Product Support

EVOLT E-510

Select the topic that best matches your question: 


How do I download the images in my camera to a computer?

Complete instructions may be downloaded by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® software is required to view the file. It is available as a free download from Adobe's web site. Click here to download the latest version.

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Can I use my Olympus OM- series 35mm SLR lenses on the E-510?

Olympus OM-series lenses can be mounted on Olympus E-System DSLRs with the optional MF-1 OM Lens Adapter. OM-series lenses are unable to communicate with the firmware in E-System camera bodies. Therefore, their use in this fashion has the following restrictions:

  • Autofocus is not available.
  • OM Series autofocus lenses cannot be manually focused.
  • Stop-down metering is used.
  • Spot metering does not work properly.
  • Although it is possible to use the A (Aperture priority AE) shooting mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
  • The aperture display in the M (Manual) shooting mode is not available.
  • In P (Program AE) or S (Shutter speed priority AE) shooting mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure control does not work.
  • The distance scale on the OM system lens may not indicate the actual distance. Always use the viewfinder or Live View for focusing.

When mounted to the EVOLT E-510, OM-series lenses may take advantage of the camera's Image Stabilizer function, provided that the firmware in the DSLR body has been updated to the latest release.

Because the OM-series lenses were designed for film rather than for use with a digital sensor, the image quality may not equal that produced by Zuiko® Digital lenses.

To purchase the MF-1 OM Lens Adapter (Item #260231) from The Olympus Store, click here.

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How does the E-510's Image Stabilization work with Olympus OM-Series lenses?

Sensor Shift Image Stabilization can be applied to OM-Series manual lenses if the E-510 DSLR body firmware has been upgraded to provide the option to set the focal length of the lens being used. The Image Stabilizer needs to know what the focal length of the lens is to be able to apply the correct compensation to the sensor shift when the camera senses camera shake. Zuiko Digital lenses, being "smart" lenses, provide this information from the lens firmware to the firmware in the camera body automatically. Manual lenses have no electronics in them, so the focal length information must be entered manually by the photographer.

Updating the firmware installs an option in the IMAGE STABILIZER menu to set the focal length of the OM-Series lens being used. The OM-Series lens must be mounted on the E-510 using the MF-1 OM to Four-Thirds Adapter available from the Olympus Store.

To purchase the MF-1 OM to 4/3 Lens Adapter (Item #260231) from The Olympus Store, click here.

To set the focal length of an OM-Series lens in the E-510's IMAGE STABILIZATION option:

  1. Press the IS button to display the IMAGE STABILIZER screen.
  2. Press the button.
  3. Set the focal length using the Control Dial or the Up or Down arrow keys, then press the OK button.


The focal length settings option in the E-510 are shown in the table below:

8 mm 10 mm 12 mm 16mm 18 mm 21 mm
24 mm 28 mm 30 mm 35 mm 40 mm 48 mm
50 mm 55 mm 65 mm 70 mm 75 mm 80 mm
85 mm 90 mm 100 mm 105 mm 120 mm 135 mm
150 mm 180 mm 200 mm 210 mm 250 mm 300 mm
350 mm 400 mm 500 mm 600 mm 800 mm 1000 mm

If you are using a lens with a focal length that is not shown on the chart, please select the closest value. Do not take into account the 2x magnification factor applied in the Four-Thirds System--use the actual focal length of the lens being used.

The focal length setting cannot be applied when a Four-Thirds Zuiko Digital lens is attached.

For details on updating the firmware in the E-510, please refer to the question "How do I update the firmware in the E-510 camera body and Olympus E-System lenses?" in these FAQs.

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How do I update the firmware in the E-510 camera body and Olympus E-System lenses?

Firmware updates of Olympus E-System digital SLR bodies and Zuiko® Digital lenses are performed using OLYMPUS Master® or OLYMPUS Studio® software. Each version of the software has an Update Camera function that is used to initiate the update procedure.

Below are the locations of the update functions in the various software versions:

  • OLYMPUS Master 2.x: In the Browse window’s toolbar, click on Update/Language.
  • OLYMPUS Studio 2.x: In the Browse window’s toolbar, click on Update/Language.

Before updating, mount an Olympus Zuiko Digital lens to the camera body and set the camera body’s USB MODE to STORAGE. Connect the camera to a computer via its bundled USB cable. The computer must be connected to the Internet because the download and installation are managed online from an Olympus server. The camera battery should be fully charged. When these prerequisites are met, launch the software and click on the update function.

The update process will first poll the camera and lens to determine what firmware versions are currently installed. It will then ask if you want to search for a newer version. If it finds a newer version, you will be prompted to perform the update. Step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.

Follow the on-screen instructions carefully. If you deviate from the instructions, the firmware installation may not complete and the firmware may become corrupted. If this occurs, the camera will have to be sent to an Olympus Repair Service Center to have its firmware replaced. Do not do a firmware update during a storm or when there is a risk of losing power because this will also cause a corrupted firmware installation.

