Synchronized stand-alone shooting of multiple camera's at once, camera's linked together

Here you can post all things you think are missing within in the app – we really appreciate your input.
Post Reply
Unfoolishly
Posts: 209
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 26th, 2020, 1:30 am

Hi all,

I was wondering if it is already possible to do some synchronized stand-alone shooting using multiple camera's at once, linking them together to hook them up as "one" camera so they act/respond to each other while taking the photo. This is somewhat like the feature requested before: follow the leader, but with a significant difference. This time it is NOT the App that controls the synchronized shooting of the camera's, but the camera's (Unleasheds) themselves doing the synchronizing! Like synchronized swimmers, they are not controlled by a seperate entity, but are entirely trained and depended of each other to keep the synchronization going. See here.

Example:
Having two camera's pointed at one scenery, but with different lenses. Now you want to take a photo at the same moment with both camera's, which are located next to each other.
You can press the "all shutter button" in the App to command both the camera's. But that is a bit difficult when you want to take several photo's in a large timeframe. You get worn out (exhausted) for staying focussed, so some automation would be nice to let the camera's figure it out between themselves to stay in sync. In sync as in: take a photo at the exact same moment in time.

What you could do is: set up 2 camera's in the App. Mark them in the App as synchronized between each other, so the App is used to interconnect them together (hook them up for a special occasion) and then the App disconnects from both Unleasheds and both the Unleasheds keep taking to each other to stay synchronized.

What you can do with this feature, is:
1. simultaneously command camera's to take at the same moment a photo.
2. let camera A do a timelapse, and camera B just follow the timelapse program of camera A (copycat).
3. interchange different settings between camera's for several purposes, like lightning metering, iso balancing, etc
4. trigger camera A with shutter button pressed, selftimer, or IR remote, and camera B follows directly.

Just an idea worth implementing imho.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am a somewhat pleased Unleashed customer.
Andy
Posts: 235
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

September 28th, 2020, 10:04 am

See:
Oliver wrote:
September 4th, 2020, 12:18 am
[...]half-and full press information is only transmitted to the Unleashed on Nikon Pro DSLRs (ie the ones where the N1 fits), and the Z series. on newer prosumer bodies only the shutter open signal is available to the Unleashed. On canon it's similar - only newer, higher end cameras tell the Unleashed the halfpress/fullpress/shutter open state.

So it would be a half-baked feature at best with lots of edge-cases to handle, and lots of cameras to exclude, which in turn have to be explained to the user - how would you like to read about this feature only to find out your cameras don't support it? And yeah, your D7100's wouldn't be able to support it...
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Oliver
Posts: 604
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 4:17 pm

September 28th, 2020, 10:13 am

Also: The Unleasheds are never connected to each other, they all just connect to the app.

So: no.
Founder & CEO of Foolography, Hardware & Firmware developer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 209
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 29th, 2020, 7:19 pm

Andy wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 10:04 am
See:
Oliver wrote:
September 4th, 2020, 12:18 am
[...]half-and full press information is only transmitted to the Unleashed on Nikon Pro DSLRs (ie the ones where the N1 fits), and the Z series. on newer prosumer bodies only the shutter open signal is available to the Unleashed. On canon it's similar - only newer, higher end cameras tell the Unleashed the halfpress/fullpress/shutter open state.

So it would be a half-baked feature at best with lots of edge-cases to handle, and lots of cameras to exclude, which in turn have to be explained to the user - how would you like to read about this feature only to find out your cameras don't support it? And yeah, your D7100's wouldn't be able to support it...
If I understand correctly, these features are also not possible because of the BT communication between the Unleasheds itself would require some synchronization in terms of half-pressed and full-pressed information to let them take photo's at the exact same time. And because this information is not externalized on any camera port, it is not possible to synchronize the Unleasheds at all, even if it is technically possible using the chips inside the Unleasheds?

I am really disappointed in Nikon :(
This should have been available from day 1 in all digital camera's. Both of Nikon and Canon.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am a somewhat pleased Unleashed customer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 209
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 29th, 2020, 7:39 pm

Oliver wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 10:13 am
Also: The Unleasheds are never connected to each other, they all just connect to the app.

So: no.
So, from the camera perspective point of view, this is not possible because no signals are handed out to the Unleasheds so that they could synchronize together (hooking up on each other).
But would it be possible - technically speaking - for the Unleasheds to hook up and synchronize together, using the BT chip inside the Unleasheds IF the camera's did hand out these signals? In other words: would it be possible to use the App (1 BT connection per Unleashed) to hook up the Unleasheds marked in the App to hook up to each other (1 BT connection per Unleashed). Thus 2 channels: 2 App channels to the Unleasheds, 1 Unleasheds channel between the Unleasheds. I ask this just out of curiosity. Or let me put it this way: how many BT channels/connections can the BT chip - used in the Unleashed - have open in parallel?

