Using gphoto2 for eclipse photography with Canon liveview and mirror lock

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Using gphoto2 for eclipse photography with Canon liveview and mirror lock

Hooked on Astronomy
I'm planning to travel to see the total eclipse of the Sun in August and have used gphoto2 to create a Python script that automates taking photographs.  I'm using a Canon 5D Mark II camera and --trigger-capture to take the images.  The script takes a long series of images, modifying the ISO setting and exposure times as the eclipse proceeds (the camera will be mounted on telescope so the aperture is fixed).

Everything works well and I can take a photo per second during the total eclipse itself.  However, the mirror is raised and dropped with each shot.  I'm concerned that this will introduce vibration and blur images as some of the shots I have to take are at quite long exposures - up to 0.25 of a second.  Is there a way to do this with the mirror locked up?  I've read various old posts of people trying to do that but none of the techniques I have tried to copy work.  I enable mirror lock in the camera menus and start live view also by the camera.  If I try to take an image using either --trigger-capture, --set-config eosremoterelease=5 or  --capture-image I get an error in the I/O library saying 'unknown error' and error -110 I/O in progress.  

The Canon API itself does allow this functionality as the software Canon supply lets you put the camera in liveview, see a preview and take as many images as you like without the mirror dropping.  It doesn't let you take an automated sequence though.  There is also a commercial software package you can buy that does it.

I'm using gphoto2 and libgphoto2 2.5.9 installed using apt-get.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Gavin
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Re: Using gphoto2 for eclipse photography with Canon liveview and mirror lock

Tomas Alonso
The shell mode of gphoto2 is exactly what you need. I use it from a Java
program, allowing to do things like focus while in live view, very useful for
astrophoto. Just investigate how to use shell mode from python.
Regards,
Tomas


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Re: Using gphoto2 for eclipse photography with Canon liveview and mirror lock

Hooked on Astronomy
Hi Tomas,

Re: "The shell mode of gphoto2 is exactly what you need. I use it from a Java
program, allowing to do things like focus while in live view, very useful for
astrophoto. Just investigate how to use shell mode from python. "

I'm using sh in Python to issue gphoto2 CLI commands.  That works well apart from the problems I am having with Canon mirror lock.  There are several other ways in Python to invoke CLI commands that I can try, but I suspect my problem with mirror lock may be deeper than that as I can successfully use sh to change the shutter speed, iso and take images.

Gavin
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Re: Using gphoto2 for eclipse photography with Canon liveview and mirror lock

Tomás Alonso
CLI (or sh from a program) commands requires everything in a single command,
with no interactivity (gphoto requires with a single command to leave the
camera ready for the next use). A more advanced mode is the shell. In a
console, run

gphoto2 --shell

inside the shell mode of gphoto, set the mirror lock with something like
-> set-config eosviewfinder=1
and capture multiple previews
-> capture-preview
-> capture-preview
...
Then go back to 0 to move down the mirror and exit the shell mode.

In my 40D I can control everything with mirror lock up: zoom in live view
(values 1 and 5), zoom position (x, y), focus (with set-config-index), ... The
special shell mode of gphoto2 can be controled from code, but I have no idea
about how to implement that in python. But in Java I have a complete GUI in a
free app for astrophoto, not fully finished, at
http://conga.oan.es/~alonso/doku.php?id=jparsec#installing_only_clearsky. If
you try it and works for you, the app allows to do scripting with very
simplified commands, changing ISO or whatever. The program has a 'DEBUG' flag
that when enabled will write all gphoto commands to the console, so you can
see what is going on. My real use case is with a mini stick pc running Linux,
connected directly with USB to the camera and controled with wifi from my
Android phone using a VNC client. Stability of gphoto is fantastic, and is
just great to do astrophoto with the phone and no cables! But I still need a
faster stick, live mode is limited to 1-2 fps ...

Tomas.

El Lunes, 19 de junio de 2017 04:51:45 Hooked on Astronomy escribió:

> Hi Tomas,
>
> Re: "The shell mode of gphoto2 is exactly what you need. I use it from a
> Java
> program, allowing to do things like focus while in live view, very useful
> for
> astrophoto. Just investigate how to use shell mode from python. "
>
> I'm using sh in Python to issue gphoto2 CLI commands.  That works well apart
> from the problems I am having with Canon mirror lock.  There are several
> other ways in Python to invoke CLI commands that I can try, but I suspect
> my problem with mirror lock may be deeper than that as I can successfully
> use sh to change the shutter speed, iso and take images.
>
> Gavin
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context:
> http://gphoto-software.10949.n7.nabble.com/Using-gphoto2-for-eclipse-photog
> raphy-with-Canon-liveview-and-mirror-lock-tp16746p16749.html Sent from the
> gphoto-user mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -- Check out the vibrant tech community on one of the world's most
> engaging tech sites, Slashdot.org! http://sdm.link/slashdot
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Using gphoto2 for eclipse photography with Canon liveview and mirror lock

Hubert Figuière-2
In reply to this post by Hooked on Astronomy
On 19/06/17 07:51 AM, Hooked on Astronomy wrote:
> I'm using sh in Python to issue gphoto2 CLI commands.  That works well apart
> from the problems I am having with Canon mirror lock.  There are several
> other ways in Python to invoke CLI commands that I can try, but I suspect my
> problem with mirror lock may be deeper than that as I can successfully use
> sh to change the shutter speed, iso and take images.

Using the CLI that way is more than suboptimal, to put it lightly.

What you want is to use libgphoto2 from Python. You can find a few
bindings for Python with your favourite search engine. I don't have any
to recommend as I use C++, but I found some for Python and they seem to
be what you'd want (might be available with PIP). That's the way I'd go
in any other language.

Hub

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