I have a USB webcam, and an LCD screen. Is there a way to connect one to the other, and make a digital viewfinder?

I have a USB webcam, and a small LCD screen. Assuming I cut open the USB wire to power the camera, and do something similar with the LCD screen, is there a way to send the camera data to the LCD screen, without using a desktop as an intermediary?

In short, I'd like to make a very simple portable digital viewfinder. Given the relative cheapness of webcams (you can buy a half a dozen for less than $10 on google shopping, versus a single CMOS camera module for the same price), I wanted to see how easy such a thing would be to make. As far as I can tell, it'd just be separating the data output from the rest of the wires-- but having never worked with USB before, I'm not sure.

Any help?

DillonW51 year ago

i know some printers can both navigate digital camera photos, i wonder if that could be used as the pass thru

I think you pretty much have to have SOME kind of go-between computer, but you can buy very cheap/specific/small ones. Google "Linux box" (or Windows, whichever!) and you'll see examples.
kdermod (author)  Lithium Rain6 years ago
It doesn't absolutely need to be a webcam; I'd just assumed that'd be the most economical route.

I guess the next question would be-- would it be simpler, using the basic idea outlined above, to interface a camera module and screen? If so, anyone know any good resources to figure out how to do that? I'm fairly certain you can't just plug the module into the screen, but I'm not sure what the "middle" step would be.

I'm referring to, by the way, "raw" parts like these:
mwrenfro6 years ago
There'd be no easy way I can think of other than putting a PC in between them. The data format coming out of the webcam wouldn't resemble anything compatible with the screen. And the camera probably wouldn't work without a USB host on the other end of the cable anyway.

If it's got to be a webcam, the cheapest and most portable route would be to hook the webcam up to a netbook.

If you want to avoid using a PC, then I'd look for a small video camera or similar that has an *analog* output, and a small LCD TV that takes analog inputs. Those could be hooked up to each other, no problem.