Garden Wildlife Cameras - Part 2

 In the last post, I described my initial attempts at recording garden birds using CCTV and trail cameras. I noted an issue with the stuttering video obtained when using slow frame rates (e.g. 15 fps). I have upped the frame rate on the CCTV to its maximum of 25 fps and the video quality is definitely better. For example, Video 1 is a recording of a wood pigeon flying from a wild cherry tree using a frame rate of 25 fps ...

Video 1: Wood Pigeon in Cherry Tree (Genbolt CCTV, 13/2/23)

The problem with most garden birds is that they flap their wings two to three times per second (typically).  Obviously, there are exceptions such as hummingbirds that achieve flap rates of up to 70 beats per second. Slower frame rates can produce choppy and blurry video of fast action shots (e.g. birds flying) but take up less storage memory. Faster frame rates can be useful for slow-motion filming or smoother fast action shots but need much more data storage. Compromise is the name of the game with frame rates of 24 - 30 fps providing a happy medium for most applications.

The third camera system I evaluated was the NatureSpy WiFi WildCam. At £99, plus the cost of a 32 GB microSD card, this can still be considered a budget option. This camera had two main advantages for me: (i) it connects to the home WiFi for simple, easy live viewing from anywhere, and (ii) rechargeable batteries for reduced operational costs (c.f. the trail camera).

The boxed camera arrived in a plastic postal envelope four days after being ordered online (Photo 1)  ...

Photo 1: NatureSpy WiFi WildCam and 32GB microSD

In the box were the WiFi camera, 2 x rechargeable batteries, a USB charging lead, a magnetic wall mount (with the rawlplugs and screws) plus the quick start and user guides (Photo 2)...

Photo 2: Box Contents of NatureSpy WildCam

The microSD card was a bit fiddly to install under the rechargeable batteries but there are helpful videos available and tech support via e-mail was very quick (answers within an hour). Set up, live monitoring, photo (screenshot) and video recording, file management, etc are all done through the Tuya app (Android & iPhone).

The camera comes with a magnetic wall holder for fixing to a fence, wall, or another solid object. I wanted to attach my camera to the tree where the bird feeders hang. Since the camera comes with a standard tripod mount, I bought this flexible tripod to do the job (Photo 3).

Photo 3: Flexible tripod and NatureSpy WiFi WildCam (Pixel 4a photo)

Example videos from the NatureSpy WiFi WildCam are shown in Videos 2-5.

Video 2: Blue Tit on Feeder

Video 3: Blue Tit on Feeder 2

Video 4: Blue Tit on Peanut Feeder

Photo 4 was a cropped screenshot of a single video frame ...

Photo 4: Blue tit, exit stage right (screenshot from video, NatureSpy WiFi WildCam)

Video 5: House Sparrow on Feeder (NatureSpy WiFi WildCam)

The full specification is set out below:

And here is an example of night photography (Photo 5) ...

Photo 5: NatureSpy WiFi WildCam - Night Vision

Conclusion: A neat HD wildlife camera suitable for the garden. I am still evaluating battery life which will depend on how frequently photos and videos are recorded. After a day's use taking half a dozen photos and a couple of minutes video, the battery was still registering 100%. Videos and photos are easily uploaded to Google Photos - other options are available.


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