Tag Archives: Camera control

Connecting Canon cameras to Breeze Booth for iPad

Breeze Booth for iPad 2.0 let you choose whether to use the iPad’s built in camera, or a separate Canon camera.

What do I get from the extra camera?

Running an iPad booth with a separate Canon DSLR or Mirrorless camera gives you

  • appeal to discerning customers looking for quality
  • better image quality
  • ability to use flash instead of ambient lighting
  • less obtrusive lighting when the booth is not active

Breeze Booth for iPad works in both landscape and portrait. The external camera makes it easier to shoot in landscape, because you can place the camera above the center of the screen.

Which cameras can I use?

You can use most Canon EOS DSLRs , the M50 Mk II and  M50, M200 and M6 Mark II. Breeze for iPad also supports Canon’s PowerShot SX70 HS, G5 X Mark II & G7 X Mark III – that’s every camera supported by DSLR Remote Pro 3.15.5. Full list

Hot tip: Chris ‘s pick is the EOS M50 Mk II or original EOS M50. Both have excellent autofocus and face detect, and are very compact.

What else do I need?

You need external control software connected to the camera by USB and iPad using WiFi or a wired connection. The controller can run on a Windows 10  device  or Raspberry Pi.

Breeze provide the camera control software at no extra cost to Breeze Booth for iPad customers.

Mini Windows PC running the camera controller for Breeze Booth 2.0
Raspberry Pi running the camera controller

Flash is recommended for still photos.

Which is best – Windows or Raspberry Pi?

  • Windows devices are simpler to set up than a Raspberry Pi
  • Our Windows controller can also monitor and control the iPad
  • The Raspberry Pi is compact and require little or no maintenance once it has been set up.
  • Windows devices support virtually all printers, and are much more reliable than AirPrint

Controlling the external camera with a Windows device

A Windows compute stick,  mini computer or budget Windows tablet costing around US $100 to US $150* is fine. You need

  • USB port for the camera
  • Second USB port if you plan to print
  • Ability to power the device and connect to the camera/printer at the same time
  • Sufficient memory to run Windows 10.

Download Breeze Booth for iPad Camera Controller bundled with the other Windows Companion Apps here

What about Windows updates?

Windows 10 updates can be switched off while the booth is in use.

Controlling the external camera with a Raspberry Pi

You will need a Raspberry Pi Model B with 2GB or more of memory and a 8GB micro SD card.

Note: Setting up a Pi based controller is  recommended only for  more technical users. More

How easy is it to switch between the iPad camera and a external camera?

Once you have set up the controller and switched on your camera,  toggle a switch on the iPad App  to switch between the iPad’s internal camera and your external camera.

Switching to an external camera ( Breeze Booth for iPad 2.0)

*Prices correct at time of writing (April 2021)

© Breeze Systems April 2021

Solving camera connection problems

The first Breeze tutorial of 2021 has been written to help fix that most irritating issue – when the camera won’t connect to the app. Finding the cause can be difficult and frustrating.  Solving camera connection problems is here to help.

While this tutorial focuses on  Booth (Windows + DSLR)  aka DSLR Remote Pro, Breeze Multi-Camera and Flipbook users, most of the content also applies to other camera control apps.

Find Solving camera connection problems on the main Breeze website here

With very best wishes for 2021,

Sue & Chris

 

 

© Breeze Systems January 2021

Breeze Multi-Camera 2.1 released

This release enhances Photo Booth Mode and adds support for Canon’s EOS R camera.

Breeze Multi-Camera 2.1 – what’s new

  • Support for Canon EOS R camera

  • Photo booth mode  supports cameras in portrait as well as landscape orientation
  • Photo booth mode includes new screen  ready_no_live_view.jpg . This disables live view, and allows external triggers to capture action shots with minimum delay
  • Animate Photo booth screens with full screen  MP4 video behind live view images
  • Multi-Camera Animator can save GIF and MP4 animations with a unique id making it easier to provide privacy when sharing images on a microsite
  • Product name shortened to “Multi-Camera”

New name – same product

Please note that  DSLR Remote Pro Multi-Camera has been shortened to Multi-Camera in this release. It is the same software and registrations for DSLR Remote Pro Multi-Camera issued within the last twelve months still work.

