Quick Qs about Unibrain Fire-i camera board

    May 17 2010 | 9:44 am
    I'm in the process of spec'ing the hardware for a video tracking sound installation, and am somewhat inconvenienced - as are we all - by the dearth of standalone cameras now that laptops come with them built-in.
    I've read Andrew Benson's article here - https://cycling74.com/tutorials/making-connections-camera-data/ - and it looks to me that the Unibrain Fire-i board is the way to go - good for compatibility, decent quality, selection of lenses (the 107º fisheye is probably what we need).
    A handful of Qs:
    1. Andrew's article says Quicktime IIDC: does this mean I can just plug it into the back of a Mac mini, fire up jit.qt.grab and expect it to work?
    2. Looking here - http://www.scorpionvision.co.uk/products.asp?cat=31 - I see a "Colour" camera and a "RAW" camera, with different product numbers. Should I prefer one over the other? (Same price, same blurb, so it's possibly just a listing error, and they're the same unit.)
    3. Anything else I might need to know - config, focussing, ...?

    • May 17 2010 | 6:06 pm
      As for two, there are two different cameras. Look at the bottom of the page: http://www.unibrain.com/Products/VisionImg/Fire_i_BC.htm
      I suspect you want the colo(u)r one.
    • May 17 2010 | 6:43 pm
      I see three varieties: colour, black-and-white, and raw colour. I suspect I want the (cooked) colour version.
    • May 17 2010 | 8:30 pm
      1. Yes, in my experience. I almost always fiddle with Settings window stuff, but it otherwise just works. 2. Unless you enjoy mucking about, "color" is your best bet 3. Screw on lenses are great, because you never have to worry about the autofocus problem (see original iSight), and there are great options for cheap. I love manual focus. DealExtreme sells a cheap m12 lens variety pack (w/o IR cut filters). Keep in mind whether you want IR filters on your lens. Cool thing about Unibrains is that you can daisy-chain fairly easy.
    • May 17 2010 | 9:43 pm
      Hi Andrew, thanks for the follow-up. Actually, I was thinking about daisy-chaining a pair of cameras, and I might do that if time permits, but it sounds as if I should be good to go with one unit and the wide-angle lens.
      dealextreme.com - man, that site looks dangerous for the wallet.
    • May 17 2010 | 10:26 pm
      yes, be careful.
    • May 21 2010 | 10:44 am
      The Unibrain Fire-i just arrived. I plugged it in and it just works, so I'm in a world of fish-eyed pleasure.
      I didn't realise that the standard model comes with a second Firewire port on a daughterboard. This makes the option of adding a second camera, if we need one, pretty trivial.
    • May 24 2010 | 11:56 pm
      i love my unibrain fire-i !!!!