Remote shutter

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Remote shutter

Postby mbirth » 15 Sep 2015, 13:01

I'm looking for a remote shutter working with the Theta m15 (and the "S", if possible).

I first experimented with this Bluetooth remote. It connects to the smartphone as a HID (keyboard) device and simulates a "Volume down" button press when triggered. I then used Tasker and AutoInput to intercept the button press and trigger a Tasker task.

The task should then use AutoInput to click the shutter button in the THETA app. BUT it seems like the THETA app doesn't expose the shutter window to the system. AutoInput can't find any buttons to press and the author of AutoInput said it was due to missing Accessibility support in the THETA app. So I had to come up with another idea.

I think I'll try another approach. With the ESP8266 there's a small WiFi device with an integrated Arduino-compatible processor available. It should be possible to program the required PTP/IP (and later: OSC API) commands to connect to the camera and trigger the shutter. Pro: No smartphone required. / Con: No GPS data.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 16 Sep 2015, 02:13

Are you trying to just take the picture or are you trying to control the shutter speed? You can take both pictures and video with the API and I think also the THETA S app. You can definitely use the app to take pictures. You can control the shutterSpeed and the _shutterVolume with options. I have only tested taking picture/video with the API. If you give me a bit more info on what you're trying to do, I may be able to answer your question.

With no software development, you can put the THETA S on a tripod and have it remotely take pictures by pressing a software button. With minor development, you can have an input such as a motion sensor to trigger the picture to be taken with a WiFi command.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby mbirth » 16 Sep 2015, 08:31

I should clarify that I mean something not a smartphone as shutter. On my smartphone, the official app is fine. But handling the Theta camera on a monopod with one hand and the smartphone with the other one is cumbersome.

So I'm looking for a small device to trigger the shutter. Maybe even small enough to be strapped to the monopod. That's why I'm talking about a bluetooth remote or a small ESP8266 device.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby bigboss97 » 17 Sep 2015, 05:34

mbirth wrote:But handling the Theta camera on a monopod with one hand and the smartphone with the other one is cumbersome.

I agree. I hate that soft big button. When I get my thumb ready on the button easily I mis-tap it for an undesired photo. Even worse, I have to wait for few seconds for the next picture.

Therefore I modified their sample app to use the volume buttons :lol:
It's just an experimental app which has only 2 modes:
Mode A:
Vol Up= One ISO200 shot
Vol Dn= One ISO100 shot
Mode B:
Vol Up= One Auto, then ISO200 shots
Vol Dn= One Auto, then ISO100 shots
Why all these?
I don't like Auto under low light because it usually picks a very high ISO (above 500). As an experienced point-and-shooter :-) my hand is steady enough to use low ISO. BUT if there are moving subjects in the scene the Auto is better.
The app is not in Play Store. If you're interested I can give you a link.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby mbirth » 17 Sep 2015, 10:16

bigboss97 wrote:Therefore I modified their sample app to use the volume buttons :lol:


That sounds like it should work with my bluetooth remote out of the box. Does your app also works when the screen is off/phone locked?

Can you give me a link to the apk file? I'd love to try it.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 17 Sep 2015, 13:33

Wow, so cool! That looks awesome.

I just had another idea, though I've never tried it. I use this little USB device to control my Rasperberry Pi https://flirc.tv/

It gives quite a bit of control of the Raspberry Pi with a standard TV remote or any type of IR remote. You can also plug it into your laptop and have it control the laptop. The settings are stored on the FLIRC device, not the computer. So, if you configuration the device with a remote, you can move the FLIRC device to a different computer and still use the same remote keys.

The solution with the Arduino above looks cooler and considerably cheaper. The FLIRC one is more expensive, but probably easier to implement.

I may try and build this later in the month as I already have an Apple remote, a Raspberry Pi, a FLIRC, the camera, and a Python library to control the THETA functions from my computer using the same WiFi USB dongle that I got with my Raspberry Pi kit. I haven't tried it with the Raspberry Pi yet.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby bigboss97 » 18 Sep 2015, 00:01

mbirth wrote:Does your app also works when the screen is off/phone locked?

