time-lapse video recorder

Jason K. Potter potterj at tcimet.net
Wed Mar 4 20:18:16 EST 1998

A little more information on the Snappy video digitizer.
It is sold by Play Inc. (and Minolta) and costs approximately
$99 to $150, depending on which version you get.  It connects to the parallel port
of your computer, so it doesn't require installing a board in your computer.  It
comes with controlling software and allows capturing video from a video camera,
VCR or regular television at resolutions up to about 1500 X 1200 (if you have the
RAM).  It uses multiple sampling to extract information from more than one frame
(if the image is a still one) and produce resolution that appears better than that
seen on the TV screen.  Shareware software is available from the Web (Snapcap
being one) that allows capturing a frame at a time every second up to on an hourly
or longer schedule.  Shareware and freeware is also available on the Web to
convert these frames to a Quicktime or AVI video.  It has been a relatively
inexpensive way for me to film time-lapse videos of Fastplant growth and response
to stimuli, snails cleaning the bottom and glass of an aquarium,  blue-green algae
crawling across the glass of a slide or aquarium face, crystal growth on a slide
under the microscope, etc.  Another approach I have used is a video capture board
(MIRO DC1) with Adobe Premiere capture and editing software to do the same thing.
It is more flexible, but I found it much harder to set up and get going due to
problems with RAM, IRQ conflicts, etc.

The third method mentioned is a graphics board (not the only one
available) that is made by ATI called the "All-In-Wonder"  that allows both video
input and output as well as mpeg coding to cram more video into scarce disk
storage.  I haven't used it, but it sounds promising.  Another approach is the
Matrox Rainbow Runner add-on board for the Matrox Mystique graphics card.  You can
find information about any of these by searching the net using these names.
Hope this helps.

Jason Potter,
Haslett High School, Haslett, MI

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