Too bad that this is camera wise not possible. It would have made many more features possible.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am a somewhat pleased Unleashed customer.
Andy
Posts: 235
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

September 30th, 2020, 9:55 am

It is technically possible to have up to 20 simultaneous connections, but the connection gets significantly slower as you manage more connections.

The Unleashed currently supports up to one connection to a phone (GATT server connection) and up to 8 accessories at the same time (GATT client connections). It would be possible to connect one Unleashed to another, even many-to-many, but we don't have use cases for that.
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 209
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 30th, 2020, 12:51 pm

Andy wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 9:55 am
It is technically possible to have up to 20 simultaneous connections, but the connection gets significantly slower as you manage more connections.

The Unleashed currently supports up to one connection to a phone (GATT server connection) and up to 8 accessories at the same time (GATT client connections). It would be possible to connect one Unleashed to another, even many-to-many, but we don't have use cases for that.
Hi Andy,
Thanks for this info.
When active, is the Unleashed always listening for GATT connections, either from smartphone or accessories, or only for a certain amount of time? Does the Unleashed always switch to client-to-client connection after receiving the requesting client on the server connection? Or is the server connection always reserved for the App/smartphone connection?

I do see some use cases for connected Unleasheds: cascading events/triggers.
You can inform another Unleashed from the first Unleashed to take a photo (within a preset timer setup) when an accessory triggers the first Unleashed. For example: IR-detection/laser detection, when a mountainbiker drives through the laserbeam/IR-beam and triggers a camera to take a photo. You can also inform another Unleashed along the road that the mountainbiker is heading that way, so triggering the camera after X (milli)seconds to also take a photo. Thus: cascading events. More like a chain of sequential events. No smartphone is needed in this case. The smarthone is only needed to set it up: telling the Unleasheds what to do (timer, number of photos to take, etc) and to connect them together. That way you don't need a lot of accessories, because the first Unleashed triggers the second Unleashed, instead of a second accessory hooked up to the second Unleashed. It's more like daisychaining camera's, making the Unleashed the pass-forward signalling device.

Just some ideas...

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am a somewhat pleased Unleashed customer.
Andy
Posts: 235
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

September 30th, 2020, 2:26 pm

Unfoolishly wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 12:51 pm
When active, is the Unleashed always listening for GATT connections, either from smartphone or accessories, or only for a certain amount of time? Does the Unleashed always switch to client-to-client connection after receiving the requesting client on the server connection? Or is the server connection always reserved for the App/smartphone connection?

The Unleashed is always advertising to allow a phone to connect to the Unleashed, but it does not constantly scan for accessories. If I remember correctly, the Unleashed only scans for accessories when you are trying to add an accessory in the app (you are in the accessories screen), or when it needs to connect to an accessory but it is not connected yet. As soon as all the paired accessories are connected, it stops scanning. It also gives up scanning if the Unleashed doesn't find the accessories within a minute.

Unfoolishly wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 12:51 pm
I do see some use cases for connected Unleasheds: cascading events/triggers.
You can inform another Unleashed from the first Unleashed to take a photo (within a preset timer setup) when an accessory triggers the first Unleashed. For example: IR-detection/laser detection, when a mountainbiker drives through the laserbeam/IR-beam and triggers a camera to take a photo. You can also inform another Unleashed along the road that the mountainbiker is heading that way, so triggering the camera after X (milli)seconds to also take a photo. Thus: cascading events. More like a chain of sequential events. No smartphone is needed in this case. The smarthone is only needed to set it up: telling the Unleasheds what to do (timer, number of photos to take, etc) and to connect them together. That way you don't need a lot of accessories, because the first Unleashed triggers the second Unleashed, instead of a second accessory hooked up to the second Unleashed. It's more like daisychaining camera's, making the Unleashed the pass-forward signalling device.

Yeah, I remember the follow-the-leader feature request variants.
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 209
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 30th, 2020, 2:51 pm

Andy wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 2:26 pm
...

The Unleashed is always advertising to allow a phone to connect to the Unleashed, but it does not constantly scan for accessories. If I remember correctly, the Unleashed only scans for accessories when you are trying to add an accessory in the app (you are in the accessories screen), or when it needs to connect to an accessory but it is not connected yet. As soon as all the paired accessories are connected, it stops scanning. It also gives up scanning if the Unleashed doesn't find the accessories within a minute.

...

Yeah, I remember the follow-the-leader feature request variants.
This time it is not the camera that is the leader, but the Unleashed itself which is the controlling party (that does work: because the connected accessory is the initiator, not the camera itself). More as in: Bunny hopping feature, hopping from one Unleashed to another Unleashed.
It still bothers me that Nikon and Canon have no externalized API for camera controls on (all of) their camera models. Imagine what you could do with that in combination with the Unleashed and a smartphone! I should have been on the deveopment teams of Nikon and Canon. That way I could have prevented this huge design mistake! ;-)

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am a somewhat pleased Unleashed customer.
Post Reply