add-on camera for SD/MMC enabled Palm devices
Some Palm powered handhelds have an integrated camera. But LifeDrive, with it's gigantic HDD space has got none. So, just look at those two links:
These are such cameras which You can put into the SD/MMC slot.
Just courious: Anybody got one? Anybody can tell about its quality? Or anybody knowing where to find other models?
Dont get the Spetec camera!
I bought it then promptly sold it again.
It only supports 160x160 screens. The picture size is vga however.
And the video quality is awful (5 frames a second).
My advice is use your phone's camera or your digital camera, they are much better.
*mawn* Why, oh lord, why only the ugly things I have to find.
Sorry, just kidding. Actually, I wanted to get this one. The sad thing is I couldn't find any camera for SD slots anywhere else. I really am searching for....
Keep Your fingers away from such stuff! is only my opinion. But I think it is wise to do so. I haven't seen such bad picture quality and such a bad driver often before. I am talking about the PalmOS version of the software from Spectec's 1,3MP camera.
I had a look at the manual of the pretec camera, which is very similar. At least this driver seems to let You choose Your resolution. And it might have better quality.
Nevertheless, trying to replace the TH55 Clie from Sony with its integrated camera; searching for a device for my precious LifeDrive I only can say that I am disappointed a lot.
Thanks for reading. If You want, You can ask me here some question about the Spectec camera and driver I owned. (Gave it back the following day.)
If you want to take and save pictures on the move, I'd suggest getting a camera like Kodak's V610 with BT or a decent camera phone, also with BT. Obviously, the former option is a bit on the expensive side, but you'll have a fully-fledged camera with all its possibilities, plus your SD slot will remain free for your regular memory card.
I never liked the idea of SD cameras, because you have to keep swapping cards (if you use a memory card, too) and because their VGA resolution is not worth considering. Auto focus is missing as well and videos are useless.
Yes, I give You a hundert percent right ;-) I am too optimistic and naive to not try such a device (and much to nerd(?))
The jokey thing is that the Clie TH55's camera was perfect for me (I haven't got the device anymore). High resolution, sharp and non-blurry pictures because of auto focus, easy to handle, recording video in acceptible quality and such stuff.
With a lifedrive the problem with the reserved SD slot is solved: It got two virtual slots, one is the internal hard drive, the other is the camera. Only the driver doesn't play the same game. So: useless to me.
AFAIK, the TH55 does not have auto focus. Some other PDAs, however, have a small lever that lets you set the focal distance (tree - flower icons). Auto focus means that the camera does this automatically (and much more accurately).
Thank You for answering!
The TH55 has no manual or semi-manual control for focussing on near or far objects... as far as I understand the term "focus".
The TH55 does "make the picture sharp" as You move the device. If I move the camera "outlet" (excuse my english ;-) and point from objects near to objects far away, the picture gets "corrected" (made sharp) automatically, You can watch this process which takes a few seconds/10 to seconds.
As far as this is true, it have got auto focus which those pretec and spectec cameras haven't got. These, You need to focus by turning the ocular(?) manually until it fits Your needs.
And, as the picture of the camera displayed on my LifeDrive is displayed only in 160x160 stretched to 320x320 and with WORSE quality, it was IMPOSSIBLE to focus properly.
Sad but true.
Thanks again for answering!
Auto focus means that a small, additional lens inside the camera automatically moves to match the distance between the camera and the object to be photographed. This "making sharp" which you mentioned may be automatical brightness/contrast/white balance correction. As can be read at http://www.mobiletechreview.com/feature/sony_TH55.htm, the TH55 has a lens with a 0.23m to infinity focus range. Unless you can see anything moving inside your TH55's lens, I think it has fixed focus.
Interesting! Seems as if I made a false presumption with the TH55's camera. Thanks for info. Still, it was neat ;-)
I will look for something else, as soon as my money comes back. Something compatible with SD/MMC cards. Something fitting in my "pocket" (or whatever I carry around with me).
You guys just saved me a big mistake in getting Spectec's 1.3MP Camera for my Palm TX.
@Iamaboff, so do you mean it renders a preview of the image in low-res, but the actual images are in vga. Did you have the 300k or 1.3MP version of the camera.
@everyone, so what about the Pretec 1.3MP camera. Is it compatible with the Palm TX? How is it's hardware, software, picture quality, etc.?
My personal "facts" about SpecTecs camera
I had the Spectec 1,3MPixel camera. Following facts:
So, that were my personal facts about the Spectec version. Oh, I tried the better Pretec software with the Spectec camera, but the pretec software even doesn't start on a m130 or a LifeDrive - whether camera of Spectec inserted or not. (I KNOW it wouldn't function, but I had to try to. ;-)
So, if You want to know something about PreTecs camera (which I am thinking of trying, too :-( ), You can download the manual. I couldn't attach the doc to this post. Go and get this file: it should be driver of PreTec and manual! http://www.pretec.com/ftp/SDIO/Smar...m1-3_Palm02.zip
@forcemaker, I saw this image on ebay from a 300k version of the Spectec camera:
Is that the same as what you had,cause the guy from Spectec told me both the 1.3MP and 300k cameras use pretty well the same drivers...
Also, about the Pretec camera, at the bottom of http://www.expansys.ca/forum.asp?code=111190 there are the latest palm drivers, as far as I know....
That's it, just looking at the images ... that's the camera and the same software/"driver". Well, the 1,3MPixel version I had. As You write, on Spectec's homepage there is only one driver download... for both cameras, as it seems.
I've been looking a bit more into the subject of an sd camera card for my TX. Other than the horrible Spectec option or the possible Pretec option, so other sd cameras that might work are:
Veo Photo Traveler for Palm
Veo Photo Traveler 130S (1.3MP)
Unofficial drivers are on Veo's website, which are reported to work on the T3. I hotsynced the drivers to my TX just to se if it would launch and I got a message saying "The Type PALM can not be supported!". If someone can bypass that error, I'm fairly sure it'll work great on the TX...
Lastly, a company called LifeView creates CF and SD camera cards for PDA. They only currently have PPC drivers for their SD camera card.
However they freely offer the camera's SDK. Developers, this is your cue to step forward and bring a great new camera (with flash) to the PalmOS ;)
Hey, wow, thanks for the links. These Veo Cameras could be nice, very nice driver which I installed and looked at (of course, without camera) but even those have only a 160x160 software resolution. It might be a unsharp picture in preview. Don't know.
I would almost get it, if I had a chance and money wouldn't play to big role.
Well, of course many thanks for the research and the links! Very helpful!
If you want reasonable photo and video quality, get a standalone digital camera or a good cameraphone. Don't waste your time with SDIO cameras. Usually it is the software and drivers that let these cameras down.
I'm happy with my dirt cheap 5.1 megapixel Vivitar with 3x optical zoom for $100
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