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Elphel 353 series quick start guide

From ElphelWiki



  • The following guide was written for (K)Ubuntu OS
  • The camera has a web-based interface and it should work in any OS (Firefox browser is recommended)

Lens Mount

Lens Adapter Ring
Check if you need the C/CS adapter ring to connect your own lenses.


When the camera is properly connected to a PC the leds on the back will go solid yellow and blinking green.

1. Standard PoE Injector

Fig.1 Camera connection using a standard PoE Injector

2. 12V Power Module (ONLY FOR 12V CAMERAS)

Fig.3 12V camera connection
power injector adapter


The default camera IP address is* ("ping -b" if it accidentally has some other address)

  • Ensure that your PC or router/switch, the camera is connected to, has an IP address from the same subnetwork – that is
  • When you get to the camera's home page - the IP address can be changed from the Preferences page.

Now, in case you IP belongs to another subnetwork (for example, your IP is, you may not be able to access the camera - therefore, you won't be able to change its preferences. What you have to do is use Elphel's Live USB. Change your BIOS settings to be able to boot from a USB device that has Elphel's ditro installed. Once the system from the USB is running, let its program map the connected cameras and connect to them. Mind you, with the live distro the default IP address ( should work. From the camera's homepage, go to System Preferences -> Network and change the IP address to (in the example we are using). You can now reboot. Everything now will be working as expected.

SSH/FTP connection

Default user is:

Login:     root
Password:  pass

Camera Index Page Menu *

* It is recommended to use the Firefox browser.

  • Main Applications menu items:
  • Camera Control Interface
  • Disk Recorder (only use this if you have an actual disk: HDD, SSD, compactflash card connected to your camera)
  • Parameter Editor
  • Terminal
  • System Preferences
  • File Browser / Text Editor

Help Tips

Open the Camera Control Interface (camvc).

Fig.4 Help

Getting the first images


In the Camera Control Interface (camvc): "Shift+Click" on the button to save.

Fig.5 Acquire an image from the Camera Control Interface


shell script

wget -O filename.jpeg


In PHP it will be just a system() or exec() call:

system("wget -O filename.jpeg");

Camera GUI(camvc) Controls

Fig.6 camvc controls

Watch/record video stream over the network

There are several ways to watch/record video streams from the camera:

1. watch: camvc

First click on an icon with a "screen" (the 3rd one from the left) and then change the display mode to "a guy on a bicycle".

This icon is only active if you have a media plugin installed in your web browser. Elphel's live USB uses "gecko-mediaplayer" together with "gnome-mplayer". Other media plugins (such as the VLC plugin) also may work. In case the "guy on a bicycle" icon is inactive, check if you have one of them installed - in case it's still not working you may have to uninstall "totem-mozilla" (this is the case for Debian Squeeze and Iceweasel).

Fig. 7 Turn on Live Video Stream

2. watch: multipart jpeg (low latency)

  • Works in Firefox, low latency stream

3. watch: player GUI / command line

To watch the video stream with VLC or something else (ffplay, Mplayer) open the rtsp:// You can use either a player GUI or a command line. Here is an example command from Linux terminal window:

VLC (high latency, ffplay might be better)
vlc rtsp://

4. record: command line

mencoder rtsp:// -ovc copy -fps <fps> -o <file_name>.mov

<fps>        - approximate value of the frame frequency (this parameter is mandatory); 
<file_name>.mov - the name of an output file


vlc rtsp:// -V x11 --sout file/ogg:<file_name>.mov

FTP access

Command line access

a) SSH

In the terminal window: ssh root@

b) Telnet

In the terminal window: telnet

c) Phpshell

Firefox address line:


In a terminal/phpshell type reboot -f.

Serial port (10369 board required)

Speed: 115200 8N1



PHP samples

On the camera

PHP API Reference Documentation

List of PHP Constants

PHP Examples

On the PC

Accessing camera parameters

Camera GUI -> "Parameter Editor"

Navigate through the 1st table links. They cover most if not all of the camera parameters.

On-camera script "parsedit.php" - through a browser or AJAX GET call

The response is in XML form:



Note 1: It's just if the parameter value is specified it will be applied. The call can have mixed specified and unspecified parameters.

Note 2: The new value is read on the next call.

Keeping settings after power off -> "Parameter Editor"

Scroll to the 2nd table.

  • "Save" button
  • Optionally write some comment and press "Update" to the right of it. Next time the camera will boot with these settings.
  • To set the parameter group used at boot time, select it and press "Update Default" button.

More Tutorials

See Tutorials