Help connecting a camera

Hello,

I am using the arduino duemilanove board.
This is a simple project, I have a proximity sensor (I know how to use it and write a code for it to monitor distance using arduino), when the sensor senses something within say 5 feet, i want the arduino to activate a camera andtake a pic.
My question relates to the camera unit.
a) which is the best camera unit that - I can just control using arduino (voltage on one of the digital IO pins).? I do not want to use a relay which will push the button on the camera to take a pic - I just would like something cheap that powers with 5v, takes a pic and saves it on an SD card. The SD card can then be pulled out and image retrieved. The camera need not be hi-res.. even something as low as 2MP would be fine. Any suggestions?

You can actually use something like this (and I'm sure there's a cheaper model somewhere like eBay)

It utilizes the NewSoftSerial library. A friend of mine used it for a similar purpose (to monitor his front door, I think.) and said that it worked rather well. Was considering a similar project myself.

DivinityArcane:
You can actually use something like this (and I'm sure there's a cheaper model somewhere like eBay)

It utilizes the NewSoftSerial library. A friend of mine used it for a similar purpose (to monitor his front door, I think.) and said that it worked rather well. Was considering a similar project myself.

The problem with this is that it doesnt store the pics in an SD card. I need something that takes the pic and stores it in a SD card (even a microSD would be fine)

The problem with this is that it doesnt store the pics in an SD card. I need something that takes the pic and stores it in a SD card (even a microSD would be fine)

You can use a MicroSD breakout and card and write to it. See this tutorial for more information on that.

True but if I could just use a low resolution camera which can have a slot for SD card/microSD card and if I could control the "shoot" button of this camera (or the shutter), it would be done. The problem is, I do not know how to do that.
I do not want to use a mechanical part to actually press the shoot button (since a mechanical part, at 5V, will not generate enough force to push the button and neither do I want to complicate the project.).
I purchased this camera: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0084292EG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I tried to rig it but opening it and trying to understand how the push button works, I would assume that it is just a switch which completes the circuit when pushed. On opening the camera, I found out that it is not a simple push button but rather something complex. Additonally, this cheap camera has a ROM which requires continuous power to store the pic - if I turn off the camera (using the arduino), it does not keep the pic.

I would like to just geta cheap off the shelf camera and use its innards for my project. I do not know which will serve the purpose.

The simplest way is to buy several junk digital cameras via ebay (you only need one, but if you buy 2-3, it gives you a cushion in case you mess up). You want cameras that take AA batteries and not specialized batteries (which may not be available anymore). Open up the camera to find the shutter button, and wire up an opto-coupler to complete the circuit(s) instead of pressing the button. Here is a tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Time-Lapse-Photography/step3/Press-my-buttons/

Many digital cameras have remote shutter cables, and these are activated by a simple switch closure or a digital output. If you have a specific camera in mind, Google will show you that very often someone has hacked the cable.

Most Canon cameras can be hacked with CHDK (Canon Hack Dev Kit), which vastly extends their capabilities. Here is an article on how to create a remote shutter for any Canon running CHDK http://www.instructables.com/id/Canon-Remote-Shutter-for-RC/?ALLSTEPS

MichaelMeissner:
The simplest way is to buy several junk digital cameras via ebay (you only need one, but if you buy 2-3, it gives you a cushion in case you mess up). You want cameras that take AA batteries and not specialized batteries (which may not be available anymore). Open up the camera to find the shutter button, and wire up an opto-coupler to complete the circuit(s) instead of pressing the button. Here is a tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Time-Lapse-Photography/step3/Press-my-buttons/

Thank you and that is exactly what I tried to do by buying a cheap digital camera and rigging it. Unfortunately, It did not work-- I will buy a few and make another attempt.

crusaider:
Thank you and that is exactly what I tried to do by buying a cheap digital camera and rigging it. Unfortunately, It did not work-- I will buy a few and make another attempt.

So you have to investigate why it did not work not just try again.
What did you do?

One of the simplest ways is to use an optically coupled FET.