The Variety Of Hidden Security Cameras And Their Purposes
With the innovative advances made in electronic technology, hidden security cameras have become easier to use and are available in numerous styles and designs and are also an affordable option for most individuals. Hidden cameras are being utilized for a variety of reasons that include monitoring employees, caretakers, homes, and catching cheating spouses. If you are interested in purchasing a hidden security camera, you will find the following information helpful in selecting one that is the most suitable for the needs of you and your family.
Hidden Cameras to Protect your Home and Personal Property
A hidden security camera placed in strategic locations on the inside and outside of your home can aid in deterring criminals and may also provide you with valuable evidence should you become the victim of a home invasion, burglary, or vandalism. Placing security cameras where they are visible inside or outside of your home is also a strong deterrent for many criminals. If you intend on utilizing hidden cameras to protect your home, professionals in law enforcement recommend that they be placed on both the front and back door in order to obtain video and photographs in the event that anyone should break into your home.
Hidden Cameras for Monitoring Caretakers
One of the most popular uses for hidden cameras is to monitor caretakers including babysitters or nannies and those who are responsible for the care of elderly relatives. These types of hidden security cameras are typically very small and wireless and are often referred to as "bullet" or "pinhole" cameras due to the overall size of the camera and tiny lens. Their size and wireless capability makes it easier to conceal them and they are commonly hidden inconspicuously in objects around the home such as plants or stuffed animals. You can also purchase these types cameras already pre-designed in a housing that looks like a common object such as an alarm clock, radio, or air freshener.
Personal Hidden Security Cameras
Personal hidden security cameras also known as "body-worn" cameras are often utilized by law enforcement and private investigators to record criminal activity or gather evidence. While the use of a microphone is typically prohibited in hidden cameras in most states, it is allowed in "body worn" cameras. These cameras vary in their capabilities among the different models and use an SD card (memory card) which records the images and can be plugged into a computer for playback later on. They can typically record up to two or three hours and the clarity of the images varies among the different models. This type of camera can be used to gather evidence of harassment or for a court case.
Body worn hidden cameras come built into many different common objects including ball point pens, sunglasses, key chains, watches, rear view mirrors, and cigarette lighters. Hidden surveillance cameras for the home come in many different sizes and price ranges and can be wireless or wired cameras. The wireless cameras are easier to install, however, they utilize a battery pack that must be recharged frequently. If you are interested in purchasing hidden security cameras for your home or business, you will have no difficulty in finding affordable ones for any type of surveillance that you desire.
Digital Photography 101 - A Beginners Guide to Digital Cameras
If you've never been around digital cameras, they can be rather intimidating at first. Buzzwords like "mega pixels" and "optical zoom" help to build a language barrier between new users and the industry, and sometimes it's hard to understand what exactly you're buying. So here is a quick walk through of the major elements of digital cameras to help you make the best judgment on which one is right for you.
The Difference Between SLRs and Automatic Cameras
An SLR looks and operates exactly like a non-digital camera, except instead of exposing film it exposes a light-sensitive sensor. If you pick a digital SLR, you will be able to manually adjust settings like shutter speed, aperture, focus and ISO. And generally speaking, if you're looking for the highest quality images, then digital SLRS are the way to go.
Automatic cameras or point and shoots often have a large LCD screen on the back and usually only require a single button press for taking a picture. Point and shoot cameras take lower quality pictures (although not by a lot) but provide a lot less customizable options. On the flip side, however, they are great because of their small portable size and ease of use. And if you're not planning to print out large pictures, then the quality difference is minimal.
The Mega Pixel Debate
One of the most important features camera manufacturers talk about is the number of mega pixels. But what are mega pixels anyway?
Mega pixels are how manufacturers measure the pixel count of an image created by a camera. A one mega pixel camera means that the camera will take pictures with 1 million pixels. You can think of mega pixels as the actual picture's resolution.
So which megapixel value is right for you? It really depends upon what you want to do with you pictures. For most users, who wish only to shoot a few photographs and upload them to their website or email them to friends at smaller sizes, anything in the 2MP to 7MP range is absolutely fine. If you're going to be blowing your work up to larger sizes, you should work with cameras that shoot at higher resolutions (10MP and above). The bigger you want your photo, the more important the mega pixel value.
The Difference Between Digital and Optical Zooms
Many digital cameras feature both digital and optical zoom. Optical zoom can be defined as the distance the camera is able to zoom its lens, whereas digital zoom is the distance the camera can "pretend" to make it from that distance. What an optical zoom does is magnify the subject like what a zoom lens would do, while a digital zoom simply takes a part of the image and blows it up. One good example of a digital zoom, is when you see on tv the video footage from a security camera that shows the pixilated and blurry face of a robber.
