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Photographing birds with a remotely controlled digital cam..

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Anonymous
February 14, 2005 8:10:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

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?
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 12:56:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

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

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> From: Dean Keaton <spagetti.armar@combort.se>
> Newsgroups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature
> 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
February 14, 2005 2:31:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

"Dean Keaton" <spagetti.armar@combort.se> wrote in message
news:9ob011t1meshsmapfln9j3iminlan40lbf@4ax.com...
> 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.
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Anonymous
February 14, 2005 2:47:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 05:10:43 GMT, Dean Keaton
<spagetti.armar@combort.se> 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

ron@ronsfotos.com
http://borealphotography.com
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 3:31:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Ron Lacey wrote:

> On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 05:10:43 GMT, Dean Keaton
> <spagetti.armar@combort.se> 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

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

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


--
-- 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.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 3:33:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

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?

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.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 3:53:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 12:31:44 -0500, Alan Browne
<alan.browne@freelunchVideotron.ca> wrote:

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

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

ron@ronsfotos.com
http://borealphotography.com
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 5:17:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

"Martin" <zedolf@o2.co.uk> wrote in message
news:37bghfF4qan0pU1@individual.net...
>
> "Dean Keaton" <spagetti.armar@combort.se> wrote in message
> news:9ob011t1meshsmapfln9j3iminlan40lbf@4ax.com...
>> 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.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 5:19:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

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
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 6:54:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Ron Lacey wrote:

> On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 12:31:44 -0500, Alan Browne
> <alan.browne@freelunchVideotron.ca> wrote:
>
>
>>My printer USB cable is 15 feet long. Works fine.
>
>
> 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.

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.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 7:42:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

"Dean Keaton" <spagetti.armar@combort.se> wrote in message
news:9ob011t1meshsmapfln9j3iminlan40lbf@4ax.com...
> 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.
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 4:32:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

Dean Keaton <spagetti.armar@combort.se> 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/&gt;

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.
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 4:44:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.technique.nature (More info?)

On Tue, 15 Feb 2005 01:32:06 -0800, usenet@mile23.c0m (Paul Mitchum)
wrote:

>Dean Keaton <spagetti.armar@combort.se> 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/&gt;
>
>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!
July 4, 2005 4:24:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Oh happy days with film!

I remember constructing and operating just such a setup over 20 years
ago before auto focus cameras came about.

I had, still have, an Philips CCTV system that runs off mains and 12
volts and the camera works off a simple TV coax cable, up to and
probably more than 100 metres. I either bolt the bulky CCTV alongside
the SLR or better, aim it through the viewfinder. That way you can see
the shutter operating. The camera also has sound.

From old bits, I made a geared platform and operated it via a model
aircraft radio control system, so that I could pan the camera. With a
bit of ingenuity one could probably devise a tilting system as well

I placed the whole lot at a shorebird/wader roost at low tide, and
simply waited for the rising tide to push the birds up towards the
camouflaged camera. It was incredible watching the birds at ground
level a couple of feet away. For some reason, they didn't seem to mind
the camera panning. But what I would have given for auto focus!

If I had the time now and a suitable spot where I could park the car
and a reliable roost, I would do the same again.

It should be great fun and much easier nowadays with modern DSLR's and
the new breed of tiny wireless CCTV cameras .

I've seen it done with motorised floating cameras and model R/C
vehicles, both incorporating a still camera and a video system.

Richard.

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 05:10:43 GMT, Dean Keaton
<spagetti.armar@combort.se> 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?
!