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Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera? - Photography

Let's say that you hide a remotely controlled digital camera, which can also be pointed with a servo remotely, in a hollow log or something (possibly even a model of a bird!). Then you place it where there are a lot of migrating birds and lay a cable to a hiding place a 100 meters away or something, which has a small computer screen where you can se what the camera sees. Shouldn't it be easy to take the most fantastic bird pictures with this setup? Has this been done to anyone's knowledge? What type of camera would be best? ...

  1. #1

    Default Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    Let's say that you hide a remotely controlled digital camera, which
    can also be pointed with a servo remotely, in a hollow log or
    something (possibly even a model of a bird!). Then you place it where
    there are a lot of migrating birds and lay a cable to a hiding place a
    100 meters away or something, which has a small computer screen where
    you can se what the camera sees. Shouldn't it be easy to take the most
    fantastic bird pictures with this setup? Has this been done to
    anyone's knowledge?

    What type of camera would be best? SLR digital camera or a regular
    digital camera? You must be able to see what the camera sees remotely
    and also control the camera remotely. Does this rule out SLR-digital
    cameras? And can you control a zoom lens (zooming in and out) remotely
    on an SLR?

    I have been thinking of, to start with, to try this with my Nikon
    Coolpix. It connects with a USB cable to a computer. Can this type of
    cable be a 100 meters or longer and function properly?
    Dean Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?


    "Dean Keaton" <se> wrote in message
    news:com... 

    I'm 99% sure that a USB cable has a maximum effective working length of 5
    metres - maybe 15 metres, i can't remember for certain.
    So a 100 metre USB cable is definate no-no.

    An alternative is to use a network cable.
    But then you'd need power and a pc with the USB camera plugged in at the
    scene of the shoot.
    And another pc networked to it 100 metres distant....

    Martin.


    Martin Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?


    "Martin" <co.uk> wrote in message
    news:net... 
    >
    > I'm 99% sure that a USB cable has a maximum effective working length of 5
    > metres - maybe 15 metres, i can't remember for certain.
    > So a 100 metre USB cable is definate no-no.
    >
    > An alternative is to use a network cable.
    > But then you'd need power and a pc with the USB camera plugged in at the
    > scene of the shoot.
    > And another pc networked to it 100 metres distant....
    >
    > Martin.[/ref]


    You can get USB extenders that work over UTP, not sure the distance but
    would be a lot more.


    Pete Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    Dean Keaton wrote: 

    I saw some amazing shots of a kingfisher a while ago. The photographer
    caught them alongside a c by driving his car there and opening his
    window. He learned that if he got out of the car, the birds flew away.
    His camera was on a wooden board resting on a pole inside and on the
    edge of the widow.

    Phil

    P.R.Brady Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?


    "Dean Keaton" <se> wrote in message
    news:com... 

    No remote view and no zooming on a DSLR.


    Dave Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 05:10:43 GMT, Dean Keaton
    <se> wrote:
     

    You can't have a USB cable run of much over 6 feet and expect it to
    work. I shoot birds remotely using a remote shutter release and a
    twenty meter extension. I preset the zoom and put some bait out,
    sunflower seeds usually, to attract the birds.

    Ron

    com
    http://borealphotography.com
    Ron Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 05:10:43 GMT, Dean Keaton wrote:
     

    You might consider a good blind. If you are very still, birds after a
    short time will ignore you. I actually had a Chickadee land on my head
    while I was doing that once.

    Jake

    Glenn Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    Ron Lacey wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > You can't have a USB cable run of much over 6 feet and expect it to
    > work. I shoot birds remotely using a remote shutter release and a[/ref]

    My printer USB cable is 15 feet long. Works fine.

    http://www.usb.org/faq/ans5/ states 3 meters as the design max length.


    --
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    -- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
    Alan Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    Dean Keaton wrote:
     

    There are extender devices that allow a USB to go to 150 feet. I have no idea
    how well they work.

    http://www.vpi.us/usbc5.html

    --
    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
    -- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
    Alan Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 12:31:44 -0500, Alan Browne
    <ca> wrote:
     

    Nitpicking I guess, 6 feet 15 feet, my printer manual suggest a 6 foot
    max but it's a USB1.1 Espon 2200, nonetheless it's a far cry from 100
    meters. As well my 20D manual suggests you should only use the
    supplied dedicated cable and not use a hub to connect the camera to a
    computer.

    Ron

    com
    http://borealphotography.com
    Ron Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    Ron Lacey wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > Nitpicking I guess, 6 feet 15 feet, my printer manual suggest a 6 foot
    > max but it's a USB1.1 Espon 2200, nonetheless it's a far cry from 100
    > meters. As well my 20D manual suggests you should only use the
    > supplied dedicated cable and not use a hub to connect the camera to a
    > computer.[/ref]

    If you said 9 and I said 10 ...that would be nitpicking, 3:1 is something else.

    I posted that 3 meters is the 'design' max length, a far cry below 100 m.

    Hubs are another issue, and I have a few periperals for which the manuals say to
    avoid a hub. I don't know why this is as hubs are a part of USB topology and
    manufacturers should strive for compliance.
    http://www.usb.org/features/features3/



    --
    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
    -- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
    Alan Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    Dean Keaton <se> wrote:
     

    Wires? How 20th century!

    <http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/336/C2502/>

    This is the next trend, by the way. Security will be an issue... Imagine
    papparazzi hacking each other's wi-fi to get the best shot.

    Regardless: A remotely-actuated camera near enough to birds to be useful
    would also startle them when it started moving and making whirring
    sounds and clicking.

    Some famous remote control photography (model gliders and helicopters
    with a movie camera attached) can be seen in 'Winged Migration.' They
    spent months letting the birds get used to flying with these strange
    contraptions.
    Paul Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

    On Tue, 15 Feb 2005 01:32:06 -0800, c0m (Paul Mitchum)
    wrote:
     
    >
    >Wires? How 20th century!
    >
    ><http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/336/C2502/>
    >
    >This is the next trend, by the way. Security will be an issue... Imagine
    >papparazzi hacking each other's wi-fi to get the best shot.
    >
    >Regardless: A remotely-actuated camera near enough to birds to be useful
    >would also startle them when it started moving and making whirring
    >sounds and clicking.[/ref]

    It'd be best to have the gun pre-ed, ready to fire. The shock of
    the bullet ripping through the flock would probably mask any
    mirror-flap noise from the camera. That *would* make an interesting
    photo.

    ;-)
     

    That was a cool IMAX film, except for the fact it was about 4 times
    longer than it needed to be. Once you've seen one flock of winged
    things up close, you've seen 'em all. By the 20th flock it got
    extremely tedious.

    --
    Owamanga!
    Owamanga Guest

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