Back to Main Review Page on Chasingame.com
BuckEyeCam Camera Review Page
  BuckEyeCam RC5000-1   BuckeyeCam Aries (2007)

  BuckEyecam Orion (2007)
Buckeye Cam Apollo (2008)
(red flash model)
Buckeye Cam Apollo XIR (2008)
(black flash model)
   

BUCKEYE CAM

http://www.buckeyecam.com/

model RC5000-1

 

(factory purchase)

(The engineers favorite)


This is one of the more expensive cameras costing in the $1k range. It uses IR flash for night time black and white pictures through one lens and color daytime pictures through another lens. We found that the camera must be aimed high in order for the IR flash to effectively illuminate the game animal. The resolution is somewhat low but the nighttime pictures are very readable. Daytime pictures are sharp and clear. Battery life is really good with a large lead acid rechargeable battery and available solar panel it should go all year. Programming is very easy and easy to set up.  What makes this camera worth the high price is its trigger time. With a 1/10 of a second trigger time we have caught birds in flight and dogs running in full stride crossing just 6 feet in front of the camera. 

This camera has simple, straight forward and to the point instructions that are easy to follow.

We found that we had to cover up the sensor with a small metal plate for the card change because it would take 25 to 30 pictures of us during the card and battery changes. Here is an example of how we solved this problem:  Camera with Velcro attached.  Camera with plate attached to Velcro.

This company also makes a base station model that can support up to 14 remote units up to 5 miles away. Everything is controlled from the base. Once set up you never have to visit the remote units everything is downloaded to the base by radio. This is nice because you do not disturb the area by having to visit each camera every couple weeks.

This is an August 05, 2005 update to the above:

"The good folks at Buckeye called and requested that we send our stand alone cameras Back to the factory for an upgrade. This was after extensive field testing and many Conversations and E mails with these folks. Because of some of our findings they Decided to upgrade an already excellent cam to a great cam. These improvements Include a better IR emitter cluster and better sensing. To our surprise they returned to us a full radio remote system with base and solar panel. The cams were also in their new camo case.  Upgrades to the camera made it unnecessary to tip the camera back."

We have a few weeks of testing on these new radio remote units and have slowly gone up threw the different settings to where we are operating at max resolution And sensing. The max sensing is necessary during these hot Georgia days. With solar panels we are getting two weeks battery life which brings them down to 50 plus percent. We feel that with the highest resolution it takes around five and a half minutes To download one picture from the remote cam to the base. We are getting 75 to 120 pictures per cam per week. This would calculate to hours of down load time which uses more battery power. With the resolution turned down to about half, the pictures are still very good and the download time is lowered so battery life would go up.  The only issue that we have found with the upgraded units is with the supplied 6 volt charger. We have found a way around this issue and brought it to the attention Of the Buckeye management.

If you want a truly remarkable camera system the Buckeye wireless camera system Is where you want to look.

This an August 16, 2005 update:

 "The Buckeye web site reflected the changes to their charger that I had suggested. I called and spoke with the folks at Buckeye and they are considering implementing more options in that area which will improve their product even more. Keep a watchful eye on their website for the new changes." 

This is an 8-31-05 update :

When trying to view the 512 MB SD cards on the San Disk 5 in 1 brand card reader we have experienced some difficulties. For some reason this reader does not like the large capacity memory cards. We have had to use the single SD card readers to view the 512 cards. We are in the process of moving these cameras out to a greater range from the base and are now trying to gather data for personal use along with still doing tests. This is an amazing system and other than the issue with our card reader it has worked flawlessly.

Battery life is up to nearly a month now using the solar panels and using a 14 on the resolution setting. Thirty to one hundred ten pictures per cam is average per week so far. Dove season is starting this week and there will be a lot of shooting in the area so we expect the amount of pictures to decrease and maybe go back to nocturnal.

6-01-06 Update:

The latest version of firmware that this company has put out makes it possible for the user to select whether or not he/she wishes to use it as a stand alone or on the system reporting to the base. They also have updated the IR array and lenses to better handle the exposure. We are always wishing that our testing area had a power source other than batteries so that we could try some of the computer modem

And cell systems that require some type of local power. They continually surprise us with their absolute superb service. This is a quality company and you could not go wrong with their products.

