Naledi and Idube cams down. We are working on solutions.

The Calm AFTER The Storm - Our Main 3 Cameras Are Back

Africam's picture
The Calm AFTER The Storm - Our Main 3 Cameras Are Back

It's been a very exciting rainy season for us here at Africam, and for all the wrong reasons. Between massive floods, elephant technicians and bolts of lightning all our cameras have been down at one time or another since the start of the new year. However, we are happy to report that for the most part we are back to full strength and have even managed to make a few improvements along the way.

One such improvement is the night vision at both Elephant Plains and Nkorho. We added a new light at Nkorho which gives you a much wider field of view. Elephant Plains is also brighter than ever thanks to a camera upgrade.

We still have a lot more improvements on the way, and some big surprises in store as well. For now, we hope you enjoy the three powerhouses of Nkorho, Tembe and Elephant Plains. You can watch them all at once RIGHT NOW on our multi-view player. Check it HERE.

fligh's picture

Now how did I know you were

Now how did I know you were going to say that?


Two pics from EP taken today show that color and focus are entirely possible.

They're not perfect but the colors are warmer with pretty good focus in the top one, and good focus and contrast in the bottom one (outside of the smudges) which goes to show it can be done despite a scratched dome. In the top pic you can almost see the leaves on the reflected trees and the seeds on the grass, in the bottom pic you can see the eyes of all 3 zebras. If you take the time to go back and look at older pics from EP you will find that the above pics are outstanding by comparison.

My guess is that it only happens at certain times during the day when outside conditions correspond to the automated white-balance setting of the camera. The obvious solution is to set the white-balance manually.

admin's picture

@flighyou are quite correct

you are quite correct there are different cameras - NK was the first to go in over 5 years ago - since then there have been huge advances in the various technologies, especially lux and WDR. Also, the Tembe camera is an IP camera where the other 2 are analog. You also need to keep in mind that outdoor filming 24x7 presents a huge range of conditions  and it is extremely difficult to apply one set of parameters for 24x7 through wind, sunshine & storms.

We would love to have the same camera at all 3 present sites and we do have a retrofit program. The thing is resources are very scarce and this will thus take some time.

EP has a scratched dome, making auto focus very hard. We have a new canopy on its way in about 2 weeks and that should sort that issue out.

Africam Drupal Admin

Africam Drupal Admin

fligh's picture

Well, clearing away the

Well, clearing away the cobwebs (especially at NK) would be a good start, and cleaning the domes (EP appears to be in a constant fog and blurry all the time). But I was really suggesting that the color, shutter and focal settings of the TE camera be used on the other two. TE now has bright and warm colors - shade looks like shadows and sunny scapes look like they're reflecting sunshine and - when the autofocus gets it right - the picture is clear as a bell from foreground to horizon. When panning to include bright sky (or sky reflected on the water) the shutter value doesn't plunge the whole picture into darkness (NK is especially bad). EP is just a constantly bland grey/green haze - looks like the product of old, expired Kodak roll film compared to the fresh, bright colors of Agfa or Konica.


I realize that they are possibly all different cameras (model, make) but the settings on these things are pretty much standard. Even if the settings don't transfer one to one it would be a good starting point. That shutter value on the NK camera is just ludicrous - nightfall at 3:00 pm because the water is reflecting? And the focus goes moggy - sometimes for minutes at a time - every time the zoom value changes. I'm not sure how somebody can get TE settings so spot on and not think to apply those to the other cameras too, but I'll patiently wait for someone to tell me "It's supposed to be like that."


Anyhow, whoever set up the TE camera - well done!!!

shushin's picture

Hi Fligh, What is it you are

Hi Fligh, What is it you are actually asking  to be done? As I am a little confused.

fligh's picture

Excellent! Then it should be

Excellent! Then it should be done by tomorrow.

shushin's picture

fligh wrote:Congratulations

fligh wrote:

Congratulations to the Tembe staff for finally working out the settings on their camera. Can't wait for you to pass that knowledge on to the other camera operators

Hi Fligh the Tembe operators are the same operators as NK and EP.

fligh's picture

Congratulations to the Tembe

Congratulations to the Tembe staff for finally working out the settings on their camera. Can't wait for you to pass that knowledge on to the other camera operators

Ryman's picture

Great to have you back to

Great to have you back to full strength. Thanks for all the hard work to get there.It is appreciated

Elsagio's picture

I'm so glad that you are

I'm so glad that you are back after that flood! Thank you!

JodyAtTheBeach's picture

Glad to see all the Cam's

Glad to see all the Cam's back online.  Thanks for all your hard work.  We missed them.


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