2012 WGI Micro White (W4F) Camera Review - April 29, 2012 Back to Main Review Page
   

2012 WGI Micro White




 

05-12-2012 NOTE: This camera was recalled by the manufacture after being released for just over a week. Please read through both sections which will be a continuation of this review. 

2012 WGI Micro white (W4F) 4 MP white flash IR digital camera review

Moultrie has already tried this but in their big old lunchbox camera. It worked great in our tests but never really caught on as far as we could tell. Now this company has introduced a mini version that operates off AA cells (8) and also has an external battery port. I am very much intrigued by the white IR because of the color day and night pictures and video’s. There is a couple different pictures of this camera and the one that appears to b the final version is the one that shows just two emitters. 

A small 6 inch tall and four and a half inches wide box that is just two inches thick is the dimensions. This is a bungee only type camera with no strap loops on the back. It is also one that has the bottom trap door to the controls so everything has to be done off the tree then mounted once set up and armed. The external battery port is under a rubber plug high on the right side. The array is on the front top and main lens and sensor lens just below. The programming LCD is also on the front and can be seen through a window. The tiny print on the LCD and the buttons down on the bottom is a real pain while doing the setup and initial programming. 

Behind a clear lens at the top front of the camera are two white emitters which we term “white IR” which is kind of a false play on words. The fact that it is a white emitter some would feel that there is no IR light in the white light. But in the case where you are dealing with LED white emitters there is still red color contained in the spectrum so we can get away with saying “white IR”. These two emitters have a cone reflector behind them which spread the light. The rest of the camera is the same as the style seen on last years Micro series cameras. The case is a non reflective flat black. 

Programming was a pain for me because of the small print but was easy to do once I got out my magnifier and found a method of tipping the camera to see the buttons and screen without too much movement. 

My initial tests in the dark room did not go to well and I had a very hard time getting the camera to take a flash picture. The sensing red indicator showed that the camera did see me but it for some reason failed to flash and take a picture on a regular basis. A whole lot of walk tests and effort and the flash only went off twice. I moved outside and tried the walk tests and again the sensing indicator said the camera was seeing me but even though I was well past the delay time the camera again would not shutter the picture. This just plain sucks because this is the third camera review in a row that has failed for some reason or another. Further examination seems to indicate that the delay feature is just stuck on about two minutes. When set for 15 seconds it still takes over a minute to get the second picture. This camera is the third in a row that we have stopped the review because of a fault. This review is on hold.

05-01-2012 update:  I have to make a correction about the video function of this camera. I stated above that it would do both day and night video but according to WGI this camera will not do night video. The specification says “4 MP color pictures and video” and I assumed that it was both day and night but it will do only day video.

05-03-2012 update:  The replacement camera came and again there are issues. We are working with the manufacturer to see what the next step is so this review is going to remain on hold.

05-04-2012 update:  After going over all the data from both cameras we have concluded that what had assumed as being some type of shipping damage was actually a defect in both cameras. Both cameras appeared to have what we thought to be a delay function issue. We could see that the camera would flash at what we thought was an extended delay period even though the program indicated it was set to 15 seconds. After studying the sequence we could see that we did not have a trigger-flash-delay sequence. We had a trigger and after one minute we would have a flash and this sequence could not determine the delay. With the camera in a cool dark room and facing a wall we would reach around and trigger the camera and wait for the minute and then the camera would flash. This means that both these cameras had the identical issue which was the worlds worst trigger time which was in a 60 second time frame. This could be repeated over and over.

This finding was sent to the management at WGI and we requested some feed back because they were also performing in house tests. So far there has been no communications back from them. We are going ahead and do a couple range tests and then close out this review. We will re review this camera if they ever make corrections and notify us. We have also been in contact with other purchasers of this camera and they also have issues and their cameras were returned. 

Just at this minute I received a phone call stating that this camera is being recalled by WGI. We will report later as information is received.

05-04-2012 update#2:  WGI told me that they will attempt to call all individuals who may have received a camera and if that does not work they will send them a letter. There were only a small lot of the first cameras that were affected with this issue. All future shipped cameras should be fully functional. I got to say good work WGI for the quick action.

05-12-2012 update:  This company has replaced all cameras that were purchased and they have done this in a very timely manner. This review will continue and restart which will have all new tests and evaluations using the replacement camera. We had planned to show pictures and some lab tests from the original camera but that did not happen, so we will now only publish test results from the replacement units.

