Mark Roberts

Lives in United States Fort Collins, United States
Works as a Engineer
Has a website at www.Harbortronics.com
Joined on May 1, 2000
About me:

Chief Engineer at Harbortronics.com. Have been developing electronic products for a long time! Since 1999, I've been developing time-lapse camera equipment, and some very interesting underwater camera equipment.

Comments

Total: 39, showing: 1 – 20
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Isn't it time to start distinguishing Spherical vs 360?

Link | Posted on May 3, 2017 at 15:49 UTC as 8th comment
In reply to:

dlb41: I expect my consumer camera to die if I bump it. The A9 will need military grade electronics to survive in the pro world. If some part of the A9's electronics fails, will the camera still be usable in a pinch?

Military grade electronics...
This means using a very limited set of components. Those on the 'qualified' list are just commercial parts, that have been tested to the n'th degree. The electronics are the least likely failure modes in cameras these days. It's more likely to be mechanical things like connections and optics.

Link | Posted on May 2, 2017 at 22:33 UTC
In reply to:

Johnny621: I guess my D7100 doesn't make the grade :(

Oh yes, to the people wanting to use RPi or other low cost boards... they certainly can be made to function as a time-lapse controller, but they draw 1-3 watts continuously. When you factor in the amount of power from a solar panel over an average day, then the amount of battery capacity needed to get through rainy spells, you'll quickly appreciate the way the DigiSnap Pro manages power to the networking hardware... only turns the high power stuff on when needed.

Link | Posted on May 2, 2017 at 13:59 UTC
In reply to:

Johnny621: I guess my D7100 doesn't make the grade :(

The d7100 is perfectly compatible. It has a shutter release port, there are DC couplers available, and we can talk to it using the USB port.

Link | Posted on May 1, 2017 at 15:32 UTC
In reply to:

BobORama: This thing solves every problem I don't have. The problem I do have is the AE program in most cameras is not designed for time lapse and is way to jittery. Correcting strobing in post can be done, but again, shouldn’t need to be done. A video camera does not evaluate exposire on a frame by frame basis and flails the exposure in response to the last 1/60th of a second. Rather it dampens swings in exposure to achieve long term stability. Also video cameras will use much smaller steps in their AE program, not 1/3rd - 1/6th stops, which are still huge and very visible. I would much rather have a "make stops as small as the hardware allows" mode. One maker commented "but then the EXIF would be wrong" - typical cart before horse thinking.

Anyway, for $1000 I guess it does something useful.

When doing a long term outdoor time-lapse, the variability in lighting will overwhelm any 'jitter' in the camera exposure. Post processing is your friend :)

Link | Posted on May 1, 2017 at 15:30 UTC
In reply to:

Internet Enzyme: Do they have someone to guard the camera 24/7? I mean if it's all alone the camera could easily be stolen

The Cyclapse housing has padlock options.

The DigiSnap Pro can send an email due to a trigger event... such as the housing door opening.

Link | Posted on May 1, 2017 at 15:28 UTC
On article Throwback Thursday: Nikon D70 (220 comments in total)

It was a great camera!

I designed and manufactured a vertical grip for the D70, and even modified numbers of them to add a shutter release jack.

This camera really contributed to the growth of Harbortronics so I think of it fondly!

Link | Posted on Mar 30, 2017 at 17:14 UTC as 68th comment

Good Stuff! Real-world craftsmanship, long term thinking, valued employees, and high technology. There aren't many companies like this anymore.

Link | Posted on Mar 21, 2017 at 21:11 UTC as 21st comment | 1 reply

This was the camera that stimulated my interest in digital photography, and spawned Harbortronics! 18 years later, going strong :)

Link | Posted on Feb 2, 2017 at 15:52 UTC as 67th comment

Someone who has some skills at modeling, manufacturing, and design spent a lot of time to design, prototype, refine, develop the manufacturing processes for, and then build this thing. I'm all for art, but that's not what this is... is it?
Bizarre waste of effort.

Link | Posted on Jan 18, 2017 at 00:03 UTC as 61st comment
In reply to:

Mark Roberts: A wired release to control any number of cameras simultaneously is quite easy to do, at low cost. Doing it through WiFi or networked allows connection of the images, but ye-old shutter release connectors are so much better for triggering (IMHO).

