360 degree 96 count red flash IR 5 MP camera
We were definitely not going to do a review on this camera because we
had attempted to contact the company several times and all
request went without reply. We then ran into a situation where
we had a space reserved for the Spypoint cameras and we had to
change our minds which left a big opening to fill in a very busy
schedule. The availability of replacement cameras was still
weeks out on our schedule, so this camera became available and
we decided to go ahead and use our time to at least take a quick
look and see if it has any potential as a true trail camera.
Being very different in design it tweaked a degree of interest
which also aided in our decision.
The description says 96 count but this is a very big misnomer.
The flash wraps around the entire camera so the illumination
would only be effective in the direction of where and if there
is an animal present. The balance of the flash would just be a
waste of battery life in the directions where there are no
target animals provided the design fires the entire array for a
single trigger. The camera looks at a hyperbolic mirror (curved)
and through software produces a flat picture. There are also 6
PIR sensors which wrap around the camera and cover the entire
360 degrees around the camera. The flash is rated to 40 feet
which we feel may be a bit of a stretch but it will be tested.
According to the specifications they say that we can expect a 1
second trigger time which will also be tested very carefully.
The delay time is not listed so we will have to test that. It
does have a view screen for field and programming functions. The
camera does 5 MP stills and video with sound. The tank holds 4 D
cells and the data says that we can expect 24 hours of
continuous operation which we are not sure exactly what that
means but we will give it the normal method of evaluation to see
how long they last during what we feel is normal operation.
The SD card limit is up to 8 gigs which should be plenty for a 5 MP
camera. There is also a 6 volt external battery port for a boost
in the battery life data. Being a full 16 inches tall and a lot
of that being highly reflective clear plastic, it definitely
will be hard to hide this monster in the field. There is
absolutely no security built into this camera. There is a
tri-pod hole in the bottom center of the camera. The
instructions state software supplied but we do not know yet
whether or not I can just pull the card and view the results on
my computer or if it is necessary to have some software on the
computer just to view the images. All this will be answered as
we get into this a lot deeper.
It is a solid good looking camera but it certainly has its work cut out
to give us a good reason and method of using this camera in a
true field hunting situation. It is supposed to come with a
strap so do we just lean it against the tree and strap it down??
Then there is a tripod insert on the bottom which means it would
have to be placed out in the open on a tripod. There is also a
metal box looking bracket with screws sticking out of the sides
which I think is meant for some type of post mount. We are just
going to have to feel our way through all these questions as we
get to them. Right now there is our WGI selection of cameras
that has the floor but we will be getting to this as time
Well, this is very strange because over the years we all have been
taught to avoid pointing your camera east and west to avoid
looking into the sun during the morning and afternoon. Now
imagine that you have a 360 degree look at things during the day
time and it is early morning or late evening which is prime time
for movement. Over 50% of your viewing area is now in jeopardy.
If it is mounted on a tree then there is also another percentage
is going to be missing and blocked by the tree. This only leaves
the north south avenues for field of view. This would not be an
issue during the with flash periods except for the area behind
the tree. This makes it only of max value if you mount it on a
tri-pod out in the middle of an open area to achieve the maximum
amount of value. This being the case then all animals would also
have to be within the sensing range out in the middle of this
open area. There may very well be an ideal situation where a
person could maybe get full use of this design but unless that
situation is only at night I cant think of any.
This is looking like a strong case for conventional scouting cameras. We
had scheduled a test on the Stealth Cam
Wideeye which failed
to make the final production list this year. What was attractive
about that camera was its wide angle lens which we thought might
have been a good idea. The wide angle would capture a lot of
ground and could be aimed away from the rising or setting sun.
There are just too many questions without a bunch of field time.
We are just going to have to give a fair and honest look to see
if we can answer many of these questions.
The camera already took a bit of a hit when a friend saw it in the lab
and asked, ya expecting a power failure? I ask why and he said
why do you have your camping lantern out? I had to admit that he
was not far from being wrong.
When the lantern arrived it was packed in a piece of sponge in a
cardboard box. There were no instructions in the box. The only
other thing that arrived was the metal bracket and two cables.
The strap was not included as the advertisement advised. There
was no software (disk) with the camera so the results could be
After setting it up and then listening to the friends comments about
this monster I just about stuck it back in the box and sent it
back. I will give it a couple of days but for sure I can see no
real reason to own one of these unless it was for some kind of
security purpose but not stuck out in the woods looking like a
glass fire hydrant. It is useless to me as a camera without the
software to view the pictures so what this report is all about
is for information and to possibly keep others from making the
same mistake as I did.
I went ahead and installed a set of cells and card and ran through the
programming which is very straight forward. The delay period is
minimum of 1 minute and it does have a burst up to 6 count. The
view of what is on the card using the view screen (2 inch) is
worthless because all you see is a big round swirl that is
suppose to be a picture. It does however show that the camera
took a photo.
When the card is put in my card reader on my computer I also get the big
round swirl of a picture. This means that the software is
definitely needed to use this camera. The case against this
camera just grew a few more points. There is also a password
protection in the menu. There is no support on the net for this
camera so I could not download anything thus I am stuck with a
15 inch camp lantern that I cannot use. My vendor also attempted
to work for me but so far no results there either. As it stands
right now I think that this review is closed. I will also say
that I just dont think that the buying public will be very
happy even if they got the whole nine yards with disk and all,
it is just not very practical at all as a scouting tool.
through a late night and an early morning I have little more
negative things to say. The over all height of this camera is 15
inches. All but three inches of that height is covered by a
clear plastic that is very easy to scratch and it is also a
magnet for dust and dew. Before I retired last night I set up on
a stool on the back 40 and left it to run overnight. There were
no pictures on it this morning except for one of me turning it
off. The plastic was covered with a fog of moisture this
morning. I brought it in and wiped it down and while doing that
I found that the 6 PIR fresnel lenses are somewhat out of shape.
Some are concave and some are convex which indicates an
installation problem and should also cause a focus problem. I
set this camera up next to a Reconyx 600 which is no mini cam by
any means to give a reference as to size. (see picture below) To
transport this camera to the field would require some type of
padded protective case because of the vast expanse of scratch
able plastic. I would think some type of weather lid may also be
needed to keep the moisture off the exterior of the plastic
where the reflective mirror where the image is turned down into
the camera lens. Today this monster is going to take a one way
trip back to the vendor. We also understand that a good number
of these same devices have been returned to that same vendor.