Sample1   Sample2   Sample3   Sample4   Sample5

Aries

 

4-27-07 2007 Buckeye Aries review

As with all of our earlier reviews of this companies products, we were very impressed with what came out of the UPS shipping box. The same solid waterproof case, which is expertly camouflaged and has strong latches. Having a price tag of just over a thousand dollars we would strongly suggest that their new Hercules metal security case be part of your purchase. When you view the internal components you will see that they are built on heavy solid boards that will take the stress of being handled in the field. The new higher resolution options from .3 up to 3.0 MP is computer programmable to the included SD card. Video, delay, time lapse, burst mode are also configured to the card in the same manner. Our equipment for testing the trigger speed is too slow to measure the lightning fast trigger speed of this cam. We mentioned in previous writings that the timing of the flash verses exposure had been addressed and the results were very sharp and clear pictures even at the lower resolutions. Accessories that might also be considered for this cam is the optional solar panel and extra 6v 12 AH lead acid battery, which will greatly extend the time this cam can be left in the field. With the possible capacity of up to 20,000 pictures this cam could be left out for a long time. I could rave on about this camera but the fact is that we found this camera to function and operate as advertised. It is top shelf in every way.

During our sample picture testing period, we discovered that this camera had a couple of things that needs to be discussed. First thing is that when placed in deep cover under the forest canopy and available light is low but still very much day light, this camera still thinks that it is night and will not switch to color for daytime shots. This was discussed with factory folks and confirmed that near bright sunlight is required in order for this camera to make the change to full color mode. The second thing is the blurred IR pictures on the higher MP settings. This happens in most all of the IR cameras we have tested to date. This camera is presently side by side with the 07 Cudde Expert for a little sensing comparison. Both cameras are set to the same specs so the results might be interesting. 

The specifications speak for themselves:

Still Resolution Options
  • 3 MP (2048x1536)
  • 1.3 MP (1360x1016)
  • .8MP (1024x768)
  • .3MP (640x480)
  •  
Video (movie) Resolutions
  • VGA (640x480) 1 frame per second
  • QVGA (320x240) 3 Frames per second
Video Clip Length
  • 5 seconds to 60 seconds
Reaction Speed
  • 0.2 Seconds
Stamps on the picture
  • Date, Time, Moon Phase, Temperature, 4 custom text fields
Minumum delay between pictures
  • 1 Sec (.3MP and Video)
  • 3 Sec (.8MP)
  • 10 Sec (1.3MP)
  • 15 Sec (3MP)
Time Lapse Photography
  • Yes
Camera Scheduling
  • Yes (for each day of week)
Additional Settings
  • Adjustable Image compression
  • Burst Mode

We will gather some field pictures which will show a sample both day and night of each resolution.

5-25-07 Update: Having our hands on this cam for a while we were able to get better results with the day color pictures, but not as good as we would like. A constant string of communications with the factory folks has resulted in them doing a test upgrade to the software to see if we will get better results. We have not yet received this upgrade but it should be shortly. ATSI has always gone out of their way to listen to our findings and has on every occasion made a fix to whatever we found. Our run with the movie mode was really impressive and with the areas of movement in the pictures being highlighted showed us details that we would have missed without it. This is the same picture management that is seen in good security systems. We will report further as soon as we make the upgrade and do some more testing.

 

5-26-07 Update:  We received the new firmware in an email from the ATSI technician.  I  copied the firmware to the SD card, plugged it into the slot on the camera, turned on the camera, and it began to upgrade the firmware.  When the upgrade was done the camera told me to remove the card and power off.  I then used my computer to remove the firmware file back off the SD card.  This was a very easy process.  We have the camera back in the field now and as soon as we get results we will publish them.  ATSI provides a standard firmware upgrade system for their customers as new firm wares become available.  ATSI sends you an email with a link to download the new firmware for your camera.  Very Nice !

 

5-30-07 Update:  The new firmware does indeed produce more color daytime photos in a dark and shady forest that is on the edge of night sensing.  ATSI has asked us to continue testing in light of future tweaks.  As it stands our request and this firmware mod will go into the next public release for customers.  Good job ATSI !