Generally speaking, a digital zoom is a useless feature so you're better off ignoring it when shopping for a digital camera. Images created using digital zoom have low quality and look pretty terrible, so if you're not close enough to catch it with optical zoom it's best to either get closer or shoot with what you have.
Buying a digital camera doesn't have to be a frustrating or scary experience. Just be honest about what you need and expect from your camera, as well as what your price range is, and go from there. As long as you pick a camera that suits your needs, you will be happy with the results. If you're not sure what digital camera is right for you, you're better off starting with a more basic camera and then upgrading later if you need to.
Bird Photography - How to Take Hummingbirds
The most challenging subject in the world of bird photography is the hummingbird. This jeweled bundle of energy has the ability to zoom around at record breaking speeds causing frustration for many a photographer. This article is written to help give you some tips so you can take better hummingbird pictures.
Set out the Hummingbird Welcome Mat
Most places in North America have hummingbirds either seasonally or year round. Just ask your local Audubon Society on when you should put out your hummingbird feeders. You can also find out from them if the hummingbirds in your area need to migrate, and if so, when you should take your feeders down so they don't get stranded in the cold.
Every serious hummingbird photographer needs a hummingbird feeder. When looking for a feeder, make sure you have one that is easy to clean and that it is easy to fill with sugar water.
Most birders suggest using 4 parts water to 1 part sugar or you can also try using a 3:1 mixture as well. Keep the feeders filled so that the hummingbirds don't head to a more reliable nectar station. However you should take them down periodically to clean but put them right back up. Also never use food coloring because it can cause dangerous growth on the hummingbirds beaks and it's not needed to attract them.
Hummingbird Feeders, Perches and Flowers
The biggest challenge with taking hummingbird pictures is that they rarely hold still. Hummingbirds are constantly zooming and darting so it makes it difficult to photograph them. Many photographers make the mistake of trying to follow them with their camera in hand. However, don't do that as it is best staying in one position and being patient.
You want to think about the kind of bird pictures you want and then set things up to help increase your chances of getting the shot. After you're all set up, all you have to do is have your camera ready and get comfortable. Many photographers use a stabilizer device like a tripod or monopod so the camera is always ready for the next shot. Some photographers use blinds so they can move without worrying about scaring off a hummingbird.
If you want photographs of hummingbirds hovering, remove the perches from your feeders. And if you plug all the holes but one it will be easier to get a pictures of one hummingbird at a time. You will still have hummingbirds zipping around trying to chase off the other birds from the feeder regardless of what you do.
Now if you want to take pictures of hummingbirds perching, watch where the dominant male goes after he fills up at the feeder. Usually, hummingbirds will perch where they have a good view of the feeder. If the perch isn't in a good position for you to take pictures, you'll need to do some rearranging. Move the feeder closer to a perch that works for you.
You can also move it farther from the natural perches and add a new perch that is in a photo friendly location. The hummingbird won't mind as long as he or she can keep an eye out for intruders. Eventually the hummingbirds will get used to you and your camera, but movement will likely frighten them off so make sure you're in a quiet area with very little activity.
If you have a particular flower that would make a lovely picture with the hummingbird but they are never there long enough for you to press the shutter release, try this photographer's trick: Using an eye dropper, gently fill the flower with some sugar water. This only works for a short time because the flower will begin to wilt after just a few hours.
As with feeders and perches, you can also hang a basket of flowers to help attract them for photographing. However no matter if you use a flower or feeder, you'll still only have about 8 seconds tops to take your pictures. Always be patient and don't press the shutter release until the hummingbird has a had a sip of nectar or sugar water. Otherwise if the flash frightens them off, they won't have as much incentive to venture back.
Check Your Background
The best background for hummingbird photography is something dark green that doesn't have any distractions in it like brown twigs or branches. If you want a mobile background try a dark green potted plant or a painted poster board. The main thing is to have a dark background that makes the hummingbird's colors pop.
If you look for hummingbird pictures in google images you'll get a good idea of what backgrounds work and what doesn't. Note how brilliantly colored hummingbirds fade into some backgrounds, like the bright green, sun lit trees and shrubs. A shaded area behind the feeder or perch also works well as a good background.
You can use photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop Elements, to blur the background and make the hummingbird stand out from the background.
You can also find tutorials on this on websites like Adobe.
Lights, Camera, Action
Once you have your hummingbird feeding station set up, now you just need to find a comfy place to sit with your camera and tripod. In order to freeze their beating wings, you will need a high speed flash but you can still get some great pictures with a good compact camera by using these tips.
Remember, hummingbirds may be the most challenging subject in bird photography, but with some patience you will soon have a nice collection of hummingbird photography to frame and display in your home.