Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dean Keaton, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Dean Keaton

    Dean Keaton Guest

    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 Keaton, Feb 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. Dean Keaton

    Martin Guest

    "Dean Keaton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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?


    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, Feb 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. Dean Keaton

    Pete D Guest

    "Martin" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Dean Keaton" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> 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?

    >
    > 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.



    You can get USB extenders that work over UTP, not sure the distance but
    would be a lot more.
     
    Pete D, Feb 14, 2005
    #3
  4. Dean Keaton

    P.R.Brady Guest

    Dean Keaton wrote:
    > 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?


    I saw some amazing shots of a kingfisher a while ago. The photographer
    caught them alongside a canal 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, Feb 14, 2005
    #4
  5. "Dean Keaton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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?


    No remote view and no zooming on a DSLR.
     
    Dave R knows who, Feb 14, 2005
    #5
  6. Dean Keaton

    Ron Lacey Guest

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

    >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?


    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


    http://borealphotography.com
     
    Ron Lacey, Feb 14, 2005
    #6
  7. Dean Keaton

    Glenn Jacobs Guest

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

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    > From: Dean Keaton <>
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    > Subject: Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital camera?
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    >
    > 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?


    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 Jacobs, Feb 14, 2005
    #7
  8. Dean Keaton

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    Dean Keaton <> wrote:

    > 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?


    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 Mitchum, Feb 15, 2005
    #8
  9. Dean Keaton

    Owamanga Guest

    On Tue, 15 Feb 2005 01:32:06 -0800, 0m (Paul Mitchum)
    wrote:

    >Dean Keaton <> wrote:
    >
    >> 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?

    >
    >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.


    It'd be best to have the gun pre-cocked, 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.

    ;-)

    >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.


    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, Feb 15, 2005
    #9
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