WGI IR10X (pulse 10x) 10 MP 91 count IR red flash
digital (WiFi capable) camera review
We went through a big hassle trying to obtain this camera and module.
After the third attempt I finally found it at Cheaper
than Dirt and the cost with module was about $200. The
camera finally arrived and my first thought was damn
this is a monster. A big square box that measures about
6 inches by 8 inches and sticks out off the tree about 4
inches. There is a three inch square array with a lens
in the center. Hanging on the tree the array is very
visible in the day light at a good distance. Should you
choose to use this camera with the module then the
height would grow by another 3 inches.
The camera is powered by a supplied 6 volt SLA battery and when
installed you have a degree of weight to hang on the
tree. This becomes a problem for the little bungee cords
that came with it. There are no strap slots so you have
to maybe upgrade to a little heavier bungee to safely
hang this camera.
The camera has a kind of a wedge shape to it and the lens/array is top
center and the three sensors for PIR function are below
that. The two function indicators are across the bottom
front. The external 12 volt and tri-pod insert are on
the bottom. The right side of the camera has a large
paddle latch assembly that is hard to access once hung
on the tree because it reaches all the way to the back
edge of the side. At the top of the camera are the
standoffs to support the module along with a plug to be
removed when the module is installed. There is a pocket
inside to lock this plug into so it does not get lost.
Inside the camera is the SD card slot and viewer on the
left and the control buttons and battery compartment on
Hinge and latch assemblies seem to be fairly heavy and the door has a
complete seal. The leak test went well but there is a
design problem with the case. When wet the top slope of
the camera makes water hang at the junction of the door
and unless you dry everything off real good the moisture
will go strait down onto the switches when the door is
opened. I decided that it probably would not be a good
idea to do a drop test with this camera due to the
weight of the SLA battery and the thin plastic.
This is another camera that cannot just be set up for testing, it must
be hung because of there is no flat surface on the
bottom and it will not free stand without being
supported. This makes a lot of my normally fast and easy
tests harder to do.
I unpacked the WiFi module and wanted to just see how it connected but
that was a big letdown. There is a big Fieldnet on the
front of the module but as near as I can tell that is
actually the back of the module. This leaves the serial
number sticker out facing the front. This just does not
make sense. The tiny plug is such that you cannot
determine the correct polarity, except it does not want
to seem to plug in with the name facing the front. Next
comes another bit of a surprise. There is a remote
handset for this setup and it requires a battery that is
not supplied. I figure there is a good reason for it not
being supplied, because it is not readily available
through normal sources. Two hours of burning gas and I
determined that it is not available unless I order on
line somewhere. So as of now I will say that the module
and the WiFi setup will not get tested. I also found
that there is no supplied software with the module and
requires a on line visit to down load from somewhere
prior to being able to test to see if what we just
purchased works. All the software in the world will not
help the lack of battery to make it all function so that
will not be tested. I did find a note where it says to
install the module backwards on certain cameras????
There seems to be no mention about the remote in the
What we now have is a 10 MP camera to test and put through its paces
once I get the required charge on the battery.
The selectable resolutions are 10, 8, and 5 MP and the video is the
standard 640X480 and 320X240. Down range lighting is
supplied by a massive 91 count array that is rated out
to 90 feet. The PIR uses the side sensors (three setup)
like the little Acorn camera and they call it Quickdraw.
It is suppose to sense out to 60 feet which is still 30
feet inside the flash range. The card size is limited to
16 gig and says SDHC so there should not be any class
limitations. This is a very basic camera with not a lot
of frills except for having a top resolution of 10 MP. I
would think we will do most of our testing on the 5 MP
setting. The sample pictures will be done in all three
resolutions. Here is the really good news, provided it
tests out as advertized. This is the delay down to 15
seconds which is good but not great. These delay
settings are also available 30s, 1m, 2m, 5m, and 10m.
Without the module mess to deal with this review just became a lot
easier. The power of advertizing sure makes people do
some strange things and I certainly fell for it on this
one. Off to some camera testing.
Programming and setup was easy and strait forward.
Initial trigger tests were not determined because I
could not repeat a trigger over and over for some
reason. There may be some tactic I have to figure out
about this version of tri sensor technology. Dark room
pictures were OK but not great. Outside pictures were
pretty fuzzy. I was using the middle setting which is 8
MP for those tests. Color was good but without the
definition it was still somewhat lacking. I came back
into the lab thinking I may have a shipping smudge on
the lens but it was clear and shiny. The informal delay
tests showed it from 15 to 25 seconds but that could be
because of the flakey triggering. I reset the sensing to
high and am going to see if that makes any difference. I
have had a lot of trouble with the SD card slot being
very tight and not wanting to allow the card to slip in
the slot. After the sensitivity adjustment the trigger
testing seemed to have a more repeatable aspect. As near
as I can tell the trigger time is near a second and that
is if you cross the front. Coming strait in, it appears
to be longer but more testing is needed to affirm that
fact. The delay is over 15 seconds by as much as 10
seconds and that also seemed to be random because I did
have several 18 second intervals. Anyway these are just
the initial tests and a more formal test will be done
later as we get deeper into this camera.