There are lots of nice things you can do with the camera networked, but most of that would seem to be unessential to the task. Remote Live view to a whole bunch of cameras would take more time to handle than simply manually adjusting each lens focus. You'd have to set the camera angle physically, so why not set the focus at that time as well. I'm not trying to poo-poo the product, just mentioning that if you want simultaneous trigger of a bunch of cameras, it's quite simple and cheap using wires.

Link | Posted on Jan 10, 2017 at 20:18 UTC
In reply to:

Mark Roberts: A wired release to control any number of cameras simultaneously is quite easy to do, at low cost. Doing it through WiFi or networked allows connection of the images, but ye-old shutter release connectors are so much better for triggering (IMHO).

The majority of DSLR cameras have a remote control port... DC2 or 10 pin ports on Nikon, E3 or N3 ports on Canon, and a variety of others. They all have a two signal activation method: Half Press (or metering) to wake the camera and set the focus and exposure, and then Full press to take the picture, with very little additional delay. It's quite easy to wire a number of cameras in parallel. We've done this a number of times for stereo and other multiple camera arrays for our customers at Harbortronics.

Link | Posted on Jan 10, 2017 at 01:57 UTC

A wired release to control any number of cameras simultaneously is quite easy to do, at low cost. Doing it through WiFi or networked allows connection of the images, but ye-old shutter release connectors are so much better for triggering (IMHO).

Link | Posted on Jan 9, 2017 at 19:57 UTC as 11th comment | 6 replies

Don't personally care about increasing video above 1080P, but would sure like to see higher dynamic range. Oh, wait, isn't that what we've been saying about stills cameras? 10bit processing is a step forward.

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2017 at 22:59 UTC as 10th comment
In reply to:

Mark Roberts: It's just another 'rugged camera', but this has an extra-housing-needed for the 60m depth. Sorry, not a Nikonos.

True, I hadn't really given the 1" sensor any weight. I've used several other rugged cameras, with their tiny sensors, and while they are great for outdoor adventures, their image quality is lacking. Perhaps this one will be decent!

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 18:10 UTC
In reply to:

Peter G: They haven't really said anything new. Super/Ultra capacitors have been fast charging and extremely long lasting for ages.

The capacitor problem is one of energy storage capacity. At BEST they have 10% the capacity of Lithium Batteries by Mass.

So your 20 gram phone battery becomes a 200 gram battery, that weighs more than your phone.

There is continual hype around this idea, mainly to attract investors. But it would be foolish to invest a dime until they can show you a testable prototype that actually has reasonable storage capacity.

I agree... the hype re-supercaps continues...

Link | Posted on Nov 23, 2016 at 22:00 UTC

It's just another 'rugged camera', but this has an extra-housing-needed for the 60m depth. Sorry, not a Nikonos.

Link | Posted on Nov 23, 2016 at 21:57 UTC as 25th comment | 3 replies

Beautiful work! While loads of our customers capture projects that last years, their resulting videos generally lack much creative vision. The use of multiple perspectives, and smoothing techniques really help, but the composition and editing, and use of multiple time-scales in this video are what really make this outstanding.

Link | Posted on Jun 13, 2016 at 18:48 UTC as 40th comment
On article Canon EOS 80D Field Test: Barney builds a boat (221 comments in total)

I Love it!
I lived in the Seattle area for 25 years, started Harbortronics (time-lapse camera systems) in a basement in Gig Harbor. I used to have a kayak, have been to Wooden Boat Center, and recognize every place you filmed. I'm in Colorado now, but once in a while I miss the PNW. Your little film definitely tugged at some heart strings :)

Link | Posted on May 25, 2016 at 21:50 UTC as 43rd comment
In reply to:

Mark Roberts: Length 3.8"... is this at 18mm, or 36.4mm or 200mm? It seems all lens manufacturers only report the shortest possible arrangement. What's the length at 200mm? Looks like a great time-lapse lens.

Good range of zoom, low cost, don't need VR...

Link | Posted on Aug 8, 2015 at 19:28 UTC
Total: 39, showing: 1 – 20
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