Once the firmware is updated, it is not possible to go back to a previous version.

You can check the firmware version of your camera and lens at any time when the camera is not connected to a computer. Open the camera menu, go to the Custom 2 menu (indicated by the icon of a wrench followed by the number 2), scroll to FIRMWARE and toggle right. The LCD will display the firmware version for the camera body and the currently mounted lens.

Lenses can be upgraded individually using the same update process even if the camera body already has the most current firmware. Mount a different lens on the body and repeat the update process as though you were updating the camera body.

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Where can I find the documentation for this camera?

The E-510 is packaged with a printed Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual.  The documents can also be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® is required to view the PDF files.  The software is available as a free download from Adobe's web site.

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Does Olympus offer any training materials to help me learn how to use the E-510?

Olympus offers the "OLYMPUS E-510 DVD Tutorial" by QuickPro® (Item #260431) for sale on The Olympus Store. This 60-minute tutorial is designed to improve the fundamental knowledge, picture quality and enthusiasm of the E-510 DSLR. It features a fun, interactive camera body tour to introduce the photographer to the buttons and viewfinder information.

To purchase the DVD from The Olympus Store, click here.

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How do I insert a memory card into the E-510?

To insert the memory card into the camera, do the following.

  1. Power off the camera.
  2. Open the card cover on the right side of the camera.
  3. Orient the card as shown below. For CompactFlash™ media, hold the memory card so that the contact area is on the card's left, pointing into the card slot, and the CF Mark is in the upper left corner of the card.  For xD-Picture Card™ media, hold the memory card so that the gold contact area is facing the front of the camera and the notch is facing down.
  4. Insert the card into the card slot as shown. Push the card gently straight in until it clicks.

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Sometimes when I turn off the E-510, I feel a slight vibration or hear a noise. Why is that?

When the camera is powered down, slight vibration and noise occur as the Supersonic Wave Drive motor resets the image sensor to its default position. The camera takes this action when shooting with the Image Stabilizer function set to I.S. 1 or I.S. 2. In either mode, the camera moves the sensor during shooting in order to counter the effects of camera shake. When the power is turned off, the camera moves the sensor back into the default position.

When Image Stabilizer is set to OFF, the sensor does not move during shooting and so does not need to be reset. However, if shooting with a zoom lens, some noise may still be heard when the camera is powered off as the lens resets its focus to infinity.

If both Image Stabilizer and Lens Reset are set to OFF, the camera will power down in silence.

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What is the difference between the I.S. 1 and I.S. 2 image stabilizer?

In I.S. 1, the Image Stabilizer corrects for camera shake on both the horizontal and vertical planes. In I.S. 2, the Image Stabilizer only corrects for vertical camera shake. This is to allow a photographer to use a low shutter speed and pan horizontally for creative effect. Situations in which this technique can be applied include tracking rapidly moving subjects such as flying birds, running wildlife, racing cars, and athletes with the intention of blurring the background for a visual effect in the image. The result would be a sharply defined subject against a blurred background that might otherwise appear cluttered.

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I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I mount it on the E-510 and enable its Image Stabilizer?

In such a scenario, it is recommended to use one or the other, but not both image stabilizers simultaneously. If both lens and body image stabilization are being used at the same time, the combination may be counter-productive because the camera image stabilization would be trying to compensate for the lens image stabilization and not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.

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What are the P, A, S and M modes on the Mode Dial and how are they used?

The P, A, S, and M modes are the Advanced Shooting modes. These are essentially non-AUTO modes that allow the photographer more creative control by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings. The Advanced Shooting modes also allow total access to the menu options. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories. Briefly, the Advanced Shooting modes and their applications are as follows:

  • P (Program shooting) – Allows shooting using an aperture and shutter speed set by the camera. However, the Program Shift function allows some creative control. When the camera is turned on, the control panel shows P in the upper left of the Control Panel screen. If you rotate the Control Dial, the P changes to Ps, which is Program Shift. This permits selecting a shutter speed or aperture other than the default while maintaining the same exposure. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture is set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture is set. In effect, it is an AUTO mode that accepts input from the photographer.
  • A (Aperture priority shooting) – Allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens using the Control Dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under or over-exposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and on the Control Panel screen will blink.
  • S (Shutter priority shooting) – Allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body using the Control Dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speeds are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under or over-exposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and Control Panel screen will blink.
  • M (Manual shooting) – Allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independent of each other. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. This mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware.
    In the Manual shooting mode the shutter speed is set using the Control Dial, and the aperture is set using the Control Dial while holding down the Exposure Compensation button.

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When the Mode Dial is set to AUTO, why are some of the menu options deactivated (grayed-out)?

