Using the digital imaging equipment will involve the assistance of someone who is an authorized CERES Heliodon staff member. Therefore, the user will not need to be concerned with many of the technical requirements of using the camera, capture/display/recording equipment or associated computer equipment/software. Instead, this section will describe some of the capabilities/limitations of the device as well as some of the preparations and model accommodations that are required for effective use of the equipment.
As images and video from the camera are captured they are saved onto the laptop's hard drive. The user will need to bring digital media onto which their images/video can be transferred. The equipment supports transfer to the following media:
- DVD-R/DVD+R/ DVD-RW
- Zip Disks 100MB or 250 MB
- 1.4MB Floppy Disks
- USB Flash Drives
- Media Cards: Compact Flash, IBM Microdrive, Memory Stick, Multimedia Card,
- Secure Digital and Smart Media
- Video/Audio can also be recorded to VHS video tape.
Digital still images are 720 x 480 pixel jpeg color images that typically are around 60 KB in size. Video data size is widely variable dependant upon length of clip, frame capture size, file format, compression and whether audio is also included.
The camera is a very small Remote-Head video camera. The camera body itself is a small cylinder approximately ¼" in diameter (just a little larger than the diameter of a wooden pencil) and approximately 1-½" in length. It has the lens attached at one end and a 50' cable attached to the other. The flexible cable is 1/8" in diameter.
The camera can be outfitted with three lenses:
8mm=approximately 80mm telephoto SLR equivalent
4mm=approximately 50mm SLR equivalent
2mm=approximately 24mm wide angle SLR equivalent
The 2mm lens is best for most purposes as it includes a large portion of the model in its field of view. This lens has an amazing depth of field maintaining in sharp focus, items from approximately ¼" from the lens to infinity. Be aware that there is a slight, but in most cases acceptable, fisheye distortion when using this lens.