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11-08-2014, 01:34 PM   #1
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I need the perfect camera for a project I want to do.

I want to photograph train graffiti on the train tracks right behind my house. I live in the central valley between LA and Fresno, so needless to say I see some pretty creative stuff.

I guess what I need is something that can do motion sensing, but I'm open to other ideas. I would like to be able to just set it up and have it capture all of it really nice and in HD so that I can go through them and select the ones I want for editing.

Tell me your ideas! I'm a complete noob so any info helps. Thanks guys

11-08-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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In theory this should work. Its for a Canon, but Pentax uses the same external shutter trigger plug.You will need something that will have a fast shutter - 1/1000 sec to 1/8000 sec, in order to capture stop the action of the moving train, and probably run in burst mode, in order to get the entire train. Part of the problem is that the motion detector will run at night also, and that will be a waste - no light. You will also need an external power source so that you will not need to swap batteries a couple times a day - especially after a long train. A very large SD card will also come in handy.

Just about any dSLR will do the vast majority of this. You will need to do a fair amount of experimentation. You will also need a tripod and head to hold everything. You might also want to check into CHDK running on a Canon as it has motion detection built into it.
11-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
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You want to record videos of passing trains? You'll need something with very little rolling shutter and plenty of light sensitivity, cause shutter speeds have to be pretty short.

I'd look towards the Samsung NX1... 4K video is simply giving you more data to work with, and it seems to have a fast sensor. It also can shoot 15 fps for stills, so if you want to take stills that's helpful too.

interested observers suggestion is good too.

A point and shoot from Canon with CHDK could probably do the job of shooting stills when there is movement.
11-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/90205-...r-trigger.html


More info from an old thread.

11-08-2014, 02:26 PM   #5
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Thank you so much!

CHDK looks cool but seems a little too complex for me just starting out. That trigger looks perfect for what I want to do though.

Could you recommend a decent dSLR that I might be able to find used or new for a good price?

Thanks again!
11-08-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
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Several pentax ones in the marketplace...
11-08-2014, 04:18 PM   #7
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Go-Pro Hero comes to mind.
Just set it for continuous recording and hit the stop when you see something interesting.
DSLR might be an overkill.
11-08-2014, 04:59 PM   #8
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Do a Google search, Arduino motion activated photography, I believe you'll find what you're looking for their.
For instance,
Motion Activated Camera | Day of the New Dan .

11-08-2014, 05:25 PM   #9
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I think the K-3 lets you capture a photo from a video. Maybe catch-in focus shooting would be worth exploring?
11-08-2014, 07:20 PM   #10
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Didn't Cartier-Bresson wait for hours to get his Hyeres bicycle shot? Not sure if you can nail the decisive moment with a motion sensor. For the train project we need to set beginners on the right track.
11-08-2014, 08:09 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Thanks for all this advice everyone, you've all been helpful to this noob :b

---------- Post added 11-09-14 at 03:13 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
Didn't Cartier-Bresson wait for hours to get his Hyeres bicycle shot? Not sure if you can nail the decisive moment with a motion sensor. For the train project we need to set beginners on the right track.
I actually see your point. Maybe I should just take the pictures myself instead of using a motion sensor. I think it would mean more when I got that perfect shot if I shot it! All I need is one eye, one finger, and two feet right?
11-08-2014, 08:26 PM - 1 Like   #12
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That's right. And depending on how fast the trains are going you might have to pan anyway.
11-08-2014, 08:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by eric.nicholas.1291 Quote
Thanks for all this advice everyone, you've all been helpful to this noob :b

---------- Post added 11-09-14 at 03:13 AM ----------


I actually see your point. Maybe I should just take the pictures myself instead of using a motion sensor. I think it would mean more when I got that perfect shot if I shot it! All I need is one eye, one finger, and two feet right?
You are going to have to do that in any event. The motion detector is not magic, it will only push the shutter for you - automagically. The camera will need to be focused, ISO selected and set, aperture determined and set, along with the shutter speed. All of this is going to depend on the lighting conditions, weather, time of day, the speed of the train - the faster, the higher the shutter rate, the slower - the longer it can be. You also need to figure out what lens will work in terms of focal length. There is just not a magic bullet to shoot in doing this. Plus, you will probably need a tripod and head.

Most cameras will have enough capability to do most of this.

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