Video camera trap
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Author:  Brannigan [ Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Video camera trap


I'm a photographer working in the UK and I've spent the last few months photographing barn owls using various Trailmaster units to get still images.

I've got a barn owl coming to a perch most nights and I'm trying to figure out how to capture videos. The owls come only at night. Is there any tried and tested method of using a Trailmaster trap to trigger a Nikon or Canon DSLR and an LED light? I have seen Makita work lights that would run off a battery for 8-12 hours so could leave one on constantly, if necessary. The main problem seems to be finding a way to have a DSLR on video mode all night, ready to record footage once triggered. I have no mains power source.

Thank you in advance for any ideas or suggestions!!


Author:  westcocanuck2 [ Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Video camera trap

Hello Brannigan, welcome to the forum.

I can offer an affordable solution to your lighting needs but I don't know how the Owls will respond to it. This is a solar powered, 1,000 lumens LED, motion sensored security light. I use it for video and it works fine for subjects within say 12 ft. It has a variable detection range so you can set it to be activated by the subject before the subject gets into the frame of the camera, that's what I do. It will mean that you'll have to mess around with both sensors to get it dialed in but it will work.

As for your video situation. If you can get yourself a wired remote for your camera, then you should be home free. Now I'm no techie guy so I can't offer you more than the pics that I'm showing you. I had someone do the hack for me and the programming on the chip for the control board. If you need someone to get in touch with that does this sort of thing I can offer you several names if need be.

Here are some pics of the LED system paired with my Sony Nex 3N. Disregard that green box off to the right of the pic. it's not part of the description. The remote is a wired remote for that camera and the control board is a SSII programmed to take 30-second video clips per activation.

Hope this helps.

Author:  cameratrapcodger [ Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Video camera trap

You may be able to condition the owl to a white light, but it would be easier to go with infrared LEDS, triggered by a sensor in the distance. I use white LEDs regularly for water hole clips, but the screech owls don;t hang around for long when the lights turn on. On the other hand I've gotten night footage of 3 species of owls bathing at night with infrared video.

Author:  Brannigan [ Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Video camera trap

Thank you for the tips and ideas westcocanuck2 and cameratrapcodger! Great idea with the solar light, I did not think of using such a thing! I've been looking at the Sony a7s, which does actually seem to be extremely capable of seeing in the dark and may not require any additional light at all. The main issue is keeping a video camera running all night on batteries - most seem to only manage a few hours at most. Is there any way to have a Trailmaster sensor, or similar, turn a camera on and start recording a video?

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