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StealthCam Camera Review Page

STEALTH CAM

DIGRC-XTR 3.0MP

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

(purchased from Cabelas)

This camera was a very poor performer. It had a 10+ second trigger time which would only show game in the picture if they stood around for a few minutes. It also would use a set of batteries in less than a week.  This camera's manual was written well and most folks would not have a problem following the programming procedures.

(sorry no sample pics - we did not get any)

 

STEALTH CAM

STC-AD2 2.1MP

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

A couple of years ago we tried the top of the line Stealth Cam DIGRC-XTR and we were super disappointed with its non performance. Now that time has passed we decided to pick a middle of the pack Stealth camera to test. This camera is in the $200.00 range and is 2.1 MP. Compact flash media cards up to 256 will work in this camera. The written instruction booklet that came with the camera is written pretty vague. I purposely attempted to program this camera without reading the instructional manual. I was successful to a degree. There were some strange icons that appeared that I had to refer to the manual to figure out there meaning. After an hour of playing the programming was complete. Most of the programming methods are in line with standard digital camera operations. This camera operates off 8 D cells or an external 6v rechargeable battery.

The external battery jack on the camera is standard and the plug is available at Radio Shack. I assembled an external power cable in about 15 minutes using a plug from Radio Shack and some wire and a couple of alligator clips. All in shop testing was done using a 6v Moultrie battery. (forgive me Moultrie folks) I purchased two high capacity 6v lead acid batteries from our local Battery Plus outlet for about $18 a piece for the extended field testing. Instruction manual says to only change out the top 4 batteries then change out the bottom 4 batteries to keep from loosing the program (date-time). This holds true when you are using only external power. I placed 4 rechargeable D cells in the top 4 holes and swapped the external battery and the program was saved. I then stored the D cells by putting one in all 4 compartments upper and lower for future battery changes. The trigger time for this camera is a solid 6 seconds and that is pretty slow. The flash appears  to be very good and will reach past 30 feet easily. The security features are basically non existent. There will be a real need for some type of theft protection to be built prior to installing this cam in the field. Field testing will be done using the 1600X1200 setting and the three star (highest) quality setting with the one minuet delay. One picture per event will also be selected. Later testing will include the movie mode.

This camera will be in the field tomorrow 11-5-05 to begin the field testing.

We received E mail from MMFord with his testimonial on this cam. Viewer stated that he was on his second set of batteries (he is using standard D cell batteries) since early July which is very good battery life. Using his figures we calculated that during that time he was getting approximately ten pictures per day with the majority being at night. He stated that he felt the pictures were good but due to the slow trigger time he had some lost pictures. We are taking a very close look at this camera and due to our past experience with Stealth and along with  the bad press viewed through out the outdoor forums. We hope that the Stealth folks have turned things around with these later model cameras. They still have some work to do on their trigger time. It appears that the battery life issue may have been addressed to a degree.

12-21-05 update:  This cam was placed in the field for several weeks and was not very successful in capturing any pictures. To call this camera a “trail” camera would be a stretch, it is more like a corn feeder camera. When placed on a feeder this cam took lots of pictures. The battery life has been good but with the extremely slow trigger time and sensing ability we feel that it would only be of value when placed where the target animals are in front of the camera for an extended period of time. It does work but not very well.

 

Trigger time is 6 seconds

Flash Tests

Sample Photos

 

STEALTH CAM

STC-WD1

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

 

To wear out an old record, we started with a couple of Stealth cams and were very unhappy with there lack of function. After a year or so we decided to try another Stealth the STC-AD2 and again we are not impressed with this cam. It does work but has a very bad trigger time and now it has been in the field for weeks and we have yet to get a picture off it to post for its review. A number of our site visitors have told us about the STC-WD1 and wanted a review. The folks in the field have raved about this cam so I purchased one for about $170.00 from Cabelas. Out of the box it appeared to resemble several of the other Stealth cams that we have had. After I opened the case up it has a different look to the display and switches. I believe this cam is made for Stealth by another vender that is different from all the other stealth cams that I have operated. I was able to program this cam easy without using the manual. The manual is well written and easy to follow. This cam takes 6 C cells and has the external plug for an external 12 volt battery. The trigger time test averaged 2.25 seconds to 2.75 seconds or just under 3 seconds in a 20+ attempt test. The flash is good with an acceptable range of 40 feet. In shop test pictures at 1.3 MP setting (high 1280X1024) were sharp and clear. If this cam performs well it will be in direct competition with the Moultrie 3.1 as far as price and trigger time. According to the users of this cam that have contacted us they have raved about the battery life also. We will be field testing this camera tomorrow as soon more flash range tests are performed this evening. When the cam is turned on after being programmed the LCD screen will come on for 30 seconds then shut down to conserve battery life. If no buttons are pressed the cam will then arm in 60 seconds. To make the display on the LCD to return you must press and hold the up or down button for 5 seconds. There are factory security brackets for this cam listed for $20.00 available on line from stealth or by toll free number. I will build my own this afternoon.

12-21-05 update: This camera appears to work very well, with the exception of picture quality. It is doing very good on battery life and it is sensing as well as the backup cams placed along side. The pictures are a little fuzzy but readable. When the picture quality was put to other field users on an outdoor forum we received the same remarks about the picture quality. It is a pretty good camera for the price.

 

1-09-06 update: This cam has been running on its standard (Duracell) batteries since early December. The past two weeks it has taken over 400 pictures with night temps in the high 20s and low 30s. We are starting to like this camera very much and with only one drawback, that is picture quality being a little fuzzy. We are getting ready to do the movie mode tests soon.

 

Trigger time is under 3 seconds

Flash Tests

Sample Photos

 

STEALTH CAM

STC-WD2

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

 

This is the new 2006 Stealth Cam STC-WD2. This camera is a mirror image of the WD1. The cost from Cabelas was the same as the WD-1, in the $170 range and all features are the same with the exception of the increased MP rating for this camera from 1.3 MP on the WD-1 To 2.1 Mp on the WD-2.

 

If this camera produces very sharp and clear pictures it is a definite “good bye” to the Moultrie cameras that have occupied our recommendation spot for the under $200 range. The trigger time is just over 2 seconds which seems to beat most of the Moultrie cameras and if the sensing is like the WD1 (which out performed the Cuddeback 3.0) on our side by side tests, we will be pleased.

 

One of the things that I do not like about this cam is that the cam is in the door. It seems that several of the camera manufactures have chosen to do this but it makes the cam clumsy to handle due to the up front weight. I also noticed that the SD card slot is very close to the frame which makes it difficult to remove the card if a person has stubby fingers like mine. Being that I was familiar with the WD 1 programming I was able to program this camera in about 5 minutes without the use of the manual.

 

The flash tests proved to be the same as the WD 1 which  proved to be good out past 40 feet. Our tests were using the 1 min. delay and the high 1600X1200 resolution setting. Being this camera has the possibility to take the #1 spot in its price range I will take some time to build a means to secure this camera and try to have pictures of this soon. There is a factory bracket available for $20. This cam will also adapt to the external 12 volt battery for folks who have areas where they will be getting large numbers of pictures and have a need to leave the camera out for extended periods of time. This cam is in the field and as soon as I have the first set of pictures we will post them.

3-11-06 Update:

We now have our first pictures after the camera being out for three days. The clarity and sharpness is still in question but I will delay judgment this time because of the gray rainy days it had to operate in. To see if it is up to par with its older brother the WD 1 we put the WD 2 and the Cuddeback 3.0 on the same tree to test the sensing ability. The WD 1 beat out the Cuddeback in the same test so next week we should know how this cam compares. I think that  I an going to like this camera.

3-25-06 Update:

This week we checked the WD-2 that was mounted on the same tree as the Cuddeback 3.0 and the results were that the Cuddeback took 31 pictures and the WD-2 took over 60. These two cams were set to look at a corn feeder which also had one of our Buckeye wireless cameras looking at the same area from the other side. The Buckeye also took over 60 pictures. The sensing ability of this camera is in line with its early brother the WD-1 which outperformed the Cuddeback 3.0 under the same test. The day and night pictures are very acceptable and as far as I am concerned this camera takes first place for its price range thus pushing out the Moultrie cameras.

