Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Camera for an Equine Photographer

  1. #1
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Despite the cutesy title, I have a serious question regarding recommendations for a camera that I can have my Horses use. Inspired by my joke in my interview regarding none of my Horses or 'Roos having an interest in photography, I wondered what would a collection of Horse Photographer images consist of.

    What would be a quality digital camera which meets:
    1. Small size and low weight
    2. Silent Operation
    3. Built in intervalometer
    4. High bit depth file format
    5. Lens must not protrude beyond the body of the camera
    6. A fairly long battery life > 24 hours with 1 image per minute to 1 image per 5, or more, minutes
    7. Not bothered by dew or moisture
    8. Low to reasonable cost
    9. Reasonable to high image quality


    My application is to attach the camera to various straps of a Horse halter, set it up to snap an image every one to every five minutes, and then put the camera halter on a Horse to then go about their normal routine snapping a collection of images in the course of the following 24 plus hours.

    Knowing how rough Horses can be, I know quite well that if the camera is still in one piece and functional at all after a day's shooting would be an impressive achievement. ( I would not be surprised if I would need to search the pasture for the tree or post, that the Horse smashed the camera against while rubbing an itch, to recover the pieces and hopefully salvage the flash card. )

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    30,414
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    Despite the cutesy title, I have a serious question regarding recommendations for a camera that I can have my Horses use. Inspired by my joke in my interview regarding none of my Horses or 'Roos having an interest in photography, I wondered what would a collection of Horse Photographer images consist of.

    What would be a quality digital camera which meets:
    1. Small size and low weight
    2. Silent Operation
    3. Built in intervalometer
    4. High bit depth file format
    5. Lens must not protrude beyond the body of the camera
    6. A fairly long battery life > 24 hours with 1 image per minute to 1 image per 5, or more, minutes
    7. Not bothered by dew or moisture
    8. Low to reasonable cost
    9. Reasonable to high image quality


    My application is to attach the camera to various straps of a Horse halter, set it up to snap an image every one to every five minutes, and then put the camera halter on a Horse to then go about their normal routine snapping a collection of images in the course of the following 24 plus hours.

    Knowing how rough Horses can be, I know quite well that if the camera is still in one piece and functional at all after a day's shooting would be an impressive achievement. ( I would not be surprised if I would need to search the pasture for the tree or post, that the Horse smashed the camera against while rubbing an itch, to recover the pieces and hopefully salvage the flash card. )
    Wouldn't this be sort of hit or miss photography as I asume you will be using a remote release to fire the camera? It may not matter the type of camera as you would be at the mercy of the camera settings, the movement of the horse, obstructions, etc. I would think a helmet camera might be a better option as you could control while riding what images are captured.

  3. #3
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Wouldn't this be sort of hit or miss photography
    Very much so, which is why the camera needs a built in intervalometer. Even one exposure every 5 minutes would yield 288 images over a 24 hour period. My Horses tend to have quiet lazy days and easily remain still to allow for a camera to snap a nice clear image. After the camera is recovered the following day, I'd go through to select the best images.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    as I asume you will be using a remote release to fire the camera?
    Not at all, an Intervalometer would handle the job all on it's own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I would think a helmet camera might be a better option as you could control while riding what images are captured.
    You're thinking of the Horse being ridden. I'm talking about the Horse out at liberty to walk about the pasture, graze, socialize with the other Horses, and just be out on their own as with any other day. The difference is the Horse's halter would have a camera to snap photos through out the day, capturing things that only the Horse would be witness to.

  4. #4
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    I have considered getting another camera similar to my Voigtländer Vitoret RM6.0 point and shoot, since it has the right size, weight, and built in intervalometer, but the Lens protrudes from the Camera body making it more vulnerable to damage and the only image format it offers is JPG which does not have the bit depth for any significant post processing.

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    30,414
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    I have considered getting another camera similar to my Voigtländer Vitoret RM6.0 point and shoot, since it has the right size, weight, and built in intervalometer, but the Lens protrudes from the Camera body making it more vulnerable to damage and the only image format it offers is JPG which does not have the bit depth for any significant post processing.
    I have to assume that your horse travels long distances, otherwise this experiment would be unneccessary. A camera with GPS tracking should fight your needs, there are some offered by Nikon and Canon and also have the intervalometer you described. Most of the animals fitted with these systems are known to wander long distances.

  6. #6
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I have to assume that your horse travels long distances
    My Horses have 67 acres, 27 hectares, to roam and play in which includes a large creek fed pond that they use for swimming, areas of clear pasture, and areas with trees.

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    30,414
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    My Horses have 67 acres, 27 hectares, to roam and play in which includes a large creek fed pond that they use for swimming, areas of clear pasture, and areas with trees.
    Steaphany,

    You'll have to forgive me for my ignorance in not seeing this from your perspective. I was looking at your inquiry from my point of view and how we as photographers are usually more involved in the images we capture. I can now see this as your experiment, your process, your ideas.

  8. #8
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    You'll have to forgive me for my ignorance in not seeing this from your perspective.
    We normally only think of humans as photographers, and the closest departure I've seen are adults who give their children cameras to see and document the world from the child's point of view.

    The premise here is:

    "Given a camera, What is a Horse's view of the world ?"

    I need recommendations for a camera that can, on it's own, be set to snap a quality image at a set interval, adjust for varying light conditions, handle evening and night moisture levels, be quiet or silent enough not to frighten the Horse, and be cheap enough to not have a financial disaster should the Horse destroy the camera.

    Looking through B & H Photo's site, all the point and shoots that support a RAW format are too costly, from my perspective, for this project.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 7th March 2011 at 01:58 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    38
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post

    I need recommendations for a camera that can, on it's own, be set to snap a quality image at a set interval, adjust for varying light conditions, handle evening and night moisture levels, be quiet or silent enough not to frighten the Horse, and be cheap enough to not have a financial disaster should the Horse destroy the camera.

    Looking through B & H Photo's site, all the point and shoots that support a RAW format are too costly, from my perspective, for this project.
    And there lies the rub from the perspective of a camera that will be sure to be tough. It occurs to me that an underwater camera or housing might protect the camera from the elements and maybe the scratching against a post problem, although any camera under a horse's hoof might come off second. It might improve the odds though.

    If you manage to get the project underway, I'd love to see the results.

  10. #10
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Either no one took me seriously or the requested camera specifications just turned out to be too over whelming. After a bit of searching, I think I may have found a camera that would do what I need. Has anyone played around with a

    Casio Exilim EX-G1 Digital Camera




  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,245
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    Either no one took me seriously or the requested camera specifications just turned out to be too over whelming. After a bit of searching, I think I may have found a camera that would do what I need. Has anyone played around with a Casio Exilim EX-G1 Digital Camera
    No, but it does look promising for your needs

  12. #12
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    While the results of my quiry here were disappointing I sent this very same question off to B&H Photo and they came right back with a couple recommendations:

    Pentax Optio WG-1 Digital Camera

    followed by the:

    Pentax Optio W90 Compact Digital Camera

    Now I know where I can ask my esoteric questions and be taken seriously.

    I'll probably go with the Pentax WG1 for this project.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Provence, France
    Posts
    909
    Real Name
    Remco

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    While the results of my quiry here were disappointing

    <snip>

    Now I know where I can ask my esoteric questions and be taken seriously.

    I'll probably go with the Pentax WG1 for this project.
    I'm not sure your question was not taken seriously (actually, the lack of answers tells me it probably was ). But, we're not camera sellers, so have no need to stay up-to-date with all the esoteric/specialised camera's that are produced for a while and then disappear again. B&H photo otoh are sellers, so should need to know about all the hardware there is (ideally..) and be able to match requirements to equipment. Different priorities, not sure B&H would be able to tell you how to sharpen an image correctly

  14. #14
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Remco,

    I know I'm far from what would be classed as a gal out for the newest toy around, I know of others who have no need for it, but they buy every incarnation of iphone and ipad on the first day they're for sale.

    I asked here first since I thought that the diversity of the membership would have some experienced with using camera's in difficult and hazzardous conditions. I know the B&H people have to be up on what they sell, but they are after making the sale. My goal was to reach photographers who value finding equipment that can not only surrivive but also produce quality images.

  15. #15
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,245
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    I asked here first since I thought that the diversity of the membership would have some experienced with using camera's in difficult and hazzardous conditions. ~. My goal was to reach photographers who value finding equipment that can not only surrivive but also produce quality images.
    I think you will be that member in a few weeks/months time

    Sorry we let you down

    I wish you luck with the endeavour Steaphany.

    Cheers,

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Provence, France
    Posts
    909
    Real Name
    Remco

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    Remco,

    I know I'm far from what would be classed as a gal out for the newest toy around, I know of others who have no need for it, but they buy every incarnation of iphone and ipad on the first day they're for sale.

