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What I would like to do

  • I was trying to take pictures with an old digital camera directly from pc
  • I found about gphoto2 software, I tried but I'm just able to get the pictures that are stored in the camera (My old fujifilm a900 digital camera, and new Canon EOS 600d) I cannot take pictures directly from pc
  • Then I realized that could be better if there is any way to control any Digital Camera creating your own drivers. To manage actions like opening the objective, take a picture, set camera to standby...

I've been reading other questions related with this but couldn't find any interesting information. I know about python and bash script, but I know nothing about drivers so... Could be possible to develop some kind of software/drivers to manage an old Digital Camera ?

I want to connect my old digital camera to my raspberry Pi and try to make a TimeLapse movie


Some extra info I would appreciate:

  • Although it is a lot of work, If I'd like to create my own drivers, where can I start for ?
  • If I'd like to develop my own firwmare ?
  • It's possible to change/update the internal software/firmware of an old digital camera ?

I'm not looking a full answer to this "extra" question, I just want some information to read about this options, if they're possible

share|improve this question
Just to clarify: Your new SLR works, right? It's only the old Fujifilm camera that's having issues with gphoto2? – Glutanimate Aug 21 '14 at 15:14
Ye is the fujifilm the one wich I have the problem – AlvaroAV Aug 21 '14 at 15:14
A few quick google searches show no indication that the Fujifilm camera can be controlled digitally. No amount of drivers will solve this. You need to build your own firmware. – Kaz Wolfe Aug 27 '14 at 16:41
What kind of documentation need I to look for if I want to build my own firmware ? – AlvaroAV Aug 27 '14 at 16:42
up vote 1 down vote accepted

So, the old camera is not supported?

Let's see what we can do...

You can imagine to work on a driver for it, you said?
But will it be worth it to do that work?

Currently, we do not know what the work will be to get a driver for the camera.

It may be insanely difficult, or pretty easy - let's jump into our example to get a better overview:

You were looking at the right place with gphoto2.
That is the place to look whether the camera is supported;

gphoto2 is not only that command line software you know, it contains also the drivers that is used by it; It's a big package of drivers and tools that go together.
So even if we want to develop a new driver, we are in the right place. And in both cases, we need to dig through any information that may be relevant.

Now, let's look for the drivers gphoto2 it has - are we sure it does not know your camera?

Would be a good start to read The gPhoto2 Manual - User's manual - Chapter 3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Let's look for changes that added support for your camera in the changelog:

Of course this is done manually, but for the text demonstration, I will use some shell commands

Are there any FinePix cameras supported officially at all?

$ wget -q -O - | grep -i -o 'finepix.*' | tee finepix.txt
FinePix AV-150, T200
FinePix S4850, JX370, S4850
FinePix SL1000, S2980
FinePix: H20EXR, X20
FinePix S2950, S4300, X-S1, HS30EXR, XF1
FinePix F80EXR, X10
FinePix A220, Z700EXR
FinePix F60fd, F70 EXR, S1800, S5800
FinePix S1500, Z35, S2500HD
Finepix F200 EXR
FinePix S1000fd
FinePix A920, F100fd, S200HD
FinePix F20, F40, S9500
FinePix A330
FinePix S7000 (PictBridge mode)

Ok, a good start.

$ grep A900 finepix.txt

But ours is missing... maybe something similar?

$ grep A finepix.txt
FinePix AV-150, T200
FinePix A220, Z700EXR
FinePix A920, F100fd, S200HD
FinePix A330

Oh, A920 looks interesting... it's almost the same, actually! Same year, minor changes in lens etc..

Hey, wait!?! Could that work for our camera?

Maybe there is a feature request, or a bug, explaining why the camera is not known?

No feature request for the A900 found...

Let's look for something related, feature requests on FinePix, there are 16!

Let's see Support for Fuji Finepix A820:

  • User with Finepix A820:
    I just bought a Fuji Finepix A820 and, although the camera is
    recognized as an ptp/ip camera, it isn't possible to access any photo.

    the (partial) lsusb output is:
    Bus 002 Device 008: ID 04cb:01c6 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd

  • Developer of gphoto2:
    i have added the id.

    but this is likely a permission problem, it will probably work as root
    just fine.

  • User:
    I tried running it as root and, as you said, it worked just fine. Nice!

    Nonetheless, running digikam as root isn't exactly desireable. Is there a way to avoid the root thing?

  • Developer:
    usually your distributor provides a correct permission setup, please contact him.

    or read:

That looks interesting, and similar; maybe it's even the solution we need to get it running?

They talk about fixing USB device permissions... it's from seven years ago, hard to tell how this still applies... At least most pieces seem to be there... we need to read more...

But we do not need to develop a driver for the camera!

At this point, you need to plug the camera in, and play around with gphoto2 commands. Maybe try a test as root, to check for problems from missing permissions on device files...

share|improve this answer

Entangle was created to do exactly what you want, so you don't have to develop an entire script by your own.

You can install it by opening your terminal and typing:

sudo apt-get install entangle

Then, open it up either from your Dash or Menu. The default entangle interface will look like below.

enter image description here

If you don’t connect the camera to your Ubuntu, it shows a message "No Camera detected".

enter image description here

Once you connect the camera, you can select it and use use as you want.

enter image description here

And have fun!

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Good answer, +1. However, entangle uses libgphoto as a backend. If OP can't get gphoto2 to perform tethered shooting chances are entangle won't work, either. – Glutanimate Aug 21 '14 at 15:12
I've tried Gphoto2 with the old Fujifilm and I couldn't do nothing. Neither with entangle. Does anyone knows if it is possible ? Take pictures with an old camera via PC? – AlvaroAV Aug 22 '14 at 7:55
@Liarez Your camera might not support the USB protocols used for tethered shooting. If that's the case there isn't anything you can do. Sorry. – Glutanimate Aug 22 '14 at 18:22

Try with installing Universal camera drivers in Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install libsbigudrv2 libsbigudrv0

Then Install GUVCview and see wheather it opens the camera.

sudo apt-get install guvcview
share|improve this answer
Although it is an old camera ? – AlvaroAV Aug 26 '14 at 12:02

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