No/not yet/I wish :-)
Just warn you beforehand. I've no ideas in App development. This is my very first app ever. I had to google each single solution for my ideas. It was created for my own need and it could fail totally on other devices and I won't have a clue why hahaha...
mbirth wrote:Can you give me a link to the apk file? I'd love to try it.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3EFS_25cxffRUFGX0htWlRPZDg
Not sure how up-to-date it is. Let me know whether it's the one as I describe above.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby bigboss97 » 20 Sep 2015, 07:31

I just added capturing GPS information, apk under:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3EFS_25cxffZEhISlRlQlY2UEk
But I haven't tested it with moving around :-)
I also make the volume to 10%. I don't need the sound because I can feel the hardware button.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 21 Sep 2015, 03:04

@bigboss97, very cool!

I did a bit of experimentation today as well.

I went to Costco today and purchased a monitor for my Raspberry Pi. I added an IR receiver to my Raspberry Pi and connected it to the THETA S using WiFi. Now, I can take pictures and video with an Apple remote.

Image

Here's a closeup of the IR dongle and WiFi dongle.
Image

I wrote a quick GUI for the Raspberry Pi tests.
Image

Unrelated to the remote shutter, I also tested screengrabs of HD1080 video frames over USB live streaming on the Raspberry Pi using fswebcam. No delay in transfer, saves to disk.
Image

The Raspberry Pi is pretty incredible for the cost. It took about 10 minutes to get the FLICR set up to take THETA S 360 degree pictures with the Apple Remote. It's just a test program now, but I think the community will be building lots of good stuff with the Pi after the THETA S is publicly available.

Just to be clear, the first example using the Apple Remote has the Raspberry Pi connected to the THETA S with WiFi. I'm sending the IR to the Raspberry Pi and the Pi is then sending HTTP commands to the THETA S.

In the second example with liveStreaming screen grab, the Raspberry Pi is connected to the THETA S with a USB cable and I'm using a keyboard to activate the grab (right now).

I have the code and extensive hacker documentation (unofficial) on a public GitHub repository right now. As the cameras are not out right now, I haven't post the links to this forum yet. I may be able to improve the stuff in the repository before the camera comes out.

Just wanted to let you know, that I plan to make this example available. The camera is quite cool and the new API is very easy to work with. I'm anticipating an active "maker" community around it. If I had more time, I would love to dig into more Raspberry Pi experiments.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby TanateDuangpatra » 23 Jan 2016, 08:05

I have a problem when shooting Theta S in the big even, many people use wifi, then it hard to use wifi from my mobile to shoot Theta S.

Looking for some device that can control Theta by simple remote , or event use the usb cable is also OK.

Any of you like to make one for me , I willing to pay for that.

Regards
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby abovethescenes » 27 Jan 2016, 12:22

@bigboss97 It doesnt work with my Theta S.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby RuneKyndal » 20 Feb 2016, 22:32

Hi Guys..
I just finished building a handy little remote shutter for my Theta S
thought i would share

I'm using Katsuya Yamamoto's ESP8266 "simple remote" code
https://github.com/katsuya-san/ESP8266-THETA-S-SimpleRemoteControler

the only change i did to the code was to swap the I/O around to make it work with the
I/O available on the smaller ESP-01 board
Code: Select all
const int buttonPin = 0;
const int led2Pin = 2;


i used a small Lipo battery and charger circuit. built the required ESP-01 circuit straight on to the 2x4 header.
and stuffed inside a cheap 9v battery case
(patent pending ugly hotglue birds-nest style) :ugeek:

but she works

Image
Image
Image


thoughts. I'm using a AMS1117 3.3v LDO between the ESP and the li-po cell. not sure how well
that will work when the voltage drops..

oh.. and get a nicer shutter button.. 20 cent one.. not quite up to par ;)
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 23 Feb 2016, 00:07

@RuneKyndal This is awesome. Do you mind if I repost this in a blog, giving you credit, to make it easier to find?
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby RuneKyndal » 23 Feb 2016, 00:50

Sure..
just make sure to Link back to here. for updates etc.

maby i will draw up a quick "Pseudo" schematic.. not much to it though.
just an ESP-01 board a 3.3v LDO, 3 resistors. 2 leds. 1 button, 1 battery charger circuit board + battery ,
stuffed in a case.

id say this version should be less than 10$ on ebay.

I'm working on a "nice" implementation. once I have tested the reliability

Rune Kyndal
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 23 Feb 2016, 01:18

Totally rocks. Many thanks. Hey, do you want me to link to your GitHub profile or other link?

Here's the link to the main blog with your article at the top of listing
http://theta360developers.github.io/blog/

I significantly beefed up the blog post this morning with generic ESP8266 info and also changed the URL. I had the wrong date before and the URL is tied to the date.

