Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Latest on focus and out of control flashes!

This afternoon I adjusted the zoom and tweaked the focus on the ledgecam. Hopefully, it will make leg bands on the platform a bit clearer and easier to read and provide a little better view of the nestbox end of the ledge. I did notice on my handheld monitor at the site that the quality of the video is really good initally, but some quality is lost by the time it makes it to the web. This was true with the previous cameras as well and I believe it to be the nature of the system. Once we switch over to the new system where the video transfers directly to the web perhaps it might be better(?). So far this afternoon neither of the peregrines has perched on the platform as a test. (Guess they didn't get the memo...!) Newest ledgecam view: We are still experiencing a couple of problems. First, early morning views are blurry: I believe this to be due simply from low light conditions in the early morning since the problem corrects itself as the morning progresses and the sun gets higher in the sky. I have not viewed the site later in the evening to tell if the same thing happens at sunset, nor has anyone reported to me whether it gets blurry in the low light of evening...(?).

The second problem is more disturbing - at times the video starts flashing, much like a strobe light. It has happened with both cameras and I've seen it happen enough times now that I believe it likely has to be a factor of a quick change in light/color of the subject. It usually begins when a bird (a subject with both dark and light colors on it) goes by the camera quickly. Then, it is like the camera is trying to compensate for the change in light and fluctuates between very bright and very dark continuously, sometimes for as long as 20+ minutes. We are in the process of contacting the manufacturer of the cameras for technical assistance on these issues and will make adjustments if possible.
Caution: view this video example of the flashing at your own risk!