There’s a new toy in town…..

I got a new toy for my camera bag.  It is a Cam Ranger.  A great tool for remote wildlife photography, being able to use it with new modern devices.

For example, if you would like to set up your camera to get close-ups of a bird nest you can get great results.  With the setup which consists of a small transmitter that attaches to your camera, you can put it on a tripod near the nest, go to another location up to 150 feet away, and control all camera functions including focus, aperture, shutter, movies,etc. by using your iPad, iPhone, or iPod.  There is no chance of spooking the birds this way.

You have to download the FREE Cam Ranger app from Apple’s iTunes App Store.  It provides an ad hoc network between the camera and your device so there is no need for a regular wi-fi connection.  You can use it anywhere.

House Finch - photographed remotely using a Cam Ranger.

House Finch – photographed remotely using a Cam Ranger.

I set my tripod, with my Canon EOS 7d and 100-400 lens inside the patio door.  I aimed it at a hanging bird feeder.  I took my iPad to my office at the other end of the house.  After opening the app and establishing the connection, I sat and watched the live view of the feeder.  I set the aperture and shutter speed and focused through the app, and when this House Finch landed, I snapped the photo.

To control the depth of field, I used f11 in aperture priority.  The shutter speed was 1/320 at 3200 ISO.

I am really excited about the possible applications for this tool.  Unfortunately, right now it is only available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs.  I bought mine from B&H Photo.

Click on that photo to see an enlargement.

Birding App for iPod

For you that may be interested, I just discovered a new app that is available for iPod Touch or iPod Phone.  It is Birdseye.  You can, based on the location that you enter, find local birds, locate birding hotspots, locate specific birds, update you life list, etc.  I love it, and it is getting great reviews.  It does sell for 19.95, but in my opinion it is well worth the money.  I know that I will use it quite a lot, since I like to travel a bit. 

By the way, I updated my life list on it, and my total is up to 182.  Far from being an expert, but I’m having great fun.

Another app that I already have is iBird Explorer Pro.  It is a complete field guide to all the birds of North America.  For any bird you can find photos, information on range, facts, identity information, ecology, etc.  A really fantastic guide.  It is wonderful to be able to have such information in the palm of your hand.  It beats carrying around a bunch of books. 

I asked for birding info from Suzanne Johnson vis-a-vis the treatment ponds near Eldorado.  She has been keeping a list, and she says she has seen 180 different species there so far.

I got an unusual response to my previous blog about the low amount of donations at the Friends of SASP party.  Mike Ziegler, in Austin, Texas has written that he wants to make a donation.  I think that it is wonderful that an individual from another city, wants to help us out at the park.  Since I may have been a little outspoken on that subject, I have a feeling that I may not be invited to next year’s party. 🙂

Happy Birding!!