6-16-07 Update:  I placed the camera out in the field on our hunting property for a week.  This camera was still on its original charge and had already taken 1300 photos.  The battery indicator read 60%.  I hooked up the supplied solar panel (see below).  Much to my surprise, when I picked up the camera yesterday, not only was there 300 more photos but battery level was back up to 90%.  This indicates that provided there is enough sunlight, this camera could operate continuously.  Very good news.

Below are photos of the camera after we unboxed it, with optional cage and solar panel:
(click thumbnails for larger versions)







 
Side by side with a Leaf River DC6SS
The following are photos of the software and configuration options:

 

Sample photos
 (3 MegaPixel)









 

1.3 MegaPixel







Movie samples - 3 frames per second

Deer over corn pile
Sample 1
Sample 2
Sample 3

Coon
Sample 4

Color Daytime in diagnostic mode
Sample 5
 

Movie Montage I made on my computer
(some deer and coyotes with a soundtrack John Mellencamp)
Sample 6

 

Orion

 

Buckeye Orion review 08-30-2007

The last couple years this company has held the position of being at the top of the hill when it comes to trail cams. Orion, Aries, Artemis seemed to be strange names for a trail camera. I did a little research and found that De Ville , Fleetwood , Elder ado were taken so I guess this company had to go somewhere else to get the names. Slowly the competition has crept up on this lofty position and forced a lot of new innovative upgrades. One of the last systems they have produced is the Orion wireless PC based system. The many modes that can be selected are just plain stand alone camera, Wireless (radio) mode which sends pictures to a base unit from several miles away, Base mode is when you can have up to 30 cameras remotely (miles) and receive pictures. The two camera system per camera allows for the color day through one lens and the IR night through the other lens. By doing this there is no noise with the mechanical filter seen on some other IR cameras. Resolutions run from .3 (640X480), .8 (1024X768), 1.3 (1360X1016), and 3.0 (2048X1536). Selecting the higher rez settings can slowdown the transmit time to the base. Mega amounts of great options are all selected through your PC and these include PIR sensitivity, Delay period between pictures (1 second to 2 hours) continuously, camera active scheduling (select times that cam is to be active), Battery life is in months not weeks, on low rez setting the stand alone cam will give up to 20,000 pictures per battery charge and the wireless will give 1500, Selectable information bar on each picture can be programmed to give moon phase, time, date, and temperature. With the optional PC base this system can E mail pictures to selected addresses. The solid water proof case that is beautifully camouflaged has wired external ports for the antenna, solar panel, and mounting hardware. This is not a cheap system and I would strongly advise that you purchase the security enclosure from Buckeye if you are placing this investment in a high risk area. The external battery pack that is available will give months of operation without ever having to visit the area and contamination the human sent to that area. To date, we have not seen anyone that has come close to matching the performance of this system. There is some cellular systems out there that will perform but requires some type of subscription service in order to operate. We are still the proud owners of their original wireless system with the yagi antennas and it has not failed yet. This PC based and stand alone system has us on the edge of our 4 wheeler seats, rearing to get this thing in the woods to see how well it performs. This system is being used around the world from the artic to Iraq and has been get great feedback from the users. Part of this review will be how easy it is to absorb the information written in the instruction manual and apply it to the setup and use of this system. This is a complex system and requires some knowledge of PC operations and setup. We may have cheated because prior to this cameras arrival both Anthony and myself took time to watch the instructional video from the Buckeye site, This video is very well done and puts to rest a lot of confusion that we may have had. ATSI has always taken the consumer suggestions to heart and when necessary taken corrective action to eliminate anything that would be considered a complaint. This is a first class company and the fact that they have a rep that follows our forum and is there to answer any questions that may arise is a big plus and saves us from having to do a lot of research and communications. This system is nearly $1400 and if you were in a position to have the possible 30 cameras out feeding the base, you would have a sizable investment. The daisy chain repeater function of this system may prove to be a little hard for us to test unless we get a little inventive and find secure intermediate locations to place the repeater cams. We will not be doing trigger time tests because of the speed of this camera it is not measurable with our equipment (sub ˝ second). The flash range on these cams has always been past 40 feet and the sensing (very adjustable) is with out a doubt first class. Setup for this system will take some time due to the fact we are in the middle of 10 plus reviews right now and things will have to take their turn. I get a little wet spot down there just thinking about how good these cams operate. We gota get this thing deployed soon because I do not have the patients to wait.
      

