Posts Tagged ‘Pentax Optio W30’

Behind the Scenes: Best Dune Emergence Sequence

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Stepping behind the scenes, we see how skill and luck and patience were aided by technology to produce the best documented dune emergence sequence.  The Pentax Optio W30 enabled us to get within inches of the action as tiny hatchling poked through the sand and then scrambled down slope like Olympian skiers.

Pentax Option W30 Documents Hatchling Emergence

Their very first view of the world after more than two months buried under the sand is hampered by the blindingly bright high noon sun.  They pause to get bearings which appears for all the world as though they are mugging for the camera.

Hatchling Mugs for the Camera

The clip below documents how we capture these events for the Turtle Journal.

Getting Close to the Action

And finally these ten beautiful little miracles are released into the relative safety of the nursery marsh.

Ten Hatchlings Head into Marsh under the Camera’s Gaze

Getting the Story & Putting You in the Picture

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

The Turtle Journal team gets close to the action to bring you inside the critical natural moment with vivid imagery and compelling video clips. 

Sue Wieber Nourse Snaps Close-Up of Emerging Hatchling

The Sony DSC-F828 serves as our workhorse research camera with a high quality Carl Zeiss lens and a manual zoom ranging from macro to ~ 135 mm telephoto.  We have two F828s, one that shows all the signs of several years of salt water and sand dunes, and a second one with only a single research season under its belt.  The F828 produces excellent digital stills, but also provides the capability to switch quickly to medium quality video to document important research events.

Terrapin Hatchling Pips through Its Eggshell

If the F828 is our workhorse, the Pentax Optio W30 with its built-in underwater capability is our pocket miracle maker.  The underwater housing serves double duty.  Surprisingly, not every field day is sunshine and light.  More days than we wish to remember are filled instead with rain, wind and storms.  For instance, the leatherback necropsy last Sunday was done outdoors (obviously) in a driving rain storm.  The only camera present that could document the post mortem was the Optio W30.  

Don Lewis Zooms In on Emerging Duo for a Close-Up

Having lost three previous digital cameras to salt water, the Optio W30 is perfect to document all action near, above and below the water line.  Its compact shape and light mass allow the camera to slip comfortably into field pockets and even bathing suit pockets.  This camera takes excellent macro video clips in QuickTime format and good quality stills when the F828 isn’t around.

Close-Up of the Emerging Duo

The one drawback with the Optio W30 is the LCD screen.  The camera fell from my swimming suit pocket about 12 inches onto sandy soil during our June field school.  The fall appears to have jarred the LCD screen which has dropped to about 10% functionality.  In essence, the camera now is a point and guess.  Still, the Optio W30 brings home some sweet imagery … when pointed in the right direction and in the right mode of operation.

The most important instrument for capturing the right shot at the right moment has nothing to do with digital anything.  If you can’t get yourself to the perfect spot at the perfect time, your top quality camera will capture a whole lot of sea gulls, sand dunes and fiddler crabs.