I went ahead and spent about another hour trying to
figure out if I could adapt the remote to maybe another
battery but this ill designed piece of stuff does not
even have the polarity posted for battery installation,
should you be fortunate enough to be able to locate one.
Well anyway we will be able to test the camera itself.
This is pretty disappointing to find this out this far
into the process. It should have been shipped with a
compatible battery or they should have chosen a more
standard cell for power.
Another hour trying to digest everything about this
setup on their web site and the picture of the 10X
camera with the module installed shows it installed with
the writing to the front and the booklet says to reverse
and put the writing to the back. There is just no
mention of the remote other than saying it is used to
turn the module on and off.
09-01-11 update: It looks like that many
who want to use this device should be aware that when
ever they place the order for the camera and module that
they also place an order for the special battery. Two
days and even a request on our forum and we still cannot
locate a battery without maybe making some bid on ebay
for such. This definitely does not speak well for the
design and should prompt the manufacturer to include a
battery or change to a more standard means of power. The
catalog companies should put the requires special
battery in their product description also.
09-02-2011 update: The big wheels on the
inter net started to turn and we heard from a number of
folks in reference to the battery situation. Some have
had good luck going to Radio Shack for this battery. My
calls there did not find any locally but I have yet to
travel across town to the Battery
Plus store to check. Anyway we now think that we will be
able to acquire a battery by the time we get to that
portion of the review. We also heard that our
suggestion as to having a battery shipped in the package
will be adapted in the near future. This will solve a
good many issues. The day range picture was taken using
the HIGH setting and it also came out like my initial
tests as being somewhat fuzzy and lacked definition. The
trigger time tests came out without conclusion and will
have to be analyzed a little further. Our system for
some reason came out very slow in both day and with
flash. My initial testing had some triggers maybe in the
1 second range but I was not able to determine just
which kind of action was best required to trigger during
my short in house testing. I sent it out to Anthony and
when I saw the results I knew there may be something
wrong. We will spend a little more time and figure it
out completely as time allows. In the mean time we will
start to gather some sample pictures in each resolution
and then move on to both video resolutions.
09-02-2011 update #2: With my business mail
I am forever receiving all these little envelopes that
contain sample pens and other promotional items from
vendors that are in the printing business. Today I
received such an envelope that was just to Bill and my
address and had no return address. Inside was a wad of
toilet tissue and a single small battery in the center.
Some person felt sorry for my dilemma and sent me a
battery for the remote. I will say thank you to who ever
you are. This battery is a whole lot smaller than I had
predicted judging from the hole that it is suppose to
fit in. It is about as big as a pencil and only 1 and
1/16 inches long. Well that problem is solved and as
time allows we will now be able to get to the WiFi test.
Our Radio Shack said they no longer carry that battery.
09-03-2011 update: Another day and this
time we had our herd take what may be a holiday weekend
off, because they did not show up. The only visitor was
a skinny little fox. The night pictures are also fuzzy
and we have a tremendous amount of splash from the
array, even though the aim is what we feel is proper.
These flash range pictures are on the top 10 MP setting.
The balance of the lab tests showed that the delay
averaged out at 28 seconds for the 15 second setting.
The sensing was at 47 feet for this hot 85 degree
evening. We are going to ask for some other users to
post a couple pictures so we can maybe judge if the
fuzzy pictures are related to just this camera or maybe
those also. The very cheap N2 camera from this company
has some really great pictures so it does not make sense
that the top of the line would have this issue.
There is also another negative that seems to be
happening with this camera. We have asked for feedback
from others but no one has answered as of this report.
The negative we have found is that the filter clunk is
pretty loud and it happens every time the camera
flashes. We just cannot get any field data on this
camera either. We dont know if no one has purchased
them or if they did they are not talking about it.
09-04-2011 update: We installed the Wifi
module on the camera today and began our testing.
The first thing we noticed is that neither the wifi or
the remote signal would operate through the walls of the
house but outside it appeared to have the full range of
300+ feet (line of sight). The first test was to
see if I actually needed the download from WGI. I
clicked the remote button and waited a few seconds.
I then clicked "View Wireless Networks" on my Windows 7
laptop. I selected the WGI unit from the list and
clicked "Connect". I was told "Unable to connect".
I then went to the WGI main website and the download for
the Windows app was in the middle of the page. I
downloaded the app which was zipped and unzipped it.
There was a Setup.exe which I ran and it installed
FieldNet software App on my laptop. I then
reconnected to the WGI under wireless networks and it
allowed the connection which was listed as a Wireless N
I launched the fieldnet application and after clicking
reconnect it found the wifi unit and connected itself.
It provided a list of 196 photos in 10MP without
thumbnails. I clicked the "download all" button
and timed the download. I then computed the
average download speed and it came out at 1.3kb/s which
is fairly good. The total download was 396MB and
took 5 minutes. Painless. I disconnected my wifi.
The photos that are downloaded are renamed and
YYYY-MM-DD-HH-NN is prepended to the original file name.
You must download a photo or photos then view them
locally. There is no option to view remotely.