Trigger time is around 2 seconds

Flash Tests

Sample Photos

WD2 home made Locking device made from a 8 1/2 inch X 1 1/2 inch X 1/8 inch piece of steel
and useing a 3/8 inch X 6 foot python cable.
Total cost was about $16.

 

STEALTH CAM

STC-WD3

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

STC-WD3MT,   Factory purchase.

This camera is Stealth's attempt to be in competition with the popular 3.0 Cuddeback. This company previously had this model out less the MT in its number. The MT is “moon” and “temperature” which is shown of the pictures similar to how Moultrie has it on there’s. This is a 3.0 MP camera that when compared to the Moultrie and Cuddeback, it will easily hold its own. Out of the box it appears to be the same as the WD1 and WD2. The case is the same dark OD color and latches and means to hook it to the tree are the same. When you open the case most of the buttons are the same with the addition of an adjustable sensing range dial. This camera also has a 1.8 inch view screen for viewing pictures in the field. I was able to power up this cam and do the programming in one step without going to the manual. The programming is very easy and strait forward. The manual is complete and easy to follow. After putting my hands on several of these same styled cameras I found one thing that is a real bother to me. The buttons are embossed with its task and unless you catch the light exactly right it is very hard to determine what the button is for. Dealing with so many different cameras, I have to be very careful before I hit a button to keep from making a mistake in the programming. During my military days we would swipe the buttons of our equipment with a dab of contrasting colored paint to fill in the embossed printing which seemed to solve the problem. In low light field conditions this can be a bother. The next dislike is the same as the WD1 and WD2, and that is the heavy cam and batteries in the door. This is minor but aggravating when mounting and handling this camera. Resolution can be set all the way from VGA, 1.3, 2.0, to 3.0 MP. Our tests will be at the 3.0 level. Settings to determine the picture per event can be set from one to three or 10 second 320X240 10 fps movies. The CF card is the manufactures choice for this camera, we used a Lexar 256 for our tests. A very nice feature is the lo battery indicator on the front of the camera. We have tried to get the folks at Cudde to do the same but so far it has not appeared. Trigger time is 2 to 2.5 seconds and the flash range is good out past 40 feet. Initial picture quality was judged to be sharp and clear. Below is a comparison to other 3.0 cameras. 

Ease of programming: Moultrie 3.0 and Stealth 3.0 have it all over Cuddeback here. 

Security: I would have to give this to Cuddeback and Stealth over the Moultrie.

Sensing:  Without a doubt the Stealth is first followed by the Moultrie and then the Cuddeback. Our tests proved that both the Moultrie and the Stealths took right at twice the amount of pictures as the Cuddeback with identical exposure to the target animals. 

Trigger time: Cuddeback is ½ second to 1 second, Stealth 2.0 to 2.5 seconds and Moultrie 3 seconds. All of which is very acceptable for most field uses. 

Picture quality: All three have very good pictures with the exception of the saucer eye problem Moultrie has with its flash pictures. 

Flash range: Most are equal with the Stealth maybe slightly stronger past 40 feet.

Field viewing: Only Stealth has a view screen, Moultrie and Cudde have to have an external device to view images in the field.  

Cost: Moultrie is jammed with features for around $160, Stealth comes in with a cost of  $380 and Cudde comes in at $400. 

On off switch: Both Stealth and Moultrie have this feature, Cudde does not. 

Lo battery indicator: Moultrie has a LCD display viewable from the front and Stealth uses a small light to tell you of a low battery condition. Cuddeback requires the user to go through some programming to gain this information. 

Solar panel: Both the Moultrie and the Stealth have this feature the Cudde does not. We have adapted one of our Cuddeback cameras to use  a solar panel with success now for over a year. 

External battery: Moultrie and Stealth have this feature Cudde does not. 

Door vs removable panel: Most all cameras have doors with some type of latch to close it tight for weather proofing. Moultrie and Stealth have done a very good job of this. Though it is not a big deal the Cuddeback uses a screw and detachable front panel with a small underneath place to use a lock. This has proved to be a pain in some cases where the cam is on a tree with brush close or mounted low. 

Initial conclusion is that we really like the WD3. Our wish would be that one of you manufacturers (or homebrewers) would take the Cuddeback trigger speed along with the Stealth cams sensing and put it with the Moultrie price and the result would be outstanding. The plan is that if weather permits we will be field testing very shortly.

04-23-06 update: As with its WD1- WD2  predecessors the WD 3 MT has climbed its way up to a point where we are going to have to give it, its due. Having only the trigger time and flash range pictures to judge this camera showed that it was capable of some pretty great pictures. This camera not only produced some really great pictures it showed that its flash reaches out way past the average target animal Having the benefit of a view screen and great sensing this camera is an exceptional piece of work. The two second trigger time did not hold this camera back from holding its own against one of the competitors which has engineered some pretty exceptional trigger times and picture qualities. I will say that not only do I like this camera, I “really like it”.

04-27-06 updateDuring the second week we gathered a couple hundred pictures and a few movies. The picture quality for both day and night were very good and the movie quality was very much like most trail cam examples, very readable but grainy. Battery life was not determined due to our two week test was using the external battery. We are looking to the field users to report back on our forum to determine that information. The three camera sensing test that we are running on our forum is putting three different manufactures to test side by side. For a short period of time we set the WD 3 in on that test and its performance was equal to its little brother the WD 2. With the 3.0 MP cameras presently on the market and  I was given the task to chose between this cam and other 3.0 MP cameras I would go with the WD 3 MT. Cameras with very good trigger time have the advantage as far as how you place it in the field, but if your sensing is weaker and the cam does not see the target animal, the camera will not take the picture. Having really great sensing is becoming a bit more important than the trigger time. Knowing the limits of your cameras trigger time allows the user to make his setup in a way to keep the animal in front of the camera for that one second longer period of time.  The new generation of cameras that we will be receiving in the next couple months may change all of this.

 

Trigger time is around 2 seconds

Flash Tests

Sample Photos



Movie samples

 

 

STEALTH CAM

STC-IR1

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

STC-IR1 5.0MP,  Factory purchase.

When this camera came out of the box I was totally impressed with the appearance of this cam. From the views seen on the manufactures site and outlets like Cabelas, I was expecting a camera about the size of the WD1. This camera is about 11 inches tall and 9 inches wide and 4 inches thick. The camera is the typical OD color as the others we tested with a large 4 inch square IR array behind a smoked glass cover. This should provide a degree of camo for this large array.

When opened up there is the “cam in the door” thing again with the typical set of hard to read buttons and LCD display along with a view screen. The indicator sticker next to the CF card slot was somewhat confusing until I found the picture of proper card installation  in the manual. There is both a solar panel and a 12 volt receptacle on the bottom of the camera. The TV out and USB outlets are next to the CF card slot. On the inside back of the camera is a small programming instruction sticker which has printing so small that my old eyes could hardly read it. It seems that with a camera the size of a normal piece of bond paper and room for a much larger instruction sticker that manufacture would do just that.

There is a wide strap and a tree screw with a bend in it to match a threaded hole in the bottom of the camera. This proved to be not very stable or safe for a camera of this size. We chose to use the strap. The metal bar with two holes that is shipped with most Stealth cams for security is also part of the accessory package that came in the box. This means of security is pretty good when used with the Master Python cable. Care must be taken because the slot for the mounting strap and security bar is located on the back of the camera, directly behind the sensor and camera lens thus the cable has just a very narrow place to cross the front of the camera. Another suggestion is to leave the cable with enough slack to sag below the lens opening.

I went from the out of the box programming of the WD-3 MT to out of the box programming of the IR-1. I was stopped completely until I had a chance to review the manual. Even though the programming is straight forward it is not nearly as intuitive as the WD-1, 2, and 3 but with care can be accomplished. I attempted the trigger speed test about ten times and could not get anything to record to the card nor could I get the IR array to fire. I spent several hours going over every thing even to opening up a new CF card to no avail. The camera will write to its internal memory but not to the card. A quick call to their tech support and it was determined that shipping may have caused a problem. I will have to get it back to them to take a look at it so we can complete this review. Cabelas last catalog has the price on sale at $599.99.

