Reading live video feed from digital camera (not a simple webcam)

Hi :slight_smile:

I’m interested in reading a live video feed from a digital camera that will be connected to my computer.
This camera can’t be a simple webcam, I need better quality and optical zoom.
I thought of buying the elgato camlink and connecting the camera to it with a micro HDMI cable, I just want to make sure that this will work before I purchase it.
The camera that I’m looking to connect is a Sony Alpha A6000, I’m working with Python on a windows machine.
Has someone done this before? Maybe with a different capture device and not the camlink.
Is there a different method I can use that is reliable for live video feed reading with opencv from a digital camera?

Thanks a lot!

that will probably work. there is no better option, only choices of brand and model (elgato aren’t the only one out there). some companies sell pci express cards for studio use.

the market for hdmi-usb things used to be worse. these days everyone implements “UVC” (or went out of business).

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UVC: USB “Unified Video Class”. standard interface for video sources over USB. basically “webcam”, but the standard doesn’t require the picture to be as potato as a webcam, so it’s the sane (and only) choice for video over USB.

ok, while we’re at it, some brand names:

  • blackmagic “decklink” and whatnot
    – professional stuff because pci express
    – stay away from their “intensity shuttle”, if they even still sell that, because that used to be junk because not UVC and awfully glitchy
  • magewell
    – I have some experience with those (and intensity shuttle) and they work very well. not sure if they use an asic or fpga but it’s doing everything in hardware as far as I can see
  • elgato
    – no experience with those. I hear they work well.
  • various cheap chinese hdmi-usb thingies
    – some are supposed to work just as well as an elgato, presumably because they all use chips that are now “standard”

the state of things mostly depends on some big chip company making a good chip and everyone copying the reference design. everyone who entered the market before that actually had to do some engineering.

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