Use cases

Here we describe some basic use cases and applications of the cam-control software.

  • Standard acquisition

    This is the standard mode which requires minimal initial configuration. Simply setup the camera parameters, configure the saving, start the acquisition, and press Saving.

  • Recording of rare events

    Manual recording of rare and fast events is often challenging. Usually you have to either record everything and sift through the data later, or hope to press Saving quickly enough to catch most of it. Neither option is ideal: the first method takes a lot of extra storage space, while the second requires fast reaction. Pretrigger buffer takes the best of both worlds: it still allows to only record interesting parts, put lets you start saving a couple seconds before the button is pressed, so it is not necessary to press it as quickly as possible. The buffer is set up in the saving parameters.

  • Periodic acquisition

    To record very slow processes, you might want to just occasionally take a snapshot or a short movie. You can use saving trigger for that.

  • Image-based acquisition start

    Another saving trigger application is to automate data acquisition. It gives an option to start acquisition based on the frame values. Combined with custom filters, it provides a powerful way to completely automate acquisition of interesting events.

  • Background subtraction

    Oftentimes the camera images contain undesired static or slowly changing background. It is possible to get rid of it using the built-in basic background subtraction. Keep in mind that it only affects the displayed data (and, as such, is not applied to frames supplied to filters).

  • On-line image processing

    More complicated on-line processing is available through filters. Cam-control already comes with several basic built-in filters, but the real power in custom application comes from the ability to easily write custom filters.

  • On-line analysis of fast processes

    To do a quick on-line analysis of fast processes, you can use the frame slowdown capability.

  • Interfacing with external software

    Cam-control provides a TCP/IP server control which allows one to control GUI, start or stop acquisition and saving, and directly acquire frames from the camera. Since this is implemented as a server, it is platform- and software-independent, so it can interface with any custom software written in, e.g., C++, Java, LabView, or Matlab. It can be used to synchronize data acquisition with other devices, implement more sophisticated automation, or provide frames for custom image-processing software.

  • Controlling several cameras

    Cam-control allows for control of several connected cameras. If more than one camera is specified in the settings file (typically these are found by running the detect script), then every time the software is started, it allows to select which camera to control. Several instances can run simultaneously for different cameras without interference. The default GUI parameters are stored independently for all cameras.

    The selection window can be avoided by creating a specific camera shortcut in the extras menu. It creates a shortcut which uses the --camera argument (e.g., run control.exe --camera ppimaq_0) to supply the specific camera name.