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10-31-2018, 11:04 PM - 20 Likes   #1
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Introducing Pentax Wi-Fi & USB Tether by PentaxForums.com

Ever since the Ricoh SDK came out I've been wanting to experiment with it and build an app. I was particularly interested in creating a tool to automate shooting test photos, because varying the shutter speed and aperture manually over the course of dozens of tests is both tedious and error-prone. Unfortunately I didn't have time to dabble with this until now...

There are some fine Wi-Fi apps for Pentax out there- Ricoh's own Image Sync for iOS and Android, as well as community-developed software for Windows (which reverse-engineers the Wi-Fi protocol). However, non-Windows have fewer options, and as far as I'm aware, there's nothing out there for desktop platforms that uses the official SDK.

Today I'd like to introduce the first beta version of what I've tentatively named Pentax Wi-Fi & USB Tether by PentaxForums.com, which, as the name implies, is a Wi-Fi/USB tethering program for Pentax cameras with official Wi-Fi or USB tethering support. It will run on any desktop operating system. It's not meant to be a replica of Image Sync, but rather a tool to help facilitate batch interval shooting and stream files over Wi-Fi and USB.

Features:
  • Cross-platform: Windows, Mac, and Linux (written in Java)
  • *New* - USB support - experimental, on 64-bit Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu
  • Capture photos
  • Self-timer and interval shooting
  • Execute, save, and load lists of image settings to shoot as a batch (can be used for testing, bracketing, interval shooting, etc.)
  • Transfer captured photos to a folder of your choosing
Future features:
  • Command line interface for executing batch tasks
  • Transfer arbitrary files on the camera
  • (USB) changing of camera settings
Limitations:
  • The Ricoh SDK bugs out if there are too many files on the card. Ricoh has documented this issue, so hopefully it will be fixed in the future.
  • Wi-fi transfers are slow
  • Stability is poor in RAW+ mode (improved in Beta 9)

My goal is to have the program be as stable as possible, but unfortunately the SDK itself isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. It's both limited in functionality and unnecessarily "chatty" with the camera, which makes it sluggish. However, we can expect future camera models and SDK versions to improve in these areas. Luckily the Wi-Fi connection itself appears way more stable on desktop than it is on a mobile device, and if the camera locks up or disconnects, it is very easy to reconnect.

I'm pretty happy with the program at the moment, but haven't tested it too much (and only with the K-1), so I'd love to hear your feedback. I've posted the source code and would be happy to see others contribute (user documentation and a test suite would be welcome):
GitHub - PentaxForums/PentaxWifi: A cross-platform desktop wi-fi app for Pentax cameras. Automates batch / interval shooting and transfers files.


Running the program:
  • Make sure Java 8 is installed on your system
  • Run the .bat file (Windows) or .sh file (Mac/Linux) in the zip, or execute in Command Prompt / Terminal:

    Code:
    java -jar PentaxWifi.jar
The above may vary if you have multiple versions of Java installed.

Tips:

Right-click on "Add to Queue" to automatically step the aperture/ISO by 1 stop. Select rows in the table and right-click to delete.
Right-click on the table to delete / duplicate rows
Right-click on the capture button to focus

Attached Images
 
Attached Files
File Type: zip PF_Pentax_Wifi_USB_Tether.zip (6.10 MB, 1 views)

Adam
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11-01-2018, 12:33 AM   #2
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Thank you!
The slow WiFi is the only complain I have about the K-1 :/

Image transfer, even jpeg is almost useless like this. I was hoping we could blame image sync for it.

I tested the USB SDK cli a bit and was impressed that they had an event system for whatever happens on the camera. Pretty neat to see these events pop up.
11-01-2018, 01:57 AM   #3
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Nice work, Adam!!
11-01-2018, 02:01 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Ever since the Ricoh SDK came out I've been wanting to experiment with it and build an app. I was particularly interested in creating a tool to automate shooting test photos, because varying the shutter speed and aperture manually over the course of dozens of tests is both tedious and error-prone. Unfortunately I didn't have time to dabble with this until now...
Ever since the SDK was released I've been waiting to see some apps developed using the kit. It's about time somebody released something.

Nice.

Since I don't own any of the supported cameras I'd have to collaborate with someone that does or buy a new camera.

I thought of the queue function as you have along with an option to save/load the queue as well as giving a starting and ending point of f-stop, increment (1, 1/2 or 1/3 stop) and let the app generate the queue. I don't know if the SDK lets you change the increment setting on camera though.

