Some friends and I did build a photo booth for a friend's wedding, which is now part of every wedding/birthday/whatever event in our clique. We did exaggerate it a bit and even programmed our own user interface (2 big red glowing buttons and a large display), written in python and running on Linux. We started using a Canon DSLR inside the booth but recently used a PowerShot G10, since it allows to control the zoom from software, which eases the booth installation. The communication with the camera is handled by the gphoto2 library. Newer canon compact cameras do not have the ability to be remote controlled anymore. The list of suitable cameras that are still in production is pretty short to nonexistent (see http://gphoto.sourceforge.net/doc/remote/). Which compact cameras are available as replacement that provide the following features:

  • zoom starting around 24 mm to 28 mm and ending beyond 50 mm (“fulll frame” sensor size equivalent)
  • remotely controllable by USB connection
    • zoom
    • aperture
    • shutter speed
    • ISO
    • take picture
    • transfer picture to PC
    • does remember other options once set or allows to change them remotely as well (white balance, flash on/off, flash sync mode, ...)
  • free Linux drivers available, gphoto2 support would be optimal
  • hot shoe to trigger flash
  • RAW if possible
  • possibility for mains power supply (at least some adapter solution available)
  • possibility to disable automatic timed shutdown
  • I don't get the problem. It sounds like a Canon DSLR with a kit zoom(i.e. 18-55mm) will solve the problem of "booth installation". Also, what is wrong with the G10 you have been using? If it is broken, why not buy another? For a photo booth especially the G10 is perfectly suitable I would think. – dpollitt Mar 13 '16 at 4:24
  • The problem with the DSLR is the lack of zoom control from software. The G10 is still working but getting old in terms of shutter count and I am searching for a more durable solution, something I do not have to rely on ebay if I need a replacement. To disable the remote control possibility even from “pro” compact cameras was IMO a bad decision and I am searching for an alternative supplier as well. – Chris Mar 13 '16 at 7:33
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    Yeah but why would you need software controlled zoom for a photo booth? That isn't common for a booth and I don't know why you would even use it. It's important because I believe every Canon DSLR allows remote control of the remaining aspects without an issue using a variety of software. – dpollitt Mar 13 '16 at 13:47
  • We often give the booth to friends that are not that tech savvy or have no clue about photography. That may be e.g. the birthday of the father of a colleague. We cannot attend all those events and operate the booth, especially since we charge no money, and therefore we need something as easy to set up as possible. Everything can be controlled by the two button user interface (zoom, crop, etc.; focus and exposure are set to automatic), which is quite convenient for both us and the people using the booth. We spent a lot of energy on the user interface to get that two button interface right. – Chris Mar 13 '16 at 20:06
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    You might look into using CHDK for remote control of a Canon P&S camera. CHDK appears to be available for newer Canon models in the G series. Check out this link about remote functionality: chdk.wikia.com/wiki/USB_Remote – Wesley R. Elsberry Mar 21 '17 at 22:43

Since the following has been languishing as a comment to the question for almost a year, I'm copying it as an answer and have set it to community wiki:

You might look into using CHDK for remote control of a Canon P&S camera. CHDK appears to be available for newer Canon models in the G series. Check out this link about remote functionality. – Wesley R. Elsberry

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Your question got me intrigued. And I'm sorry I don't have a list for you, but I may have a way to narrow the candidates.

  1. As far as I can tell, no DSLR or SLR has a power zoom. You zoom by hand.

  2. This leaves as options the numerous set of point and shoot and bridge cameras that zoom with a two way rocker switch of some form.

The Gphoto documentation on this feature is here: http://www.gphoto.org/doc/remote/

On it, the only ones where zoom is controllable are all Canon PowerShot cameras. There are 8 listed. The Rebel is also listed but there is a note, 'read only?' next to it.

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