Great new project from Glen Akins:
I have a Blackmagic Designs Micro Studio Camera I wanted to use as a webcam for video conferences. Even with a 16mm sensor, it has better quality than any small sensor webcam. The only issue is all the exposure and focus controls are manual. When connected to one of their ATEM video switchers, this isn’t a problem as the ATEM provides control of all connected cameras using data sent back to the camera embedded in the HD-SDI return video feed.
If you want to use the camera without an ATEM swtich, however, there’s no way to control the exposure without using the small awkward buttons on the front of the camera and no way to control the focus without reaching up and turning the lens’s focus ring. Being an engineer, hacker, and maker, there had to be a better way! And there was. Read on to find out more about my solution for controlling the camera. Also, it’s 100% open source and licensed under the permissive MIT license if you want to build your own.
This was a fun project to build with a practical application. I built two versions of the project. The first version works and is based on a Silicon Labs EFM8UB2 microcontroller. Due to the chip shortage, the EFM8UB2 looks unavailable for at least the rest of the year.
The second version functions identically and is based on a Microchip PIC18F45K50 microcontroller. It’s availability at the time I wrote this was a little better than the Silicon Labs part. If you want to reproduce this project, you can use either part. Boards for both are available in Github repository for the project.