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108 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 88450 16-Aug-2011 15:10
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Hi all

A group of us (4 biology students) plan to underake some biological studies
(snails!) and need some way to film snails overnight. We're not very techy so
really need advice in this regard ...

If any of you have a moment, would you mind please offering your suggestions as to
how we could best go about this?

We considered webcams, but problems here might be:
(a) We'd need to get/download some recording software
(b) We've been told our computers wouldn't have the capacity to take a full 6-
8 hours of recording through a webcam? Do you know if this is correct?

Other options are:
Video cameras: We have 2 available, one is about 5 or so years old, the other
is a couple of years old and is an 'HD', can have USB sticks etc. attached.
Do you know whether video cameras generall would have the capacity to run for
6-8 hours non-stop (if plugged in to an electrical source)?

Any other suggestions as to what we could use to film for 6 to 8 hours?

Many thanks for your help :-)

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Chief Trash Bandit
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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 507375 16-Aug-2011 15:27
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It depends what sort of quality you want, you could use webcams etc at a low resolution and get away with a reasonable sized HDD easily, but if you wanted HD footage, then youd be looking at a lot more hard drive space being required.

XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ


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  Reply # 507395 16-Aug-2011 15:45
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Also depends if you need normal video speed capture (24 frames per second), or less, like 1 picture per second etc.

Web cam would most likely be your best bet, as it could be to a computer hard drive, I don't think a video camera would have enough storage (even in SD mode = approx 2gb per hour) to record for that long, unless you can plug an external hard drive do it - or unless it's a hard drive model rather than usb stick/storage card type.

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  Reply # 507422 16-Aug-2011 16:14
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Webcam time lapse software would seem your best bet, there are quite a few applications out there with a bit of google searching.

This one looks good for $10..?

108 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 507447 16-Aug-2011 16:55
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Wow!  Quick responses - Thanks!

The quality is not an issue at all - it's just so we can report in which direction the snails moved overnight.

So we're probably looking at webcam.  Do you know if webcam recording software can be applied to built-in cams on laptops?

Thanks again


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 508287 17-Aug-2011 22:52
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Yes, it can. Any video device can be selected. This is freeware for non-commercial use:

108 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 509482 20-Aug-2011 23:23
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Thanks gzt, this is excellent   :-)

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