2010 SG-560 Review - March 04, 2010 Back to Main Review Page
   

2010 SG-560

 

2010 SG-560 5 MP 24 count IR Red Flash digital camera 03-04-2010

Well the long awaited “new” Scoutguard has finally made its way into the US system. This camera is built on a whole new platform but with very close specifications to the previous cameras. With the new board comes a promise of very good pictures and a 1 second trigger time. This will be a Boly Media camera and will have nothing to do with Keep Time that had some in between dealings in the production last year during the period of the component shortage. Our first 07 SG-550 (Boly) has been on a tree every day since then without any issue. This is the quality that has been requested by the distributor and this new facility should be able to follow through. Being Boly owns all the forms to the molds they have chosen to stay with the BTC and Covert II style of case that was so popular this past year. Inside this case will be all new stuff that was designed to over come the short falls of all the previous cameras and again force their way back close to the top when it comes to service. 

The image sensor is a full 5 MP and there is a programmable option down to 3 MP. The memory card size is up to 8 GB with a minimum of 8MB. Just like the 550 it will have 3 sensitivity settings high, medium and low to control the PIR sensing distance. The very nice 0 seconds (don’t believe this) to 60 minutes is one of my favorite things that is a must on a cam. I said don’t believe the 0 delay because depending on the card you must have a degree of write time so when I set up for minimum delay I normally choose 6 seconds. One to Three shot burst is programmable just like its predecessor. Battery holder location in the back of the door which keeps the weight on the door so aim is hard be maintained when servicing the camera. All the normal jacks such as external power and USB, TV out are also incorporated. They have tried hard to keep things familiar so those old 550 owners will feel very much at home with the programming of this unit. The familiar remote is also carried over from the 550 so battery life to run those components is removed after camera is field deployed. Video range is also the same as previous cameras. 

I have a built in reserve to where I know that I must hold my high hopes down because of the many times I have been disappointed by a cameras performance. In this case I have a good feeling and a couple of crossed fingers in my attitude toward this camera. Know their capabilities from my past dealings and now again very much in the middle of things BMC announced they mean to perform. Yanked it out of the box and headed to the flash range to grab a couple pictures prior to loosing day light. Well my judgment on picture quality puts it above the 550 and very much equal to the BTC for this first test. It was done early evening and the light was dim. Tonight we will spend a little range time and take a check on the sensing and grab some nighttime flash range tests. Tomorrow we will get some good bright day time shots to make another assessment under better conditions. I skipped a couple of steps like explaining the programming but I wanted to see some pictures prior to putting this thing to bed on a tree tonight to maybe catch a real target with hot blood and brown hair.

Waiting for the sun to go down so we could get that test done but we now have a degree of disappointment in picture quality. The illumination is good and definition has a degree of fuzziness. Sensing was out to 50+ feet on this 46 degree evening.

03-6-2010 update: We forgot to mention that this camera is still not on the market and so far we are the only people with them. What is different here is we have a dual channel to operate with. We report direct to our review which is very public and a parallel report on any problem area is fed back through channels to the manufacturer. I can tell you that it has been a busy night and many wheels turned while grabbed those few hours of precious sleep. It is still day time over there and they are very much in tune with work. As with our findings with the original SG-550 we have seen an overnight change taking place with corrective action to picture quality. This will be a firmware update and as soon as it is written we will apply that to our sample cams. The pile of mail that needed to be sorted through has eaten up some of my very precious night time testing time. Because of the degree of importance we are trying to comply with some specific areas of testing so the most accurate firmware corrections can be made in a timely manner. This is actually a big pleasure to have things work so well but hell to keep up with. Just keep in mind that what you see the next few days in some of our pictures will not be what will be in the final product. We will try to keep this updated as changes are made and you can make up your own mind as to how good things are moving. One thing that was found was there is a electronic brand imbedded that will prevent the “knockoff” crowd from those type of claims seen last fall and last year. They are proud of their product and do not mind that we show the progress. 

03-20-2010 update: We received a firmware update from HCO designed to improve the night shot clarity and remove some of the noise we saw in the original version.  Below is the new BETA version flash range test.  In this upgrade, support for 8GB SD card was also implemented.  From what we were told, this will most likely become the production firmware but that further enhancements  were possible.

04-11-2010 update:  We have received several updates to try during this busy time and slowly we are starting to see a real product with some impressive pictures beginning to form. As is it is a real winner but there have been some things that the engineers have found like the blue cast level was a smidge to high and they reduced that to give a more natural color match to the pictures plus they have balanced the exposure vs. the trigger time for a more reliable and faster trigger. Present configurations are very much upgradeable as they progress toward a final product. As is, this is a great product and the degree of the company’s attention far exceeds anything we have seen from their former partner KT so far this year. They are very fast to act and changes are coming at a rate of one per day. These are just tweaks to make a great product even better. The plan is later in the year there will probably a download release for all cams.

07-11-2010 update:  With a slow wait for the batteries to finally give out, we find that this cam is still going with well over 1700 pictures and our check today showed it is definitely not ready to go to sleep yet.

08-29-2010 update:  The batteries are still powering this camera with a total picture/video count of 5751 photos and 236 videos thus far.  Most of these are at night with flash so this is exceptional battery life. We have heard of no new updates for this camera (beyond v2.0) so we are going to go ahead and close this review.  A final update with battery life will close it out.

09-19-2010 update:  The batteries finally gave up at 09-12-2010 with a total picture/video count of 8353/336. We have heard of no new updates for this camera so we are going to go ahead and close this review. We were promised updates about a month ago but are still waiting. If they arrive we will open up the review again and process the download and evaluate at that time. This review is closed.

 

 

Trigger Times
without flash 1.3 seconds

with flash 1.5 seconds

 

Original firmware version (ALPHA)
Flash Range (click photos for actual size)


 

Updated firmware version - 03/21/2010 (BETA)

Original firmware version
Black Flash Range Test (using Uway XtendIR-B)

Day Range 8 Plate Test

 

New firmware version - 03/25/2010 5mp samples




 

New firmware version - Uway XtendIR-B Black Flash conversion samples




Standard samples at 5mp (no XtendIr - camera only)










 

 

   

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