2017 Bolymedia Bolyguard SG520 Camera Review

BolyGuard SG520/August 04, 2017

So, you say you need a small camera?

Well, I believe I have found what you are looking for.  Bolymedia, the creators of the small and revolutionary Scoutguard SG550, has introduced yet another small camera this year.  The Bolyguard SG520 is an extremely small sized scouting camera and touted as the smallest scouting camera on the market.  It uses only 4 AA batteries internally.  The SG520 sports a small 1.44″ color LCD display screen which is mounted on the front of the camera rather than the inside.  This camera utilizes only four low glow LEDs for its night imaging.

The surface of the camera, while not molded with a texture, has a matt finish in an olive green color.

Although this camera opens like a book, the rear half is merely a cover and the batteries push into the front half.  The bottom of the camera has a rubber cover for the external battery port which is labelled 6V.  The back of the camera supports a strap and a threaded insert.

Included in the box is a traditional narrow nylon strap with a plastic buckle.  I tried to use my favorite Browning strap but it is too wide for the strap slots on the rear of the camera.  Fortunately I am able to use my favorite Screw-in Swivel mount from Custom One Enterprises.  I took media photos using the screw in mount supplied with  the BG962.

Ultimately, I recommend a lock box for this camera for better security and protection even though it is small.  Steel lock boxes are available for this unit.

The settings menus are not so familiar to use but the values are actually familiar from my Scoutguard SG550 days and its monochrome remote.  The menu layout is somewhat different and I found important settings are under the Advanced menu.  Also having only two buttons rather than 4 buttons and an “ok” made for a little work but still I was able to complete the setup without reading the guide.  You may want to save yourself some trouble and read the book on using the navigation menus and buttons.

 

Manufacturer model #: SG520.

Manufacturers specifications:

This camera is one of the smallest game cameras in the market and can be used for digital surveillance, security, hunting, or bird watching. It is triggered by any movement of humans or animals, monitored by a highly sensitive Passive Infrared (PIR) motion sensor, and then automatically captures high quality pictures or records video clips. Designed for outdoor use, there is a built-in color LCD display screen on the camera supports up to 32GB SD/SDHC cards, and is resistant against water and snow.

• Smallest game camera on the market (107x76x40 mm)
• 940nm Low-Glow IR LED lights

Photo Resolution Up to 12 MP
Video Resolution Up to 720P
Illumination Type Low-Glow Infrared Flash
Illumination Range 70 ft.
Detection Range 85 ft.
Detection Field of View 55 degrees
Video Screen Built-In 1.44″ LCD

The MSRP on this camera is around $79.99.

Chasingame Test Results:

Test PerformedResult
Flash RangeUsable flash to 50 feet. Pretty grainy when zoomed. Overall somewhat dim image.
Trigger Time without flash2.50s
Trigger Time with flash2.90s
Video Trigger Time4.00s
Photo Recovery Time12.50s at 0s interval
Video Recovery timeNot Performed
Day RangeDecent clarity beyond 50 feet. Natural color.
Battery Life
Filter ClunkNo
Invisible FlashYes
Motion Blur
Sensing Test60 feet at 78F degrees

Photo Samples captured in 10MP setting.

Video Samples captured in 720p setting.

2017 Bolymedia Scoutguard SG520 from Chasingame.com on Vimeo.

Progress and Activity
08-04-2017 Update: Unboxed
Much to my surprise I opened a tiny box refusing to believe a camera was in the box yet there it was.  A very small fully functional scouting camera. I took a day range shot and tomorrow will get the camera on the trigger testing station along with the BG962.
08-05-2017 Update: Trigger Testing
I managed to get the trigger times for this camera and I am a bit disappointed because they are high, however we must keep in mind that for a wide angle camera and a matching wide angle sensing, the camera sensing and trigger time must be matched to get the subject more centered.  Bolymedia has a strategy here to match sensing and trigger to get the best overall performance.
08-07-2017 Update: Flash range and Sensing
I got the camera on the flash range last night and took several photos.  The image is somewhat grainy and under illuminated but this is a low glow camera and as such not too out of the norm.  As it is the flash is usable out to around 50 feet.  The sensing on this camera is good.
08-08-2017 Update: Day and Night photo samples
I was able despite a bit of rain to capture both day and night samples some in dappled sun light.  Overall I am pleased with the image quality but they do seem a bit fuzzy over all, almost like they aren’t quite in focus.
08-13-2017 Update: Video samples
I have had this camera out a couple of nights in video mode and did get a set of videos but unfortunately none were in the dead of night.  The daytime video with audio is decent, not the best I have seen but definitely usable.  I do suspect that this camera senses wider than its field of view because about half the videos had nothing in them.  I was testing some camera off about 90 degrees to the side and the deer in those areas were triggering this camera while they weren’t in the video.
08-15-2017 Update: trying to get dark night video samples
I still have not managed to get video samples in the darkest of night so I will leave this camera out a few more days in video mode.

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