    I asked here first since I thought that the diversity of the membership would have some experienced with using camera's in difficult and hazzardous conditions. I know the B&H people have to be up on what they sell, but they are after making the sale. My goal was to reach photographers who value finding equipment that can not only surrivive but also produce quality images.
    I understand your reasoning, which is why I said that the absence of answers could mean you were taken seriously: no one had a good (or even partial) answer to offer, so they kept mum. Given the cameras most members use (SDLR), I'd say your list of specifications was rather difficult, and I for one am not that interested in compact cameras (not enough to spend any time on reading about them).

    And there's a large difference about running after the latests gadgets, and being able to advice (or choose) based on a list of requirements (much easier to run after gadgets, just follow publicity). And I didn't mean to imply you were after a gadget either, your question was well reasoned, just too difficult to answer. (See for another exemple the question about the sharpening using masks in Matlab: not many answers there either. I could answer as I know a bit about matlab and what it can do)

  17. #17
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    All good points Remco, Thank you for your perspective.

  18. #18
    benm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    315
    Real Name
    Ben

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Perhaps you could look at a wireless webcam. This would give you a continuous video stream on a PC. This could be edited to select frames at the desired interval. Whatever you end up selecting you may need to consider how it gets mounted on your horse so if the horse decides to take a nap the camera won't end up under the horse.

    I think you were being taken seriously; for example, no one suggested the following:

    Camera for an Equine Photographer

    I, for one, would be interested in seeing the results of your experiment.

  19. #19
    John C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    157

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Steaphany,
    Your post made me think of the various scientific experiments where they put a camera on a animal to see where they go, what they do, etc. However, I think many of those are purpose built for the task at hand. Then I thought of helmet cams. Looks like some of those can take still photos and be set to take a frame at discrete intervals. The one shown in the link has intervals up to a minute, which might not be long enough. The helmet cams are supposed to be rugged. It would be up to you to figure out how to attach it to a horse. I suppose if its good enough for a bicyclist, it should work for a horse.

    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=jd&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&q=helmet+camera+still&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_p w.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=101130336910862633&sa=X&ei=7C2PTdaIOqm-0QH9somuCw&ved=0CEgQ8wIwAg#

  20. #20
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The far off Country of Texas
    Posts
    827
    Real Name
    Steaphany

    Re: Camera for an Equine Photographer

    Excellent idea ! And the link had it's very own smiley embedded in it

    As for attachment to a Horse's halter, I've thought about epoxying nylon straps to the camera or more crudely, just use vet-wrap, an elastic self adhesive material used for bandaging injuries. In the case of the Pentax Optio WG-1, I could set up the camera and mummify it with vet-wrap lashing it to the nose or a cheek strap of a halter leaving only the imaging elements and shutter clear. Once I have the halter on my Photographer, I could press the shutter to start it up and let them to run out and play.

    I've known of the purpose built wildlife worn cameras, some shoot stills, others video, but due to the nature of the application, the researchers focus on capturing images and not specifically on image quality. In my application, not only do I want to see and capture situations and scenes that only the Horse experienced, I want images of sufficient quality that I could accumulate the best shots over the course of a year to compile into a photo book that I'd have on-demand published and sold.

    I know there is a fairly large market for photography of Horses, right down to the EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHERS NETWORK, a professional association for photographers who specialize in commercial equine portraiture and equestrian eventing sports photography.

    My Horses have a rather unique environment. First off, they are not ridden or worked. Most Horses have a work day routine comparable to any one who must attend to a day to day job. My guys have a few rules that they need to follow, mind what I tell them, have appropriate manners, and come in to shelter when I tell them a storm is heading our way. The setting here on my 67 acre, 27 hectare, ranch is mostly open pasture, a creek fed pond where the Horses drink and go swimming, areas of trees, the surrounding properties are either open expanses of fields or covered in mesquite, the terrain is gently rolling hills with some views clear out to the horizon. Plenty of potential for watching the passing wildlife as well, especially since wildlife would not be put off by the presence of a Horse carrying a camera.

    My herd consists of 8 full size Horses - a sorrel Quarter Horse, an Arab, and the rest are Paints, 3 miniHorses, and 2 Donkeys. The mini's have their own small pasture and the Arab Mare is a rescue from a prior owner who starved and beaten her to the point where she is mentally deficient and can't be allowed to socialize with the others.

    When I have gone out to conduct photography, the typical scenario is everyone comes right up to me, asking what am I doing, wanting to check out the camera, wanting snuggles, and for me to give them treats. It would be great if all I wanted was to snap photos of noses.

    Equipping a Horse to carry a camera would allow for a wide range of potential portraits, wildlife, landscapes, storms, scenes, and subjects, and to top it all off, I could honestly say that the photographer was a Horse, something that I feel would attract potential buyers of the book.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •