LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

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Kim Janson

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LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostThu Dec 03, 2020 11:59 am

The LVZwatch provides Blackmagic design camera control over Bluetooth with combined iPhone and Apple Watch user interface.



We have kept the application simple and focused to the main parameters. The special feature we have at this time is possibility to save and recall up to 3 presets. (Rec, WB, ISO, Shutter, Aperture, Focus)

The first demo version is soon available and we are looking for max 10 testers, If you are interested please contact me via email: kim.janson@levitezer.com

It is required that the tester has iPhone running iOS 14.1 and Apple Watch with WatchOS 7 and one of the BMD cameras that support Bluetooth control (like P4K or P6K).

The parameters can be changed and monitored from the camera, iPhone and Apple Watch. It will be possible to use it also without Apple Watch, but at this time we are looking for testers that have both.

The LVZwatch has been developed on Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, demo project supervised by LeViteZer. The project team is Topias Peiponen, Tiia Toivonen, Lauri Nissinen and Roope Vaarama.
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Dmitry Shijan

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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostThu Dec 03, 2020 11:34 pm

So nice!
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Kim Janson

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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostFri Dec 04, 2020 4:48 pm

Thanks Dmitry.

We have now the 10 testers, some of them already testing. At start of next week we should have first results and soon after updated version. Some updates are already being worked on.
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Kim Janson

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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostMon Dec 07, 2020 12:42 pm

Working remotely has caused some challenges to the project as hardware is on different locations, and testing has done partially on SW development environment etc. The current SW version was released prematurely for the testers, and my recommendation is to wait next release before using too much time for the testing. The current version works, but there is some missing features and many bugs.

The next release will be during this week.
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Kim Janson

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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostThu Dec 10, 2020 12:57 pm

The Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, demo project has come to end, here is presentation of the LVZwatch. (The control with Watch starts at 2:00.)



The original goal was to make the control with Apple Watch only, but it was not possible to pair it directly with the camera. Apple confirmed this is the case for now.

So we made decision to do the communication via iPhone. This actually is pretty nice. It is still possible to control the camera with Watch only, but have more extensive control like saving presets via phone. The watch control is really nice as values can be adjusted with the physical knob.

However having 3 devices that need to be synchronised complicated greatly the communication between the devices and some bugs remain on that currently, it is ok to test the idea as it is, but it is not ready for serious use. We will provide the current testers with the latest version of the Demo SW, but please take it with the notes above.

Currently it remains open when we can continue on this, I hope we find a way to do that. Using the watch like this has potential.

Big thanks for the demo project team, who made the first step for BMD camera Apple Watch control possible and for BMD loaning the camera for the project.
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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostFri Dec 11, 2020 1:08 am

why is the delay on the iphone greater than on the watch?
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Kim Janson

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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostFri Dec 11, 2020 4:35 am

There is few differences on the Phone vs. Watch control current implementation. The values are send to camera when releasing the phone slider, not during the slider adjustment. The Watch sends values every movement of the knob, or every time pressing the + or - on the screen.

Though the Watch currently provides better response when adjusting, there is problem that appears if the watch knob is moved fast and long period. Normally this happens only in purpose of generating this problem. Especially if adjusting focus many times from far to near to far fast, it will continue adjustment a second or two after releasing the knob, as the values where buffered for sending.

There is solution for both updating the values when using slider and not over saturating the communication. This is also related to the biggest problem, values between devices not synchronising always correctly. This problem was found too late on the project and there was no time to correct it as it would have required a big overhaul in the internal communication.

The born of this problem was when we needed to ad phone as camera watch direct pairing was not possible. The internal communication problems did go long not noted as we all worked remotely and the students had only one watch and camera.

Now that the problems are known it would be easy to address them when we next time have resources to work on this project.

Also due the lack of time the LVZwatch currently supports only absolute focusing. Some of the lenses work really nice on this mode, mostly native MFT lenses, but also Canon EF STM lenses via speedbooster. Some lenses have quite steppy and noisy focus on this mode. The advantage of absolute focusing is that the focus point can be stored and recalled. LVZwatch presets functionality uses this and can also store other parameters.

The other focusing mode is relative focusing and it in general is more responsive and smoother, but need to be a bit adjusted per lens, depending how many fast focusing the lens supports. Some BMD cameras currently support only relative focusing, like Pocket 6K. Pocket 4K with the MFT mount supports both.

Both cameras have Auto focusing and it is supported by LVZwatch.
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Kim Janson

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Re: LVZwatch - BMD camera control with Apple Watch

PostTue Jan 05, 2021 10:14 am

The LVZwatch provides Blackmagic design camera control over Bluetooth combined with iPhone and Apple Watch user interface. We have kept the application simple and focused on the main parameters.

The key features of the LVZwatch are possibility to save the camera settings to presets and using the AppleWatch grown to adjust the parameters.

Screenshot 2021-01-05 at 12.12.35.jpg
Screenshot 2021-01-05 at 12.12.35.jpg (308.95 KiB) Viewed 242 times


At this time the app is provided as a demonstration of the idea for selected testers.

The current version has many known bugs, most serious one the synchronisation of parameters between the devices. The origibal idea was to connect the AppleWatch directly to the camera, but that was not possible at this time. This complicated the communication between devices and it was too late on the project the synchronisation problem was found.

The current student project is finished, we are looking for ways to finish the project and provide the aplication for everyone to use. Ideas and comments are most welcome (kim.janson@levitezer.com).


The LVZwatch User Manual

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uFoOsr ... sp=sharing
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com

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