2012 Primos Super II Camera Review - August 04, 2012 Back to Main Review Page
   

2012 Primos Super II


2012 Primos Super II red flash (56 count) 7 MP digital camera review

We had concluded our list of 2012 cameras that we had entered into the system for review this year but yet another camera showed up. This is a well used opened camera that we received and we would not normally review but there is a bit of interest showing up on the outdoor forums about this camera so we are going to go ahead and do a real fast review on this unit. 

Setting on the shelf the price tag is $249 which puts this camera up in class well above much of the competition. The claim of 1/3 second trigger time and best in class picture quality will be a necessity to justify the ticket. Documentation and package was not very free with the specifications so I searched the internet and that also was limited. 

  • Super small size

  • “Best In Class” image quality

  • Converts to handheld photo viewer in the field

  • Year long battery life

  • Captures Photos & Videos

  • 0.3 trigger speed

  • Records Sound

 I will have to pull that data out of the camera as I use it.

This is a back pack (two piece) style camera that has two plastic clips on the bottom that must be pressed to slide the main unit away from the back pack. This exposes the back of the camera where the view screen and programming buttons are located. The back pack has two strap loops and three cable/lock loops to secure the camera to the tree. If you use the side cable loops and not the one on the bottom then the camera can still be removed from the back pack even though the cable is installed. You must also put a lock or something through the bottom hole to secure this camera. There is also no seal on the bottom (SDcard)/battery door. These means this camera probably should be used without a security box or insure that the security box has good drainage so water cannot pool inside the box and reach the batteries and SD card. Our old Scoutguard cameras are still out there working with this same setup but they are not in a box. 

The array contains 56 emitters (cabelas says 50) and has a plastic cover with a slight camouflage effect over the top to help hide the bright emitters. This is a very nice touch but should never be cleaned with any solvent or lens cleaner because it will remove this. A damp cloth is all that is needed. Below center is the main lens and PIR (wide angle) this year instead of the old side sensor setup on the previous model. 

My next adventure was to install the AA batteries. You better have skinny long fingernails or some kind of tool to do this. The doors are tight and will not just drop open. You have to coach them out with a needle or knife blade. The positive and negative symbols on the doors indicate the proper installation polarity of the cells. Once installed care must be taken because a slight bump while changing the card will dislodge a door and your batteries hit the forest floor. There is an external battery port that is marked 12 and 9 volts ????? and is not explained and only mentioned on page 19 in the booklet. I assume that either could be used to power the camera for extra life. When I pulled the rubber plug to inspect the external battery port the plug was wet and had moisture on it. I went ahead and programmed the camera and headed to the dark room for a test and then outside for some bright sun pictures. This is a wide view 90 degree lens so things look distant and small. My first captures were foggy and I believe that once I dry out the camera a little that will go away so I will hold on that determination as of now. Trigger was fast and the delay seemed to be also in line. I had no problem with the sensing either. I have cleaned the lens on the outside and inspected the inside with my magnification viewer and there is still a bit of haze on the inside. There is a noticeable filter clunk at transition. Once heated up and dried out I again proceeded out into the bright sun to re evaluate the day pictures. The view screen cannot be read in the daylight, I had to move to the shadows in order to view my settings for this test. I pulled the card and there was a very noticeable change to the better once the moisture had dried a bit. The color was good and not over driven and the pictures were fairly sharp and clear. Night with flash pictures still had a bit of fuzziness to them. 

The two indicators below the view screen are for PIR movement and write time. These being behind the camera and inside the back pack when deployed will not aid in aiming the camera. The write indicator can tell you when it is clear to go ahead and turn off the camera. I tried to move to normal daylight conditions under the canopy and I still had a problem reading the screen in that light. The owner’s manual came in handy as light shield to view the screen under those conditions. This camera also has sound with the video which I did not test but will be done during the sample capture period. Everything that is done to this camera must be done off the tree and out of the back pack. The bottom access door will only open partially while the camera is installed into the back pack. 

