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Interfaces to firewire cameras that adhere to the IIDC1394 specifications


Nico Stuurman, with contributions from Gregory Jefferis




Linux, Mac OS X (anywhere libdc1394 functions)


Firewire cameras that adhere to the IIDC specs

Example Config File:

Simple config: MMConfig_Firewire.cfg, config for Sony XCD (includes integrations presets): MMConfig_Firewire_Sony.cfg

See also: IIDC.

This adapter is an interface to the libdc1394 library 1 (included), which controls firewire cameras that adhere to the IIDC specifications 2. Damien Douxchamps maintains a list 3 of compatible cameras.

The adapter was developed using an Apple iSight camera and a Sony XCD-700, so these will likely work decently whereas your mileage might vary with other cameras. Gregory Jefferis put some work in to make this work with Format 7 cameras (the most powerful video mode format supported by the standard), but I am not exactly sure where that stands.

Many of the IIDC-compatible cameras do not allow you to set an exposure time expressed in msec. Therefore, the ‘shutter’ function is being used, the number of which relates in a camera specific way to exposure time. A more elegant solution would be great!

Color images (like those from the Apple iSight) are converted to gray-scale images within the adapter (useful until the day that Micro-Manager starts supporting color cameras).

The adapter also implements a software integration feature, which can be useful to improve signal/noise for noisy 8-bit cameras (when integrating the adapter will return a 16-bit image resulting from adding the specified number of consecutive 8-bit images).

The adapter was developed on Mac OS X but was reported to work on linux as well (however, check out the Building Firewire camera support on Linux build instructions). libdc1394 is currently being ported to Windows 4, so one day we might implement this adapter on Windows as well.

There is a lot of work that can be done on the adapter to make it auto-detect capabilities of different cameras, switch on and off auto-capabilities of the cameras, etc.. However, it seems useful in many cases already.

Nico 10:53, 25 August 2007 (PDT)

Windows build (32-bit only) worked for snapping but not for streaming, using an Apple iSight camera. To install drivers, go to http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~iwan/1394/ and download 1394camera646.exe (or other version). Then, after plugging in the camera, use the Windows Device Manager to install the driver (select the camera, choose “Update Driver…”, and point it to the installed CMU drivers folder). –Mark Tsuchida 16:08, 20 May 2013 (PDT)

Click here to search for dc1394 on the Micro-Manager mailing list archive.