UPDATE: Here's the updated URL. @runeKyndal, thanks again for sharing your project. I would have not known about this otherwise. Fantastic to see these projects with ESP8266.
http://theta360developers.github.io/blog/applications/2016/02/22/remote-shutter.html
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby SimonKlovning » 18 Mar 2016, 07:05

Great work, guys. Can't believe a physical external button isn't already a part of the original package, but we're getting there.

I bought my Theta S a few months ago, and I'm using it with a Kitvision selfie stick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkHb4DJ8l1E). It has a button which can take a photo via bluetooth on my phone, but that ofcourse won't work with the Theta. But with all this coding, soldering and other stuff I have no idea what is, could it be possible to make a mod, that maybe with a wire could connect the button on my selfie stick to the Theta S?

That would be the ultimate setup. I'm so tired of using the app, and firing the shutter with the button on the camera isn't even an option, as the photos turns out useless. Again, can't believe they didn't give it Bluetooth to work with selfie sticks.

EDIT:
Also, if the above is too complicated, could it be possible to program the Theta to at least give us the opportunity to have an 8 second interval without having to connect to the app? That would be great...
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby mbirth » 18 Mar 2016, 14:04

For those rocking an Android Wear smartwatch, there's also Theta S Shutter for Wear.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby RuneKyndal » 29 Mar 2016, 12:20

you could modify the selfie stick button to trigger the theta
using the same hardware.. take bluetooth stuff out. and connect wires from the button
to the esp module..

personally i would probably just add another button or something
and attach the remote device below the handle if you want to use the stick for your phone too.

they didn't give it bluetooth. gave it wifi like the gopros
but they just didn't include a remote (yet?)

i believe you can set the Theta to do the 8 sec. when you push its hardware button.

Rune Kyndal
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby jorgeicabal » 26 May 2016, 09:37

Can you post schematics of the resistors and the leds you have soldered in that plug?? i´ve already bought all the stuff but i cant find how you did the solder parts and where did you solder them.

Regards.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby JanuszGerszberg » 02 Jun 2016, 14:41

Hi, could you share more details how did you set all components to work Theta with RPI?
Software? OS? I'd like to try live streaming.

codetricity wrote:@bigboss97, very cool!

I did a bit of experimentation today as well.

I went to Costco today and purchased a monitor for my Raspberry Pi. I added an IR receiver to my Raspberry Pi and connected it to the THETA S using WiFi. Now, I can take pictures and video with an Apple remote.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 03 Jun 2016, 18:08

JanuszGerszberg wrote:Hi, could you share more details how did you set all components to work Theta with RPI?
Software? OS? I'd like to try live streaming.

Hi, the remote control demo and the live streaming are two different things. Both are at the "cool toy" stage. They are both to test technology, not to be used in production. Also, you don't really need a remote control now with the self-timer. If you want to play around with the API, all you need is Raspberry Pi Raspian. In addition to the Raspberry Pi board and the Raspian OS, you'll need this:

  • FLIRC to capture IR signals
  • an IR remote you have lying around your house. The TV remote will work. You can map the buttons to whatever you want
  • Python and Pygame ( you can install from the Raspian repository with apt)
  • Code to capture the IR signals that have been converted to keyboard presses

Here is some sample code for the Raspberry Pi. This is the relevant portion to capture the IR signals (that have been conveniently translated to key presses by FLIRC).

Code: Select all
## set up keyboard presses for FLIRC USB controller that
## maps an remote controller like an Apple controller
## or any TV remote for easy picture taking.
## Map the FLICR as follows:
## p = take picture
## v = start video capture (or automatic picture if in image mode)
## s = stop video capture or auto-picture
## d = delay

        if not delay_on:
            if event.type == pygame.KEYDOWN:
                if event.key == pygame.K_p:
                    sid = startSession()
                    takePicture(sid)
                if event.key == pygame.K_v:
                    print("start video capture")
                    sid = startSession()
                    startCapture(sid)
                if event.key == pygame.K_s:
                    print("stop video capture")
                    stopCapture(sid)
                if event.key == pygame.K_d:
                    start = time.clock()
                    delay_on = True

    if delay_on:
        elapsed = time.clock() - start
        if elapsed > 15:
            delay_on = False
            sid = startSession()
            takePicture(sid)


I have the Raspberry Pi working with a battery and touchscreen in a box.

If you want to stream video with 360 navigation. I suggest you try WebRTC. Here is a guide. I have not tried WebRTC 360 live streaming from the Raspberry Pi yet, but there's a possibility that it will just work.

