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Old June 16th, 2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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Night vision?

I'm in discussions with an author about shooting a few videos that would require observing the behavior of some animals at night. More than likely this would involve setting up a video camera with some sort of night vision capability and possibly some motion sensing trigger to activate it. Has anyone done anything similar? What is a good setup for this?
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Old June 17th, 2009, 03:13 AM   #2
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Hi


Here is some informations

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/under-wat...tter-clip.html
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Old June 17th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #3
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Hi Chris

I'm still working on IR wildlife videography whenever I get time.

Last night I tried out a new IR LED torch. The torch is relatively light weight, but quite bulky. I was using it to monitor bats coming out of a roost. Using the Sony HVR A1 at about mid zoom matches the angle of light output. The light is adequate for up to 10m at the mid zoom setting. However, the internal rechargeable battery gives only about 1.5 hours (according the the guy that built the unit) and you shouldn't let the battery run right down. So this makes it unsuitable for leaving out all night unless you can connect it to an external power source - eg a mains supply or a large heavy battery!

This evening, weather permitting (It's pouring with rain right now) I'll be trying out a 140 led IR Wide Angle infrared lamp which gives less light, but spreads it out more. You will probably find something similar available if you google for it.

The guy who assembled it happens to live in the next county to me, but that's not much help for you on the other side of the pond! The LED component came from Japan and these are easily available for security lamps.

The main problem is the power supply, and the lights I used for the otter didn't work when I tried them later on a badger because I had effectively killed the battery by letting it run down too far - several times. I have seen deep discharge batteries advertised, but haven't tried them yet.

If I can find time today, I'll try to put another IR video on vimeo.

I should also add that success with the motion trigger depends on being able to keep your animals in the right place for long enough to boot the camera up and get it to start recording. That usually means putting out bait, and that may or may not give you natural behaviour by the animals.
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Last edited by Annie Haycock; June 17th, 2009 at 09:15 AM. Reason: additional information
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Old June 20th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #4
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new IR video

Finally got a video edited and up on Vimeo last night. It shows some preliminary results from using the motion detector and infra-red lights.

When I find time (don't see much of that going spare these days) I'll write more detail on my blog, but for now, you can see the video at Filming badgers, part 2 on Vimeo
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Old June 20th, 2009, 07:24 AM   #5
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Marvellous footage Annie! It shows what a little ingenuity and patience can produce, even if Mr Badger doesn't know he should be facing the camera more often. Amazing that you were close enough to hear the critter eating!

I am seriously jealous. The biggest non-winged beastie in my garden is a rat, and I don't find them that appearing...
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Old June 20th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #6
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Thanks Annie, that's very helpful. I will get some IR lights and start some of my own experiments.

Does anyone know if certain animals have a sensitivity to IR? I'd hate to find out that invisible to us is completely visible to an animal.

BTW, the specific animals we're trying to capture on video are bears, so I'll probably need to light a bit larger area.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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Chris
I've used the Trailmaster outfits, with the IR filter on the spotlight that they sell, on Grizzlies a number of times. Only a couple of times on black bears. The light it self seems to have no effect on them. Sometimes they look up towards the light but I think it is because they see an object in the tree. Most will look towards the camera when it first starts up but seem to pay little attention after that. I've learned to make sure the equipment is well protected. Some bears pay no attention to the equipment and others that have to try to chew on everything.

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Old June 21st, 2009, 04:20 AM   #8
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Mike - Rats may not be that appealing, but they were what I did my first IR filming on about three years ago. At first I was operating the camera via a long lanc cable, but the critters didn't pay the slightest attention when I went out to adjust the camera angle, so I ended up filming them from a distance of about 1.5m. Not that I wanted to be quite that close to one . . . . .

Gordon - badgers are somewhat like small bears - powerful jaws and front feet (designed for digging) and when they decide to investigate something, they can be just as destructive (for their size). I didn't think about taking a picture of my set-up for filming, but the camera and trailmaster were set under a plastic patio table with wire round it to discourage the badger from investigating too closely. The table was also held down with a hefty lump of concrete. The separate tripod with the lights was tied to the shed so that if it was knocked over, the lights wouldn't hit the ground.

having said that, I came indoors last night after trying to film the bats leaving the house (unsuccessfully as they came out the other side this time) put the camera/tripod down on the sun room floor, put the lights down and then watched the camera and tripod topple over and crash onto a hard tiled concrete floor. Everything switched on ok afterwards, so I just hope it still all works! I can't blame anyone else if it doesn't.
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Last edited by Annie Haycock; June 21st, 2009 at 08:26 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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