05-01-06 Update: The replacement cam arrived this afternoon and I commenced the trigger time testing which turned out to be around 5 seconds. I had some difficulty measuring the delay time because sometimes it would be about one minute and the next time it appeared to be two minutes. I had it set on one minute but the actual time looks more like 1.5 minutes to recover. The IR array was so bright that it wiped out the clock so I ended up with a piece of 5X8 card with a hole in it to select just one emitter taped over the array in order for me to be able to read the clock. This time the cam did not have the manual in the box so I had to rely on memory (bad idea) to do the programming. Most of the process I was able to do but eventually I got the old magnifier out and went to that door sticker and finished the task. IR flash testing proved that this camera will take clear night pictures out to 40+ feet. I have taken down some data so that when we get our hands on the new WD 3 IR we can do some comparisons. Next step is get this camera to an area with some game for some field testing.

05-12-06 Update:  We have concluded the field test of this camera. With the higher MP rating the night pictures were very sharp and clear. The IR flash strength is overpowering on animals that came in close and washed out the detail. Care must be taken when placing this camera to be far enough away from the target area to insure that the flash does not wipe out the pictures. The IR night time movies were sharp and clear. Our daytime pictures showed that this camera had what appeared to be a problem. All of the daytime pictures showed half the picture to be clear and sharp with good color but the other half of the picture showed an exposure problem. This will be explained to their tech support when we send it back in. Being spoiled by the excellent sensing of the WD 1,2,3 cameras we expected this camera to perform the same but it did not. Placed along side another IR camera that we knew of its sensing ability the IR 1 did not do as well. This camera does work but having a 5 second trigger time and a sensing ability that is lower than the WD series, care must be taken when placing it in the field in order to insure that the target animals will be directly in front and have a longer exposure time to trigger. New owners of this camera should visit the Stealth Cam site and view the excellent “how to” videos they have put together. Programming this camera is somewhat difficult even with the manual but their tutorial videos on the site makes it much more understandable. Stealth's new WD 3 IR should correct most of the deficiencies we found on the IR1 and we are looking forward to testing it.

 

Trigger time (around 5 secs)

Flash Tests

Sample Photos


Mechanical filter stuck between modes:

 
Movie Samples
Movie 1     Movie 2
 

Infra Red Camera visual comparison
Pictorial Page

STEALTH CAM

I230 IR
(WD2 IR)

http://www.stealthcam.net

Stealth Universal Bracket:

This bracket also fits Bushnell and WildView.

StealthCam I230IR Review

The WD-1, 2, 3, and now the IR all come in the solid water tight OD green case. In place of the standard flash is an IR array which contains 27 emitters compared to the Bushnell which has only 12 and the Leaf river has 36 (both wide angle and standard) emitters. Flash range tests proved that things were well lit up at 40 feet. Programming was the same as previous models and was easy to do following instructions in the manual. Trigger time proved to be 3 seconds which is the same as the Leaf river and Cudde IR cameras. I still do not like the buttons in this camera because the embossing is hard to read unless the light is just right. Disappointing also was the absents of the lock bar that we had on some other models and should be one of the items that a user should buy (now as an accessory) $7 from Stealth. Cam security any more seems to be a big issue with most new buyers of game cameras. Stealth chose to include a nice wide strap for mounting and this along with the optional lock bar and Python lock will make securing this cam easy. Our trigger time photos are out of focus due to the clock was set inside the 5 food focal distance of this cam. Every IR camera we have tested to date with the exception of the Stealth IR1 have fuzzy night time pictures. Even with this degree of clarity found on all IR camera  night pictures they are still sharp and clear enough to pick out enough good detail for game animal evaluation. We had hoped to have several IR cams to do a side by side test but due to the issues found on the Cudde, it had to be returned. Our Recon Extreme ended up with a damaged PIR sensor lens and is on the way back to us with a new lens. So, it looks like this test will be just the Leaf River IR and WD- 2 IR for right now. Putting the 1/4th second trigger time Bushnell IR up against these cams would not be fair. We did this with the Cudde IR and the Bushnell blew the Cudde out of the saddle. I played around with the test mode just to see what it would do at 40 feet on a 76 degree morning. I was quite impressed with the sensing range and width. With the external battery and a 2 gig card (over 6000 pictures at the high rez setting) this camera should go a couple months before it would have to be visited. I am judging the battery life from our experience with the standard WD-2 which we ran over two months without a change. Just like the Bushnell IR, it only took a few minuets to figure out that I really like this camera. We have been extremely happy with all of the WD series cameras from this company. Lets hope that the field tests don’t disappoint us with some bad things. The cost on this camera is $299.99 and if you choose to order the security bar it lists for $7 plus a dollar shipping. Should you choose to make your own security bar this can be done with a 9 inch piece of 1/8X1 ½ X9 inch piece of steel with two ½ inch holes drilled in the ends to run the python lock through. A short note about this cameras burst mode, it will take three pictures in less than a second for each triggering. This is nice for that ole buck that is following behind the doe and for certain security applications.

Our initial field test was a side by side with a Leaf River IR camera and both cameras almost the same amount of pictures. The 4 day test had 150 day and night pictures. We found that this camera actually looks low compared to the Leaf river. A good portion of the pictures were of just the lower half of the deer. We re installed it in the burst mode and made the necessary corrections to have the pictures centered and put it back out, this time in the burst mode. This was done so that we could have some nice sample pictures. During this same period of time we were running a parallel test using a couple of the Moultrie cameras. Neither of the Moultries had pictures. We have always been impressed by the sensing ability of the Leaf River cams and for this camera to get equal amount of pictures under exact conditions says a lot. Every one of the WD series Stealths have proved to be very good in the sensing department. Now lets talk picture quality. It is my impression that no IR camera to date has produced what I would call really great night pictures with the exception of the high MP Stealth IR1. All the IR cameras tested to date had acceptable picture quality for scouting cam purposes. Also most of these cams have a small difference in MP ratings which makes it hard to do across the board comparison. Cudde IR being the worst and the Bushnell IR being the best putting this cam and the Leaf River in the middle. The cudde also has the lowest MP rating and the Leaf River has the highest which says this type of comparison is un fair. One thing that is very noticeable is the strength of the IR array. This camera with its good sensing and extremely strong array needs to be placed further away from the target area 20 feet at least. The pictures of deer at 15 feet were nearly whited out in some cases. This solid and very functional camera is going to get my approval. With its great sensing ability and having a cost that is a $150 cheaper that a Cudde and $50 more than a Bushnell and the same as the Leaf River this camera is directly out front. What makes it shine over the rest, is features like being able to use external battery with solar panel, ease of programming, and acceptable picture quality (no it does not have a view screen). I know that I am going to hear it from the Leaf River fans about this because most everything about both cams are pretty equal with the exception of the Leaf Rivers softer array light which tends to make their night time pictures more grainy and fuzzy. I do not like these “quickie” charts but we are going to try to put together a page that has the pictures from each cam to show side by side comparison.

We have concluded the review on this cam and yes we do like this cam. We found that sensor on this particular camera was not as far reaching as out WD 1 but it reached well past the range of the IR flash.  

Trigger time (around 3 secs)

Flash Tests

Sample Photos

Note: The following samples show improper cam placement. We aimed it too low.  This causes a flash circle on the ground and over exposed subjects.  These do exemplify clarity and resolution for day and night however.

Infra Red Camera visual comparison
Pictorial Page

 

STEALTH CAM

I-450
(WD4)

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

5-30-2007             Camera Purchased from TrailCamPro.Com

Stealth keeps things interesting each year with this barrage of new nomenclatures, in this case it is the I 450 which is to us a WD 4. Every thing has basically remained the same in appearance this year. Most all changes are internal with the upgrade to a full 4 MP and a better flash. The external battery port remains the same as the previous WD series cams and is one of our favorite features. This camera came to us sealed in a clear bubble pack as would be the case for any user. All dimensions remain the same as all the WD cameras and this camera did not come with the locking bar (now optional) that is required to secure this camera when deployed to the field. The memory is 32 internal and up to 2 gig using the not included SD card. Flash is easily turned on and off with the up button and the burst mode has a selectable up to 9 images per PIR trigger. Video (320X240) can be set from
5 to 90 seconds. Resolution can be easily set to 0.4. 1.3, or 4.0 MP through  programming . This is a very easy camera to setup and use. This company also has a very good history of folks dealing with their customer service. After a recent review on another brand camera which had a very narrow sensing angle, we were pleased to see that stealth has a full 45 degrees of sensing. First thing of interest will be to test the new flash and see how good it is, then move on to the ol trigger time testing. The sturdy OD green water proof case and with locking bar this camera will take to the elements just fine. My first flash test was inside and when I stepped in front of the camera and it went off at about ten feet it felt like my optic nerve had been toasted. It was a good half hour before the spots went away enough to get back on the computer and do a little more writing. With out any further testing I would say that they did jack up the flash just a tad.  


