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Are Commercial Cameras Catching Up?

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It's easy for me to see this hobby is dying. Compare the activity and posts on the homebrew forums, and compare that to 2 years ago, 5 years ago. The forums are dead compared to the past. I posted pics here five weeks ago, and those pics are still on page one. A few years ago those pics would be on page 3 or 4 by now. Trailcams became popular when the digital cam came out. When I got my first cams back in 2003 no one around here had ever heard of a trailcam. Now everyone has them, and most of my friends cams are in a drawer becase the novelty has worn off They might stick them out for a couple of weeks before hunting season. Cheap cameras that will do the job is what most want. I think I enjoyed this hobby the most back in the old day when we posted at Jesses and we had the annual trailcam photo contest. I didn't care about the prizes, I just enjoyed seeing everyone's best photos of the year. Then there was a split and some of the guys left and started this forum. It seems like everything slowly went downhiill since. Gary is the last man standing, and I hope we can keep him standing for a long time. I don't think using newer cameras like Rick suggested is the answer. I use the newer cameras, and that increases the cost per build. Cheap is the word in today's economy.

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You know there is someone out there reading this that has 8 to 10 P32s in the camera box and all of them are in working condition. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad for any of these actions. I am just stating the facts that as a hobby we are not progressing and the commercial cameras are.

 

For those not willing to move on - Welcome to the Classic Homebrew Camera Club :)

 

Awwwwww man I am THAT guy! 7 mint p32's. 1-p41. and one s600 in the mail heading my way. And the P52 waiting as a replacement.

 

CAM00191_zpsd9d30cd8.jpg

 

Hmmm. Rick makes a great point. In my opinion, extending lens cameras just don't get me excited, no matter what the speed, megapixel, battery life, etc. I have minimal tolerance for lens noise for various reasons. The reason I mention this is that all the 'new' cameras have extending lens, thus personally I'm not very motivated to tear into them and advance my hobby. Maybe others feel the same way. This could be causing the hobby to fall behind. How do we find solutions to lens noise/movement??? More robust Lens control programming??? -Paul

 

I do not like lens noise either. And these very basic cameras cover my needs. Where does this hobby need to evolve to? Right now I can make a good camera that will lasts years for about $125. I have 13 cameras built right now (9 p32's) and enough supplies on hand to build 4 more complete. I think the most cameras I had out at one time this year was 7 or 8. I believe a lot of homebrewers run into this at some point. And we have no reason to want to move on to something different. These simple cameras live a long life and are in simple builds that we can fix easily. And the ones of us that do the hoarding and have supplies on hand can fix most any issue with a camera and have it back in operation in a day or two.

 

I am strongly considering a commercial blackflash video camera though. They can be had cheaper then I can build one.

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Since most of you guys have no experience with the new cameras, and I do have experience with the older cameras, I thought I would show why I prefer the new cameras This picture ws taken by a P32 with onboard slave flash in 2004, and the pic was cropped somewhat. The cougar was 12 feet from the camera. The second picture was taken by a Sony H55. The lens is black,and I cannot see it when it extends, and it is quiet. It is 14.1 mp with wide angle lens. The field of view for this camera is fifty percent wider with the wide angle lens. The camera has P41 speed. I just got an order from Gary and a mint 55 from ebay yesteday for a new build. The camera came with a 4 gig SD, but I buy 16 gig SD cards at Wal-Mart for $15.00 for these builds. Camera will be in a 1060 with .6 C cells for exrternals. Build will be for pics and HD video. Total cost for new build excluding external batteries and memory will be $139.10. This cougar was also 12 feet from the camera. This pic represents less than ten percent of the original image. You could not see the deer hair in the cat's mouth in the orginal

post-5081-1385557149_thumb.jpg

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Speed2spare I hope you have insurance on all those cameras. They should not be in a box you should have them in a fire safe for proper protection. Those are priceless as mastercard would say.

