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Author Topic: Webcams and the sun?  (Read 1097 times)
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skyewright
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« on: November 29, 2008, 02:13:02 PM »

It's not properly positioned or uploading yet, but I now have a webcam (Panasonic BL-C140) that I hope to use as a weathercam.  Grin

But no sooner do I get it than I see someone on Weather-Watch wondering about the sun burning tracks on web cam CCD's!

I think my ideal would be to have the camera pointing due south, probably with the sky being about 2 thirds of the image. That would give a good view of approaching weather from the prevailing direction, and in good weather would IMHO be a very nice view too...  Cheesy
...however at our latitude, with the midday sun below 20 degrees for several months, the sun would be in that picture quite a lot!

Attached is an image taken at around 13:30 today in the direction I had in mind, though probably pointing a little lower than I'd like. The large amount of reflection is because the picture was taken looking at an angle through a double glazed window. In due course the camera should find its way into a single glazed box outside. What's easy to see is where the sun sits in the picture!

Has anyone actually had a problem with CCD burnout?

What direction(s) do point your camera(s) in?

« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 04:11:23 PM by skyewright » Logged

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munrobaggins
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 02:38:42 PM »

I just knew that you would be getting a Panasonic BL-C140.. Grin Grin...I have been contemplating the same myself as it would give me far more scope on camera positioning...However, the "into sun" capabilities was something I had not thought of really, as the later Logitec webcams seem to cope OK... maybe as the sensor in the Panasonic is a later CMOS type, it will function quite well looking directly into sun.

BTW all my current webcams face NW so pretty well miss the sun, except at the tale end of the day in the height of June....so hence have survived thus far..

Where IS the attached example piccie. Wink
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 04:08:42 PM by munrobaggins » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 02:41:46 PM »

I was going to ask about the piccie but you beat me too it.  Grin

I've had my Logitech Pro5000 pointing East for over a year and that gets direct Sun for around 3-4 hours a day in the summer and no problems to date. The Pro5000 seems to turn the Sun black but still picks up all the clouds in the sky as well, there's no bleed out because of the direct sunlight.
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skyewright
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 04:14:54 PM »

Where IS the attached example piccie. Wink
Ah. Opps. Embarrassed It's there now.

And for good measure, here's one taken a liitle later looking out of my office window. The view is NE and would only see the sun early on high summer mornings.
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 04:19:03 PM »

I just knew that you would be getting a Panasonic BL-C140.. Grin Grin...I have been contemplating the same myself
I went for www.isec-solutions.co.uk.
Very competitive price, and carriage was just their standard 5 pounds that would have applied anywhere in the UK (i.e. I didn't get charged any extra for the IV postcode).
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 05:10:52 PM by skyewright » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2008, 04:52:39 PM »

I went for www.istec.co.uk.
Very competitive price, and carriage was just their standard 5 pounds that would have applied anywhere in the UK (i.e. I didn't get charged any extra for the IV postcode).
Was that ISTEC or ISEC...I think that you may have meant here?...as they seem to have the best price...Yes, we too have an IV postcode and it is a real pain..

There does seem to be a lot of sun bloom on the 1st image....it rather destroys the quality etc...It may as you said also degrade the camera capability over time..mmmm
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, 04:58:40 PM »

You'll maybe find that the bloom will go once it has more sky in the image.
Having a dark ground & light sky will tend to do that.  Wink
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munrobaggins
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 05:01:04 PM »

You'll maybe find that the bloom will go once it has more sky in the image.
Having a dark ground & light sky will tend to do that.  Wink
Very good point Grin...worth an experiment or 3 Wink Wink
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skyewright
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2008, 05:15:44 PM »

I think that you may have meant here?
Yes. Something strange happened there. The 'istec' was what I typed as a rough guess. I then went to check and copy my bookmark and thought I'd pasted that in over the top. I don't seem to be doing very well with postings today!

There does seem to be a lot of sun bloom on the 1st image....it rather destroys the quality etc...It may as you said also degrade the camera capability over time..mmmm
I've seen someone suggest getting a photochromic spectacles 'blank' and placing that in front of the lens!
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skyewright
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 05:20:56 PM »

You'll maybe find that the bloom will go once it has more sky in the image.
Very good point Grin...worth an experiment or 3 Wink Wink
Indeed - that's certainly what I'd do if taking sky shots with a 'real' camera.
It would probably also help not to be looking through double glazing at 45 degrees! The window faces SW. The camera was facing S.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2008, 08:11:21 PM »

How well does the panasonic camera perform in low light?...I noted that it goes down to a supposed 3 lux in the blurb...
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 10:01:40 PM »

How well does the panasonic camera perform in low light?...I noted that it goes down to a supposed 3 lux in the blurb...
Only limited experience so far but from what little I have seen I've been impressed by how well it has managed at dusk.
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David
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2008, 10:27:06 AM »

The sun only faces mines in the very early morning around 7am to 8am then for the rest of the day its fine my web cam faces east.
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skyewright
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2008, 02:52:20 PM »

Only limited experience so far but from what little I have seen I've been impressed by how well it has managed at dusk.
Not yet incorporated into any html, but if you take a peek at
Edit: Link removed - there is now a 'Weather Cam' link in the website's sidebar menu.
you should find an image that is being updated every 5 minutes at present.

The camera is currently looking out of a gable end window up in the loft - outside the insulated area, and thus frequently outside the humidity (and at this time of year temp) specs for non 'outdoor' cameras - pointing SE, i.e. towards the Mainland (though the the small amount of ground at the bottom of the picture is actually a small ridge a couple of hundred yards from us). At times there may be a very slight reflection of the camera in the glass, but it might be that that's only visible here on the higher resolution and unprocessed image?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 06:13:44 PM by skyewright » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2008, 04:51:19 PM »

blow it....1645 and I've missed the dusk!!! Shocked...2 lights lower centre and blackness...I'll have to look again tomorrow... Wink

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