Whats in the box ?

I opened the box and found the following equipment.  first of all is the camera with wireless module and antenna port.  Refer to the Aries for more details as this camera is the same except for the new wireless module.  Keep in mind that an Aries can be upgraded to an Orion.

There was the camera antenna, which easily attached and came with a U bracket to attach to a pole which you must supply.  The base station (Modem) also comes with a antenna, power supply and USB cable to connect to the computer.

I took some pics of the goodies below...


 

09-08-07 Update:  Installation.  At first I was bit apprehensive but decided to just jump right in but not with out reading the manual first.  I found that 3 simple pages described the entire process.  It was very simple and easy.  First I hooked up the camera antenna to the Orion and turned it on.  I sat it on a table next to my computer.  I then hooked up the PC base, antenna, and power supply.  I did not plug the base module into the computer yet, but I did power it up.  I first installed the Base station software.  It was just a few clicks, very easy.  You leave the install CD rom in your drive PRIOR to plugging the USB cable in, Plug the USB cable into a free port, then follow the directions as Windows recognizes the new hardware and locates the driver on the CD rom.  At this point you must register the base station (input your serial number).  For each camera on your system you will perform an "Add camera" which will locate and add an entry for that camera in the software.

The software allows for communication with the cameras, querying for battery level and activating a manual picture.  All camera settings such as resolution, delay, quality, burst mode, time lapse, etc are available here.  With a click of the button, any settings changes are updated to your camera(s).  Each camera can have its own unique settings.  As the camera senses and takes a picture it is transmitted and saved on your computer's hard drive.  You can optionally configure the software to email photos to a list of address and set up the LiveCam server feature provided by Buckeyecam.  I will tackle the live cam set up tomorrow.  So, far I am extremely impressed and feel just like a kid in a candy store.
 

09-23-2007 update:  Since the end of last month this camera has been poking around the feeder up the hill and even though Anthony had a few glitches in the beta software we are testing for Buckeye it seems to be doing just fine now. First the delay setting was low and being that it was stuck on a feeder and we have lots of deer it only took a short time and the E mails were just a humming. I had to search through hundreds of deer pictures just to find my everyday E mail from the site and my business. This forced us to up the delay to 5 minutes in order to keep things sane around here. If I had this system with 30 units in the field I would want a dedicated E mail to handle the load. Our feelings are that this company’s products are still king of the hill and work as advertised. The battery data is also transmitted with the picture and a fully charged battery lasted 15 days and produced 2616 pictures.  All pictures were wirelessly transmitted and 1/2 were high res and 1/2 were low res. The indicator on the pictures for the last couple of days said the battery level was down to 2% and until this morning it was still pecking away with lots of pictures. About 2 this afternoon it died and the battery was pulled for charging. We have the Buckeyecam Battery Pack (contains 3 6V batteries wired in concert) system to use and review with this system and we are getting ready to proceed with that.
 

03-22-2008 update:  Cameras like this one work so well and just keep on performing without any trouble have a tendency to be shuffled to the background and not thought about. The daily wireless pictures that come in daily from a distant camera in the woods and are shipped over the world by the internet is quite amazing. The solar setup and battery configuration just keeps this cam going unattended for ever the way it looks. Back in the middle of September we started the battery life test. Seven months later this camera is still running and the battery level is at 60% and holding. During this period it has taken near 5000 pictures (4640) without ever being visited. We shut this cam down this week in order to gain a little room for testing that was not covered by another camera that was putting out IR light. The popularity of the IR cameras has increased to the point that we now have a number of them under review and our space is limited to an area where the feeders are located. These cameras are absolutely top shelf and we cannot say enough about them. The years of dealing with the folks at Buckeye have always been positive without having any difficulties. This is probably because what they build is so good it rarely fails. We will probably run out of patience before we run out of battery life. The thousands of folks that visit our site are always amazed by the picture quality of the pictures that are ever changing on the front page of the site. The remote wireless systems have been invented but it seems that only the buckeye systems are still around. As soon as we can make a hole in our review schedule the cam will get turned back on and the pictures will be streaming again. By that time the panel will have all the batteries topped of and we will get another extended period of uninterrupted service.



Please look at the Aries review for photo samples.


