Thursday, August 1, 2013

What we should have in a WIFI capable camera

WIFI cameras appear to be a trend. The problem is that manufacturers think of people as stupid, so they decide to make rather specific applications for specific devices and operating systems that complicates use of WIFI.

WIFI on a camera shouldn't be used as a means of uploading pictures to facebook, flicker, <insert random social clutter here>.

This is what WIFI should look like:
  • Touchscreen entry for connecting to a wifi network to upload pictures as they are selected, or taken via FTP, CIFS and HTML.
  • If no touchscreen, then the camera should make an easily readable text file template. Something you can easily select from a menu on the camera. Config files can be kept in a folder like the usual "DCIM". If there's no file, or if the user wants, he should be able to create a template for the protocol of choice. Something looking like:
    • Protocol=FTP
    • ServerPort=21(default)
    • ServerLogin=username
    • ServerPassword=password
    •  Active/Passive=active(default)
  •  While I'm not a huge fan of Java, it does have it's place. A simple file receive app written in Java that received files from the camera and puts it in a folder of choice would work pretty much anywhere.
  • Run a simple web server on the camera. Seriously I can't believe this isn't done yet. File server should facilitate browsing, and downloading RAW/JPG. Ftp also nice and easy.
Take all of the above a step further and you should be able to download and upload camera configuration settings.

Just my 2 cents on how I envision it. FTP is easier to setup these days than samba - at least a samba solution that doesn't jerk people around. Microsoft is continually making life harder with their updates. Nowadays I run a virtual machine - Linux Mint - to share files without all the problems I get sharing Windows 7 folders to a range of operating systems.

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