Use this forum to post questions and issues for discussion related to Reconyx cameras. Note: Please post threads pertaining to cellular cams in the "Cellular Trail Camera Discussion" forum.
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By Deerstalker
My HC-500 switches into & out of color mode on daytime pictures. Am I missing some setting that would help the pictures to all be in color? Thanks
User avatar
By FredG
A few questions:

1. Does the flipping back and forth happen all through the day or just around transition time (morning and evening)?
2. Does it do this flipping only in the summer when green vegetation is growing?
3. How heavy is the canopy that your camera is under?
4. Which program mode are you using for night IR shots? As I recall there is a 3-way setting on those cams for IR pics that allows choices such as a) maximum flash distance, b) balanced, and c) maximum motion blur reduction.
User avatar
By Deerstalker
1. The flipping seems to occur only during the morning after first light. Seems to flip to color when there is more sunlight.
2. This is the first outing with this HC-500 which is a replacement for a defective Reconyx cam.
3. The canopy is quite heavy & shaded where the cam is installed.
4. The cam is using the Reconyx default settings for the program mode.

I really appreciate any help with this problem if in fact it is a real problem. Thanks
User avatar
By Deerstalker
This is a pic at 7:39 am which should be in color as it is after sunup.

User avatar
By Deerstalker
This color pic is a few minutes later.

User avatar
By FredG
First things first... Make sure the light sensor window is clean! It's the window to the left of the lens as you're looking at the front of the cam. If it's dirty (or temporarily fogged over with dew) it could throw off the night/day transition timing. Dirt or fogging could cause the camera to transition too late in the morning and too early in the evening.

But judging by the two pics you supplied, the day (color) pic is underexposed or too dark and the following transition pic is not overexposed. This makes me think that the morning transition point (BW to color) is being triggered a little bit prematurely even though the sun may be starting to come up. The most likely reason for this is the heavy canopy coupled with the presence of ambient infrared light from the sun rising. Much of the visible light is blocked by the canopy but a good share of infrared light from the sun is filtering through and playing a little havoc with the light sensor (fooling it into believing there is more visible light than there really is). Since green growing vegetation is very reflective of IR light this is something that usually happens in the summer and not so much in the winter when the foliage isn't undergoing photosynthesis.

Now here's the general process that the camera goes through at this time in the morning. The light sensor 'sees' enough light (both visible and ambient IR) for a color picture and tells the camera to go into daylight mode. Daylight mode of course causes the IR cut filter to pop up into place and the camera meters the scene, but now with the IR cut filter in place the CMOS only sees visible light and realizes that the light level isn't as much as it thought it was. It goes ahead and takes the underexposed color picture but sets a flag to go back to night (IR) mode for the next picture. It can keep doing this back and forth for several minutes under these conditions and as annoying as it might be there might be little that you can do about it under these conditions. Of course it's also possible that the ambient light sensor isn't calibrated correctly but that would take a trip back to Reconyx to adjust if they think it's faulty.

A couple of things you might try:

-Move your cam to another tree (another angle) where it might get a little more light earlier.
-Clear out some of the green vegetation, especially that with larger leaves.
-You could try putting a layer of window tinting over the light sensor window to help retard the daylight transition point by fooling the sensor into thinking there's a little less light present.

Chances are pretty good that there really isn't a problem with the cam. It's probably just a confluence of the specific circumstances of this set at this particular time of year.

I hope you can find some relief! :)

Thanks everyone!!

hahaha. Yes, that is a rather high reserve.... Wh[…]

Very nice photos, and stunning scenery.

A Perfect Example!