 

Apollo
(red flash)




 

 

Buckeye Apollo stand alone IR red flash camera review 07-17-2008


Camera purchased from The HuntinShack

The folks at Buckeye decided to take all their great engineering and stick it into a much smaller box. This cam was announced very early and they accepted pre production orders. Many folks jumped on this and were able to obtain their cams long before we were able to get one for our testing. This so far has proven to be a plus for us because we began to get immediate feedback from the field by scanning many of the outdoor forums. So far I have not read or heard a single negative about this cam other than it is expensive ($699). Of the many cameras that we have had the opportunity to review, Buckeye has always been on top of the heap in the quality and function department. Our original stand alone camera in 05 developed a problem and was recalled immediately and taken care of plus it was upgraded to wireless. Reconyx is headed in the same direction as Buckeye but they lack the wireless feature. We chose to test the standalone model because the wireless feature remains basically the same as the larger model cams that we have already tested. This camera uses two cameras so they do not have that dreaded “clunk” that is typically made by the filter movement. Battery life also has not been an issue with the Buckeye cameras, because they use the large SLA cells and have an excellent solar panel setup that will keep the cam operating for months with the battery pack and combination solar panel. Adjustable rez settings are 0.3, 0.8, 1.3, and 3.1 MP which are color day and IR images at night. The video mode is 640X480 at 1 fps and 320X240 at 3 fps which is a little jerky but acceptable. The low rez setting can store 20k images on a one gig card. The case is 8X9X4 inches and includes weather proof ports for the external battery setup and solar panel. This camera company decided to tell it like it is when it comes to delay settings. We have seen where some companies say a one second delay but that did not take into account the amount of write time to the card. So the actual delay is written to show minimum delay ranging from one second at the lowest rez setting all the way up to 15 seconds for the top rez settings. This way there should be no confusion about things after purchase. The pictures can be stamped with time, date, moon phase, and temperature. The delay can also be increased all the way up to two hours for those busy feeders. The new owner can select triggering for day only, night only, or 24 hour operation. The sensitivity is also programmable for those hot days and all the way down to -32 degrees where a minimum setting would need to be used. It would probably be wise to have a good security enclosure for this cam because it is on the expensive side and there are enclosures available from this company and some after market vendors. Other features are things like adjustable picture quality, burst mode programming, time lapse, and how you want your coffee. The nice water tight camouflaged case is a little easier to hide that the original large cameras. Programming is done by inserting the SD factory programmed (Take the card that came with the cam or one of your own and insert into the SD card slot and turn the camera on, then hit the save to card and then turn off cam and remove card. This will be your factory program card) card into your card reader on.   This cam will take up to a 2 gig card. To make changes just re insert the factory card into your card reader and make the changes in the fields and then the next time you go to the field insert it into the cam and it will be upgraded to your new specs. Date time is done manually inside the cam with the buttons.

Lets
open up the case and see what is inside. In the door half of the cam is the main components like the memory card and USB connectors at the edge. Three led indicators in the center that are the ready, wait, and the error indicator. Below that is the LCD with its associated control buttons. Just to the right of the LCD is the power switch. Battery connectors and external power connectors that run to the other half of the case are also on this board. The other half of the case is for the SLA battery. There is also a reverse battery indicator that will tell you if you have somehow managed to connect the battery wrong and this also protects the camera. The indicators are the Ready indicator which will tell you that it is alright to remove the card once you have pressed the save pictures to card button. The wait indicator comes on when power is turned on and also when the do not remove card light is on. Error indicator is the alarm saying that there is a card problem and you should try another card. The USB slot is for factory use only. To set the clock just press and hold the set clock button and the appropriate numbers will flash and use the buttons to change up or down to the right military time. I might note that this company has also made it possible to use a small hand held device to change the settings which for you electronic guru’s this will be nice to do things in the field with out carrying your lap top. For grins I am going to attempt a trigger time test on this camera to see if I can capture a time. Previous tests on Buckeye products showed that the picture had already been taken before the second hand had a chance to move a quarter of an inch. We need to see if the sensor works as designed and if this cam has a flash that is worth a hoot.

