ICOTec Sasquatch Camera Review

2012 ICOTec Sasquatch/October 4, 2012

 

 

ImagesFactory SpecsCG ClassificationCG TestingTriggerSamples
  • Image Sensor: 5MP Color CMOS sensor
  • Maximum Resolution: 2592 x 1944
  • Lens: F/NO=2.7mm
  • FOV(Field of View): 52°
  • Auto IR-Cut-Remove: (Night)
  • IR Bulbs: 32pcs IR-LED’s
  • IR Bulb Distance: 45ft
  • Display: LCD 40MM x 20MM
  • Internal Memory: 128MB
  • External Memory: SD-card, support up to 32GB
  • File Naming Convention: Individual file name based on date and time
  • Picture Resolution: 5MP = 2592 x 1944
  • IMAGE & VD Displaying Info: Camera mode, temperature, moon phase, date & time
  • Video Resolution: 640 x 480 (Default, 16FPS)
  • PIR Lens: Multi Zone, 45ft detection range
  • PIR Sensitivity: Auto-Adjustable (High/Normal/Low)
  • Operation: Day/Night (24hours)
  • Trigger Time: 1.2s
  • Still Capture Trail Option: 4 options (3s, 1min, 10min, 20min)
  • Plot Camera Option: 4 options (3s, 1min, 10min, 20min) plot/day-infrared/night
  • Capture Mode: 3 capture mode (Trail, PLS1, PLS2,)
  • Video Length: Auto-adjustable, 15~75s max
  • Power Supply: 8xAA Recommended), 4xAA(Emergency), 6V DC
  • Stand-by: Current < 120uA (<950mAh/Year<2.5mAh/Day)
  • Power Consumption: 140mA (+450mA When 32pcs IR-LEDs Lighted)
  • Low Battery Alert: LED & LCD Indicator
  • Ports & Jacks: Mini USB Jack, SD Card Slot, 6V DC Jack
  • Mounting: Strap or Cable Lock Up To 3/8 Inches
  • Heights: 5.6 inches
  • Width: 4.1 inches
  • Depth: 2.8 inches
  • Weight: Approximate 1 lb. With Battery
  • Security Authentication: FCC CE RoHS
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty from date of purchase

SpecificationValue
ClassOptics
CategoryScouting Cameras
Model Year2012
ManufacturerICOTec
ModelSasquatch
Flash TypeIR Red Flash
Battery Type8 x AA
MSRP
Test PerformedResult
Flash Range60 feet
Trigger Time without flash1.48s
Trigger Time with flash1.39s
Video Trigger Time11.82s
Day Range
Battery Life2744 photos and 24 videos over a period of 16 weeks.
Filter Clunk
Invisible FlashIR Red Flash.
Motion Blur
Sensing Test50 feet at 73 degrees
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2012 ICOtec TC-50 5 MP 32 count red flash digital camera review

We have been in contact with these folks for some time and waiting for the chance to maybe bring the market something a little bit new to look at. The on line hype associated with this product has a very significant line in their introduction. This line says “Nobody makes our camera for us; nobody designed our camera for us”. Once into the actual camera and the first attempt to the programming I would agree that they definitely have a product that is far different than what most have seen. Here is also a paragraph from their site about this camera:

“The TC50 is engineered around a commercial grade image processor that is utilized in professional outdoor surveillance equipment. This very expensive chip is not used by any other manufacturer in the trail camera industry; it is made for years of reliability, stability and works great at low temperature. This is not a repackaged inferior grade product with fancy led filters or confusing program-ability or even a cheap consumer grade digital camera disguised as a trail camera, it is truly a rugged camera designed for the hunter who needs a great product at a very reasonable price, period.”