Hmmm, maybe have a radio button for your right-click add to queue to increment by f-stop, shutter speed or ISO?

11-01-2018, 02:22 AM   #5
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Now that is absolutely AWESOME! Many thanks for thinking of us Linux users too, much appreciated.
11-01-2018, 06:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Today I'd like to introduce the first beta version of what I've tentatively named Pentax Wi-Fi Tether by PentaxForums.com
Wonderful!

QuoteOriginally posted by K1N8 Quote
Image transfer, even jpeg is almost useless like this. I was hoping we could blame image sync for it.
Nope. I don't use Image Sync but rather a user-developed PentaxPhotoSync and it's more stable but not faster.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Since I don't own any of the supported cameras I'd have to collaborate with someone that does or buy a new camera.
There's your reason to get one!
11-01-2018, 06:40 AM   #7
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The queue looks great for collecting astrophotography stacks. I'll be too busy this month to help with testing.

Can shutter speed go to the maximum 20 minutes (bulb timer limit)?

If the astrotracer is already activated, will the app use it for each image in the queue?
11-01-2018, 09:57 AM   #8
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Thank you, Adam. Will give this a try soon. - Jack

11-01-2018, 10:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Hmmm, maybe have a radio button for your right-click add to queue to increment by f-stop, shutter speed or ISO?
That's already in there, under the Add button. This is definitely something we can streamline further and fully automate, though.

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
If the astrotracer is already activated, will the app use it for each image in the queue?
The camera has to be in single frame mode for the Wi-Fi to work, so it might not.

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Can shutter speed go to the maximum 20 minutes (bulb timer limit)?
Not at the moment, but I do believe bulb shooting is supported by the SDK. Will have to look into it.

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11-01-2018, 01:58 PM   #10
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This is great - thanks Adam! Especially pleased to see its done as a cross platform release!
11-01-2018, 02:11 PM   #11
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I removed Java from all my systems. Now I have a reason to install it.
11-01-2018, 04:00 PM   #12
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I've tried with the KP, it detects the camera and camera settings, but when I try to make a shot it says it's not supported.

No errors on the console (it's on linux)

How can I help? (last time I programmed java it was v1.0.2, but it's still a valid offer ;-)


Thanks for your work.


Daniel
11-01-2018, 04:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielblues Quote
I've tried with the KP, it detects the camera and camera settings, but when I try to make a shot it says it's not supported.

No errors on the console (it's on linux)

How can I help? (last time I programmed java it was v1.0.2, but it's still a valid offer ;-)


Thanks for your work.


Daniel
All the warnings and messages from the SDK (camera) should be printed on the console. Is there nothing there?

Edit: after giving this some further thought, you are probably either not in the single frame drive mode, or in a shooting mode that does not support the selected settings. You should select M mode if you want to give the software full control, or Tv or Av if you want to rely on exposure compensation.

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11-01-2018, 04:45 PM   #14
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Progress report:

OS - Ubuntu 18.10
jre - v8

Connects to camera fine. Changing settings from app does not change settings on camera. However, Get Settings from Camera works fine. Taking single shot via app does not work. Here is debug output:

ERRR c*.r*.c*.s*.w*.i*.Impl* Code:FORBIDDEN Message:Failed camera/shoot(ErrorCode:412)com.ricoh.camera.sdk.wireless.impl.RestCameraException: URL:camera/shoot, Body:, ErrorCode:412, HttpStatusCode:200

It appears that camera can talk to app but app cannot talk to camera. I would hate to think that the app would need to have root privileges to run but I will try that next.

Jack
11-01-2018, 05:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Progress report:

OS - Ubuntu 18.10
jre - v8

Connects to camera fine. Changing settings from app does not change settings on camera. However, Get Settings from Camera works fine. Taking single shot via app does not work. Here is debug output:

ERRR c*.r*.c*.s*.w*.i*.Impl* Code:FORBIDDEN Message:Failed camera/shoot(ErrorCode:412)com.ricoh.camera.sdk.wireless.impl.RestCameraException: URL:camera/shoot, Body:, ErrorCode:412, HttpStatusCode:200

It appears that camera can talk to app but app cannot talk to camera. I would hate to think that the app would need to have root privileges to run but I will try that next.

Jack
Get your sudo going and find out, Jack!
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