05-31-2007 update:   Playing around with this cam doing the trigger and flash range testing proves that this cam works very well. The trigger time seems to be exactly the same as the WD-2 and WD-3 cams previously tested. This is in the 2 second range and is more than adequate for both trail and feeder use when properly placed. The flash range is all the way out to 65 feet and the sensing range for a 70 degree morning proved to be a repeated 45 feet. Night time flash pictures taken during the flash range testing were sharp and clear. We will stick this cam on one of our test sites and see how it does with a few of the wild critters we have paying us a visit.  

 

06-09-2007 update:  More time has allowed us to find a potential issue for folks who select sites that are under heavy cover and the morning and evening light has a hard time getting through to the camera. Our test area is under a pretty full canopy of trees and because of this we have seen not only on this cam, but two others tested this year that about an hour in the morning and evening the camera cannot tell if it should flash or not which is causing a few washout pictures. Folks using this camera where it is good and bright most of the time will probably not see this issue. We tried lowering the cam and aiming it a little upward with the intent that it would gather more light in the light sensor but this proved to be ineffective. When we get past these two periods things start to happen very well with sharp and clear pictures. Last year we also found that several of the cameras had the same problem, and some of the folks tried drilling out the light sensor hole but I do not think anyone came up with a workable solution other than moving the camera to an area with more morning and evening light.

06-17-2007 update:  With the cameras confusion between day light and night came short periods of very light pictures that had some folks worried. We have seen this “whiteout” thing with all makes of cameras and it seems to be something that we camera users are going to have to live with until all the manufacturers find a fix. (read about whiteout).This being a minor issue we found that this camera is one super performer. A little slower trigger time than its Moultrie competitor but only by ½ second. Very good picture quality and overall performance was without fault. This is a very good performer that is woods ready, and will definitely get the job done in good fashion.

 

08-20-2007 update:  We have approached Stealth concerning the whiteout issue that some users have experienced.  Stealth engineers are working on a firmware upgrade and correction for this issue which will be a web download.  Owners can upgrade the firmware in their cameras without sending them back to Stealth.  When this firmware update is available we will make a note here.


 

Trigger time (right at 2 secs)

(with flash)

(in sun light)

Flash Tests

Sample Photos
high resolution
Note: Time is 12 hours off.  In this first set we got some washouts in the day time but it was raining heavily in a forested setting and the flash appeared to be going off in day time hours.




I lowered the camera and aimed it up a bit.  The strong flash reflects off the ground.  Mount around 24" or so.

low resolution



The tree rats knocked the camera to the side but I still managed to get this yearling doe.  This is a 3+ MB file so make sure you have high speed internet or your will have a long wait:

Video sample 1
 

 


STEALTH CAM

STC-DVIR

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

 

Stealth Prowler STC-DVIR Review 08-13-2007

I heard a noise of a box bouncing off the recliner on the front porch and went to investigate. I opened the box and it was obvious that there was something in the box but I could not see it. We only wish that the new Stealth Prowler was that concealable but it is the same OD color as all the previous WD series cameras. Scanning through the catalogs a person gets the opinion that this should be a much larger camera than the rest of the Stealth line but it is not. If you were to take a WD-2 and slice off the excess plastic along the edges in a shape similar to the aircraft that carries the same name then you would have a prowler. It is a good looking camera and the water tests showed the case to be tight though it still has the small weep holes along the bottom preventing it from being totally water proof as with the rest of the Stealth line of trail cameras. The case is solid and the latches pull things up tight. This camera supports a two lens system so that the color day and the IR night does not have to use that noisy mechanical filter found on the single lens IR cameras. Programming is the same as the WD series so there is nothing new here. Easy to program, solid case, good documentation, dual lens, and with the Stealth locking bar it will be easy to conceal. The 1 to 9 burst per IR trigger is also incorporated which is a super feature. Video is adjustable from 5 to 90 seconds (640X480) Color day rez settings are 1.3, 3.0, and 5.0 and when switched to night IR operations the options are .3, 1.3, and 2.0 MP settings. IR video night time pictures are also at the 640X480 setting. Battery condition is shown by the battery symbol as standard on all previous cams. I installed 6 new Energizer C cells to start with and we will run them until the cam shuts down. Similar to the Moultrie cams the pictures will display the date time along with moon phase and temperature. Spread across the front of the cam is an array that is 6 emitters tall and 7 wide (42 total) this should brighten up the night. Hope that it is not over kill like the retina burning flash on the I-450. Stealth’s previous IR-1 flagship cam turned out to be a banner boat because of its mechanical filter which wanted to hang up all the time. The old IR-1 turned in some of the best IR pictures we have seen to date. Maybe we will get lucky again with this sliced off box of a cam. Lens viewing angle of 52 degrees and PIR sensing out to 48 degrees would make us thing that if it is out there this camera should see it and capture it. While standing by this cam uses a small 2 mA drain which during capture increases to 180 mA of drain. Internal memory is 32 MB and camera will except up to a 2 gig SD card.. The camera lenses are glass and not plastic. Looking this good makes me want to just stay up and test this thing all night just to see how good it is. Maybe I will try to sneak at least 8 hours before the 4 AM flash and sensing rang testing starts. This morning it was another one of those 80 degree mornings so I don’t know how well the sensing is going to do in the morning.


08-14-2007 update:  Proceeded with the flash range tests and found this cam has a very good flash that is a little overwhelming at close range. Targets at 50+ feet were well illuminated. Sensing range for this 80 degree morning was a consistent 30 to 35 feet. The unofficial trigger time (judging from IR illumination) is a quick 1 to 2 seconds. This puts it much faster than the Cudde no flash. The camera was set to the low rez setting for the flash range tests but the pictures were still sharp and clear. It will be off to get the official trigger time tests done and then the field and battery life testing will follow.

 

08-18-2007 update:  It is not very often that we have a camera that performs far out of standard. This new Stealth flag ship has turned into a flag dud. Great flash, Great sensing, and lousy trigger time. The trigger times with flash has been measured in excess of 9 seconds repeatedly. When you watch the IR array illuminate after the cam has been triggered it appears to be about one second. This illumination lasts a long time and near the end of the illumination the picture is shuttered. This kind of trigger time is unacceptable and because of this we are going to suspend the review. We will try to get a couple sample pictures before we send this cam back as being either poor quality or it has a severe electrical malfunction causing this kind of poor triggering. We are hoping that we can find some old slow doe that is taking her time so we can get some sample pictures.

08-20-2007 update:  We have contacted Stealth management about our trigger times with flash and it was determined that this camera has an electrical problem.  We are returning this camera to Stealth so that engineers can go through it and determine the problem.  We should receive a replacement camera very soon and will repeat our tests and continue this review.  Keep checking back for updates on this camera.

 

08-23-2007 update:  As promised we now have our hands on a replacement Prowler camera from the folks down in Texas. I jumped on all the tests to see where I could find a difference between the old slow poke and this cam. The flash range and operation is all the same. I spent several hours playing with the flash trigger time (un official) and feel strongly that this camera is going to perform much better than its now departed partner. The IR array on this camera does not stay on nearly as long as the last cam. This shows a definite change and is welcome. There was some discussion on our forum that suggested that the company would dope up a cam and send it to us to improve the review but this is definitely not the case. Should I ever find out this kind of action we would make a major note of this fact. With our schedule (the real job) , it may take a little longer to get the first results out but just be assured that we are working to get this data out due to this camera's popularity. We feel at this time folks will not be to disappointed.

08-25-2007 update:  Another marathon trigger time episode and it shows that this replacement camera has a full 5 second better trigger time with flash. The repeated tests show a 4 second or a little less trigger time with flash. Daytime without flash remained the same at 3.5 seconds. This is in line with some of the recent cameras that we tested and we consider it acceptable. It is now in 9 burst and we will see how it functions. We will run this cam on its first set of batteries until it stops ticking to see how many pictures it takes and how long they will last.