Once a person gets use to the quirks of this little camera (7X5X3 inches) it does work well. The fall brown color blends well on the tree and the array treatment helps there also. It is medium in size and the rounded edges aid in its ability to not be seen when deployed on a tree with like colored bark. We need to move to the official side of the house for those tests and up on the hill for all the sample video/pictures.

08-06-2012 update: When this camera left this lab and was moved to our other facility it had to spend a day in a very hot truck with all its little door open. I did dry out perfectly and had no issues other than the original fogging on the inside of the lens. We have no way of knowing what exposure this camera had previously had to the elements to cause the bit of moisture we found. All we can presently say is the camera works great now and we ill keep an eye on it to make sure of no re occurrence. The trigger table shows the wide angle lens along with a with out flash trigger time of 1 second and with flash of .5 second. The video trigger time came in with a respectable 1.62 second trigger time. Dead pixel test came out good. The day range/8plate test was good and showed a small amount of fuzz in the zoom evaluation.

08-08-2012 update:  Now that we have had the camera deployed fro a while we have found a couple of things. First off is the color saturation seems to be a bit weak so the pictures have a bit of a washed look. Next is we placed the camera out in the daytime and it worked fine until the sun went down and things cooled a bit and we had a run away situation. We also had a few whiteout and near whiteout pictures at transition. More testing is needed to give full evaluation to these areas.

08-11-2012 update:  We have pretty well concluded that the moisture that was in the cam when we received it is the culprit in the sensing failure. Our contact with Primos support finally did result in an answer but it was so far out of in left field we could not believe it. The management at Primos has now told us that the sensing adjustment in the booklet is a miss print and that the camera has automatic sensing through the firmware. We also have a replacement camera on the way in and as soon as we verify the basic function we will open the review back up and continue to gather samples and battery life data.

08-13-2012 update: The replacement camera failed the initial testing and also has the same issue as out original test unit. We are in the process of conveying those results to the company. The majority of this last testing session was on a Sunday so we are going to have to see what we can hear from the company the first part of this week. The review remains closed.

09-10-2012 update: The wheels kept turning and we now have managed to get a very recent vintage (brand new) camera and it passed all the initial tests that had made the two previous units fail. This wide field of view takes a little getting use to because of the acreage it covers. It would take ten cuddebacks to cover the same area. So far things are looking real good. We are running it back through the trigger machine just to make sure everything is the same and starting tonight we will try to get started gathering sample pictures. This unit seems to be working very well.

09-15-2012 update:  We did manage to get sample pictures and that showed a couple of minor issues. First off is the transition pictures did not whit out and remained black and white. Next, came what looks like a fish eye effect that on the day pictures there appears to be a green circle around the edge of the picture with good true color in the center. Sensing seems to be very good and we are beginning to like the wide field of view. Further testing is required with different lighting conditions to truly evaluate.

09-16-2012 update:  As we continue down the review path we have captured more stills and a few videos. Throughout this sequence the flash has a very strong center line and fades out on the edges. Some call this the flashlight effect. The videos are good during the day but still have that issue with color. The night videos have streaking and a steady hum in the background. So far I would have to say that this camera likes its picture mission much more that it does its video mission. The wide view does cover a lot of ground and so far we have yet to test the range of the PIR to see if there is a deficiency there as far is its field of view. That should come soon.

12-19-2012 update:  This camera was pulled because it had apparently locked up.  We could not reset the camera and only a red light indicator would light with batteries.  We reported the issue to Primos and have not heard back.  It has been 6 weeks since this lock up issue.  At this point we are going to suspend and close this review.

 

Trigger Tests
(without flash 1.06s)

(with flash .53)
 

 

Dead Pixel Test


Flash Range

Day Range/8 Plate

 

 

Sample Photos HIGH
Sample Photos HIGH (replacement unit)

Video Samples

HTML5 Video

 

 

   
   
   
   

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