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Camcorder & Skywatching Questions

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posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 08:41 PM
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Thank you so much mate for this advice.

Firstly regarding T'E's - I really dont want to go into this just yet, as I am still practicing alot with the current camera I have.


Secondly Tripod. The one I have is very light, whilst it is fantastic for movability getting around, i've noticed it does tend to be too easy to move, one slight bad movement with the foot or hand and it would send my shot out of place. The legs feel as though they are made of tinfoil


So i thank you kindly for the words of advice regarding a new tripod. I'll definately look into a good one.

Now onto the Night Vision thing. I definately need to look at recording in night time mode. The colour night vision i am unsure of what manual settings I can apply. I know that under manual settings I can still use a night time scene mode that doesn't reduce the shutter speed, so perhaps this would be a better way forward at some point?

I'm still really getting used to all the features and just practicing with it. I want to do like suggested and get used to it so much that everything becomes second nature to me, both at night time and in daytime.

I know this next question is totally unrelated, but I think i saw an Iridium Flare the other night while out looking into the sky, can you recommend any good high quality footage so that I could compare it with what I might of seen?

Thanks again for keeping a tab on this thread and being here to answer my questions.
In friendship
Rich




posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 03:56 AM
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Originally posted by Superiorraw
Thank you so much mate for this advice.

Firstly regarding T'E's - I really dont want to go into this just yet, as I am still practicing alot with the current camera I have.


Excellent - try to avoid the temptation, and if you do ever go down that path, prepare for disappointment...



Secondly Tripod. The one I have is very light, whilst it is fantastic for movability getting around, i've noticed it does tend to be too easy to move, one slight bad movement with the foot or hand and it would send my shot out of place. The legs feel as though they are made of tinfoil

Bin it.
I'm sorry to be cruel, but honestly, once you have used a decent tripod, you will understand, and realise that you might as well just practise standing in a braced position or using *anything* that is to hand as a support - lean against a tree, on a car roof, a light pole, sit down and rest the camera on your uplifted knees... anything but a bendy tripod!

Another thing you may wish to consider, is a bit of string.


I mean like this:
www.flickr.com...
NOTE - I should find a better link - as that one has a BIG flaw in the design - the screw must have a nyloc nut or similar on it so you cannot screw it too far into the tripod socket on your camera...

So you screw it into your camera, put tuther end under your foot, pull taut, and presto, your camera is significantly steadier...


Now onto the Night Vision thing. I definately need to look at recording in night time mode. The colour night vision i am unsure of what manual settings I can apply.

It would be great if you have control over shutter speed in that mode, but it may just be a one speed setting. Well, you can't have everything on a budget!


I know that under manual settings I can still use a night time scene mode that doesn't reduce the shutter speed, so perhaps this would be a better way forward at some point?

Maybe - I might take a look at the SD60's manual later and see if I can decipher what you can and can't do. Like I said earlier, NV isn't a free lunch - your best footage will be using 'normal' manual settings. Get those mastered first, and then use NV just for short bursts and in circumstances when you can see it gives you something useful.


I'm still really getting used to all the features and just practicing with it. I want to do like suggested and get used to it so much that everything becomes second nature to me, both at night time and in daytime.

It can take a while, so don't worry if at first your efforts seem a bit clumsy (although it seems to me that you are already WAY ahead of the 'typical' ufo hunters..) Take your time, and don't forget to keep revisiting the manual - more things will make sense as you learn more. Also, try to find some forums on this camera so you can chat to other users.


I know this next question is totally unrelated, but I think i saw an Iridium Flare the other night while out looking into the sky, can you recommend any good high quality footage so that I could compare it with what I might of seen?

No.
That's because they are so freaking hard to catch, very few people have done so. In all my time, I've only seen two, and I made no attempt to video them. Essentially, it will look like a normal satellite, then quite rapidly brighten (can be up to Venus-like brightness), then fade again. It's usually over in just a few seconds.

OK, I was tricking - there *are* a few folks who can do it - but read up on the equipment...:
www.bisque.com...

ADDED - It occurs to me that others may be reading this, and not know the basics of satellite watching. Please note, folks, that satellites (and iridium flares, the ISS, the Shuttle, etc) are ONLY visible for an hour or so after dusk or before dawn (how long depends on your latitude - the closer to the equator you are, the less time you have). That's because they are still catching the rays of the sun when it is not far beyond your horizon. As the night progresses, anything above you will go into the deep shadow created by the earth. So if you see something up there at midnight.... - it AIN'T a satellite!!
=== end addition

Thanks again for keeping a tab on this thread and being here to answer my questions.