07-20-2008 update:  This is a stand alone camera so it will have the possibilities of being handled a lot and moved around. Believe me, this camera for its size is a chunk and with the large SLA battery inside it could cause serious damage to the cam if dropped. Care must be taken when handling this camera. The problem comes when you are about to hang it on the tree, the latches are inside the handle and with big old stubby fingers I had to take care during this time. With the supplied bracket and strap the process is still somewhat cumbersome. Putting the bracket on the tree and then putting the thumb screws into the holes on the camera also proved a little shaky for me. Putting the bracket on the cam then putting the strap through the bracket worked better for me. Anthony needed some pictures of the inside of the cam and just prior to me taking the shot I noticed the battery was tilted a little and was not all the way on the bottom of the compartment. The task of removing the battery proved to be very difficult. This company believes in doing everything first class so they chose to use some kind of industrial type of Velcro to hold the battery. I had to get a tool to remove the battery and put it in proper alignment before taking the pictures. To solve this I just took a short piece of nylon string  and did a couple of loops around the battery and that gave me something to grab and now I can get the battery out without having any difficulties at all.

 

 

The flash range tests came out just fine with illumination past the 40 feet mark. The sensing (set to near max) for this 74 degree morning was 40 feet. I ran some initial tests on my wife's flower garden to check picture quality during the day and found it not as good as I had hoped. I went into the program and increased the quality setting to max and I will check this again a little later when I get enough sun for good sharp pictures. After the ordeal with the Bushnell camera yesterday this camera has been a pleasure so far to work with. The size and weight is a little overwhelming, this is definitely not a Scoutguard. Just finished checking the picture quality again and they are good but not great. There is a tiny degree of fuzziness that should not be there for a six hundred dollar camera.  Unofficial trigger time was very hard to do because of the speed of this camera. All I can say it is just short of a half second.

After close inspection of the lens covering I found there were many scratches which are on the inside of the lens cover.  I cleaned the outside but the scratches/smudges are still there.  These scratches likely cause fuzziness in the pictures.  Click here for a close up:

Some pictures inside the unit:

07-30-2008 update:  Well it seems that the folks at Buckeye have been watching and seen where a cam slipped past their QC folks and made it on to the market. We just happened to be the lucky recipient of this camera (the one with the smudges/scratches). They are super particular as to what leaves the factory and enters the market. They want only first class service out of their products. We did not do the trigger time tests and we were able to get a few sample pictures which turned out to be somewhat fuzzy in quality and lacking in contrast.  We attribute this to the smudges in front of the lens.  They want it back so this has been short and sweet. It will be in the mail today. We still have the black flash to do so we will just have to use it to continue our Apollo review.  When a replacement camera surfaces we will hang it on a tree and continue the review.

08-06-2008 update:  This little brown box made it to the folks with the big screwdriver and back in record time. While it was gone it got fitted with a new pair of glasses and a greater respect for color clarity and sharpness. Boy are we going to get out the magnifier and see just how good their screwdriver is verses our pencil. It is back to the hill as soon as we can clear a hole. The Leaf River IR-5 has been holding down that spot in the barracks while this cam got sent home for a short spell. We cannot express the degree of excellent service this company has with its customer relations. Very small minor deficiency’s are paid great attention. The black flash got hit with kick in the chin shortly after the red flash left on vacation for its vision problem. It also got a ride in the big brown truck to the emergency room for some minor surgery. Seems that it got the hick ups when switched into the video mode and the program headed south. Mean while the Cudde Capture has kept our attention and that lasted about 2.5 microseconds before things went hay wire.

 

Flash
Samples 3MP


Samples 1.3MP


Low Res (640x480) 6 shot burst



Movie 640x480 1fps


Movie 320x240 3fps

 



 

Apollo XIR
(black flash)

Red Flash:


Black Flash:


Side by Side:

note: cams upside down for better illumination.

Buckeye Apollo XIR stand alone IR black flash camera review 07-22-2008

The review on this camera will probably mirror the red flash model. All data on the red flash review is the same for this camera with the exception of the black flash instead of the standard red flash. A while back one of the new camera companies attempted this and failed miserably. Then the folks at Reconyx went to work and produced a very workable camera, RC60, and got it out on the market and it has been accepted very well. There are going to be two companies this year with successful black flash cameras, the Reconyx RC-60 and the Buckeye Apollo RC-5060. The only difference is the black flash from Buckeye is not being made available to the general public as of now. They are committed to taking care of our folks in uniform as their first priority. But to get the word out about this product they have sent us one to review and we feel that you will see it appearing on their web site when things slow down for them. A little public push could also probably speed things up. Read the review on the red flash Apollo and then come over here to only get the differences between the two cams. The trigger times (too fast to measure) and flash range and sensitivity range tests will be done as normal. We are really excited about this and feel everyone will also want one.