09-01-2007 update:  The past six days this cam has been going through its operations in high, low, and movie modes. We have literally taken hundreds of pictures and hundreds of movies so far and I counted only three blank pictures with nothing in them. There have been no whiteout pictures, but what we do see is that slight blur in the pictures where the deer are moving pretty fast. This blur is common in all IR cams we have tested so far, with some like the cudde having a little more. We spent the morning going over tons of pictures and hooked a couple hundred movies together and viewed them. To put it mildly “we are impressed”. It appears that the daytime movies that are in color have a slightly less frame rate than the night IR AVIs. The sensing distance (guesstamate) was picking out animals at around 60 feet on 72 degree mornings. We had tons of pictures of deer crossing in front of the cam and were still center frame. The wide angle of this PIR lens more than makes up for the 3.5 trigger. The folks at Stealth have told us that the pre production samples that were presented to them for acceptance were all in the 1.5 to 2 second range trigger time. Post production samples pulled from the line are varying from 2 to 4 seconds. The engineers are in the process of analyzing things so maybe if it is doable we might get a fix. Could you imagine this cam with a 1 second trigger. That would be pretty nice. Then do the same to the wildview 5.0 and lookout trail cam manufacturers. The way it is working now I would not call it a slouch. Over two weeks of operation and as of this morning the batteries still showed full. We hung it back out this time in single capture basic mode for another round off sample pictures.

09-23-2007 update:  This cam was started off last month on the 18th and has ran constantly until this morning. The C cells kept it going 36 days and the camera took 3667 pictures during that time. We had no whiteouts and the function has been very good. Two things that we noticed about what this camera does is 1. during low light conditions the pictures have very faint horizontal lines across them, and 2. when the batteries became very low the flash became very weak for the last few nighttime pictures. At the very end the pictures were black. The day pictures at that time were the normal good color. From start to finish this camera has functioned very good and has been a real pleasure to use. Stealth can be proud of this one and if they ever get around to providing a fix to lower the trigger time this will be one hell of a camera. Put this cam on a good external SLA battery and I would expect two to three months of continuous pictures. We have a few more tests to do before we hang up the finished sign on this cam.

 

Trigger time

(with flash around 9 seconds)
Note: there appears to be an electrical problem with the camera we have tested.  We will test these times again with a new camera as soon as possible.

Trigger times with the replacement camera:
(Trigger time with flash is 4 seconds)




without flash is 3.5 seconds

 

Flash Tests

Sample Photos
high resolution



 
Low Resolution



Burst Mode 9




Movies
(high resolution 640x480)

 

 


“Patroller” STC-SLC2B

http://www.stealthcam.net


Stealth Cam “Patroller” STC-SLC2B review 06-04-2008

Over the past year while scanning all the outdoor forums looking for field data on scouting cams, I noticed many threads where folks had their hunt camp, shed, cabin, and barn broke into by some low life trespasser. The solution has been that folks had to conceal a trail camera to watch the property and this solution sometimes meant the loss of the trail camera installed to catch a picture of the offender. Week before last I found on the net while surfing for some camera data this new type of motion light and camera combination. I had asked Stealth if they thought that this product deserved a review but I got no response. Being this seems to be so closely associated with hunting and scouting cameras I went ahead and purchased one to test and report on.

Out of the box I noticed a number of things that I did not like. The first thing was the instruction pamphlet and the way that the programming was handled. Then there is no on off switch for the camera portion of this device. The design is intended to be permanently installed as a motion sensor light. When this is done, the camera is on the bottom and is concealed very nicely. It takes a close look to actually pick out that there is a camera tucked into this setup. With it being at the bottom of the lamp it is nearly impossible to read the LCD and do the programming. The bracket will allow the cam to be tipped up slightly and this helps a little but standing on a ladder and trying to see under the camera proved problematic for me. It requires that you have the instructions in hand to do the programming because the procedure is outside the normal methods folks are used to on trail cameras. Having to push two buttons at once and holding others for 2 seconds and then re programming in another area once the first portion was done. Being very familiar with every brand of trail camera, I usually can just do the programming without ever looking at the instructions. This is one of our tests to find out how intuitive the programming is. It took me a good long time to finally accomplish the programming and do some walk tests.

I shut the Patroller off to remove the card and found when I did this that I lost the program and had to go through it again. Power failures would also wipe out the programming. Drag the ladder out and stand on my head again for another period of time so I could re install the program.

This device will take up to a 2 gig SD card and at its 2 MP rating set on high it will capture 3328 pictures. Low setting will give you 5120 pictures and on movie mode you can get 1024 ten second videos. The halogen lamp that came with it was 500 watts which I swapped out for a 150 for these tests. Program allows for single picture per trigger of a selectable burst mode can be programmed in for multi shots while motion is present. The lamp can be timed from
1 to 5 minutes per trigger. A day light sensor will keep the lamp from coming on during the day but the camera will still function. There is a 16MB internal memory that cam be used if there is no card installed. The PIR sensor looks out to about 30+ feet depending on the outside temperature and has a 48 degree sweep. I had been using a scandisk 64 and I could not get any pictures, I swapped this out for another brand and when I turned the light back on it kept the program (?????). I will have to play with this a little more. As of now I still have not got the thing to take pictures. I will leave it dormant for a while to make sure that I am past any delay period and see if I can capture at least one image before I finish pulling out the last few strands of hair I have. This cam appears to be very card sensitive. The off brand card that used worked fine and I was able to capture some very good color daytime pictures that still had the time date stamp across the bottom. I will have to wait for this evening to see how the night pictures come out. The night time pictures proved to be only fair and this is partly due to the smaller sized lamp which I installed for these shorter distances. The most disturbing thing is that out of a multitude of triggers, it failed to catch me in any of them. I was able to cross in front of the cam at 17 feet very slowly. The lamp would come on but when I checked the card there was no pictures of me. I then would stand in front of the cam and then it would catch me but the trigger time is so slow that at a normal pace it would fail to catch a person crossing in front of the camera. Pointed down a driveway where a auto or person was there for a longer period of time it would probably work fine.

The conclusion is that a very well placed and concealed scouting camera with IR flash and fast trigger would serve this situation better. Once installed looking at an area where the target would be there for an extended period of time this device would probably work fine and just leave it alone and turned on until an obvious intrusion has been determined then check the card for possible evidence. In this case when the card is full the oldest picture is eliminated and the last picture is recorded. This review has been concluded and this device is now in the recycle bin with some other refuse.

Sample pictures (I resized these from the originals - These are smaller)


STEALTH CAM

STC-V650

WD6

http://www.stealthcam.net

Stealth Cam STC-V650 (WD-6) Review 06-25-2008

Camera arrived in a sealed bubble pack and through the plastic cover it appeared to be a very good looking camera. Once out of the plastic you can see that it is the same WD case with two plastic adhesive camo strips on each side of the face of the cam. There was a big fingerprint smear on the main camera lens. When I opened the cam the LCD display had part of the plastic removed and there were prints on this screen also. The internal memory also showed use. Making a quick trip through the instructions showed me that they have made some very nice changes. The adjustable sensitivity knob and the solar panel switch. The front of the cam has that great flash they have had in the past. Below that is the LCD display for picture count and in the same panel there is the low battery indicator and test indicator. The PIR sensor is the same wide angle type that was seen on all the WD series cams. At the bottom is the external battery jack and now the new solar panel jack that is used along with the switch inside. Latches and water seal remain the same and very functional. The ¼ X 20 threaded socket for tripod or tree screw remains also. Open the case and at the top is the RFT LCD display. Below is the 6 C cell compartment with cover. The switch panel includes the on off along with the standard programming buttons. These are menu, up, down, and confirm. The new solar battery switch is just after that. The only other things under the cover are the SD card slot, TV out, and USB port. Going over the specifications I see that the image sensor is a 2.0 CMOS rated. The advertised max MP rating for this cam is 6.0 MP. Boy that is one hell of an interpolation stretch. I think I would have to just run this cam at 3.0 MP setting. The settings cam go from .3, 1.3, 3.0, to 6.0 MP which is pretty standard. The picture capture is either single, burst, or AVI video at 320X240. The video is at 10 frames per second but can be stretched out to 90 seconds. The PIR sensor looks out at 48 degrees and the image sensor can se 52 degrees. I spent a considerable length of time doing the basic (not official) trigger time test. The best that I saw was 6 seconds. The settings were at 6.0 MP and single capture with flash. If this holds true this will prove to be a very short review. Moultrie I-40 slid to 3 seconds and the folks panicked when the seen what had happened from 07 to the 08 models. The troubling things I see as of now is the stretch from a 2.0 MP sensor to 6.0 and the slow trigger. Lets hope that when we really get into this thing we start to see some better function. Flash range tests will happen sometime after 4 AM tomorrow morning then off to the field for a few test pictures and videos if we can get the deer to hang around long enough.
 

