Using Your Camera

 
 
 

Please note that with the current warm weather in the UK, we do not recommend putting the My Naturewatch Camera in direct sunlight as this can lead to overheating issues.

Using My Naturewatch Camera is straightforward:

  1. Power up the camera by plugging the power cable from the camera to a charged USB battery.
  2. Enclose the camera in the case you've made.
  3. Position the camera in a good place to spot wildlife.  
  4. Scatter bait about 0.5 - 1 meter from the camera for optimal focus.
  5. Use the web interface to control the camera and see pictures.
 
 

Using the Web Interface

You can connect to My Naturewatch Camera using your computer, tablet or smartphone. The example here shows a smartphone; other interfaces look identical except for one feature we explain below.

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1. Switch your wi-fi to connect to your device.  It will have the name you entered in the configuration file.  The default name 'naturewatch-robin' is shown here.

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2. Use your web browser to go to naturewatch-cam.local. You should see the live image from your camera and the simple control buttons.

TIP:  Some browsers insist on the full http address, which is http://naturewatch-cam.local

 

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3. The squares on the image represent the size of change the camera looks for.  It will not take a picture if changes are larger than the big square, or smaller than the small square.  (It doesn't matter where in the image the changes occur.) This helps prevent false positives – pictures taken when there is no animal in the picture but only changes of light or moving leaves. 

The sensitivity can be set to be lower or higher than the default. In the image above the sensitivy has been set to be less than the default.  If you are getting too many false positives, try this setting.

 

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4. When you are satisfied with the set-up, press 'Start Recording'. The button should change to a red 'Stop Recording' button. The camera is now taking pictures automatically.  You do not have to remain connected to the Cameras’ Wifi for it to function and continue recording.

Press the 'Stop Recording' button to stop the camera recording pictures.

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5. Pressing the 'View Photos' button on the main screen will lead to a new page showing all the pictures the camera has captured.  On a phone, save photos by tapping and holding on them.  Once you have saved the ones you want, delete the photos from My Naturewatch Camera by clicking the 'Delete All Pictures' button.

Downloading pictures works differently on tablets and computers:

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6. On computers, you also have the option to "Download All Photos". If you select this, the PI Zero will add all the photos to a .zip file and send it to your computer. This can take a very long time if you have many pictures – and make sure you have sufficient storage space on your computer!

7.  Don't forget to share! Post your pictures to  InstagramFacebook and Twitter and don't forget to tag them with #mynaturewatch and #springwatch.  See more on our gallery page.


A Few Tips

Please note that with the current warm weather in the UK, we do not recommend putting the My Naturewatch Camera in direct sunlight as this can lead to overheating issues.

You do not have to remain connected to the Cameras’ Wifi for it to function and continue recording.

The battery pack of the Naturewatch Camera will have to be charged every 12 hours or so (depending on the battery).  

For best results, try to frame the image of the Camera so that the action you expect to capture will be 0.5 - 1 metre away.

Experiment with different ways of mounting My Naturewatch Cam.  Near a bird feeder, hanging in a tree, pointing at the ground...

Try different types of bait.  Lots of animals – birds, foxes, rats, badgers – like apples, for example.

Using a wildlife camera camera can be like fishing:  sometimes nothing bites.  Be patient and keep trying!