In the AUTO shooting mode, the camera operates with a minimum of input from the user. Many shooting functions are controlled entirely by the camera; the photographer cannot change their settings. Therefore, the menu options that control those settings are deactivated (grayed-out) in AUTO mode.

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The E-510 has five focusing modes. Which should I use?

The five focusing modes are provided to offer the photographer greater flexibility in setting up the camera for diverse shooting situations. Any of the focusing modes that have an MF in their designation allow the photographer to adjust the focus by turning the focusing ring on the lens.

  • S-AF (Single AF) – Every time the shutter button is pressed halfway the camera focuses. This mode is suitable for taking pictures of still subjects or subjects with limited movement.
  • C-AF (Continuous AF) – The camera continuously refocuses as long as the shutter button is held down halfway. When the subject is in motion, the camera focuses on the subject in anticipation of its movement using Predictive Autofocus technology. If you are shooting in the Sequential Shooting Drive mode, Continuous AF resumes after a burst of images when the shutter button is returned to the halfway position.
  • MF (Manual Focus) – The lens is focused manually by rotating the lens focus ring. Still life and landscape photographers may prefer this focus mode as it allows more creative control. Manual Focus must be used when the EC-25 Extension Tube is mounted between a lens and camera body for accurate focus.
  • S-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the S-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer the option of fine adjusting the focus using the lens focus ring after the shutter button has been pressed halfway and autofocus has been locked. This mode allows the photographer more creative control over the autofocus to focus on a specific area the autofocus may not have selected.
  • C-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the C-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer to manually focus before pressing the shutter button halfway to enable C-AF. It allows the photographer to pre-focus the lens closer to a focus zone to provide the autofocus with a more rapid response in situations such as sports or wildlife photography.

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My 35mm SLR had a depth-of-field preview button so I could check what was in focus in my picture. How can I preview depth-of-field using the E-510?

The E-510 allows you to preview the depth-of-field either by looking through the viewfinder (PREVIEW) or using Live View (LIVE PREVIEW). To use the preview functions, the Fn button needs to be assigned to the preview function in the camera menu. To assign the preview function to the Fn button:

  1. Open the camera menu by pressing the MENU button.
  2. Toggle down to the Setup 1 menu, indicated by the icon of a wrench followed by the number 1, and toggle right.
  3. Toggle down to the FUNCTION menu item, and then toggle right.
  4. Toggling up or down, select PREVIEW for the viewfinder or LIVE PREVIEW for Live View.
  5. Press the OK button to set the selection, and then press MENU to exit the menu.

The Fn button will then become the depth-of-field preview button. Holding the button down will close the aperture to the set f-stop to provide a view of the depth-of-field. The image will appear lighter or darker in relation to the set f-stop. Enlarged Display is not available in Live View when using the LIVE PREVIEW function.

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The subject I want in focus doesn’t line up with any of the AF frames in the viewfinder. How do I get the camera to focus on the subject?

The Focus Lock function enables the photographer to prefocus on a specific subject, lock the focus, and then recompose the image and shoot the picture.

  1. Position the AF frame on the autofocus subject and press the shutter button halfway until the AF confirmation mark lights up. The focus will be locked.
  2. While holding the shutter button in the halfway position, recompose the image and press the shutter button all the way to shoot the picture.

At first this may seem to be a cumbersome procedure, but with practice it can become a fluid movement.

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Is there a way to shoot if I don’t want to wait for autofocus to lock or the flash to recycle?

Normally, the E-510 will not shoot while autofocus is operating or the flash is charging. However, situations may arise where the photographer would want to override the camera and force it to fire under marginal shooting conditions when the camera may not be ready to shoot.

The Shutter Release Priority function will permit the camera to shoot even though normal shooting requirements are not met. The function is found in the Setup 1 menu (Wrench 1 icon) and can be specified for two autofocus modes:

  • RELEASE PRORITY S: Set to ON to enable the camera to fire immediately, without waiting for focus confirmation, in the S+AF autofocus mode.
  • RELEASE PRIORITY C: Set to OFF to force the camera to secure focus before firing in the C+AF autofocus mode. Predictive AF is not available for the first shot when this function is enabled.

Be advised that overriding the camera creates special considerations. Shooting before the flash has recycled may cause images to be underexposed if ambient light is insufficient to illuminate the subject. Shooting before autofocus has locked may result in blurry images, particularly when the subject is in motion. To compensate for the loss of autofocus, increase the depth of field by shooting with the smallest aperture that is practical for acquiring the shot.

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When and why should I use the Eyepiece Cover that came with my camera?

