2017 Wildgame Silent Crush 20 Lightsout Camera Review

Wildgame Innovations Silent Crush 20 Lightsout/August 30, 2017

Manufacturer model #: SC20B20-7.

The next camera I have pulled from the queue is the Wildgame Innovations Silent Crush 20.  Unlike the previous WGI cameras tested thus far, it uses a more standard hinged chassis with batteries in back and camera in the front.  This is where things get different.

This is a medium sized camera, a bit smaller than the Cloak but in keeping with this year’s theme it has a highly textured surface  combined with a camo pattern.  Unlike the more standard approach taken by most manufacturers, the LEDs are scattered about the entire face of the unit in groups of 3 and 4 at a time.  Access to buttons, sd card, batteries and screen are from the inside.  The screen is a simple text only affair with the familiar black on blue (get your magnifying glass out) while both screen and buttons are back lit for night use.

On the face of the camera you will notice that there are two camera lenses.  This allows the camera to have firmware and hardware  specialized for night images and day images without having to compromise like most vendors do using a single lens and CMOS sensor.  Most likely they use a 5 megapixel CMOS for day time and a 2 or 3 megapixel CMOS for night images.  I have not taken the camera apart but this is my guess. Two lenses and CMOS sensors also keep the camera from needing a moving filter arm, so no clunk noises and no delays waiting on filter arm to flip over and finally no worries about a stuck or broken filter arm.  I am anxious to get some day and night photo samples on this unit.

The setup is no nonsense and simple. Set date/time initially, and choose from only nine (9) options, photo or video mode, PIR interval, PIR sensitivity, Resolution, etc.  The camera is easy to set up. Very easy provided you can see this tiny blue screen with black writing in a lilliputian font size.

The camera is a black flash camera and the flash is definitely not visible.  The LED array is scattered about the front face and this provides break up and it has the honeycomb break up pattern overlaying the darker plastic areas over the LEDs.  I wonder if spreading the LEDs out like this has an imaging benefit or did it simply allow WGI to make the camera smaller by using the wasted space for LED emitters.

The surface of the camera is highly textured with the camo pattern which should hide well. Holding this unit in my hand, pleases me. I like its size and its look.

Another thing to note is that the battery compartment where 8 AA batteries are slid in, has a separate flap protecting the batteries and holding them secure.  With many cameras, a bump will dislodge the batteries and you wont realize the camera is running off fewer or stops running even though you have switched it on.  There is no external battery port.  The rear of the camera has slots for a strap and a place to pull a python locking cable through.  The bottom has a threaded insert.  Included is a single strap with plastic buckle.

Interesting to note is a single plastic arm which protrudes from the inside front towards the rear such that when closed aligns with the python slots on the rear half. A python will keep someone from opening your camera in the field.  This is cool.

I am trying to determine if steel lock boxes are available yet for this model.

 

 

Manufacturers specifications:

The Silent CRUSH™ 20 Lightsout™ debuts some of the most innovative technology ever to come out of Wildgame Innovations. The goal for this camera was stealth, silence and superior quality. The Silent CRUSH 20 Lightsout is all that and more.

This camera is so discreet, it’s tough to spot even if you’re looking. It uses Zero Detection™ technology so there’s no noise – period. Another new feature is the Tru-Dual Cams™: rather than attempting to achieve optimum day/night images with one camera, the Silent CRUSH 20 Lightsout uses two cameras to get the job done right. The day camera promises crisp, radiant images and videos, and the night camera captures strikingly vivid images and videos with reduced nighttime blur. The ½ second trigger is indiscernible, the Lightsout™ infrared LED flash is completely invisible and the 20MP image quality is unmatched.

  • Zero Detection/Dual Cameras
  • 20 MEGAPIXELS
  • 720p HD VIDEO RESOLUTION
  • 42-Piece Invisible Infrared LEDs
  • 100 ILLUMINATION RANGE (FT)
  • Less Than ½ Second TRIGGER SPEED
The MSRP on this camera is around $199.99.

Chasingame Test Results:

Test PerformedResult
Flash RangeGood contrast and white balance. Usable detail out to 60+ feet.
Trigger Time without flash.68s
Trigger Time with flash2.28s
Video Trigger Timeavg 2.5s
Photo Recovery Timeavg 10.00s
Video Recovery time9.22s
Day Range
Battery Life
Filter ClunkNo
Invisible FlashYes
Motion Blur
Sensing Test60 feet at 65F degrees

Photo Samples captured in 20MP setting.

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Video Samples captured in 720p.

2017 Wildgame Silent Crush 20 Lightsout from Chasingame.com on Vimeo.

Progress and Activity
08-30-2017 Update: Unboxed
09-28-2017 Update: Photo Samples
10-18-2017 Update: Video Samples

 

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