Since you’ll be working against the elements, we have prepared some tips on how to deal with them and still get the best photo possible. With a little TLC, you’ll be able to snap some great photos of your visitors. You can find some common issues and how to fix them below.
- The photo appears to be smudgy or blurred
- Very dark photos
- Very bright photos/glare
- Pixelated photos
The photo appears to be smudgy or blurred
You might notice your photo isn’t as crisp as you’d like it to be. Here are some possible causes:
- There are water drops on the lens. Sometimes during heavy rain, droplets can bounce from the Bird Buddy perch and land on the lens.
- The lens is dirty. Over time, some dirt accumulation becomes inevitable. Check your camera lens for any dirt, dust, or thumbprints.
- The lens hasn’t been cleaned properly. We do not recommend using towels laundered with fabric softener or dryer sheets to clean your camera lens.
Taking some time to clean your lens will fix this issue. Here’s how you do it:
- If you see solid pieces of dust or sand on the lens, make sure to gently remove them with a soft, lint-free cloth. If you’re dealing with particularly stubborn specks of dirt, you can run the lens under a gentle stream of tap water. The camera module is waterproof, with an IP67 rating. However, we still recommend you don't submerge the module in water for extended periods of time.
- We recommend using a lint-free dish towel or microfiber cloth for regular cleaning. The ones used for cleaning eyeglasses will work just fine. Before you take your towel to the lens, make sure it’s not laundered with a fabric softener or dryer sheet, as these substances can smear the lens. Also, make sure that the cloth is free from dirt, debris, oils, or lotions.
Do not use paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, or any other abrasive materials such as dishwater brushes or tough sponges when cleaning your camera lens. These can scratch or smear your lens or may even leave it covered in lint.
You can also use a light cleaning solution to gently clean the lens. We suggest a mixture of water and lotion-free dish soap. Mix the soap with equal parts water to dilute it before gently cleaning the lens with a microfiber cloth.
Do not use abrasive materials or a harsh cleaning solution. We recommend you stay away from cleaners meant for windows and mirrors, rubbing alcohol, or other household cleaners. They may contain harsh chemicals that can leave a residue on the lens.
Once your lens is all clean, you can use the “Check camera position” feature in the feeder settings to check if the picture is clear so it’s ready for your next postcard.
Very dark photos
You may notice that your photos are too dark, which is most likely caused by the position of your feeder. Make sure your feeder is not placed against a dark background or in the shade. If the shade is too near the feeder, it might affect the brightness of the photo. On the other hand, if the background is too bright, it might result in a photo that is too dark as well.
Try playing around with the position of your feeder to find the best one. Make sure to keep it away from the shade as much as possible. When you find the perfect new spot, don’t forget to check the Wi-Fi strength in the app to make sure you don’t miss your visitors! To finish off, use the “Check camera position” feature in the app to fine-tune your future photos even more.
Very bright photos/glare
Are your photos too bright? Noticing a glare? This happens when the sun shines directly into the camera lens.
You can use your visitors for orientation for this one. Mornings and evenings are when you’ll see the most traffic on your feeder, so just make sure to orient the camera to avoid direct morning or evening sun.
The glare could be caused by a nearby reflective surface, such as a window. Try turning your Bird Buddy away from shiny surfaces or move it to a different location. Don’t forget to check the Wi-Fi strength if you move it somewhere else.
Are your photos too pixelated? This is usually caused by one of two things: a poor internet connection or poor visibility conditions.
Check your Wi-Fi connection in the app. If it’s on the lower side, try moving your Bird Buddy closer to your Wi-Fi source.
If your connection is strong enough, the photos might be of lower quality due to poor lighting conditions. As is the case with all digital and phone cameras, poor light affects the quality of the photo. You can solve this during the day by moving the camera to a better-lit place. During dusk or dawn, not much can be done. Hopefully, your visitor returns during the day.
For more information on how to keep your Bird Buddy clean, check out this article: