Streaming hummingbird feeder cam recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by deverett, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. deverett macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    #1
    Background: Hummingbirds are the most loved and fed birds in the US. There are 330 +/- species indigenous to only North, Central and South America---the majority reside near the equator. Sixteen (16) +/- species enter the United States---the Ruby-throated visits the East Coast and 15 other hummingbird species visit west of the Mississippi. Southeastern Arizona receives the most species as migrants and/ or residents.

    Our company, Hummingbird Market, is located in Tucson, Arizona where we manufacture hummingbird nectar and sell via local retailers and throughout the US. Sometimes a single pound and other times pallets. As a convenience to our customers we also sell selected hummingbird feeders.

    In my backyard I have thirteen (13) different types and styles of hummingbird feeders that are often very busy with hummers. I hope to show the various species of hummers but also the feeders in action. My goal is to set up a video camera on a tripod and day-to-day reposition at different feeders. And stream live, unattended, during the day. The objective is to drive additional traffic to our website, http://hummingbirdmarket.com#hummercam.

    I know there are many wildlife cams, IP cams and security cams but I am seeking the best images I can generate.

    I am currently have a trial membership on UStream. When it expires I’ll upgrade to UStream Producer level. And will surely add Google+, etc. Maybe even broadcast via BrightCove or one of the many high quality streaming services.

    Current equipment: Logitech C930e webcam via 10 feet of USB cable to a 2009 Mac Pro; OS x 10.9.4; Processor: 2.93 GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon; Memory: 16GB; Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5770, 1024MB. The Mac Pro machine is only used for FCP6, 7 and X.

    My problem with this set-up is the images are soft and when I try to extend the USB cable length deteriorates the image quality. And the camera has difficulty adjusting to changing light.

    Workflow: I bring the video in via Quicktime and open UStream and identify my source and start broadcasting. Sometimes I’ll massage the camera’s PTZ and white balance, brightness and contrast. I really have no need to record the images other than to have some video playing during the ‘Off-Air’ night period. But UStream can handle recording and any transfers to YouTube. Essentially the camera just sits there in auto mode and at a fixed focus on the feeder---waiting for hummers to appear.

    Sound is difficult and thus muted as there is always a buzz from the pool filter, air conditioner, fountains or wife yelling at me.

    My Thoughts: Locate a decent HDMI or SDI video camera. Maybe via a BM Intensity Pro or BM UltraStudio Mini Recorder. I thought perhaps Canon DSLRs, Canon SX50, Canon Vixia G20 or G30, BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, GoPro, Axis cams, etc. Too many to choose but what is the best system? Maybe eventually feed into a dedicated MacMini exclusively for streams.

    Budget: Naturally budget is important and at this stage I would rather start out ‘gently’ and evolve into more sophistication (Thirteen cams in the yard on permanent articulated arms switched by a TriCaster. Ha!!! Not really)
    Curious: I notice that Safari, Chrome, IE and Firefox all render the colors differently.

    Question: Can anyone offer some insight about a video streaming system recommendations that can sustain a 50’ cable run?
     
  2. ColdCase, Aug 17, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
  3. deverett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    No, the camera is out in the weather during the day but here in Tucson we receive little rain so it is easy to protect.

    And slo-mo is not necessary as there are already thousands of hummer videos slowed-down for study and observation.

    Mostly I am seeking crystal clear images.
     
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #4
  5. deverett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    #5
    Connecting cable

    Thanks Cold Case. The cams are interesting and inexpensive.

    How do you suggest I get the HDMI into my 2009 Mac Pro? Does not have HDMI connections. And will HDMI really work at 50'?
     
  6. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    Yes, active cable (those with amps in them). I've used them with good results.

    How do you get video into your mac Pro now? What OS are you running?

    Both the Elgato Game Capture (USB) and Blackmagic Ultra Studio (TB) will capture HDMI video.

    If you only have USB, think about Elgato, although I'm not sure you can live stream with it. You can capture and create HD ProRes video files that you can easily edit with iMovie or FCP.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/879363-REG/Elgato_Systems_10025010_Game_Capture_HD_High.html

    If you have thunderbolt, think about The Black Magic

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...dlkulsdzminrec_Ultrastudio_Mini_Recorder.html


    There are other competing products that I am less familiar with. I wonder how well the WiFi streaming works on those cameras....
     
  7. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    A GoPro 3+ Black might be a better option for a camera as there are many cases and mounts available.
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    What ever camera you choose, just double check that they can "pass through" or "stream". Not just record.
     
  9. deverett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    #9
    Hdmi

    Sorry for being so unresponsive. Have been busy with work.

    My 2009 Mac Pro does not have provision for HDMI. So what would be the best choice for bringing in the signal---BM Intensity Pro or BM UltraStudio Mini Recorder or something else?

    At some point I hope to utilize a dedicated Mac Mini with Thunderbolt so I don't want to spend $ on a device that may not be needed.

    Thanks
     
  10. deverett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    #10
    To clarify can I use:

    To clarify can I use:
    • Canon Vixia F500 with an HDMI output.
    • Connect to a Monoprice 50ft Ultra Slim Series High Performance HDMI® Cable w/ RedMere® Technology. Product Number: 9432
    • Connect the HDMI cable to a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card inserted in my 2009 Mac Pro?
    • And the video will be recognized by Quicktime and UStream and Google Hangout, etc?
     
  11. ColdCase, Aug 28, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #11
    Sorry not much help. I don't use that specific equipment. You mean HF 500, right?

    The camera has a mini HDMI socket. If that cable doesn't have a mini HDMI end, then you need a mini-Hdmi adapter. Check that the capture card you list is compatible with Cannon cameras.

    Note that, according the manual ( http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/7/0300013657/02/hfr50-52-500-im2-n-en.pdf ) that camera can stream (monitor) video locally and over the internet via WiFi (iOS and Android devices). I use that capability to remotely monitor my Canon 70D and take photos when something interesting appears. That camera can't stream video over WiFi.

    If someone doesn't jump in here, some of the canon camera forums may be of more help.. also support forums for that video card, as I think the card drivers/software converts the video that apps understand. There are a number discussions about video surveillance software (security systems) that could be mined and may be helpful... but I suspect you've already been down those paths..

    I know of folks using that card to capture HDMI video from a Canon XA20 and use the output for live monitoring of the camera. I know of another that streams video from that card with his macpro. A distant relative uses his Sony NXCAM to stream live events. Its a good bet that the card is compatible with your streaming software and the canon camera, but it is a bet. I hear the set up instructions can be daunting (hard to decide what to pick what you need from the disk and customer support wait times are long).

    Personally I use an old Canon HV10 and HV20, sometimes with a long HDMI cable, through the elgato HD game capture and USB, but I don't stream. So getting the video into the computer should not be an issue.
     

Share This Page