What next..

Learn more about Breeze Multi-Camera software and download a copy of the program to try for yourself.

Breeze Multi-Camera 2.1  is a free upgrade for all registered users of DSLR Remote Pro Multi-Camera who purchased a license on or after  29th November 2017. Customers with older licenses can buy an upgrade license to use this release.

Download Breeze Multi-Camera 2.1           Buy your own license

© Breeze Systems 2018

Which camera is best for my photo booth?

We are often asked which camera is best for a photo booth. Canon cameras have very good live view quality, an important attribute for photo booths. The models below are not the only cameras you can use. Many older Canon DSLR cameras work very well. You can find a button linking to a list of the cameras you can use with Breeze DLSR Remote Pro here.

At the time of writing* (September 2021) we believe the ultimate photo booth cameras are ….. the mirrorless Canon  EOS M50 Mark II and EOS M50 . For photo booth use there is no practical difference bewtween the two.

The standard kit lens ( EF-M 15-45mm STM ) has a flexible 15-45 mm zoom. For a super slim booth, try the EF-M 22mm STM lens

Best: Canon EOS M50 Mark II and EOS M50

Update: February 2019 Canon have released firmware version 1.0.2 for the M50 which fixes the issues with triggering external flash. The new firmware can be downloaded fromCanon’s UK site 

A big thank you to Caroline Winata of Giggle and Riot Funbooth  for sharing this example of slow motion video (EOS M50 with DSLR Remote Pro 3.10)

  • 120FPS Slow motion video with no additional processing
  •  Similar performance to the Canon EOS 200D/Rebel SL2 including Canon’s excellent dual pixel auto focus in live view.
  • Suitable for video with external microphone socket.
  • Compact, slim and light; the M50 will fit in a smaller housing than Canon’s DSLR cameras.

July 2018 This post has been updated to include cameras supported in DSLR Remote Pro 3.11.2 ie the  Canon EOS 1500D (aka Canon EOS 2000D/Rebel T7/EOS Kiss X90) and Canon EOS 3000D (aka Canon EOS 4000D).

The photo below shows the different sizes of the EOS M50, EOS 200D/Rebel SL2 and new EOS 2000D/1500D/Rebel T7:

Photos of Canon EOS M50, 200D and 2000D with kit and pancake style lenses
[top to bottom] EOS M50 with EF-M 22mm STM lens, EOS M50 with standard kit lens EF-M 15-45mm STM , EOS 200D/Rebel SL2 with 24mm pancake lens, EOS 2000D/1500D/Rebel T7with 18-55mm kit lens

Disadvantages

  • Access for external power is underneath the camera instead of at the side.
Photo of Canon EOS M50 showing power cable attached to base of camera
The external power cord connection for the M50 is on the camera base
  • Update February 2019

Canon have released firmware version 1.0.2 for the M50 which fixes the issues with triggering external flash. The new firmware can be downloaded from the Canon UK site (There was a bug in the original firmware of the Canon EOS M50 which meant that triggering an external flash or studio strobe via the hotshoe could be unreliable. We reported this bug to Canon, who have fixed it.)

Good for video: 200D/Rebel SL2, 850D/Rebel T8i/Kiss X 10i

These cameras do everything the M50 can do except slow motion video. They are larger and heavier than the M50.

  • Excellent auto focus in live view
  • Suitable for video & have an external microphone socket

Budget: 1300D/T6

Good for still photos and boomerang and slideshow animated GIFs. Slightly higher resolution live view than 200D or 800D.

Disadvantages

  • No external microphone socket so not a good choice for video including sound.
  • Power zoom is not supported.
  • Old model becoming difficult to source new
  • Autofocus less reliable

Canon 2000D/1500D/Rebel T7

(Updated 25 February 2020)

The 2000D/T7 is an update of the popular Canon EOS 1300D/Rebel T6 with a higher resolution 24 mega pixel sensor. Unfortunately Canon initially removed the center contact on the hotshoe. This means early versions of this camera cannot trigger most external flashes or studio strobes so is not recommended for photo booth use.