06-26-2008 update:  Spent a lot of time re doing the unofficial trigger time tests. With the better than 1 minute delay time, it took a couple of hours to do a bunch of these to get a feel of what the earlier tests had indicated. The tests revealed that the better tests were at 4.75 seconds and the slower tests were at 5.25 seconds. A good portion of the tests were a solid 5 seconds. The flash range tests showed that it is good out past 40 feet. This was a very warm morning at 72 degrees (cam showed 78 degrees) and the sensing distance was past 25 feet. This cam was endorsed by Jim Shockey and if we had a fast Eddie cam we would have to call this camera the slow Jimmy cam. Previous WD series cams had trigger times of 2 seconds. Something has happened this year for having a 3 second slide in performance. Off to the woods to try to get some sample pictures and Movies.
 

06-29-2008 update:  Well it has been confirmed that the trigger time is near 5 seconds which makes it a full 2 seconds slower than the 2008 I-40 Moultrie which slipped a second and a half this year to 3 second trigger time. Because of this we are just going to try to grab a few test pictures and videos and call it quits on this cam. It is a shame because we had high hopes and we were looking forward to a long range battery test using the panel setup with this cam. It is loaded with good features which now become void because of the lousy trigger time. We have scheduled a number of the 08 Stealth cams for testing and we will now have to make the trigger time test the first thing out of the box before we start the review. It makes me think that who ever the suppliers are for these good companies feed them good cams to start with and then things seem to slip down hill unless someone is monitoring the cameras performance on a continuous basis. This is the third company this year that has experienced this. Pre production verses post production seems to be two different cameras. We had reports early on that some from the first owners of the Sniper cameras that found the trigger time was somewhere between one and two seconds. This is the reason we were so hot to get our hands on this cam to test. This has been a big let down for us because we are very much fans of all the WD series of cams.

07-01-2008 update:  Had the cam on the hill and was able to gather some pictures in the 6.0 MP mode and like its little brother the I-450 it takes some very good pictures. The day time pictures are very natural in color and the night time examples with flash proved to be very good also. One puzzling things was that none of the pictures had any of the little critters in them and there were a couple of the night pictures that had a rabbit but there was also a deer in the background. Most every camera that we have tested in that very same area had an overwhelming amount of tree rat pictures of them stealing the corn. The day temperatures are high but other cameras under the same conditions did manage to see the smaller animals. We moved on to the movie mode and as soon as that is finished we will try to do the rest of the rez settings prior to retiring this cam.

We captured a deer video in good day light and the 320X240 rating sure leaves a bit to be desired. There is a definite lack of clarity with this cam in the movie mode. Where this cam shines is when it is in still picture mode and then there is some good picture quality. Having an approximate 9.5 frame rate is plenty to make the movies to appear fluid. The graininess is what destroys the picture quality. There was a slight tendency to slip a little toward the whiteout on a very few pictures but with the light conditions in our testing area this cam did very good. So far I think we only had a couple of pictures that were a little washed out.
 

07-02-2008 update:  Resetting to 3 MP setting and we did not get any pictures on the card. All went to internal memory. We changed to a different card and then it again started to take pictures to the card. The morning transition times showed an extreme amount of whiteout pictures (see examples) until it got very bright outside then it took color pictures. The change from the higher MP ratting to the three MP setting showed a definite quality drop in picture the quality. In order to get good sharp and somewhat clear daytime pictures this camera likes to have a good amount of light. Under the forest canopy with dappled light this cam has a hard time. To my surprise I picked up an I 540 IR today and when I was going through the specifications and features the much cheaper cam appeared to have a much better selection, plus it would take night time videos. The lack of color in the night pictures just doesn’t seem to bother most folks who choose the red flash over the white flash cameras. We see the trend to move toward more folks liking cams that take the day/night videos. Well Jimmy what do we do now?

07-06-2008 update:  This cam has ran 12 days on a new set of energizers and taken 1124 pictures and 3 movies and the battery low lamp is on. This cam is looking very much like the I-450 with its need for power. The external setup with panel will probably be the only way to go with this cam. Well it is time to say “adios Jimmy“ and we must go on to the next challenge.


09-04-2008 update:  After going through all the settings and found the performance far less then its $100 little brother the I-590 we have decided to conclude this review.

 

Trigger time

without flash

with flash


 

Flash Tests

Sample Photos
6MP (2784x2088)

 
3MP (2048x1536)


Whiteouts during transition hours:
1.3MP (1280x1024)



Movie Sample

 

 


STEALTH CAM

EPIC

http://www.stealthcam.net



Camo version with hat mount clip

Stealth Cam Epic review 06-25-2008           Camera Purchased from TrailCamPro.Com

Early in 08 the folks at Stealth let us know about this new device. At that time Anthony had a ski trip planned out west. I tried to acquire one for that trip but it has been a long wait and June is about over and it has arrived. Trying to figure an angle how we could fit this device into the scouting camera house is going to be a little hard. There is no motion sensor, there is no flash, and there is no room for 6 C cells in the battery compartment. Instead this is a tiny D cell battery sized camera that is powered by two AAA cells and has a slot for a 4 gig SD card, and a USB socket. This is all packed into a 3 inch long cylinder. Across the bottom is a dove tail plate to match a series of different holders to connect to handlebars and such. The specifications of the cam are a 2 MP image sensor that can be boosted up through interpolation from VGA, 3.0 MP and on top is the 5 MP rating. This cam can be set for single picture to 9 shot burst mode. In the movie mode you can select 320X240 and 640X480. Movie mode is at 30 frames per second which is nice. The down side is the basic image sensor. The potential for this type of camera is immense. From the deer stand and on board on any type of transportation is where this cam should be used. The still camera mode is just that. Care must be taken to ensure that you do not move during the shutter time because it will blur every picture. My initial tests in the still mode resulted in no pictures being without a degree of blur. This tells me that when mounted on a gun or bow it would probably have a lack of definition. Change over to movie mode and now you have something that works fairly well as long as there is adequate light. From the deer stand during early morning hours would be a stretch to get usable pictures. Using this cam in your boat, bike, ATV, horse back, back pack, or even hook it to your pet, the potential is enormous as long is the movie mode is selected. To use this cam in still mode you must trigger it by hitting a button. This makes its use limited in the still function because in order to capture the action you would have to hit the trigger of the cam and do what ever you wish to capture. From the deer stand this would work when explaining what you did not want to shoot. I can only see where the video mode is where this device will shine. During bad weather there is a plastic weather proof case that can be used to protect the camera. This enclosure has rubber buttons so you can operate the camera from the outside without fearing the device getting wet. Putting this cam to work this afternoon in the bright sun showed me that the picture quality on high rez is still limited. There seems to be a limit as to how far interpolation can be pushed. It is still going to be fun to play with at $170 cost and being able to get a couple of hundred minutes of video on one 4 gig card will be nice for in house use. The sensing tests will depend on how hot the operator is when he is operating. We are going to do some basic tests during the next few days to see just what trouble we can get into with this device.

