[Coral-List] Underwater video gear

Steve Dalton sdalton at nmsc.edu.au
Thu May 1 18:55:39 EDT 2008

Hi Brad, I think that it is more important to purchase a high quality video camera rather then buying lights for the housing.  If you do purchase a good video camera something like a 3ccd at a minimum, the low light reproduction for benthic surveys are very good and lights are generally not needed.  Regarding software analysis, I have been replaying my benthic videos on a mac G5 computer and using Coral point count with excel extension (CPCe) which was developed by NOAA.  The software is free and generally used for analysing still images.  You can either grab the images from video footage or alternately to video transects many researchers are using still images to determine benthic compositions.  Something to think about.  My method of using CPCe in combination with playing back the video tapes which enables me to assign random points on the LCD screen which the footage is being displayed and on another computer I assign the benthic categories underlying the random points from the video footage using the CPCe program.  The CPCe program requires an image to over lay random points onto, so I use a dummy image to overlay these points on, however, I do not assign categories from theses still images.  The benefit of viewing the video footage rather than grabbing frames is that most of my video footage is taken in areas of high surge and sometimes the footage is difficult to determine the organisms under the random points.  If this is the case I can play or reply the footage until I can see the organism more clearly.  If you grab the frame and analyse the still image, resolution may be of poor quality and it may be difficult to determine some of the points. There are many other software packages available but some are costly.

Hope this helps


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Sent: Friday, 2 May 2008 2:00 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Coral-List Digest, Vol 59, Issue 1

Send Coral-List mailing list submissions to
        coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
        coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

You can reach the person managing the list at
        coral-list-owner at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Coral-List digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. Underwater video surveys and gear (Brad Baldwin)


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 18:12:30 -0400
From: Brad Baldwin <bbaldwin at stlawu.edu>
Subject: [Coral-List] Underwater video surveys and gear
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <4818EECE.3060100 at stlawu.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Hi Folks, Apr 30
Could those of you with experience doing UW video take a moment to give
some advice?
I'm a newbie at this and have a modest budget to get started with (about
$2-3k). I'm hoping to run benthic surveys (%cover, coral diversity,
urchin abundance) as well as survey fish diversity (perhaps abundance).
I'd like to have lights as well.  I don't think I need (or can afford) a
HD camera initially. I'm also wondering about video analysis software
for a PC or Mac.  I've heard about the Top Dawg
(http://www.topdawgvideo.com/) but assume many of you have experience
with other systems that I should also consider. If you would, could you
email me to discuss?
Thanks, Brad

<><  ><> <><  ><> <>< ><> <><  ><> <><
Brad Baldwin
Associate Professor
Department of Biology/Johnson Hall 123
St. Lawrence University
Canton, NY 13617
315-229-5240 (7429 fax)
bbaldwin at stlawu.edu


Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 59, Issue 1

More information about the Coral-List mailing list