 

My original point was not to change for the veteran builders but to bring in the new and younger people into camera building. It is alright that some are stashing away cameras for there own needs but for the new comers we should be looking to give them something to be more interested in this hobby. We are doomed to die as a hobby if we do not pass it on to other people. I did not work on the slave blaster for myself. It was for the community and the hobby as a whole. Many of my current projects are not really for me in this hobby - they are for other people.

 

If you are only interested in yourself, you can ignore these comments but don't be surprised if there is not a homebrew community in the future. My comments were ideas of where the community needs to go or do to help new comers get interest in this hobby. The hope is that other ideas would arise that would help the newbies get interested. Seems like most of this community is ok with letting the homebrew community die and die with them.

 

For those that do not like the idea of extending lens cameras, then maybe our brewing needs to evolve with something else. With only one person looking, we are not likely to find the gold nugget.

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Think there are several reasons now.

1) Go to Walmart or other stores and sometimes can pick them up low priced (have seen Tascos before for $35.00) so cheap price is a reason, have heard guys say if they get 1-2 years out of them it's worth it.

2) Most guys either don't care about clarity/motion as much as just "seeing what's there". They don't usually know that there is something out there reasonably priced (homebrews) that will give them much better then what they have now.

3) Guys say that homebrews miss stuff that their commercial units get ("they get everything that comes near it"). We know different. Speed with a commercial cam might never be reached but close. Did a test with a buddies Cuddy Capture IR and I got 4X the amount of pictures. He only had 2 pictures that mine didn't get (and I had 6 or so that the deer was right in front of his camera, under 12 feet that his never detected).

4) Just don't want to be bothered making a homebrew or figure they don't know how or will be able to.

 

Don't get me wrong, some commercial cams are okay but the ones I've seen pics. from don't compare. I make a calendar for my buddy in his archery shop and crop the pictures then blow them up to 10"X8.5" and everyone comments on how clear they are. Don't think they can even come close with their commercial cams.

 

I'm done sounding like a poster boy for homebrews now. :)

 

 

I'll agree with everything IroquoisArcher said, just this one time :lol::lol: Homebrews forever! Besides, what else would I do with a dresser drawer or three full of cameras....

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Think there are several reasons now.

1) Go to Walmart or other stores and sometimes can pick them up low priced (have seen Tascos before for $35.00) so cheap price is a reason, have heard guys say if they get 1-2 years out of them it's worth it.

2) Most guys either don't care about clarity/motion as much as just "seeing what's there". They don't usually know that there is something out there reasonably priced (homebrews) that will give them much better then what they have now.

3) Guys say that homebrews miss stuff that their commercial units get ("they get everything that comes near it"). We know different. Speed with a commercial cam might never be reached but close. Did a test with a buddies Cuddy Capture IR and I got 4X the amount of pictures. He only had 2 pictures that mine didn't get (and I had 6 or so that the deer was right in front of his camera, under 12 feet that his never detected).

4) Just don't want to be bothered making a homebrew or figure they don't know how or will be able to.

 

Don't get me wrong, some commercial cams are okay but the ones I've seen pics. from don't compare. I make a calendar for my buddy in his archery shop and crop the pictures then blow them up to 10"X8.5" and everyone comments on how clear they are. Don't think they can even come close with their commercial cams.

 

I'm done sounding like a poster boy for homebrews now. :)

 

Emergicare just left (had to call 911). They said never to pay attention to Bruce again, causes to much heart attack like symptoms!

Agree about Lon. He's been preaching up the Panasonics and the few I've done seem real good. Also Kens been doing the Pentax and likes them. Know they're still older but another option.

Lon and Ken are going to kill me for now letting the cat out of the bag and driving up the prices for them!

 

I'll agree with everything IroquoisArcher said, just this one time :lol::lol: Homebrews forever! Besides, what else would I do with a dresser drawer or three full of cameras....

Edited by IroquoisArcher

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What I'd like to see evolve is a complete modular homebrew trail camera camera design. Hobbyists could decide on what modules fit their needs and then build accordingly in a high quality waterproof case. There would not be an actual over the counter point and shoot camera to hack. Layouts would be predetermined depending on case.