05-15-2012 update:  The brown truck left and I now have a sack full of these cameras. I will be testing them all and reporting any differences found. This company has done a great job getting these out and doing the upgrade. My new case of AA cells now has a big hole in it but I feel this is a worthwhile venture. Watching the trend over to white IR seems a very logical step. The capacitor snap and charging ring will not happen with this camera like most strobe cameras. They are all lined up and ready to start pumping out pictures. 

I also want to say that the original camera with the trigger issue was deployed and after a couple of days and we did manage to get about 35 pictures both day and night. This was just by pure luck because our resident herd has a tendency to mill around looking for that yellow gold. At first we thought that the issue had corrected itself when we observed this amount of pictures, but when it went back on the bench the original issue was still there. The batteries are pulled and it will be on its way back to WGI. 

Bam, Bam, Bam was the result of my first test with the replacement cameras. They pumped out nice clear pictures almost instantly (around one second trigger I am thinking). The delay setting of 15 seconds seemed to be about 17 to 19 seconds. This is a great little camera even though it does not do the night video. I cannot say that it has the greatest flash range but my initial tests proved that those subjects out front around 20 to 25 feet were well illuminated. Only the proper flash range test will tell but so far it looks good. The balance of the day all went well so it is now off to the lab for all the official stuff. 

05-17-2012 update:  The bench proved the trigger was just over a second and the sensing was pretty good also. We had it out to 65 feet at 75 degrees. The flash/8 plate tests also were pretty good also. So far this replacement camera has proven itself as a contender in the white flash category.

05-19-2012 update: Deployed we managed gather a good amount of sample pictures. The redux anti blur did not seem to help on the flash pictures. Please view the samples below to see for yourself.

05-20-2012 update:  The video mode kicked our memory cards butt. Just 31 videos filled our 2 gig card. They are fixed at 30 seconds day only so the files per video are tremendous. View samples below.A very nice touch is the date time at the bottom of these monsters. Color match to actual is very good and fluid.

05-22-2012 update:  While all the sample gathering has been going on the hill I have had another camera busy with other tasks around one of my sites. Part of this was for security in the day time and then night time to capture pictures of some small critters that were causing some alarm issues. The size and function with a fairly fast trigger has been a pleasure to work with. I would have preferred a 5 second delay and much larger LCD display along with maybe night time video but for the tasks I have asked it to do it has done well. Someone commented on the red and green lights that come on the front of the camera before and after the picture is shuttered as being a potential problem. My thought was being there is no way you can hide that bright white flash it does seem a little silly to mask those small indicators unless it is used in a security mode and then the old piece of black electrical tape over them would be in order. I have an M-80 that I use a lot for like jobs and where it shines is that it is flat on the bottom and can be just set on top of something and it will stay there. This camera has those latches and door on the bottom and even with a shovelful of cement you cannot set up straight. You must have it attached to something to have it remain upright in the normal position. I took a simple construction reinforcement plate (see picture) that cost fifty eight cents and attached it to the camera with one of my very useful and excellent hair bands. These are the same natural colored bands that I use to “veg-in” my field deployed cameras with local vegetation to help hide the box. Now I can place the camera on the BBQ grill or outdoor table between the plants and it stands there just fine. You might be surprised just how many places this will work and the camera will remain unnoticed. This same method will work with all the WGI Micro cameras.

06-27-2012 update:  This has been one of my favorite cameras so far this year. I played with it on the bird feeders and bath and the results were great. We then moved to our resident herd of deer around our feeding area and the results were still positive but we did see some issues with motion blur. This past two weeks we moved this camera to the wild and put it up against some very wary animals. First off the motion blur was very excessive and we had a number of pictures that just about scared the hell out of the deer. (view sample) We have not yet determined if it is because of the flash or maybe there is a sound associated with the flash or triggering. The relative fast trigger caught a number of moving animals well within the FOV but they were not recognizable because of the blur. I went ahead and stopped writing and went ahead back to the lab and did some serious noise testing. There is a very slight tick tick during the flash. It is so slight that the camera has to be physically against my ear to hear. So this tells me that the flash was the culprit this time.

08-02-2012 update:  The battery finally gave up at 4290 pictures and 31 videos. This time took 78 days which is very good. Again this has been a very enjoyable camera to work with and it will remain in our day to day use being deployed back in the back where the big boys run. We are looking to see if maybe a lot of thoughts about flash rejection is going to be a part of this cameras history. This review is closed.

 

 

 

Trigger Tests
( without flash 1.26s)

( with flash 1.29s)

 

Flash Range

Day Range 8 Plate

Dead Pixel Test

Video Sample
(day only)

Sample Photos HIGH WIDE
 

 



 



 

 



 




 

 

 

   
   
   
   

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