Using the ImageMagic 500 digital camera under Linux

This is just to let people know that the ImageMagic 500 digital camera from I/O Magic does indeed work from Linux. The camera, part number DR-MD500, can be used with gPhoto to download photos in 1024x768 mode, although most other features (like having the software delete pictures from the camera) do not work at this time. Use the gPhoto setting for the Samsung Digimax 800.

The reason why I have elected to post this page is a simple one: I needed an inexpensive digital camera and I wanted Linux support. One of the computer superstores had the ImageMagic 500, a 0.8 megapixel camera, on sale for about US$100 (after mail-in rebate). I researched the matter of Linux support for the camera, but could find nothing on the web. As I had a need to produce a few digital images immediately, I finally decided to purchase the camera and use the Windows software as a stop-gap solution until Linux support appeared (or until I had time to hack it out myself).

After purchase, I stumbled across a single reference in a usenet group to someone speculating that the MagicImage 500 might have an engine similar to the Samsung Digimax 800. After a quick configuration change in gPhoto, I found myself able to download pictures from the camera to my Linux box. As much as I like the challenge of reverse engineering protocols, I was pleased to find that someone else had already gotten the job done (at least as far as downloading goes).

Here's a (566K) self portrait using the camera (originally downloaded with the Windows software).

This information is as of 10 August 2000 and refers to gPhoto 0.4.3 .

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