No problems. I love chatting about this stuff..!

[edit on 12-8-2010 by CHRLZ]



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by Superiorraw
 


I like the way you have approached this. I put a flipvideo camera on a ladder outside, daytime and night time. I stop and freeze quick flashes of light in both and have got some interesting images. Since even the brightest star shows up very dimly on film, only the extraordinarily brightest objects register. I have caught pink and purple lines, probably meteors and "dots" light blue, condensed in shape, not leaving a haze around them as a star will, yet they flash brightly for a second and vanish, similar to a meteor but appearing very different when stopped. Also in red.
I have a few seconds of a plane in frame (not uploaded because already I am boring myself to tears) but I can clearly see these lights are very different than plane lights, beginning with the "color" of the blue and the fact they seem to appear once, quickly, vanish and do not show up again.

I wish I had an infa- red setting.
I wish I had slow motion.

With those, also wish I could zoom into the frames I managed to freeze and enlarge what is there.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 03:14 AM
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Good points rusethorcain, and they lead into stage 2... First, you need to know your equipment well, and be able to use the best techniques possible to ensure the best results. And if you can get your hands on really good, capable equipment, so much the better. Which is what this thread is mainly about, so far.

But that's just the beginning. You also need to know how your camera settings, the lens and sensor all interact to create the images you end up with. Digital sensors are trickier devices than film ever used to be! With film, there were various issues like reciprocity failure, grain resulting from film speed and development issues, haloing, and a few others - all pretty easy to recognise and deal with. But with digital, you have a whole host of new issues, sensor blooming, microlens artefacts, readout errors and linear effects (eg lines and streaks), digital noise, amplifier noise, IR and UV sensitivity issues, internal reflections/refractions off the filters and rearmost lens elements. Ahhh, progress!......

And many of these things can fool the beginner - what looks like something real, is simply caused by one or more of the effects above. I'm not trying to dismiss your observations - indeed, I'd love to take a look and hopefully eliminate some or all of them! But it is important that you understand how the camera records the image, and what problems can occur. Most of these problems are irrelevant to daytime shooting, but as soon as you are looking for tiny and dim pinpricks of light in a very low-light environment... Suddenly you find out why you really need VERY good equipment to attempt this sort of thing seriously.

So all credit to Supe, like you said!

After all this, if he comes up with some good ufo's, they will probably be.. GOOD UFO's!!!! Almost unheard of, hereabouts!



posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 08:22 PM
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Hey Mate @ CHRLZ
And to everyone reading the thread. I'm still here. I've sent you a PM. Its regarding a matter and Iridium flares I want you to help me with.

I'm still learning the basics I did get some other Moon footage on auto last week.
www.youtube.com...
www.youtube.com...

I'd be greatful if you have 5 or 10 minutes if you could respond to the PM and let me know if you could assist.

In friendship
Rich



posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 06:53 AM
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PM/U2U sent. Hope it helps.

Maybe we should also have a "How to identify things in the night sky" thread too!



posted on Nov, 4 2010 @ 09:28 PM
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Hi Mate
Firstly. I want to apologise I have had a number of obstacles to overcome. I am soon to be moving house and i've been so busy on ebay selling stuff i dont want to take with me, i've also been helping my dad out at the new house getting it ready for the move. (we already have the keys).

Secondly I stopped practicing and recording with the Panasonic SD60 because of these reasons and mainly because if I did capture something, I can't show it anyone. My brother broke the only hardware capable of sync'ing with my HDC (my mums Laptop). My pc and the older pc arent' capable at taking the videos from the Panasonic SD60 and neither is my mums netbook.

So my plan is to use the money from selling on ebay and get myself a new pc/desktop. Alot of my hobbies are going to be cut down to size (already have done this) and moving into the new house will give me a fresh start and alot of spare time to do 2 things. Job hunt, and practice with my videocamera and spend more time on here.


