Small video cameras

My old physics teacher used to say “How small is small?”  Domestic video cameras have become smaller – the early ones were about as ergonomic as loaves of bread and similar in size.  Domestic cameras are not much good for professional wildlife filming work, though there are situations in which a wildlife cameraman can use a camera that isn’t 4K or ‘normal’ HD.

One such case is when the camera has to be extremely small.  The picture below shows, believe it or not, a camera and a falconry hood.  Filming a falcon’s point of view has been done before, but I have been asked to try it for a project I’m working on.

The camera is called the Y3000.  It claims to record 720p video.  Well there’s more to a good video picture than just the lines, and I can assure you that this version of 720p is pretty ropey.  That said, the camera is minute, and weighs in at only 9 grams, which is the critical factor if a bird is going to carry it on its head.  The camera records to a micro SD card, and there is a micro USB port for charging.  The camera does record heavily compressed video. There is no way of monitoring your image without recording something and transferring the data to a computer.

Falconry camera stripped bare

Using a Class 10 card the camera seems to duplicate about 5 frames during a second, recording at 30 fps.  Even so, the pictures are OK for reference and I will post some here at some point in the near future when we have sorted out a mounting that we are happy with.  The bird will of course come first, and it will be designed to detach if the bird goes through cover.  The camera was only £13.00 after all, but even if it were several hundred pounds the same principles would apply.

I don’t get many wildlife cameraman jobs like this one, so I cannot wait to try this camera out.  I have only walked around the garden with it at a couple of miles an hour.  We’re going to place it on a gyr hybrid doing well in excess of 100 mph.