 

The 'lens module' would be a predetermined fixed lens, ccd, and digital image processor board with an SD card slot. Thinking 8.0-12.0 MP on average that has the option for Infrared.

 

The 'PIR sensor module' with 'fresnel module' would be similar to what we have today from Gary to identify animals.

 

The 'Flash module' would be a reengineered 2800A board and flash tube with dual capacitors and contain flash refresh programming board, day/night control, flash trigger, etc.

 

The 'Power module' would be a configuration of AA NiMH rechargables.

 

I have no idea how to design and program this as my "electronics" knowledge is limited.

 

If a module fails, it is easy to replace. Each module can be purchased separately.

 

Basically, I guess I'm describing how a commercial cam should be engineered. Lol

 

That's my additional thoughts on this.

 

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What I'd like to see evolve is a complete modular homebrew trail camera camera design. Hobbyists could decide on what modules fit their needs and then build accordingly in a high quality waterproof case. There would not be an actual over the counter point and shoot camera to hack. Layouts would be predetermined depending on case.

 

The 'lens module' would be a predetermined fixed lens, ccd, and digital image processor board with an SD card slot. Thinking 8.0-12.0 MP on average that has the option for Infrared.

 

The 'PIR sensor module' with 'fresnel module' would be similar to what we have today from Gary to identify animals.

 

The 'Flash module' would be a reengineered 2800A board and flash tube with dual capacitors and contain flash refresh programming board, day/night control, flash trigger, etc.

 

The 'Power module' would be a configuration of AA NiMH rechargables.

 

I have no idea how to design and program this as my "electronics" knowledge is limited.

 

If a module fails, it is easy to replace. Each module can be purchased separately.

 

Basically, I guess I'm describing how a commercial cam should be engineered. Lol

 

That's my additional thoughts on this.

 

 

Best idea I've seen in a long time. Something like my desktop Pc, snap whatever card into the buss slot and your good to go, or plug in a pigtail connector an your done, Oh, but like Paul, that's way over my pay grade.

But when you stop an look at what we're building today, it's not that far off.

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I would have to say as well that it's the homebrew community that is slowing down. I too think it's time to start advancing into new cams and technology. It comes down to more people willing to explore what's out there and sharing the information. The AIO was a great advancement in sharing information. It taught me a lot about control boards and programming. Problems came with that as well. It's really a few guys on here that have the knowledge to make all the advancements. My electronic skills are average at best and I'm guessing that is the same with most people here. They were zero when I first started here and I learned everything from people on here and trial and error. What we need is a community project that is open source. We come up with what we want and get everyone working to make it happen. The Hags House Camera :D . I think it would be great to just buy a camera module and get it to record images on an SD card. Build a commercial type camera, but to the specs that somebody wants. You can add the features you want.

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Unfortunately there are only a select few of you guys that can work on new cameras to further the hobby. I have absolutely no idea of where to look and what to look for when I open a camera up to do a hack. If it wasn't for the hack videos, pdfs and help from the guys that figured out the hacks and got this started I'd still be using one old Bushnell cam that eats D batteries like me on chocolate......

 

I'd love to be able to open a new camera up and find the shutter, common and power points but my technical experience in electronics is extremely limited. How exactly do you guys find the right points to solder to when you try to figure out a new hack??? I always wondered who found the points in a P32 hack and how he did it. Is there a way to find the technical schematics for a specific camera?? It'd be extremely helpful if we knew a guy that worked for Sony, Panasonic or Nikon that knew his way around the guts of a camera.

 

I can't justify buying a $70.00 - 100.00 camera and cracking it open on the extremely off chance that a fumble fingers like me might stumble on the right combination to make it work. (My wife already mumbles about the 3 S600's and the P32 sitting here I will be ordering boards for in the near future.) I'm pretty sure I'd have a $70-100.00 pile of scrap once I cracked it open...... I'm just not that savvy when it comes to the insides of a camera.

 

I tip my hat to you guys that can figure out new hacks. Without you guys there would be no Hags House..... ;)

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to quote killdee

 

"Rick, another factor for some of us old members like me is that after I hit the amount of cameras i wanted to use I just quit building and fell way behind in the hobby. I come on here just on occasion now and usually when I have a problem or need parts for repairs. I dont have the skills involved in most of this hobby, I do appreciate the work that has been done by those that do to allow guys like me to build. BTW I dont have but about 4 or 5 p-32s ,p-41s left.

 

I'm for sure a member of the Classic Hombrew club!!!!!! "

 

I agree with this, I love the homebrew community at hags but I dont go anywhere else for homebrew info unless its linked from a post here. I have more cameras now than I will probably put out. Also I'm not looking for that framing picture, I just want to know what is or isnt there. Heck, right now I have 3 out just to see if anything is moving in the daytime!

 

My skills are such that I struggle with focusing a D380 IR conversion so I cant imagine digging into these high MP cams you guys are doing but I do like reading about it! I would hate to see this community dwindle away, I expect some, like me, will stick with it just because we like taking stuff apart and making something better out of it we can use.

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I disagree that homebrews are dying. I just think most of the old timers place far less photos on the forums and let the others answer most of the questions. But they continue to build using newer cameras. Lots use Panasonic and other brand cameras, I know a lot are beginning to use DSLR's and think that's good. I use a Nikon D100 and have a Canon Rebel in the woods along with 8 or more P 41's and a couple of 600's.

 

There are more forums now, but only one when we started, then Hag's was started out of necessity, LOL.....

 

Also, Gary works great with anyone that hacks a camera to find a working program for the timing. Lots of information is still given for those that want to explore into the new high end cameras using multiple slave flashes and such.

 

I think we are entering a new phase of camera trapping for wildlife studies and competitive photographs.....

 

 

dgrad, I remember that photo well. A lot of water has passed under the bridge sense those days, I always enjoyed your photos.

 

 

wildebeast

 

 

 

 

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I disagree that homebrews are dying. I just think most of the old timers place far less photos on the forums and let the others answer most of the questions. But they continue to build using newer cameras. Lots use Panasonic and other brand cameras, I know a lot are beginning to use DSLR's and think that's good. I use a Nikon D100 and have a Canon Rebel in the woods along with 8 or more P 41's and a couple of 600's.

 

There are more forums now, but only one when we started, then Hag's was started out of necessity, LOL.....

 

Also, Gary works great with anyone that hacks a camera to find a working program for the timing. Lots of information is still given for those that want to explore into the new high end cameras using multiple slave flashes and such.

 

I think we are entering a new phase of camera trapping for wildlife studies and competitive photographs.....

 

 

dgrad, I remember that photo well. A lot of water has passed under the bridge sense those days, I always enjoyed your photos.

 

 

wildebeast

 

I see you didnt fess up on the # of p-41's you stockpiled back in the day....... How you doing oldtimer. I found 1 of the old rs boards in my stuff the other day and thought about you. You still use these things?

Kd

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Killdee, Yes, I still use the 425, in fact I have one in my Canon Rebel that's in the woods now. Also works great in the Nikon D100...I set them up just like the 35mm cameras of old, the slr's are left on all the time with supper low battery use while in the sleep mode but can take a photos extremely fast at 3 to 4 a second.

 

I still have some of Brian's boards for the 425's and will work on re-programing the chip to cover different digital cams. I have a Nikon L22 that I want to get going that takes great shots and the flash is super. They have a lousy battery door latch that breaks so I can pick them up on e-by rather cheap.

 

If you ever noticed the red light on the 425 in test mode, it would stay on for several seconds, this is a plus on the Slr's as they will continue to take pictures as long as the shutter is pulled to ground. This means lots of pictures per second. I have a slide show on you tube showing a bear after apples I hid in a hollow stump, the Nikon D100 took 81 pictures in 18 seconds showing the bear trying to get the apples. The camera was set with the flash off for rapid pictures.

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