Also, there is no "delete all" button. It appears
that you must select each photo or group of them one at
a time and click the delete button.
Below are the screen shots of the Windows FieldNet
09-04-2011 update #2: I waited for Anthony
to get done playing the WiFi game and recorded the
results. This camera probably needs to be situated some
where a little further away from the target area than
what the normal user would think. It has a very strong
flash and it is very much over powering on anything as
far out as 30 feet. Please view the sample pictures and
see the results of our first samples in the 10 MP
setting. Next evaluation is the day color pictures. They
are OK but definitely not nearly as good as the pictures
off its little brother the N2. During this first run of
about a hundred and fifty pictures we did not experience
any whiteout pictures but the transition pictures were a
bit grainy and dark. The downloaded pictures were the
same quality as the pictures coming straight off the
card, so there is no degrading of quality during that
I logged a couple more hours going over the practicality
of this system. First let me say that it does work but
it will only serve to allow access to the pictures on
your card that is in the camera. Lets say that the
camera is in a high volume traffic area and you are
getting maybe 50+ pictures a day. The card size to hold
and store 10 MP file sized pictures for maybe a week
(350+ pictures) would have to be 4 gig or above. You
then haul into your area but stay the 300 feet away with
your download device and copy off the weeks pictures.
You cannot clear the card, the pictures will still
remain on the card and the following weeks pictures
will also be put on that same card. Depending on your
choice of card size will determine just when you must
actually visit the camera and swap out the card. So what
I am saying is the card size and your choice of
resolution setting will determine just how often you
have to actually visit the camera and not just download
from a distance. Battery
data is also not transmitted so you must also know the
approximate length of time the camera can be deployed on
a single charge. The field reports so far have been an
average of two weeks. We have not yet determined what
our battery life will be. There will be more to follow
as we did a little deeper.
09-05-2011 update: Being that this is their
flag ship we felt that maybe the results as far as
picture quality was maybe just our own unit. We
requested that other users send us some pictures so we
could make a comparison. The results were basically the
same. The pictures are good but not sharp and
clear as we have seen on most of the other WGI cameras
that are currently being reviewed. We had seen this
before with the Reconyx cameras early shipments. Their
shop told me that the focus had slipped a little bit due
to a formula that was applied to prevent the focus from
being turned or rattled around during handling. That
formula had actually shrunk and pulled the focus out of
adjustment. This was a very quick fix for their customer
service people because they had ours back in a couple
days. We do not know if this is the case here but it
does seem strange that the top of the line cam would not
perform as well as their bottom cam in the picture
09-07-2011 update: The medium setting (8MP)
also came out about the same with no change in quality
except for a smaller file size. We have determined that
this is about as good as it is going to get with this
camera. We have another rez setting then its on to the
video setting before we wrap this review up.
09-08-2011 update: The next setting was low
rez and the picture quality still remains the same but
it is my favorite setting for this camera. This is the 5
MP setting which is the base rez for the sensor and is
more than enough picture size for scouting. The file
size is smaller and easier to handle. Next will be the
video settings and we will be done with this unit.
09-11-11 update: Our first outing in video
let us know that the video has sound and that seemed to
work very well. The sensing during this test has one
capture out past 80 feet which was pretty amazing but
out night temperatures have now dropped into the 60s.
The video quality in the high setting works but is still
like the pictures where there is a degree of fuzziness
even with the day color captures.
09-21-2011 update: The old 8X camera we
tested sure made us think we would have about the same
results from this camera as far as picture quality. Most
every thing went well in the review but we did have the
fuzzy picture issue which still has us puzzled because
of what we saw during the N2 review. We are now running
out the battery life and will report on that as that
happens. This review is closed.
10-16-2011 update: We have continued to
follow the field reports on this camera and some have
had better pictures than our camera but all have pretty
well had issues with the module. A good portion of the
problems is with the remote and the battery. The battery
life of the camera was 30 days with 938 pictures and 233
fifteen second videos. The remote battery lasted only
about a week and then became weak and required that the
remote be within a few feet to make the module function.
The camera its self has been received well because of
its very strong flash. This concludes all evaluations of
10-21-2011 update: Very strange, after we
completed the battery life test after the initial
charge. We tried to charge the supplied
6 volt cell and found that the battery is no longer any
good and will not take a charge. The process of waiting
for the camera to completely stop and gathering that
data evidently caused the SLA
battery to fail. So those who have this camera probably
should not wait until the battery is all the way drained
before bringing it back in to be recharged. This would
indicate that maybe the recharging process should be
done at about a two week interval when the picture count
reaches about a thousand pictures. Then the battery
should be able to be recharged.
10-29-2011 update: I went to work and
finally found a new battery for this camera at Battery
Plus and got it charged. It required that I bend the
terminals in order for this new battery to make contact
with the spring terminals inside the camera. I also
found that if the camera receives a good bump from the
side, the battery terminals will again bend down and
again fail to meet the spring contacts in the camera. I
found this to be true with the original battery also.
This was an $18 recovery cost to get this camera back
working. The camera failed to maintain the time date
data internally during the time to acquire the new