Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ultimate Remote Camera Design Specifications – Paul Meek and Andre Pitett

The design features compiled in this document have been a combination of thoughts, ideas and discussion between researchers using camera traps around the world. We have compiled this information in a hope that we may highlight the important features of a wildlife research camera trap.
Camera Functionality
Trigger Speed
Latency to first photo 0.5 Second, 2 photos per second (near video speed).
Photo Speed
Up to 2 frames per second Infra Red LED’s, Xenon flash 1 image per second.
Image Resolution
Programmable resolution 0.3-12 MP (12MP, 8MP, 5MP, 3MP, 1.3MP, 0.8MP, 0.3MP).
Frame rate intervals
0 to 60 seconds between images.
Photos per trigger
Programmable 1-100.
Delay after triggering
0 to 60 min at 1 second/minute intervals.
Programmable Time lapse Trigger
Ability to program in standard or time lapse mode which allows the programming of the camera to take a picture at even time lapse intervals until it picks up a motion after which it switches to standard mode, recording the events, and back to time lapse at the end of the motion. 
Image Settings
Choice of two aperture settings f4 and f16.
Colour Day / Colour Night (no filter) Monochrome Night (IR LED).
Image Data Stamp
Image JPEG with minimum JPEG EXIF content; Time, Date, Temperature, Long/Lat, ID stamp and Moon Phase.
Dual Flash System
Xenon (with IR filter) and IR LED flash system, allows dual flash capabilities with greater illumination and clarity at night when needed. 990-1000 nm IR LED spectrum .
Flash Range
0.5 - 50 feet with manual dimming control system for distance setting to enable close up deployment thus avoiding white out exposures. Range 1.5-20 metres.
Video Length
HD High Definition Video in MPEG4 format, duration adjustable between 10 -30s or can be programmed to continue until the motion stops.
Sound is recorded during video.
Remote Viewer
Remote wireless live viewer to aid camera setting, including detection zone water mark (below).
Detection Zone Watermark
This function can be programmed to allow set up photos to be taken with the detection zone watermarked over the image to assess detection zone in the field of view of the camera trap.
Battery Type
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (45 days/30 images/15 flash).
Battery Charge
Accurate inbuilt battery level metre, can be accessed via wireless remote viewer (above), a power plug connection is provided.
Battery Charging
An induction charging system has been included to enable multiple charging capacity without the need for battery removal.
Memory Card Type
Secure Digital (SD® or SDHC®).
Memory Card Capacity
2 to 32GB .
Operating Temperature Range
-20° to +120° Fahrenheit.
Anti-theft Deterrence
Pass-Code Protection.
Image Alert
SIM card /daisy chain system that allows cameras to be set in series and to communicate through a main beacon camera. At first motion an image is sent to the preferred mobile phone.
PIR sensor with adjustable sensitivity to reduce false triggers,  also with multi-zone lens for increased sensitivity and the ability to choose whether the PIR reacts to one or two triggers. Detection zone 1.5 – 40 metres.
Camera Unit Design
Anti-theft and Placement Features
Anti-theft cable holes through the top and bottom of the camera housing to enable carbon fibre cable (python lock) and elastic strap fitting. A locking bracket allows the front door of the housing to be locked with a padlock.
Angle Adjustment bracket
A spindle and bracket mechanism is located at the rear- top of the camera housing with an adjusting knob to allow the camera to be angled downwards when setting.
Camera Dimensions
This small slim lined and light weight camera is built to pack into field bags with ease (12 x 9 x 6cm).
Camera Finding Device
Beacon locator alarm and handheld button activated finder system – range 20-30m.
External Connections
External battery supply as well as external slave flash, radio beacon/repeater or logger terminals.
ANTi Seal
This new system creates a water tight and insect proof seal that prevents moisture, ants and small invertebrates accessing the camera circuitry.
Desiccant holder
Inside the camera housing is a small linear chamber for placement of a desiccant package. Desiccant storage package that prevents moisture absorption until prior to deployment is included.
Light weight only 400 gm per unit (without battery.
Laser Pointer
A series of lasers that represent the detection zone extremes to assist in camera placement.
Weatherproof front panel
Standard side opening front door, optional top hinge system allowing the camera to be opened in inclement weather without rain and snow entering the internal section of the device, a stabilising hinge mechanism allows the front panel to lock open for ease of setting.
Lens Hood
These inbuilt hoods protrude slightly over the lenses to reduce rain drops and shadow interference but can be retracted for packing.
Mounting screws
Durable plastic tripod mounting plates are located at the rear and bottom of the camera housing to allow for tripods or screws to be fitted to aid in camera placement.
Compass Rose
A small compass rose is built into the top of the camera housing to aid camera direction placement.
Label Sleeve
On the side of the housing a 50 mm x 50 mm sleeve for insertion of laminated information cards to notify visitors of camera ownership and project aim (theft deterrent) is provided.
A selection of camouflage options are available to suit your landscape.
Anti-theft Tracking System
An anti-theft tracker is inbuilt and uses the telecommunications network to locate the stolen camera trap.
Optional Design
A wireless remote sensing unit can be programmed to the main unit so that the camera lens and PIR sensors can be placed separately, when a motion is detected the photos are sent to the camera unit via wireless within 10 metres (direct line of sight). A useful anti-theft accessory.

Monday, 12 September 2011


I  Leave Australia for London on the 27th September and then fly to Switzerland for a week, then to The Netherlands for a week before heading to the USA. The 4.5 week road trip commences in Washington DC and I then have meetings in Front Royal, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, Louisiana, Arizona, Colorado and finally in San Diego, California. I plan to keep this site updated regularly with information generated in the plethora of meetings and seminars that I attend over 7 weeks.