The Hawkeye Pi Camera had its official debut at a gathering over the Memorial Day weekend. Overall the camera did well. It was used nearly continuously for an hour and a half. Eventually it needs an endurance test. When just sitting on the desk, it last more than 5 hours but since the printer uses most of the power, printing every photo at an event  drains the batteries.

collage of lo-fi prints
collage of lo-fi prints

The public outing did expose one limitation – taking a picture is a bit slower than expected. One more than one occasion, the camera was moved after the shutter was released only to discover the capture photo occurred after the camera was moved. Oops.

With only a few exceptions, the camera was used without the web administrator. There were a couple times It would have been nice to quickly change a few settings or toggle the printer or photo booth mode. And so the new “programmable settings” feature was added!

The Hawkeye Pi Camera actually has two buttons on it. The shutter release is obvious. However, the “flash” is also a button.

The new programming code takes advantage of both buttons.

A long press of the flash button entered configuration mode. The flash LED then blinks a code for the active setting. The shutter LED blinks the current value of the active setting. A short press of the flash button moves to the next setting. A short press of the shutter button increments the value of the setting.

The print and photo booth toggles are easy – one blink means OFF and two blinks means ON. It gets a bit harder with the settings for auto-white-balance, metering mode, and exposure as each of those has multiple settings. In most cases those will get set from the web administrator. The first choice for each is also the most common. If there is any doubt, just set each to “one blink”. The auto-white-balance has the fewest options and is easy [enough] to remember – “auto”, “sunny”, “cloudy”, “fluorescent”, and “incandescent”. You can imagine it will be easy to get lost.

The Hawkeye Pi Camera may get a speaker added to provide a simulated shutter-release sound. If this happens, the programming mode will be upgraded to audio feedback.

You can check out the new code (and the new threading class) in the GitLab repository