All in good time of course. I'd like to refer back to Chrlz and ask that he checked the 2 Youtube videos I sent him about Iridium flares? I did send a reply to your PM but i never got anything back mate? Was that footage taken by those users Iridium Flares?
I'm trying to rule out several sightings by both me and my brother during the hours of midnight to 2am. on numerous occasions we've seen similar objects to those on Youtube. So if those on Youtube aren't iridium flares or satellites.. what are they?
If you need me to resend or post up the footage here please ask.

I'll try and drop by again at some point on Sunday night, i'm away from Manchester on Friday and doubt i'll get chance to check this thread until i get back.

If anyone here has any tech/questions or wants advice please post up and keep this thread going, I'm sure it can serve its purpose to you just like it has done with me. I'm hoping to have my new desktop before christmas.

In friendship
Richard



posted on Nov, 5 2010 @ 02:35 AM
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Originally posted by Superiorraw
Hi Mate
Firstly. I want to apologise I have had a number of obstacles to overcome. I am soon to be moving house and i've been so busy on ebay selling stuff i dont want to take with me, i've also been helping my dad out at the new house getting it ready for the move. (we already have the keys).

Secondly I stopped practicing and recording with the Panasonic SD60 because of these reasons and mainly because if I did capture something, I can't show it anyone. My brother broke the only hardware capable of sync'ing with my HDC (my mums Laptop). My pc and the older pc arent' capable at taking the videos from the Panasonic SD60 and neither is my mums netbook.

So my plan is to use the money from selling on ebay and get myself a new pc/desktop. Alot of my hobbies are going to be cut down to size (already have done this) and moving into the new house will give me a fresh start and alot of spare time to do 2 things. Job hunt, and practice with my videocamera and spend more time on here.


All in good time of course. I'd like to refer back to Chrlz and ask that he checked the 2 Youtube videos I sent him about Iridium flares? I did send a reply to your PM but i never got anything back mate? Was that footage taken by those users Iridium Flares?
I'm trying to rule out several sightings by both me and my brother during the hours of midnight to 2am. on numerous occasions we've seen similar objects to those on Youtube. So if those on Youtube aren't iridium flares or satellites.. what are they?
If you need me to resend or post up the footage here please ask.

I'll try and drop by again at some point on Sunday night, i'm away from Manchester on Friday and doubt i'll get chance to check this thread until i get back.

If anyone here has any tech/questions or wants advice please post up and keep this thread going, I'm sure it can serve its purpose to you just like it has done with me. I'm hoping to have my new desktop before christmas.

In friendship
Richard


G'day Supe! A bit on your plate, eh mate?


This is only a partial answer - I'll dig up my original responses and post the gist of them here - other folk may be interested in the videos.

But a quick response... No, if you were watching between 12 midnight and 2am, they could NOT possibly be Iridium flares*. Iridium flares are similar to ordinary satellites (just a lot brighter for short periods!), in that what you are seeing is the satellite catching the rays of sunlight passing over your location. Iridium's have large solar arrays that can angle that sunlight back at you in a very bright glint, if you are in the right place at the right time.

So you can ONLY see satellites or Iridium flares in the hour or so after sunset, and before dawn, when the sun rays are still passing overhead - later in the evening as the earth's shadow moves over you, nothing that relies on reflected sunlight can be seen.

So, no, they weren't Iridium flares if your times are correct. And you have be a VERY lucky guy to see one, let alone two in a short period anyways. Even the most avid skywatcher won't see one in their lifetime, unless they deliberately do the hard work to be in that right place at the right time.


Be back later..



* BTW, there's a tiny proviso in what I said above. It somewhat depends on your latitude... Observers near the equator only get a short 'window' after dusk and before dawn to satellite watch. Observers at mid latitudes (ie most of us) get an hour or so, and as you get to higher latitudes (eg near the poles), you will be able to still see satellites much later/earlier. It's all about the sun angles... If you think about it, you'll see why that is - but if anyone needs a fuller explanation, please ask..

edit on 5-11-2010 by CHRLZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2010 @ 07:59 PM
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Supe, here's a copy of the U2U I sent you. I hope it's ok to post it here - i don't think there was anything that was personal, and of course it is very much on topic.


=======
>(Superiorraw)
>we saw what looked like a star/orb passing through
>the night sky at a rapid rate. I remembered that
>someone posted something similar on Youtube
>and claimed it as geniune Iridium flare footage.