When they become available expect to experience a little sticker shock. With our fingers crossed lets get into some serious reviewing of these two Apollo’s. All the documentation remains the same and all the method of operation is the same. Physical difference is just the appearance of the IR array itself. Maybe we will get a little side by side operations going later on this week or so. I have a long dark hallway and I set up on one end with both cams looking down the hall to another room. The side by side showed very little difference in illumination between the red flash and the black flash. This afternoon I had to evaluate one of the new 08 Moultrie I 60 cams. It produced  a pretty solid trigger time of 4 seconds and I just sat back and could not believe that a camera that came in under two seconds last year has fell in the toilet. The Apollo cam will take 20 pictures while the Moultrie would be lucky if sensed take four in 5 minutes. Of course we have a small difference in the initial cost but it does set an example as far as what the capabilities are. I have tested a Bushnell camera that cost less than a hundred dollars but had a trigger time around a half second and it had pretty good pictures. This camera is fast and maybe will have a micro second amount of time quicker than the red flash model. I tried to walk across the hallway during my tests and I had a little more than my nose showing when the thing went snap. Where as the red flash model would let me get my ear into the picture. The Moultrie let me get around the block but the picture was empty. Weather permitting I will get some flash range tests in the morning and see if the sensing is any good. We will then work on the picture quality thing. We found no marks inside this cameras main lens.

07-23-2008 update:  Things held together last night and the storms went around us so I was able to get some sensing and flash range testing done. The flash range is easily past 40 feet. This is the main area that folks are going to be looking at. Because of this I moved the cam around left and right and up and down just to see where the IR splash was hitting. Buckeye has mastered the black flash very successfully. Now we have two companies that have pure black flash capabilities. Both are about the same price and both have engineered their own cameras from scratch to a highly usable tool for the sportsman and security person. The sensing range was also very good for this warm 72 degree morning and it constantly would catch me at the 40 foot range with the sensing set to max. The main difficulties I had was that there was no visible indication that the cam was functioning. I had to continuously run to the office to view the card to see if what I was doing was actually working. By working this well, it sure made my task this morning a pure frustrating time by not being able to see or hear what was happening. Our friends over at the Recon factory have the term “No Flash no dash” Though theirs is better than white flash cameras this camera is closer to that claim. Two weeks ago we changed out an IR camera that was setup on a salt lick where we had five pretty good bucks visiting on a continual basis. Anthony wanted some good night color pictures of our visitors so we moved a white flash into that setup and that was the end of our visitors. Two weeks now and not a single buck had visited that area since we put the white flash cam there. With that type of results with a red flash camera, it is easy to conclude that the black flash cameras will work even better. I did notice that both the red and black flash Apollo’s have a slight chemical odor coming from the plastic case. Once in the field and aired out a little I don’t think this will be a problem. I know that I am going to enjoy this camera. It is off to the hill for some real action with the brown critters that are eating us out of house and home with those corn prices.

08-01-2008 update:  We had some extreme activity at the feeders both day and night. We finally found a hole in the activity to grab the card. Well folks you are going to have to wait another little while before we can post any pictures. The camera is working great but we had a bit of sabotage to the camera. One of those big old fat doves that have been sneaking in and stealing corn decided to bomb the camera with one of his super chunks of waste. The mess hit the camera dead center on the camera lens front glass. The quicker picker upper took the top off this deposit and then we got down to a half dozen lens cleaner wipes to get the rest. Dove season may open early up there on the hill.  