Tuesday 25th February. Canon announced at Photo Booth Expo that the EOS Rebel T7/2000D camera has been  updated to add a center contact (X sync) on the hotshoe, making this a great budget choice for photo booth users. More details.

Canon EOS 4000D/3000D

Similar to the Canon EOS 1300D/Rebel T6 with the same 18 mega pixel sensor but cheaper build quality (plastic lens mount, fewer buttons, no remote release socket and no cable access for external power). This camera has no center contact on the hotshoe. This means the camera cannot trigger most external flashes or studio strobes so is not recommended for photo booth use.

Web cameras & iPad booths

This post does not cover booths powered by web cameras or the built-in cameras provided with iPads, laptops and tablets. Breeze Booth (iPad + iPhone) uses either the device’s built in camera or Canon EOS DSLR cameras, some mirrorless and PowerShot models. Breeze Webcam Photobooth software will run a booth with either a webcam or built in camera in a Windows 10 or 8 PC or laptop.

*This post has been updated in September 2021.  As new cameras are introduced this post will inevitably become outdated.

© Breeze Systems 2021

Auto focus blues & how to cure them

Canon’s DSLR cameras can be set to auto focus (AF)  or manual focus (MF). The auto focus setting is very convenient for photo booth operators, but when the camera cannot find anything to focus on it will not take a photo.

This post has been written for DLSR Remote Pro 3.7.3

What can go wrong using auto focus?

You may notice a long pause before the camera takes  a photo. The focus motor whirrs and the camera lens moves as the camera tries to focus. Two different error messages may be displayed: ‘Unable to release shutter’ or ‘Unable to focus’.

Unable to release shutter

When setting up the booth the operator presses Release(F8)  or Preview (F9) to check camera operation. No photo is taken and this error message is displayed:

Error message for DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 displayed: Unable to release shutter. This may be because the AF was unable to lock
DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 ‘Unable to release shutter’ error message

Unable to focus

After the countdown there is a long pause before the camera takes  the first photo. The focus motor whirrs and the camera lens moves as the camera tries to focus. Eventually this message* is displayed:

DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 error message 'Unable to focus! If you are standing close to the camera please try moving back a bit. The booth will retake the photo in ... seconds...
DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 ‘Unable to focus!’ error message *

*Hint (localization) You can translate this message into your local language using the PhotoboothAfErrorMsg message in the configuration files

Why does this happen?

Usually the camera cannot focus because

  • there is not enough light
  • the booth is empty and has a plain background
  • guests are too close to the camera
  • the lens cap has not been removed

Autofocus works best with good lighting and guests positioned at the right distance from the camera. It may be improved by changing from a plain background. The most reliable solution is to switch the camera to manual focus.

How to make sure the camera will fire: Set the camera to manual focus

Exception : cameras with dual pixel AF. If your camera has dual pixel AF please see the Camera Settings section of the program help files. (At present the Canon EOS DSLR cameras with dual pixel AF are the Canon EOS 800D/Rebel T7i, 200D/Rebel SL2, 70D,  77D, 80D, 7D Mark II, 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark II*.)

*Support for the EOS 6D Mark II will be added to the next release of DSLR Remote Pro.

Simplest way to set the camera to manual focus

  1. Set the AF/MF switch on the camera lens to the MF (manual focus) position.
  2. Each time you set up the booth turn the focus ring on the camera lens until you see a sharp image on the PC live view display.
Photo of Canon REBEL T5 camera how how to switch between auto and manual focus
Canon REBEL T5 (1200D) showing AF/MF switch
Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns (edited to highlight AF MF switch)

Photo sourced from Flickr

Use the camera controls to set manual focus

Use the screen on the back of the camera to set the custom function “C.Fn IV: Operations/Others – Shutter/AE lock button” to “1:AE lock/AF” (refer to your camera manual if necessary).

