Would there be a reason why they would leave the night cam so out of focus tonight?
cam out of focus
looks like the cam is out of forcus again tonight, boy it make my eyes water .can watch to long .hope i don't miss anything.
Thank you Campbell for your reply, here are some video from night viewing.
This video was shot last night at 7:43pm Africa time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKbZu77xMos This was our blurred view thru the night.
Compare that to this shot of 2/8/07 at 4.12am: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dbiktGaOAU
In a post to the watering hole 1 February, Karin stated:
My question is, do all the operators know how to perform this maneuver to prevent the blurry cam? If not, can they be taught this until something is decided regarding the cam?
Hi all thanks for your comments. We are aware that there is a problem with the night time viewing. This is largley because the camera we have is a day night camera with auto focus, in other words the same ccd chip. The night time view is in infra red (and black and white) this is to reduce the impact on the enviroment. The alternative is white light as in your standard spot light but this would cause light polution. Because of this and our limitation from an electrical supply point of view we are limited to the number of IR spot lights. As a result the camera is challenged especially in our conditions and it battles to focus sometimes (seems to be ramdom?) There are alternatives, like a specialized night vision camera that we are investigating. Please post a few examples (pics) of your view so I can see what you are seeing. The other isssue is the camera spinning around, this also seems to be a random event but we are trying to isolate the problem.
Thanks to everyone who replied. I'm almost afraid to say anything about the cam or the feed for fear it will be taken for criticism instead of observation and frustration.
We all know how fragile the link is to the water hole, and are so very grateful for every bit of action that we see, but some of the actions in the past couple of days I felt were cam operator issues, and not necessarily camera issues (this is not an expert opinion, but a viewer observation).
When I finally got off yesterday afternoon at about 4:30est/10:30pm African time, the cam operator was zipping the camera back and forth, and at one time 4 360Âº turns around the cam tree, then abruptly stopped with the camera off pan and totally out of focus again. Up until that point we were so out of focus that my eyes were tearing. Several times someone would come move the camera, it would focus slightly then back out of focus. I am aware that they are having difficulties with the auto focus at night, and perhaps other employees do not know how to manually set the camera to prevent that from happening. (We know from Karin's statements that it can and is done to prevent the out of focus problems in night viewing.) My theory is perhaps all the operators at the lodge are not aware of how to override the auto settings, and this is a issue that they need to be made aware of for when Karin is not there to do the night setting.
As far as I'm concerned the issue of last night had nothing to do with the cam, but was all operator issues, again nothing that we can do anything about, but perhaps someone at the lodge could address the issue with the staff. I still wonder if a guest was using the cam, and question if that allowed. If it is, it would explain in my mind why at times recently the camming experience is so poor and at others it is excellent.
Again, I am so very grateful for all that I have seen and learned, and am dreaming of a trip to SA someday now.
I'm not doubting you, just offering other explanations. I tend to think that they wouldn't do that on purpose. The lightning has been crazy the last several nights though.
It's even possible that as the zoomie person left perhaps a critter hit the control. Every morning when I get to my machine one of the cats has been surfing and trying to send email :shock:
My guess is a hiccup with the hardware.
Hi Chuck! I understand the storm and all but the cam was being manned each time it was left unfocused. They corrected it once but gave no indications of trying to correct it on the other times they positioned it back on the water hole after panning.
Things that happen after they go to sleep is very understandable.
Autofocus is a curious thing. In daylight the cam looks for a line of contrast, usually in or near the center of the field of view. The problem is compounded at night when contrast is very much less.
Here's something else to consider. They have mentioned many times that in electric storms, such as tonight, that power fluxuations have an effect.
It's also been stated many times that the cam is not usually manned after midnight. It's almost 1 am there now. They (Karin and various rangers) run it in their free time.
Yes it's frustrating, unfortunately the only way to control the cam is from the Lodge (as I currently understand). The lag in round trip communication time via the satellite would pretty much make it impossible actually.
Thanks so much, Ingwe. I was beginning to think it was my feverish eyes distoring the image
Thanks Ingwe! An explanation would be nice and hopefully the problem gets addressed. We all understand technical difficulties but would be nice to know if there is one... that it will be corrected.
It could be a simple thing like it was bumped and no one noticed it, I believe there was a wedding at Nkorho today and I imagine they have been busier than usual.
I have just sent an email off to Africam and asked them if they could post about the problem or let the mods know so that you can all be kept up to date.
As soon as we hear anything we will keep everyone informed.