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Using a Sony DSC-P92 Cybershot Digital Camera with Linux
25th December 2003
I've had a Sony P50 digital camera for a while. I've written notes about it as well. In the middle of 2003, I bought another Sony camera, the Sony P92 Cybershot. This has some major advantages to the P50.
As always, there are some drawbacks.
I've been using the camera with the date/time stamp on. This is good for easily determining when you took the photo, but when you finally come to print a photo, that date stamp looks mighty ugly. I turned it off when I discovered that I can determine a lot of information about the photo from meta data stored inside the JPG image by the camera.
I used ImageMagick's "identify -verbose" command and this is the sort of information stored in each photo and easily accessible. Now I can see what settings I used and try and improve my photography.
Image: dsc01842.jpg Format: JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format) Geometry: 2592x1944 Class: DirectClass Type: true color Depth: 8 bits-per-pixel component Colors: 211471 Profile-APP1: 5339 bytes Byte order: Intel Image Description: Manufacturer: SONY Model: DSC-P92 Orientation: top - left x-Resolution: 72/1 y-Resolution: 72/1 Resolution Unit: Inch Date and Time: 2004:01:11 23:17:57 YCbCr Positioning: co-sited (null): Compression: JPEG compression Manufacturer: SONY Model: DSC-P92 Orientation: top - left x-Resolution: 72/1 y-Resolution: 72/1 Resolution Unit: Inch Date and Time: 2004:01:11 23:17:57 Exposure Time: 1/8 sec. FNumber: f/2.8 ExposureProgram: Normal program ISO Speed Ratings: 320 Exif Version: Exif Version 2.2 Date and Time (original): 2004:01:11 23:17:57 Date and Time (digitized): 2004:01:11 23:17:57 ComponentsConfiguration: Y Cb Cr - Compressed Bits per Pixel: 4/1 Exposure Bias: 0.0 MaxApertureValue: 48/16 Metering Mode: Pattern Light Source: Unknown Flash: Flash did not fire. Focal Length: 8.0 mm Maker Note: 1504 bytes unknown data FlashPixVersion: FlashPix Version 1.0 Color Space: sRGB PixelXDimension: 2592 PixelYDimension: 1944 File Source: DSC Scene Type: Custom Rendered: Normal process Exposure Mode: Auto exposure White Balance: Auto white balance Scene Capture Type: Standard InteroperabilityIndex: R98 InteroperabilityVersion: Thumbnail: 2947 bytes Resolution: 72x72 pixels Filesize: 2.2mb Interlace: None Background Color: grey100 Border Color: #DFDFDF Matte Color: grey74 Dispose: Undefined Iterations: 0 Compression: JPEG signature: f5113ce7ede6f647552ae8469360f0ff612588f42cbd7f16cccac349357d6eb9 Tainted: False User Time: 1.250u Elapsed Time: 0:02
All in all though, I am pretty happy with the camera. The physical bits are definitely better, like the smaller size and the automatic iris. The quality of the photos is much better, with the 5 megapixels. I keep it on maximum definition settings so I get the most amount of data to work with. This causes a problem with the number of photos per memory stick. I have a number of 128 meg memory sticks, and at 2.2 meg per photo, I get about 50 photos per memory stick. I was used to getting 100 photos with the P50, so I went out and bought a 256 meg memory stick for this camera. I actually got a 256 meg Memory Stick PRO. This caused me problems.
I was using Slackware 9.0 with the 2.4.20 kernel. The USB modules wouldn't recognise the camera. The camera was too new. But I could put the memory sticks in my PNY card reader and transfer the photos under Linux that way. Except it wouldn't read the Memory Stick PRO. So if I took photos on the Memory Stick PRO, then I could only get them off under Windows. So I stopped using the memory stick PRO because it's more trouble than it's worth these days to reboot to Windows for anything.
But time marches on and things change. Slackware 9.1 was released with the 2.4.22 kernel and the USB modules in that kernel release recognised the camera. But the usb-storage module still wouldn't recognise the Memory Stick PRO cards. The 2.6.0 kernel was released, and as Slackware 9.1 was 2.6 ready, I installed the 2.6.0 kernel. This time, the usb-storage module recognised the Memory Stick PRO cards. I can now access all aspects of the P92 under Linux. One thing I have also noticed is that the USB mounts and umounts are more reliable. No false starts, no false error reports. It's very stable and very good.
kernel: hub 1-0:1.0: new USB device on port 1, assigned address 3 usb.agent: ... no modules for USB product 54c/10/450 kernel: scsi4 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices kernel: Vendor: Sony Model: Sony DSC Rev: 4.50 kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02 scsi.agent: bogus sysfs DEVPATH=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1f.2/usb1 \ /1-1/1-1:1.0/host4/4:0:0:0 kernel: SCSI device sda: 487936 512-byte hdwr sectors (250 MB) kernel: sda: Write Protect is off kernel: sda:<7>usb-storage: queuecommand called kernel: Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi4, channel 0, id 0, lun 0 kernel: Attached scsi generic sg3 at scsi4, channel 0, id 0, lun 0, type 0
kernel: usb 1-1: USB disconnect, address 3
Now I have to upgrade Linux on my laptop because when I travel, that's where I store my photos. That's not going to be an easy task. A desired task, but not an easy task.
19th January 2004
I managed to upgrade my laptop and it now recognises the new camera and the Memory Stick Pro cards.
4th February 2004
When the 2.6.1 kernel came out, I had very mixed results from it. I installed it on my two desktops. It would recognise the camera but it wouldn't allow a mount. I tried a few things but couldn't make it work. Yet the 2.6.1 kernel installed on my laptop would work and recognise the camera. I left the 2.6.1 kernel on my laptop, and reverted back to the 2.6.0 kernel on the two desktops. The 2.6.2 kernel has been released, and the change log indicates a few USB changes, but I'm in toxic option shock right now, and as I have everything working to my satisfaction, I plan on burying my head in the sand and ignoring change for a little while. I'll look at the new kernels later in the year.