Those are the standards they set and now we will see if this unit lives up to the claim. At first glance the appearance has the look of a Boly Media camera about the same size as the BTC and Scoutguard type cameras. Close observation shows there are many differences. The single resolution camera is rated at a true 5 MP and it also has a single video 640X480 16 fps resolution. Sensing is claimed to 45 feet and is auto adjustable. They say the trigger is at 1.2 seconds and delay can be set to a low of 3 seconds with 1, 10, 20 minutes above that. Built in the programming are the still, video, Time laps 1, and time laps 2 +PIR capture settings. The time laps interval follows the delay setting but as of now we do not know if the TL resolution is the full 5 MP and if it is it will be terribly defeating for that function due to file size. One of the disappearing features not a lot of recent trail cameras is the internal memory. This cam has 128 MB of internal memory and can also take up to a 32 gig card. The info strip contains camera mode, temperature, moon phase along with the date/time. The tank will hold 4 or 8 AA cells and battery life is claimed to be up to a year. Warranty is one year and we have no documentation at this time on how well that area is going to work but should we find out more later, we will report. The top front is the 32 count array with the blue cast emitters and in the center are the indicators. Below that is the hooded camera lens with the PIR below that. The bottom of the camera has an offset tri-pod insert and opposite side is the external battery port. Back has the strap/cable loops. This is a typical cam in the door and battery compartment in the back with a full weather seal layout. Programming is with the rotary switch with select buttons above them with LCD reader for the programming information.

The only other camera that I have dealt with recently that has a very similar programming method is the Cudde cameras. This is the switch position to button selection method of programming with the need to hold certain (B) button in 2 seconds to enter the time laps when desired. When you select a position the left button selects the left entry (like day, minute) and the right button selects the next entry (like month, hour). There is no burst mode.

Dubbed the “Sasquatch” it gives you the thought of something big hairy and ugly, instead it is small slick and kind of cute. We have some very high hopes that this new product will actually perform up to its manufactures claims. The measurements are 5.6X4.1X2.8 inches which is very close to my 09 BTC cameras size and layout so maybe there may be some already made security enclosures out there that may fit so that worry can be taken care of once purchased and deployed.

With a handful of new tested Ray O Vac cells in hand I am going to go ahead and get into this little hairy monster. Something that is a little different is the file name system that most cameras use is based on picture name and number where this camera uses what they call “a file naming convention”; each file name is based on date and time that the image was captured. The company documentation says this has not been done before but we have seen this with to old Predator Trail cam which used a similar file ID method.

2012_REVIEWMEDIA_ICOTEC_SASQ_0008

With a half day hands on I am amazed as to just how many things are very similar to a Boly or Boly spin off (keep guard) camera. This model is a grey green color with a satin non reflective surface. The programming took about a minute without any glance at the paperwork. I have had a lot of study about this camera so I was very familiar with how things were set up but the average user should have no problem programming and doing the initial setup.

The array stays on during exposure for what looks to be over a second. My initial guess is the trigger is also just under 2 seconds. The in house dark room tests showed clear pictures but still somewhat fuzzy. The outside tests (limited sun today) showed good color saturation but pictures were also a little fuzzy and not what I would call as coming from their advertized “high quality chip”. We were also assuming that chip they were talking about was the image sensor. No one should have any degree of shame hanging this camera on a tree because of picture quality. I hung one of our Ltl acorn cameras next to this one and did a walk test in the same light and took the two pictures and evaluated them side by side and I would have to give the picture quality edge to the Acorn camera. My last camera that I just finished and gave to Anthony had about the same issues during my initial tests but proved to shine a little more once deployed and gave us some great pictures. We will see what happens once we get past the official testing and then put out for the sample pictures. Picture quality is all about light conditions and today is not one of those good days.

My several attempts at video make me think that is a function that this camera will not excel in. First off it is a fixed 30 second length and the video trigger time seems to be unofficially about 10 to 12 seconds. The frame rate is smooth but the video with flash was very fuzzy. There is no sound with the video capture. My next step was several daylight attempts and that did not go very well either. The video quality seems to be very lacking and fuzzy. This daytime testing was on a cloudy day and no bright sun, much like being under forest canopy. Continuous triggering (single capture) showed the actual delay ranged around 6 to 7 seconds when set on the 3 second tab. Delay between videos appeared to be less. If my initial observations for video trigger hold up that would mean that an animal walking at a normal pace could move about 50 to 60 feet in that time and would probably be out of the picture when the video starts leaving the camera to do a 30 second empty video. Cuddeback Ambush had this same issue and repeated tests by us and in the field under actual conditions showed only empty videos. The Ambush did however take a picture first before starting the video capture. The videos are not info strip date time marked and you must view file name for that data. All video and pictures seem to have a bit of yellow cast to them in this light. We will see if that goes away with more sun.

Progress and Activity
10-05-2012 update
10-07-2012 update
10-07-2012 #2 update
10-08-2012 update
10-09-2012 update
10-12-2012 update
01-31-2013 update
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