Maybe, but I wouldn't use Youtube videos as a source of wisdom..! I'm presuming you are getting familiar with satellites by now, and should be able to recognise them? They do move fast, and look 'high' (although you need to be careful about guessing or 'using your feelings' to estimate height) Satellites are usually easy to verify:

- they are ONLY seen early evening, or just before dawn, NEVER late at night (for normal latitudes). that's because they are catching the last sun rays that are then passing overhead of your location.

- usually, you can watch them dim and disappear (or vice versa) as they enter/leave the earth's shadow..

Iridiums are just normal satellites, but every now and then they brighten quite rapidly as the panels catch the sun, then dim back down to normal.


>At first my brother said that it was too high up to
>be an aircraft, the object was way way up there.

Hmmmm Once you get to 10,000 feet or so, there are simply no visual clues that can tell you how high they are. Your brother needs to be objective, or reveal his secret that allows him to know something that most of us haven't a hope of determining.


>We've got visuals on at least 3 or more terrestrial
>satellietes and it was higher than those?

See above. If you can't quantify it or explain how you 'know' that, you're making a big call there...


>But after having spoken with you on that thread,
>apparently its almost a rarity to see Iridium flares.

Yep. As explained above, the Iridium *sats* aren't that rare - they look like normal satellites until they do the flare thing, and that only lasts a few seconds. So to see an Iridium satellite isn't rare, but to see one flare..? VERY rare.


>I havent quite got up to speed with my >videocamera

patience Luke...


>and besides which i still have
>an issue with color night view in that it records in >slowmotion (seemingly).

I suspect you may have simply hit the technology limit at that pricepoint. It may have to use a very slow shutter speed to get enough light to hit the sensor. You can't fight physics, and you may need to resign yourself to not getting any better footage until you win the lottery and can afford a video-capable DSLR or a large sensor videocam.


>That night i saw 3 and tracked 3 of them with >binoculars, one of them made a 45 degree turn at
>one point?

Satellites don't make turns. Well, they can be maneuvred, but it's a slow process. So perhaps a high aircraft, or a genuine ufo (whatever that means). A word of caution - if you are viewing overhead thru binocs or camera, it is very easy for you and your camera to 'turn' as you pan overhead, giving a false impression of motion - so be careful of this trap!


>Most of the time we've seen them have been
>after nightfall between 12 at night and 4am in the
>morning.

Well, that pretty much rules out satellites. At those hours, there would be NO sun rays overhead, just deep, infinite earth shadow. So nothing there to light up satellites. No satellites carry illumination.

Next you have to try to rule out aircraft...


>I'm sure by the terms i've set out for myself, there
> is a quite logical explanation

Always deal with all credible ideas first, and after that...


>maybe an astrological phenomena

Please do not use that term in my earshot!
It's 'astronomical' (or atmospheric, i guess!) unless you genuinely mean some sort of planetary alignment influencing your fortunes...


>for what it is I'm seeing, for reference i've included
> the youtube clip i referred to a while back.

Forgive me as i have to vanish for a while, but I'll revisit these a bit later and of there is anything else I can think of, I'll waffle on so more!


>Please dont bust my chops over this

I hope you don't think I'm doing that.. indeed if you think I'm being too hard, let me know. I can come over a bit 'terse' at times. But I am impressed by the approach you are taking. Carry on, and I wish you Clear Skies!

========================



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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The cameras could be the same such as two camcorders or they could be one narrow view device such as a hd camcorder.



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by ankaka
Speaking of low light situations I've walked into stores that sell loads of different hd camcorders and compared how they do in low light by covering the lens with a folded up piece of paper.


Just curious - why are you continually linking to that site, in your signature as well? Looks a lot like spam, and that page contains a load of absolute RUBBISH cameras, completely unsuitable for this. This is a SERIOUS discussion about recording high quality imagery. I'd suggest if you are serious, you at least learn what distinguishes good equipment from the no-brand knock-off JUNK listed on that page.

For anyone looking at this topic seriously, I would strongly suggest you look at a large sensor (APC or greater) digital camera, like pretty much any digital SLR, the Sony NEX series, etc.



posted on May, 18 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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I think the Binocular Photon Machine (BIPH) or Yukon Ranger are the best bet. You can video the stars in real time, and they show things up there that are difficult to explain. Some are satellites for sure, but some are not listed in any catalogue, which is why the military is trying to restrict sales of the 3rd generation night vision units.
One of many vids on youtube.
www.youtube.com...



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