06-28-2008 update:  Now that I have had some time with this device I have came to one main conclusion. This cam does not have a very good light gathering ability. Early evening and late morning when visibility with the human eye is good this cam cannot see the target. Day time and good light it really works well. The good frame rate and color with sound makes it a pleasure to use. The low grade image processor still leaves a lot to be desired as far as picture quality is concerned. The video quality is good but far from being great. There is a lack of contrast and definition. I am being pretty critical on this because having good detail is very important in the scouting camera business and this is not a scouting camera. For a record of a white water experience or a trail ride on your cycle where detail would be nice but is not needed this cam works very well. Today we are headed to the country to check the cams and this will be going along with us and it will get a ride on an ATV. I am going to have to get a little creative in order to develop more things that will give this little cam more jobs to do. This morning I began taking movies at 4AM and am going to keep it up until I start to get enough light to be able to read the video’s on my computer. It is now just about 0630 and I can easily see outside and walk around but this cam just shows a spec of light here and there but no pictures of the silhouettes I was trying to capture. The trip checking cams resulted in a few short clips on the ATV while checking the cams. You can see just how the color is and when going off into the shade how it slides down hill a little. The automatic cutoff was a bit of a problem and caused a loss of some pretty good footage. Back to my drawing board to gather some ideas for this little cam.



 

Whats in the box


Movie Samples

At 6:09am (low light condition)


Ay 6:39am (low light condition)


The following movie samples utilize the hat mounting clip pictured below:


Riding the 4-wheeler and checkin some cameras:

 


STEALTH CAM

STC-I540IR

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

Stealth Cam STC-I540IR camera 07-03-2008

At $119 to $129 this cam is in the neighborhood of our trusty old D-40 Moultrie. The outdoor forums started to ring with a lot of noise about this camera. This definitely is not Stealth’s signature cam but at first glance it appears to function better. It is a full second faster on trigger than the “slow Jimmy cam” (Sniper) and is quite a few dollars cheaper and does night movies. A 4 second trigger time is just not acceptable any more but at the price and when the user has feeders and salt licks this cam should work very well. It would also be a nice cam to put on a scrape. One very troubling function of this can is just prior to the IR going off when the cam is triggered it sounds like you just dropped a pallet of bricks. A very loud clunk that even with my shell shocked old ears could hear at 40 feet. We bad mouthed the I 40 for having a 3 second trigger time this year but that was mainly because it gained a good reputation last year and now this year the trigger time has slipped a full second and a half and it takes black and white pictures long into the morning when it should have switched to color. This cam in the catalog appeared to be in the same case as the old AD-3 but this case is much flatter. The case is about ten inches tall and seven inches wide with a thickness of about three inches. The case is flat black and there are two pretty good latches to secure the door. There is a full gasket in the door all the way around except for a small weep hole at the very bottom. The front of the camera has the main lens at the top center and it is nicely counter sunk so the rain should not hit the glass. Below that is the IR array with 36 emitters. The picture count window is just above the array and the low battery and test LED’s are next to that window. They are still also holding with the same PIR sensor that has been used on all previous models and we think in most cases has worked great. At the bottom are the external battery port and the tripod socket 1/4X20 insert. As you open the door there is the TV out and USB socket next to the SD card slot. Then with the door all the way open there is a LCD screen for programming and the right of that is the associated buttons. This is all pretty well standard and programming is simple and easy. Below that is the off on test switch and just to the right is the adjustable sensitivity slide switch. This is a nice feature that Stealth has included on all the new stuff so far. This is a five MP camera (both day/night) with the low setting being two MP. This means that it is a two MP sensor interpolated to 5 to gain the top number. There is also three quality settings which is also a nice feature. The delay period is from one minute to sixty minutes. The standard 9 burst is also being used in this cam where you need a string of pictures to catch that buck following the do into the target area. The picture ID across the bottom has the date time, moon phase, and temperature. Like most cameras there is an internal memory for those who choose to use the cam without a card. Here is the really nice feature that drew my attention to this camera. It will record from 10 to 120 seconds of video at 10 fps at 640X480. If this is found to work well then I believe that this cam has found its nitch. The maximum SD card size is 2 gig so as long as the batteries hold this cam could be left out a good long time. Judging from the specifications so far and excluding the severe filter clunk I think that I would prefer this cam over the “slow Jimmy Sniper” cam. With it all programmed up and the unofficial trigger time clock set up I will get on with the testing. The flash range testing will happen around 4 AM tomorrow morning.

07-04-2008 update:  The flash range tests were done this morning around 4 AM and I paid close attention to see if the filter clunk was loud enough to wake up any of the neighbors. We had some fireworks in the area last night so I think that they had settled in and the noise did not bother them. The flash is very good past 40 feet. The sensing range at 72 degrees was at 30 feet and the picture quality of the IR during this test was very acceptable. We did a side by side analysis of this cams pictures with the Moultrie I 40 and I 60’s pictures and feel that the picture quality of this cam is equal to the I 40 but not as good as the I 60’s pictures. After working with several cams that had a very short delay period, I felt a little aggravated by having to wait through the delay period in order to trigger the next test. One minute delay is a long time, but having a cam that can be set to burst mode would get around this when having the next few pictures taken in rapid succession is needed. With the degree of noise by the filter, folks should not have any problem getting the animals to look at the camera during the shutter period. I will get this cam to the hill for some sample pictures and movies. We are currently only testing one white flash cam so we can run this cam in the same area without having a conflict of flashes. Next week we have more IR cameras coming in so there is a need to try to get as much done on this cam as we can.

07-04-2008 update:  Trigger Time - The official trigger time is now 4.5 seconds and some times we've seen close to 5 seconds.   Daytime without flash turned out to be a second shorter at 3.5 seconds.

07-06-2008 update:  We took some time to observe the deer reaction to the noise clunk being given off by this camera. The slow trigger did not allow us to actually see the reaction of the deer in the pictures. By carefully approaching the feeder area we were able to actually see the camera shutter and watch the animal’s reaction. Each and every time the deer would jump and move off a ways and turn and look at the camera. This time of year and on into early scouting time the temperatures will require to have this cam placed in the 20 to 25 foot range from the target area. In this case this cam would probably run off some pretty good bucks that are a little on the wary side. Later in the year when the daytime temperatures are dropping into the 40 and 50s then this cam could be moved out away from the target area to the point where maybe the noise to the animals would not be so noticeable. The two areas that the company should be looking at are the trigger time and this filter noise clunk. If those two areas were addressed this camera with its features and acceptable pictures would be one hell of a camera for the price. We are now going to see just how good the movie mode is before we conclude this review.

07-09-2008 update:  We moved through all the rez settings and found the picture quality for this camera is above average. The low rez pictures still were presentable and above the quality of some cameras high setting. Even with the very terrible trigger time we found that the movie (video) mode is something to talk about. This camera does a very good job at this. It is not quite up the Scoutguard 550’s quality but for a camera that cost just over a hundred dollars it does a good job. The wide sensing area and being properly placed this camera with a little luck could capture some great footage when the opportunity is presented. Now that we have found the slot that we can fit this camera we do have a job for it and it is going to be a keeper. We have some great cameras that do a better job in the movie mode but none in this price range having the degree of nighttime illumination that is required to reach on out there.

 

Trigger time

without flash 3.5+ seconds

with flash 4.5 - 5 seconds


 

Flash Tests

Sample Photos
5MP (2560x1920)



3MP (1600x1200)


 
Movie Sample (high)
Sample1
Sample2
Sample3
Sample4
Sample5

 

 


 

STEALTH CAM

STC-I430IR

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

Stealth Cam STC-I430IR IR (red flash) (WD-4IR) flash camera review 07-18-2008

Camera Purchased from TrailCamPro.Com

After a bad start with all the Stealth cams tested so far this year I put this camera on the trigger time bench first and proceeded to see just where the trigger time is set. The unofficial trigger time I got was just over four seconds. The white flash Sniper was a little worse and the I-540IR came in about the same. I just finished putting new Energizers in my old WD-2IR and was getting ready to take it back out. This has been one of my main work horses in security. Its trigger time is a couple seconds faster and is a couple years older also. I cannot figure out what has happened with Stealth this year. Things have slowed down in their electronics.The I-430 comes in the standard green WD case with the good latches and seal. There are still a couple of the small weep holes at the bottom of the case where if you are not careful you could have some ant visitors. Weather is not a problem though. The front of the case has the standard 27 emitter IR array as used on other models. Below there is the LCD display, low battery indicator and test indicator. The same wide angle PIT sensor is also used as with all other models. Inside everything is the same as other WD models with a black and white LCD display for programming and below is a set of switches that include the on/off, up, down, confirm, and test buttons. Along the side is the TV out and SD card slot along with the USB connector. This is a single lens camera so there is a filter that moves for the IR operation. This cam has only a slight thud when the filter moves and is not nearly as loud as that of the I-540. At the bottom of the case is the 1/4X20 threaded hole for tripod or tree screw mounting. The external 12 volt jack is next to this threaded hole. The slow trigger is a real bummer but knowing this and knowing how to position the camera because of this will still allow this camera to be somewhat effective for scouting. This will be mainly on feeders, crossings, and other areas where the target animal will be in front of the camera for a number of seconds. I was told by one of the suppliers that he regularly has visitors come by and purchase cameras to ship back overseas to reverse engineer. I don’t think they have asked for a single Stealth yet this year. This camera comes with a 1.3 MP image sensor that does color day and IR night pictures. This 1.3 is interpolated to 4 MP on the top side.

