Proton Calorimetry/Equipment/Nikon DSLR

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Step-by-step guidelines for taking images remotely with a DSLR camera

You need:

  • DSLR camera (e.g. Nikon D70 borrowed from Adam Gibson)
  • The HEP POOL 12 laptop
  • Power cable or loaded battery for the camera
  • Mini-USB cable to connect the camera with the laptop

In order to take pictures remotely, do the following:

  • Place the camera at least 30cm (distance object-lens) away from the object you want to photograph (minimum focus) if you are using the 50mm lens
  • If you are using the 40mm lens, you might be able to get closer. However, the whole scintillator stack might not be contained in the image
  • Connect the camera to an external power source if battery is weak
  • Start the Camera (Nikon D70)
  • Choose camera mode “M” for manual configuration of settings using the small wheel on the top left of the camera
  • If you are using the 40mm lens, also select manual mode "M" using the switch on the lens
  • Focus the camera on the object that you want to take a picture of. Gently press down the shutter release (without taking a picture) to focus. If this doesn't work, switch back to AF mode, try again and then switch back to M mode.
  • Start HEP POOL 12 laptop
  • Connect the camera to the computer using a Mini-USB cable
  • Start the application DIGICAMCONTROL on the laptop. The camera should be recognised by the program
  • Common problem: SD card not recognised. Deconnect camera and reconnect. If necessary, remove the SD card from the camera and put it back in, then reconnect the camera.
  • Select session “Scintillator” on the right hand side of the window
  • In “Connected cameras” on the left side, set the image settings:
    • ISO: Sensitivity to light. Select a low value for low noise
    • Shutter speed: light exposure (in seconds). Choose a value close to beam spot duration (e.g. 200ms)
    • Aperture: Opening of the lens. F/10 is a smaller opening than f/5. Every step (f-stop) reduces/increases the opening by a factor of 2 compared to the previous step. The smaller the opening the better the field depth (quality of image far away from focus depth) and the darker the image
    • White Balance: Affects the balance of colours. Select auto setting
    • Exposure compensation: Not needed since we set settings manually. Select 0
    • Compression: Choose both, RAW (NEF) and JPEG
    • Metering Mode: Measures light intensity and optimizes shutter speed and aperture automatically. Not needed since we set settings manually
    • Focus Mode: Choose AF-C, otherwise camera might be unable to focus
  • Take a picture by clicking on the lens sign in the top left corner of the window
  • If there is a flash, gently press down the flash on the top of the camera, then try again to take a picture.
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