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And For My Next Trick....... (aka Why I was hacking the GX80 in the first place)


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Just now, Grimor said:


Whats the main board? Raspberri? Arduino?

Congrats, your gadget  is super!

That version is running on a Pi to prototype it.

The final version will either be on a PiZero to get the form factor down or an Arduino based small one like the Feather HUZZAH.


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20 minutes ago, Grimor said:

I started learning arduino 2 weeks ago.

Now i´ve done a sound sensor based flash trigger  for high speed photography. I´m planning to take a cool photo in few days.


I've got an arduino development board called an Esplora thats got lots of interesting sensors built in to it. If I did this remote on it I was going to incorporate the temperature sensor on it to give the Panasonics a Sony emulation mode where it stops the recording when there's a whiff of warm weather ;) 

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33 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Interesting!! You could make a control grip like say the FS7 for using while the Panasonic camera is mounted on your shoulder

Yes, it does all of the same functions (and a few more actually) and you could fit in pretty much whatever worked ergonomically.

Once its in its finished much more compact form (just the size of the blue-ish control panel in the video) its pretty small.

You could probably gut something like this PC Joystick (which is about £15) to use the handle part which has a similar ergonomic approach to the Sony grip and mount it in there.

For me, its better as a pocketable thing but thats the beauty of it being a bit of a DIY hack, it can be a lot more custom than an off the shelf product.


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A bit of an update

I've spent the past few days redoing this from the ground up and there's been what you might call 'a bit' of progress.

The camera functions are now controlled by a gamepad, which gives a bit more scope in terms of buttons etc.

By separating out the part that does the actual talking to the camera, this means that that can be smaller for mounting and the choice of the input device is now far more flexible as it can support pretty much any USB device that can be attached to it.

In this version, the gamepad itself is wireless too so not only is it a lot neater but it can also be used to extend the overall distance of wireless control (its range to the control box is added to the range from the control box to the camera).

I can also make it support multiple devices so you could have something smaller just to do basic control (or a USB numeric keypad would be quite good for that actually) and then use a more elaborate one when needed. Or do both simultaneously if you want control of exposure and someone else to do focus etc.

Speaking of focus, this is now controlled by an analog stick so has a bit more feel to it (ignore the transitions in the video, the debug mode makes the control much coarser) with a press in the centre of the stick activating a one shot AF.  

If your camera has a powered zoom lens (hello LX100 etc) then this is controlled from the same stick by pushing forward and back. 

I believe that this will also work with those MFT lenses that support power zoom but I don't have one so I can't confirm that.

I've made a drivable AF joystick point mode which you activate by pressing in on the right hand analog stick and then using the D Pad to drive the focus point around the screen and then pressing in the stick again to action it.

There will be more focus enhancements coming.........

The shutter speed and aperture are now controlled by the shoulder buttons on the gamepad and the ISO is now also directly switchable on two buttons.

I've got a few more enhancements coming over the next few days as well so I'll keep you informed.

In the meantime, here is a video of it controlling a GX80



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As soon as I've got everything on it that I want and settled on what I'm running it on I'll sort out a guide to how people can make one.

It should be a matter of just buying a board and putting the software image on it then sorting yourself out for how to power it and getting a gamepad.

Total cost for the bits you need to buy should be no more than about £45 even if you got for a wireless gamepad.

There'll be a bit of a challenge sorting out an easily deployable software image that people can flash themselves but I'll sort that out over the next few weeks.

Presuming anyone wants one that is of course.

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Another little update video that might be of interest to LX100 owners (and those with cameras like FZ1000/2000 etc) which shows the wifi controller operating the zoom and focus.

The zoom controls on all the Lumix cameras are quite clunky in transition so its limited by their inherent performance so better suited to re-framing than any ambitious slow creeps.


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