2010 UWay NightTrakker NT50B 5 MP Review - May 15, 2010
2010 NightTrakker NT50B
Uway Security Enclosure
Uway NightTrakker NT50 IR Camera Features
05-10-2010 Update: We have both the NT50 and the NT50B cameras and we are testing these. Initially our findings will be reported only to Uway as is standard practice with many new cameras. Once we are given the go ahead and have production cameras, we will begin to post the results of our testing.
06-29-2010 Update: As commercial cameras go this camera would probably qualify as being near high end in performance and features but low end in price. Having selectable flash range is a new feature that we have not seen much on other cameras. All of these features are stuck in a small 6 inch tall and 3 and a half inches wide package. The thickness of this camera hugs the tree at under three inches. The advertised illumination area is a selectable 40 to 60 feet depending on your needs and how far the target area is. Having a trigger time in the 1.5 second second time frame, according to Uway, with a minimum delay of 5 seconds should catch about anything that happened past the front of the camera. If that isnt quick enough you could also program up to a 10 picture burst. Standard 640X440 video is the only movie setting (with sound) but it cam be adjusted from 10 seconds out to 1 minute. Power comes from 4 Cs or external a SLA battery to give it a good long stay in the field if you choose up to 16 gigs of SD card storage to write your pictures to. This camera does have a remote which you can do a live playback of your photos or video with a zoom feature. Date/time along with temperature/moon phase is on the information strip on each photo. Something new in this area is when you are in burst this camera labels the picture sequence also. Having Cs as the main battery (4) supply I am thinking that maybe the lithium 8X AA cells with adaptors might be the way to go and it will probably be one of our tests. With standard C cells they say you can expect 6 months of battery life. The techno crowd will like the 4 digit security lock out if you choose to use a security code to protect your camera. Full of four C cells this camera is a heavy little chunk for its size. My first run and play with all the gadget and buttons on this camera let me know that I just might have one h___ of a good camera in my hand. It got a whole lot of my attention very fast.
The history of how this device grew from some scratching on a note pad to a finished product has been a long and hard fought project. We have been feed bits and pieces about the progress all the way through. They would just give us just enough information to keep our curiosity at its peak. Now that it is near the finished stage the 786th tweak to the circuits was happening as we started the review and a mail told us just hold off we will have to send you another camera sample that is better in some tiny area that they were not satisfied with. Attention to detail seems to be the norm as we cruise to the finish line and we can go into a formal review. The specifications should remain the same and that is why I am able to get a little done while the final adjustments are happening. Being very upgradeable electronically, all we have to do is load a little firmware adjustment and then we can proceed. This is one of the areas we could not understand when we were dealing with the Bushnell XLT that would have saved a lot of time and trouble without having to buy/test camera after camera to keep going with the review. Simple firmware adjustments have been applied by us for a number of companies without incident. Keep Time just seems not to trust anyone with the task of doing a simple firmware upgrade install.
Through the bottom access door is a rubber plug that appears to be an external battery port. This is actually a socket to plug the Uway ExtendIR-I and ExtendIR-B into if you choose to upgrade the flash. Once plugged in then you can program the flash on or off depending on type of operation you choose. For those who would want to switch to black flash then you would just turn the flash off and operate off the ExtendIRs flash. Should you choose the red flash ExtendIR then you could leave the flash on plus the ExtendIRs flash and you could light up the world. You could also select to have the red flash off and just operate with the ExtendIR only. This ties the two units together as a very functional accessory.
The horse got here before they sent the barn. We had all the accessory cables, security boxes, angle adjusting brackets and paraphernalia. Now we can begin to visualize how this package all fits together. The procedure with all other camera companies has been to rush to get the camera to market then at a later date work on getting security boxes and cables made to protect the investment. These guys had that all ready ahead of time.
The hill has been buzzing with activity the past couple days with the pre shipping business slowly dwindling down to what now is just a slow back and forth with an occasional tweak to get everything finalized and that giant pallet of cameras is lifted onto that plane and customs says go to work selling the product of two years hard work.
We wish them well with this new introduction. The late long hours (recorded by time and date on E mails) to get their dream to market in time has been a monumental task. The plan was a release around the first of the year but because of their attention to detail that never happened. I believe the extra effort will shine through their product and everyone will have only good things to say. I hope that statement follows through with us and our review also. The months have passed and there has been more stops put on these cameras than we can count. Just when everything was falling in place we would get the notification that it was on hold. Remember we have had the body here and have been dealing with firmware differences only for a long time. In this whole process there have also been some hardware differences and we have been told that the firmware is in its last tweak period and we will be presented with a couple new bodies with new hardware to load what ever is new in the firmware area and maybe we can give a final go and start talking about these creations.
07-23-2010 update: Black flash difficulties in development made this NT-50B version a nightmare for the developers and the changes came and went so quickly we had no way to keep up with the notes of progress. In the past month things like the port for the XtendIR were dropped and attention was directed at finalizing quality of flash/picture/and function. The trigger times finally settled down to 1.34 day and 1.39 with flash. Day range and eight plate showed good clarity which pleased everyone who viewed the pictures so far. The night flash range and quality of those pictures was a hang up for a while (with testing different firmwares) but unless things change we can say that it is good out to 50 feet and the picture quality is well above average. Field sample pictures/video show a high level of quality so we can now settle down and maybe get moving on this review.
The excitement of having this cam finally hit the market and
watching the new faults found during the early weeks and see just
how the company supported the customers has been an experience in
its self. Though they have had the growing pains of producing a
camera from scratch and finally getting a product to market is a
feat in itself. The problems at first were many but slowly the
support weeded out the bad components, firmwares and now they have
a usable product. We will still be watching but we are going to call
this review to a close.