 

08-06-2008 update:  We decided to do the video portion of our tests and we set up and when we checked the card we found the camera's wait light on and it remained stuck on. Up to this time we have had no issues with this camera. Some wary old tree rat with a lap top is probably responsible for this glitch. Any way it got a free ride on the big brown truck in the express mode for an evaluation. Mr. Tweaker at the factory said it seems that someone flushed the toilet at the wrong time and a degree of the program got sent south. The way these folks work we know there might be a couple folks pulling some extra duty until this glitch has been uncovered. We had hoped that the residual effect of the dove bombing would keep the geek bushy tail away. Anyway it will be here soon with a brand new engine and they have insured us that it will give us the expected MPG that Buckeye is famous for.

 

08-24-2008 update:  The camera was returned to us and we proceeded to give it mortal hell up on the hill to see if it would throw another rod through the block. As of this morning that thing is still purring like a kitten and steadily collecting pictures and videos. The only camera that we can compare this cam to is the Reconyx, which uses similar technology. Last year there was an attempt that failed by another company and we have yet to see if they have managed to produce a usable product this year. Both the Reconyx RC-60 and the Buckeye black flash XIR have totally impressed us this year. We feel that we will probably have to do a little side by side comparison to show the similarities. We will have to pick an area where we can place each camera in the same position but one after the other. Two IR cams side by side would cause some flaky results when both flashes go off at the same time, so these tests will have to be done separately but with the same degree of darkness, distance, and target. So far we are extremely happy with this camera.

 

10-04-2008 update:  All we can say is wow, we have got pictures of deer within inches and they could care less. The load of IR cameras has kept us in a thither trying to develop areas where we do not have a conflict between flashes. We also used this camera to analyze a difficult problem that had plagued us on another camera. We set up so we could see what was happening with the flash and it led us right to the area we had suspected. We now came up with an area where we are going to be testing some mock scrape applications and the first couple days it was not too impressive but on day four we had a hit and a massive hit. We now have about 5 pretty good horned critters using that scrape. These are some animals that have not been around but managed to find this area and the cam was not an issue to them. They had no idea the camera was there. This system does work very well. If you mind your sent control and do a good setup with a few small branches to aid in the concealment of the box, the flash definitely will not give the cams location away and you will be getting shots of the most wary of them all.  

10-29-2008 update:  We can say that our efforts in developing mock scrapes is a big success and we have a number of wary old bucks sneaking in. We are in the middle of the hunting season and even though the animals are on edge they have yet to notice the camera. We performed two tests by putting a red flash camera above this camera and it was seen the first evening. We did the same with a white flash cam and it also got noticed. It took about a week after those tests for the area to settle back down but they are back again and not seeing the camera. Buckeye has a real winner with this camera.

11-27-2008 update:  We moved this camera onto the C’Mere deer review area to aid in one of our testing area reviews. We had a continuous stream of animals visiting in front of the camera and being this testing area was only about 20 yards off a road it seemed to draw the attention of some low life sicko poacher/trespasser/thief individual. What was cool was this ignorant butt hole was within 20 feet of the camera at night with his flashlight and the camera seen him many times but he failed to know that the camera was even there. This resulted in a long string of reports to the game and police officials and it is in their hands now. Now what was sad was we had no security on the cam so it could have been missing very easy. We now have taken the time in the shop to build a good security cage so we can continue the testing. We will try to do this setup in the next couple of days as soon as the turkey and dressing settles and the pumpkin pie have a chance to make it through our systems. The testing goes on and this camera has just impressed us to the max. It is really a super great functioning camera.

Video sequence capture on Buckeyecam XIR: (click picture)

 

Flash
 
Samples 3MP






1.3mp




.8mp




.3mp - 6 shot burst



Low res video 320x240 3fps


Mock Scrape Experiment with Tinks Power Scrape
These are a small sampling of the photos we got off the XIR after only 4 days of using the Tinks Power Scrape.  The black flash combined with the tinks made for a successful experiment!







Mock Scrape Presentation Video
(Please watch full screen)

 

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Chasingame Outdoors, LLC
Your Source for scouting camera reviews, performance ratings, sample photos and movies, performance and stress testing.

Please read our disclaimer:
As an independent consumer review site our goal is to provide as accurately as possible, our experiences with the cameras and equipment we test.  Our findings are based solely on the units we test as are the results.  Our statements reflect only our opinions unless stated otherwise.  We take pride in being accurate and make every attempt to communicate with manufacturers about our findings.  We do not sell cameras, accept kickbacks, or own stock in any camera manufacturers.
Thank you for visiting Chasingame.com.