Resolution settings are 0.3, 1.3, and 4.0 for all the still captures and video is 320X240 at 10 fps. There is no fancy stuff on the picture stamping which is just time/date, moon phase and temperature. Missing is the adjustable sensing knob found on the slow Jimmy cam. A quick test at high rez daytime pictures of some of the boss’s flowers showed good color contrast and acceptable pictures. The flash range tests went very well and were out past 40 feet. The sensing was around 30 feet at 71 degrees this morning. This was one of the cams that I had tests scheduled for along with a Bushnell. This camera just works great compared to the other camera. The low rez pictures with this camera are much better than the high rez pictures of the Bushnell. I just wish that Stealth had not played around with the trigger times because if it was back to that 2 second area this would be one hell of a good camera. It is in the box with the others to head for the hill for the series of test sample pictures.

07-24-2008 update:  Well bad news, we will have to pick through the hundred or so whiteout pictures in order to find enough pictures for sample pictures. This is like looking at the 450 all over again. We will try one more time after we replace the dead batteries and see if by chance we can get enough good pictures to show. In the scouting camera business, putting a camera on a tree under the canopy is pretty standard as long as you maintain the orientation. This camera is more like a full sun camera that should be dedicated to areas of bright sun and not under a tree in the shade. One more quick try to catch some pictures and if that fails we are going to have to pull this review.

Trigger time

without flash 4.5 seconds


with flash 4.5 seconds


 

Flash Tests

Sample Photos
4MP (2304x1728)




 
Low Res (640x480) 9 shot burst mode








 
Movie Samples
note: if these do not play, right click and choose "save target as" to your computer and then open those.

 

 


STEALTH CAM

STC-I590

http://www.stealthcam.net

 

 

Stealth Cam STC-I590 white flash 5MP digital camera review 08-30-2008

They call this their digital video scout camera. What I see that is different is the choice of 10 to 180 seconds when the video mode is selected. This camera seems to have some of the same internal parts as some of other cameras like the Moultrie D-40 and GS-200. The physical description is the same as the Stealth I-540IR but where the IR array was located there is a very nice white flash unit. It is advertised to be good to 90 feet and if it is like one of the WD series cameras that I previously tested, it will wipe out your optic nerve if you are to close. Refer to the I-540 IR review for all the case and programming information because this cam shares all the same data except the IR cameras will do the night time movies and this cam will only do still shots at night up to the programmable 9 burst mode. The 2 mega-pixel image sensor is interpolated to 5 MP when selected in the programming. The low setting is the 2MP and will probably be where we will do the most of our testing but we will still show sample pictures at the higher setting. There is still the normal 32 MB internal memory and USB and TV out. Cam can be set up in the single capture with 1 minute delay or the 9 burst with minimum delay. Video mode is adjustable from 10 to 180 seconds daytime only movies. The frame rate is 30 fps at the 640X480 resolution fixed setting. Date/time is printed of the first frame of each video. As with most cameras the exposure and white balance are automatic and not adjustable. Flash on/off is selectable which is mandatory when using a camera in some of the security situations. Pictures have a information strip showing the military time, moon phase, date, and temperature. Stoked up with 8 new energizer batteries and the cover back on I proceeded to try to see where the trigger times were going to fall. The unofficial times were about 41/2 seconds average for a 20 series test. This is pretty sorry and the only thing that will probably save this cam from becoming a 100 yard target will be if it gives us some very good pictures and the wide angle PIR sensor is like that of the I-540IR and will see the animals coming in the peripheral giving the camera plenty of time to get ready to trigger. The I-540IR almost matched some pretty fast cameras when they both were looking at the same area. We will see if our tests show this but right now it is not looking good. Sharing the same case and having some of the same features does not say that what is in the inside will work the same. The 540IR had a Boly camera in it and this cam has a Zoran Coach camera in it. PIR sensors should be the same, but there again is an area that I am going to be looking strong at. The Trail cam market needs a very good white flash camera since Cudde fell on its face with the Capture and Bushnell lost its good trigger time. This leaves the trusty Moultrie D-40 to take up the space. Moultrie M series has the great battery life but the 08 cams have a sorry trigger which has been leaving its users with lots of empty pictures. Lets hope that this cam will perform at least as good or not better than the more expensive Moultrie’s. Flash range tests in the morning then off to the hill for sample movie/pictures.

08-31-2008 update:  The flash range testing went off real easy this morning and it was easy to see that their advertised 90 feet may be correct. I could see things at 50 feet real clear when the camera would flash. I was pretty surprised as to the picture quality. The pictures in the flash on the flash range were not great but pretty good. The sensing distance was 30 feet and the thermometer said 71 degrees this morning. It appears that this camera may very well be equal to the 540IR when it comes to sensing. I will have to see the daytime color before I make any final judgment on the full picture quality. As soon as the sun comes up I will test that and get this cam off to Anthony to put it on the hill. We now have a deep woods setup for 50 foot flash range tests where it is open woods and not have the reflection of the building. We will still do the same flash range tests but just adding one more test to show open woods flash range at 50 feet. For those cameras that are adjusting white balance all the time this will give a better idea of just how good the flash is.

09-02-2008 update:  Since we have had our hands on this cam we have gained a small degree of respect. This is very strange. Our official trigger times were ranging from a half second to five seconds. Sometimes the camera will see our reflection off the clock and trigger at the wrong time so on occasion we have to turn the clock a little sideways so this does not happen. This camera was still doing the same thing. We finally figured out that this camera has a very wide peripheral range and when we would get up close to the side of the camera it would see us every time. We had to remain in back of the camera for it not to see us. The times started to fall into a pattern of around 5 seconds for both flash and non flash pictures. Well the test will be whether or not it is sensing better than it is seeing. We figure with this super sensing that it should be somewhat like the 540 IR and still capture good pictures. It has been placed in a situation now to test this and if successful we will stick this cam on the list of keepers. We are also looking at a possible battery issue and if we can get the camera to repeat the first case then we will report that. The pictures are pretty impressive for a hundred dollar camera.   

09-03-2008 update:  Keeper?  YES Two days on the hill and a ton of pictures both day night and high and low rez. All pictures are very sharp and clear and with very good color. The night time flash burns down trees at 65 feet, yet it does not seem to be over powering on close animals. This setup was exactly the same as we had done on the 08 Moultrie I series cameras. Both the Moultrie’s had gazillion whiteout and black out pictures during the transaction, then turn to good color mid day. This camera has always had a critter of some kind in every picture. There have not been any whiteout or blackout pictures taken so far. We had several pictures of just part of the animal, but it was the head and not the tail end we captured. The peripheral vision of the sensor is extreme and it is a little concerning that maybe it might see a little out of view of the camera. I can tell you for a 5 second trigger camera it sure does not miss much that is going around the camera. That would not be the case if the animal was at a full run rather than just walking in. This is one white flash $100 camera that should do a fair job in most folks scouting needs. No word on battery life yet but it looks promising and we will report as soon as the data is gathered. We will gather some quick flicks (videos) and then take it to the field after we get the deep woods flash testing done.

 

09-17-2008 update:  We stuck this bugger in video mode and began to capture some pretty good daytime footage. Then night came along and not a thing. We did not get the stills that the company said we are supposed to be getting. Yanked the batteries and gave it a new tank of gas and put it back out. This time we did get some pretty impressive night time color still pictures. We do like this camera very much once we figure out some of the glitches that low battery will cause. We still have this cam in the keeper list.

 

Trigger Tests
without flash 4.5 seconds

with flash 5.5 seconds
Flash Range
Samples High Res 5MP




Low Res


 
Movie Sample

 

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