salvaged from a camera drowned in 2008 Monday, June 22 2020
As you'll recall from yesterday, my best camera for collecting close-up hummingbird video was one that lacked a infrared filter, meaning many of the colors (particularly of vegetation) were off. I'd ordered infrared filters on eBay, but while waiting for them to arrive, I figured I could probably find a suitable one in one of the many ancient digital cameras I have on hand. A perfect choice as a source for such a filter was my old Canon PowerShot S400 Elf, the one whose electronics had been destroyed by a puddle in the tent Gretchen and I had slept in at Bonnaroo in 2008. I still had that camera, and it was already partially-disassembled. With the removal of a few screws, I was able to remove the telescoping lens system, extricate the four megapixel CCD, and then carefully extract the infrared filter from its place just behind the lens nearest the CCD. It was a small (though surprisingly thick) piece of bluish glass measuring about one centimeter square and one point five millimeters thick. I tried attaching this to my fish-eye camera using tiny rare earth magnets and a small steel washer. But that didn't work too well, so then I used a pair of tiny steel rings (the kind used to attach magnetic lenses to smartphones). I attached one to the camera and one to the filter and then used tiny rare-earth magnets in the same plane as the filter to hold the two rings together, keeping the filter on the camera. This resulted in beautiful color fidelity, but by the time I had this working (I was delayed by two long video meetings), the sun had moved to a place where it wasn't doing a good job of illuminating the hummingbirds. I nevertheless managed to get some good video, particularly in the evening, when I could use an LED bulb to light up the hummingbirds. I've found they are most active just before dusk.
Gretchen and Powerful and gone together to Woodstock today, and Gretchen was exhausted after her shift. I could tell things had been particularly bad when she went looking for a Modelo beer in the refrigerator. There were none of the right temperature available, so I put one in the freezer for her.
With the Raspberry Pi camera, still photos show more of the picture than video does, and here you can see the edges of the steel rings securing the infrared filter.
One of the better videos shot today, illuminated naturally.