During normal shooting, the photographer’s face and the camera’s eyecup work together to shade the viewfinder and prevent light from entering the metering system of the camera through the viewfinder. When the camera is on a tripod, light can enter the viewfinder from behind the camera because the photographer may be standing away from the camera. This is most likely to happen if the sun is low and behind the camera or the photographer is shooting a night shot and street lighting is shining into the viewfinder. In both cases, this extraneous light can shine into the metering system and can skew the exposures, resulting in under-exposed images. Removing the viewfinder eyecup and replacing it with the eyepiece cover blocks extraneous light from entering the viewfinder so the exposures will be more accurate.

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How do I use the different metering modes?

The E-510 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure.  The metering modes can be set in the Control Panel screen or the camera menu.  Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:

Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use.  The camera measures and calculates the light differences in 49 separate areas of the image. The mode can be changed to ESP+AF in the menu to center the metering on one of the three AF frames seen in the camera viewfinder.
Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weighting on the center of the frame. Use this mode when you do not want the light level of the background to affect the exposure value of the main subject.
Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.
HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering, but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure.
SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray.

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What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?

Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter.  This phenomenon is called subject failure.  As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures.  Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.

The Exposure Compensation scale is shown on the LCD’s control panel.  It looks like this:

In the example, Exposure Compensation is set to underexpose one f-stop.  The function can be set to under- or overexpose up to three f-stops in 1/3-stop increments.

It is important that you set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed.  When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed in the Control Panel screen.

The Exposure Compensation value is also displayed in the viewfinder.

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How do I select which ISO setting to use?

Think of the ISO values as film speeds. Low ISOs such as 100 and 200 are better suited to situations in which there is a lot of light – outdoors scenes. Higher ISOs, such as 400 and 800, would be used outdoors where there is plenty of light and fast shutter speeds are desired – sports and air shows, for example – or indoors for available light shooting. ISO 1600 would be used where there are very low light levels, such as indoors or at night.

The AUTO mode and Scene mode automatically set the ISO.

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How does the E-510 combat noise commonly found at high ISOs?

Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo.  When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot.  Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions.  The result is a graininess known as “noise.”

Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor.  Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time.

All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. The E-510 uses a new sensor that dramatically decreases noise.  In addition, it combats noise with two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.

The NOISE FILTER is found in the Camera 1 menu, represented by an icon of a camera followed by the number 1.  The noise filter function has four options: OFF, LOW, STANDARD, and HIGH.  The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on.  Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.

NOISE REDUCTION can also be enabled from the Camera 1 menu.  After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed.  It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black), and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image.  This doubles the shooting time.  If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure is also 12 minutes 30 seconds, for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.

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What do the fractions in the Manual Flash settings represent?

The photographer has the option of using different power settings in the Manual Flash mode to balance the fill flash with available light exposure. You may have seen TV clips of celebrity and news photographers using fill-flash outdoors. Fill-flash throws a little extra light into shadows to “open” them up to get a more pleasing image. You can also use this technique in landscape and travel photography to show a little more detail in the shadows of foreground subjects.

The fractional settings (FULL, ¼, 1/16, 1/64) allow the photographer control over how much light is needed to fill the shadows at varying distances. The sync speeds used are between 1/60 and 1/180 second.

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I shot in the RAW format and I need a JPEG image, but I’m away from my computer. How can I convert the RAW files to JPEGs in the field?

The E-510 has a RAW editor in the camera menu that allows the photographer to not only convert the RAW file to a chosen JPEG record mode, but also apply white balance, sharpness, contrast and color adjustments in the converted JPEG image.

To edit a RAW file in camera:

  1. Open the camera menu, and in the first tab (Camera 1) select the PICTURE MODE, RECORD MODE, and WB (White Balance) settings to be applied to the RAW image to be edited.
  2. Exit the menu by pressing the MENU button.
  3. In the playback mode, select the RAW image to be edited.
  4. Open the menu, select the third tab (Edit), select EDIT, and toggle right.  You will see the RAW image to be edited.
  5. Press the OK button.
  6. In the RAW DATA EDIT screen, select YES and then press OK.

A JPEG copy of the RAW image that reflects the settings selected in the Camera 1 menu has been saved to the memory card.  The RAW image remains unchanged.

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In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What is the difference between these settings?

ALL ERASE deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected.  FORMAT deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory.  In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images.  Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.

If ALL ERASE is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card.  The FORMAT option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.

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Is it possible to view the Live View image on a computer?

Using the Olympus Software Development Kit, Pinetree Computing LLC has created software that provides computer camera control and the ability to view the Live View image on a second computer monitor or on a television screen.

To use this software with the E-510, set the camera’s USB MODE option to CONTROL and then connect it to the computer and second monitor or television using the USB AV/PC-2 “breakout” cable.  The cable (item #200874) may be purchased online from The Olympus Store by clicking here.

The Pinetree Computing Camera Controller can be purchased online and downloaded at http://www.pinetreecomputing.com/camctl.asp.

Instructions and technical support  for the Pinetree Computer Camera Controller are provided by Pinetree Computing LLC.

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