Canon 200D camera display showing Customer Function IV
Customer function IV screen on Canon EOS 200D camera

This setting has the advantage that focus can still be adjusted remotely from the PC but auto focus won’t be used when taking a photo. The lens can be focused in fullscreen photobooth mode by typing Ctrl+A.

For more precise control of focus exit photobooth mode and type Ctrl+L to display the live view window. Then use the <<<, <<, <, >, >>, >> buttons or the mouse wheel to manually adjust the focus.

If you found this post helpful please share it with others.

Try out DSLR Remote Pro                         Breeze Systems website

Copyright Breeze Systems 2017

Light painting without a tent

When we first showed light painting in a bright exhibition hall at Photo Booth Expo 2016, the industry was amazed. This post explains how to use light painting at indoor venues with an open or closed booth using DSLR Remote Pro.

You can use the same technique with DSLR Remote Pro Multi-Camera .

DSLR Remote Pro Multi Camera animated GIF (5 cameras). Flash with 3 second exposure.

What equipment do I need?

  • Camera
  • Photo booth software that lets you control the camera settings
  • Flash
  • Black backdrop
  • Lighting props

Camera: we recommend using a Canon DSLR camera. Webcams and iPads are not suitable because you need complete control over the exposure and settings (including aperture). This is not possible with a webcam or an IPad.

Photobooth software: The examples here use DSLR Remote Pro and DSLR Remote Pro Multi-Camera. You can use the same technique with other programs which allow you to control the camera settings.

DSLR Remote Pro with open photobooth at Photo Booth Expo 2017

Flash: You need a powerful flash to freeze the subject at the start of the exposure. We like to position the flash high up so that people are less likely to look directly at it and be dazzled by the light. The flash also acts as a cue to the guests to start light painting. Ask them to pose until the flash fires and then start moving the lights.

Black backdrop: the light trails show up best against a black background. If you have a light background you may get ghosting (dark shadows) when guests move around.

Lighting props: guests’ phones, colored torches, LED batons or more elaborate props such as pixel sticks.

How do I use DSLR Remote Pro to control the camera to create the light trails?

  • Use external flash mode
  • Set a slow shutter speed
  • Use a small aperture and low ISO to cut out ambient lighting

External flash mode: Run the photo booth setup wizard; select <Advanced Settings> and check the box to set external flash mode. If you also check ‘Mirror output images’ the words guests write with the lights will be reversed to read correctly:

DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 Photobooth Settings screen: check boxes for External flash mode and Mirror Output Images highlighted

Shutter speed: You need an exposure of at least 1 second to create the light trails. We find between 2 and 3 seconds is best. (Guests start to run out of ideas with exposures longer than 3 seconds).

In the <Advanced Settings> screen select camera settings mode Bank 1, then click on the <Camera Settings> button to the right. This takes you to the camera settings screen. You need to adjust the Bank 1 settings for both taking photos and live view.

DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 Photobooth Settings screen: select Bank 1 and click on <Camera Settings>

Camera settings: Start with  exposure (Tv) set to 2″ (2 seconds), aperture (Av) 22, ISO 100 and white balance ‘flash’.

DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 Camera Settings screen: Bank 1 ‘taking photos’ settings highlighted

Live view: Select Tv: bulb for a bright live view image and White balance: Auto (ambience) for reliable colors.

DSLR Remote Pro 3.7.3 Camera Settings screen: Bank 1 live view settings highlighted

In a brightly lit venue you may need to reduce the length of the exposure or use a screen to dim the ambient light.

DSLR Remote Pro Multi-Camera users should use the same technique.

Ideas for lighting props

Colored torches (DSLR Remote Pro with open photobooth)

The simplest props are guest’s own mobile phones and colored LED torches. A set of LED finger torches can be glued together.

LED baton (DSLR Remote Pro with open photobooth)

Our most popular props are made from LED lighting strips wound round a foam baton and powered by rechargeable batteries. Pixel sticks can be customized for branded events.

For more ideas search for specialist websites and articles such as these

Breeze Systems is not responsible for the content of external web sites

© Breeze Systems Ltd 2018