your units. 

Follow the instructions below to use Camera Control. If you do not have experience with JSON or are having difficulty implementing the instructions below, you can contact our Support team to discuss your requirements. 

  1. Login to Control Hub. 
  2. Select your desired installation from the dropdown menu. 
  3. Select the Config page tab. 
  4. Create a new session inside a schedule with + Session and select Capture from the dropdown. 
  5. Set up the Session parameters as you normally would. If you do not know how to set up schedules and sessions in Scheduling, read our Scheduling knowledge base article 
  6. Tick the Apply camera control settings on connection box. 
  7. Use the Prefill current camera settings button. 
  8. Select all the JSON in the Camera control field. 
  9. Copy all the code into your JSON validator of choice, such as JSONCompare. 
  10. Make the desired changes to your settings.  
  11. Delete all JSON that is not relevant to the setting you want to change (e.g. don’t leave in camera time data if you are not changing the camera time). You will still need to maintain the correct code structure and syntax for the camera to apply the changes. 
  12. Use the Lint tool to ensure your code is valid; remove redundant commas and put brackets in the right places. 
  13. Once all your code is correct and you have removed superfluous segments, paste it back into the Camera Control field. Make sure to only input the data you need for best results. For example, if you are just changing ISO, you would remove all other JSON except the ISO string. 
  14. Select the Add session button and Save all weekly schedules/events. 
  15. Check that you don’t have any error messages; if not, your changes will apply the next time the controller connects (or at your specified session time if in the future). 
  16. Check that the next photo your photoSentinel takes has the settings applied to it. In LPM, changes will only be applied at the beginning of a LPM shooting session. 

Changes to Camera Control settings in a Capture session will apply at whatever your set interval is. 

When using Low-Power Mode, Camera Control will only apply at the start of the Capture session. 

Look below for an example of what your JSON might look like; JSON variations between camera models are normal. 

{
  "main": {
    "capturesettings": {
      "exposurecompensation": "-0.333",
      "imagequality": "RAW + JPEG Normal"
      },
    "imgsettings": {
      "iso": "200",
      "whitebalance": "Daylight"
    }
  }
}

What settings can I change using Camera Control? 

The exact settings you can change remotely are dependent on your particular camera and lens, and your camera’s firmware version.

Below are settings that can be changed in most cases; settings not on this list may cause issues if changed:

  • Aperture*
  • ISO
  • White balance
  • Photo type (RAW, jpeg, or both)
  • Photo quality (Fine, normal, or basic)
  • Exposure Meter Mode
  • Exposure Compensation
  • Shutter speed

*Altering Aperture can change how the camera exposes the scene, so you may need to adjust Exposure Compensation in tandem to maintain the same brightness

Click on the Prefill current camera settings button to call-up your camera’s current settings in the JSON box below.

Risks 

Camera Control poses the same risks that would be present when changing camera settings in-person during a timelapse project. Changing settings mid-timelapse, if done wrong, could result in undesirable, inconsistent, or missed photos. Risks include:

  • Entering incorrect JSON; including JSON that changes values that shouldn’t be changed (such as your camera’s time settings) 
  • Making a change at the wrong time could result in unusable photos. 
  • Making settings changes that cause photos to look different from the others could result in inconsistent timelapse footage 

Contact Support

If this article did not resolve your issue, please contact our Support Team.