2011 WGI N4 (Red 4) IR 18 count red flash 4 MP
(fixed) digital camera review
The third in this series we are testing and this time we are back to the
red IR flash with day/night video capability.
This is a fixed 4 MP camera or a 640X480 video
camera. It will only go down to 30 seconds on
the delay or up 1, 2, and 5 minutes selectable
through programming. The PIR is fixed and not
adjustable and rated out to 40 feet. SD card is
up to 16 gig which is nice but would probably be
over kill for a 4 MP camera. Battery life is
rated to 30 days. We will look at this closely.
The satin black plastic case is about five inches square and a little
over two inches thick. There are four loops on
the corners that will accommodate either straps
or bungee cords (supplied). The array is a
single line of eighteen emitters wrapped around
the main camera lens. These are high
insensitivity and do push a good amount of light
down range. Below the array is the PIR and its
associated indicators. The LCD is across the
bottom front next to the external on/off button.
There is a 6v external battery port on the side
of the camera. The bottom is a hinged door that
opens up to expose the battery tube compartment
(4 C cells) and USB/SD card ports. Because of
this door/hinge arrangement this camera cannot
be set up on its bottom without some other
support to keep it upright. The bottom door on
this unit is also warped but still seals fine
with no leaks.
Programming was very easy and the instruction booklet was easy to follow
and had good graphics to guide the user. The
location of the switches verses the LCD screen
requires that you have this camera off the tree
to service. The buttons are well marked but hard
to access because of the bottom lid and their
location that is up in a corner.
With this camera full of new tested cells and programmed I ran it
through some basic evaluations. Trigger seemed
to be well under two seconds and the IR flash
pictures were pretty good but did not grab me
like this cameras little brother the 2 MP (N
2). Outside tests in the bright sun came out
sharp and clear but we still liked the little
brothers pictures. This camera sells from $70
to $90 so this is a very budget minded camera
with both still and video options. We are sure
many will find that it will fit into one of
those addiction caused needs.
Ok, this applies to all the
WGI cameras. This is the two small indicators
that they use to show PIR function and also the
write to card after capture. Both are very
useful but can also give away the cameras
location. I tried some of the self adhesive dots
from the office supply store and they work well
and can be bought in different colors. They do
leave residue when removed, unless you find the
removable variety. Of all the things I have
tried I found that a small cheap role of black
electrical tape (not the shiny type) with the
dull finish works best. It can be lifted and
moved to the side during setup and once all this
is done they can be replaced back over the
indicators and because the tape is opaque no
light shines thru.
It is time to get this camera in line to
have all the good stuff looked at and some
official information added to its review.
Again, the next in line got its time on the
bench and range. The bench showed trigger at
1.29 for day and 1.39 for flash. The delay set
at 30 seconds tweaked out at 35 seconds. Sensing
was 10 feet weaker with this camera than all the
others tested today. It came in at 40 feet for
this 85 degree day. The night with flash
pictures are very clear and sharp but have a
definite gray cast to them where the other IR
cameras were more black and white. Day with
color is somewhat washed and not strong as
normal in color. There is also a bit of
fuzziness to the detail.
We collected some of our sample pictures and the
detail and color was good. There was some motion
blur and the night time with flash showed the
grey cast to all pictures. This is not a bad
thing but it is not the sharp black and white
tone we have seen on other cameras like the N2.
This same tone can be seen on the
mini camera night time pictures.
08-13-2011 update: Moving on to the
video setting this camera seemed to like this a
little better. We did how ever get a few light
pictures but not full white out like we found on
the X6 camera. The video setting produces some
pretty good samples and the grey ting to the
pictures is not there when the flash is on.
We have moved through the modes and reported
with samples. We are now waiting for the battery
life, which will be reported on later as we
finally see them depleted. This review is closed
and that battery life will be reported later as
we get it.
life lasted 41 days with 911 photos taken and 58
( without flash )
( with flash )