BTW, I also have code samples of the Raspberry Pi working with the GPIO pins, this means that you can have the Raspberry Pi accept inputs like a physical button press as well as output triggers like flashing LED lights and sounding a piezo buzzer.

Here's a snippet with the idea of having a big physical light above the camera or at a physical control panel that shows what mode the camera is in, video or still image

Code: Select all
while True:
    if LED:
        # power is on
        GPIO.output(led_01, True)       
        # get camera mode, video or image
        if mode == "image":
            GPIO.output(led_02, True)
            GPIO.output(led_03, False)
        if mode == "_video":
            GPIO.output(led_03, True)
            GPIO.output(led_02, False)
        if wait_step > 0:
            wait_step -= 1
        else:
            sid = getSid()
            mode = getMode(sid)
            wait_step = max_step

    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            pygame.quit()
            sys.exit()
        if event.type == pygame.KEYDOWN:
            if event.key == pygame.K_ESCAPE:
                GPIO.cleanup()
                pygame.quit()
                sys.exit()


If you build a device with the Raspberry Pi, you should enter it into the RICOH THETA x IoT Developers Contest and try to win some of the $45,000 in prizes.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby RuneKyndal » 04 Jun 2016, 04:25

Sorry Guys.. i did not draw a schematic when i built my remote.
it was pretty basic. and i just put it together..

but here is what I believe i did from memory.

GPIO 0 goes to the button. pulled "high" to 3.3v through a 2.2Kohm resistor. button ties it to Gnd
GPIO 2 goes to the Blue "connected" LED through a 47Kohm resistor (for my LED) to 3.3V
Green power LED is just across 3.3v and Ground through a 100Kohm resistor (for my LED)

im using an ebay usb lipo charger/manager board for the battery
power is regulated to 3.3V with an AMS1117 LDO with a 100nF Across it

please excuse the paper schematic. i don't have a tool installed
Image

Full sized picture
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1644351/theta-remote/schematic.jpg

Hope its easy to follow. otherwise please do not hesitate to ask
Last edited by RuneKyndal on 11 Jun 2016, 03:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 08 Jun 2016, 18:30

Very cool hack! Thanks for sharing. You should submit it to the RICOH Developer Contest. Maybe you'll win? It's free to enter.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby RuneKyndal » 15 Jun 2016, 18:40

well. Not really my credit to take.

I am basically just using Katsuya Yamamoto's code here.
https://github.com/katsuya-san/ESP8266-THETA-S-SimpleRemoteControler
I just did the hardware different.

/Rune Kyndal
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby rene_canlas » 11 Jul 2016, 18:04

Anyone want to see if an Amazon Dash button can be repurposed as a Theta S remote?
The Dash has an ARM Cortex M3 processor and a Wifi Module. They're dirt cheap.

Here's a guide to programming them:
https://learn.adafruit.com/dash-hacking-bare-metal-stm32-programming/overview
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 11 Jul 2016, 18:33

Wow, this is a great idea. Did you make any progress?
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby rene_canlas » 12 Jul 2016, 00:39

I've just started doing the research.
Here's some stuff I found that you can make the Dash do:
http://www.dashbuttondudes.com/blog/2015/12/11/26-amazon-dash-button-hacks
Seems possible :)
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby rene_canlas » 12 Jul 2016, 00:46

So far that hacks I've seen make use of the fact that the Dash sends ARP packets to the network to identify itself. This means you will need another device that detects the Dash and then triggers the shutter on the Theta S (PC, Phone or Pi). I'd like to see it work using the Dash's WiFi module to directly connect with the Theta.
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby codetricity » 13 Jul 2016, 23:07

Image

Coming to US online store soon. I heard the product manager mention this at a meetup last night.
http://store.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/g/gS0030004/
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Re: Remote shutter

Postby warwound » 16 Aug 2016, 17:37

Here's an alternative version of the Ricoh SDK android demo that intercepts the 'play' command from a remote media controller and takes a picture.
I'm using this remote: http://www.banggood.com/Cobirey-VR-PARK-01-Wireless-Bluetooth-Controler-RC-VR-Gamepad-For-Android-iOS-p-1038101.html.
The remote has various different modes and needs to be put into media controller mode - i simply press 2 buttons to select this mode.
The remote obviously also needs to be paired to your android device!

Download my version from: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/900334/osc_remote_20160816.apk.

Android 5.0 and later are required.
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