[Coral-List] Digital Photo-monitoring

Chris Roelfsema c.roelfsema at uq.edu.au
Sun Jun 1 00:11:39 EDT 2008

HI George

We have been using digital camera for transect surveys to calibrate and validate satellite imagery. However we did not use it for permanent transects surveys.

We have worked with the:
- Sony pc19-pc10 and pc 100 Cybershot in marine pack housing with sea and sea 16 mm lens. Sea and Sea had that same lense suitable for the Nikonos.
- Canon A540,in Canon Housing, with INON lens, this lens give has a bit more distortion. We liked the CANON since easy to use, large storage, AA batteries which is easy in remote field and the setup is still compact, (Sony was more compact). Quality of photos is very good. 
- Nikon D70 in subal housing, which is a great setup but to bulky for long transect surveys.

The hard part we found that there are so many cameras available and changing so fast that it you almost have to buy two sets at the same time.

We wrote a manual for it and you can download from our web site, maybe this will help you and possible others. http://www.gpa.uq.edu.au/CRSSIS/publications/GPS_Photo_Transects_for_Benthic_Cover_Manual.pdf

It describe some of the equipment, although not updated with the new camera. It also describes a procedure how we link our photo with gps coordinates using GPS-Photolink and how they are analysed with Coral Point Count excel. Hotlinked photos can be viewed in Google Earth or other GIS environments which makes it very powerful. We know there are several other software packages doing similar things, some are for free, of course they all have advantages and disadvantages. 

If you have any questions please feel free to email me.


Chris Roelfsema
Marine Remote Sensing Officer/PhD Candidate
Centre for Remote Sensing and 
Spatial Information Science
School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 4072
Ph: 61-7-33656977
Fax: 61-7-33656899
Email: c.roelfsema at uq.edu.au
Research website: www.gpa.uq.edu.au/CRSSIS/
"No problems only solutions"

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of G.P. Schmahl
Sent: Saturday, 31 May 2008 7:29 AM
To: Coral List
Subject: [Coral-List] Digital Photo-monitoring

We have a long term monitoring program of coral communities at Stetson 
Bank in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico where we have photographed 
permanently marked locations annually since 1993.  Historically we used 
a Nikonos camera with 15mm lens at a distance of one meter from the 
substrate.  We are now trying to replicate the same field of view using 
a lightweight digital camera.  Has anyone had this or a similar issue, 
and can advise on appropriate equipment?

The use of a housed digital SLR is problematic due to the large size and 
weight.  (The camera is attached to a framer bar, dual strobes and 
camera mount, which is quite clumsy to swim with.)  I would prefer a 
housed high quality point and shoot camera. 

We have tested a Nikon Coolpix P5000 in an Ikelite housing with the 
wide-angle adapter.  The photos come close to matching the Nikonos field 
of view (if you move it 20 cm farther away from the substrate), but 
there is noticeable edge distortion.  I can send a sample photo 
comparison if anyone is interested.

Can anyone recommend a digital system that will replicate a Nikonos 
w/15mm lens?  I would be interested in digital SLR/lens combinations as 
well if anyone has worked that out.  Thanks.  GP

George (G.P.) Schmahl

Sanctuary Superintendent

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

4700 Avenue U, Building 216

Galveston, TX  77551

(409) 621-5151 ext. 102

(409) 621-1316 (fax)

george.schmahl at noaa.gov


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