2011 Little Acorn LTL-5210A Camera Review - December 25, 2010

2011 LTL-5210A

2010Little Acorn LTL-5210A 12 MP 24 count IR red flash Camera Review

We have already gone through most of this camera with the pre production version of this camera. We now have the final version which has been upgraded to 12 MP and fine tuned over the past several months. We have had our hands on this one for the past three weeks and have had things on hold getting ready for our visit to some of the out of town events that we are researching this year.

From what we know the new distributor Old Boys Outdoors for the US has termed this version the 5210A. In appearance it is a very good looking camouflaged earth green looking pattern that blends in well to a tree. The box includes the backer pad for use without the extra battery holder and the strap and cables. During the getting ready time in the past few weeks, the new distributor has managed to get a few into the hands of some new really great dealers and gone are the shill folks that originally had things messed up. We feel much better and know that the support is there and field reports are flooding some areas of the forums. The few that are out have now gained a following because of the very excellent pictures and function that has been shown and talked about. I have been itching to get hold of this camera and today Anthony dropped it off and I immediately got started. I pulled it out of the box and the battery door hinge was broken at the hinge. I searched the box and found the pin and a small piece of plastic. I grabbed the glue and went to work and I hope it holds after it dries. I did my battery trick and cleaned a card and headed out the door while punching in a few programming buttons. I caught a few 5 MP samples and pulled the card and zoomed them up to over 200% just to verify the quality. It was there, and I am impressed so far. The factory folks say "we interpolated to 12 MP but we are different from most". When asked what they meant they just stated that "we do interpolation the right way and do not fudge". I think most will agree that they may have something going on here. Our first few cameras were 3 MP to 5 MP but this camera is 5 and 12 MP only with the video coming in at 640X480 and 320X240. Please refer to the first review for all the size and dimension specifications because they have not changed.

The designers have done a good job with the programming and it is just very simple straight forward to do. I could almost say that if I were to pick a favorite camera this year I might consider naming this one because as we found faults they got fixed and they stayed fixed. It has been a steady climb to the positive since day one, which has made working with the camera a pleasure.

We will do a quick trigger check and flash range but the majority of the review is going to be looking at picture quality both day and night. The basic camera is very much the same as the original we tested so what we are looking at is the degree of refinements that have been made and though the photo file size is large we will also look at the 12 MP captures. So it is to to the trigger table and then to the hill.

12-25-2010 update: Yea, its Christmas day and I am still playing around with this camera. This new push to have time lapse incorporated into the program has been here on this camera since they started. We watched the attention to the shill proponents push their products and still they were having some issues with low resolution and very short battery life. I know this camera will go all the way to 12 MP through interpolation, but the full 5 MP sensor gives good enough picture quality in time lapse at that setting that even the distant pictures can be zoomed for more detail. This is now making this camera fit yet into another slot that was only occupied by a much more expensive camera that is being produced right here in the US. This next year you will see this feature being more accepted and the popularity of the units that just only do time lapse slide away with this competition. Being able to do both the trail camera function and time lapse will become commonplace in the upcoming new market. It just happens that these folks are doing it now for a much smaller price.

12-30-2010 update: Some of the changes we have noted are that there is an improvement in the picture quality that was discussed above and a new zoom feature on the view screen that allows the user to zoom up to 16 times the original. With the increased definition the user can get some good detail in the field by just using the view screen and a little zoom to areas in the picture that are of interest. Yet untested by us they say that the camera will first take a picture then go into the video mode when selected, giving the best of both features. Once we look at this we will report. There are new operating parameters for cold weather function which is now stated to function down to about -22 degrees without any problems in function. I have seen even more good comments by field users on the forums this week so the popularity in now gaining a following.

We hit the hill and did the day range/8 plate tests and later did the flash range and it gave us good sensing out to about 60 feet at 40 degrees. You can view the range pictures and make up your own mind but we find very little fault with them. If our herd returns to gobble up some of the free corn from the feeders we will capture some field samples and maybe go ahead and get the trigger test done also.

A late note about the day/night range pictures: please notice that one is in Fahrenheit and the other is in centigrade so now with a recent firmware upgrade this can be selected through programming.

01-01-11 update: The new year is here and we are now showing some of what this camera is going to do for us during the next few months. The sample pictures for the most part are very good both day and night and the flash range are staying in tune with the sensing zone. The transition periods are being held tight with some slightly dark pictures but no white out pictures showing up yet. We are very happy with the results so far including the second and a half trigger times.

We explained our dilemma to the manufacture and distributor with the broken door which was felt to be caused by some rough handling during its trip to us by the shipping facility. The thumb hold that sticks out to aid in the door being opened had taken a sharp blow from the marks on the box. This was the second camera that we heard of being shook-up in shipping where the other one just had the light pipe from the sensor LED shook loose inside the case. Our patch job with the glue is holding even through the weather and constant handling. The seasonal increase in the volume of material being shipped for the holidays may also have played a small part in these things happening.

Another pleasant surprise is our herd has returned to the area to assist us in having loyal subjects strutting across allowing the cameras to capture their movement. This may also be because of the snow and turn to much lower temperatures during the past two weeks. The season is winding down and will be over soon so pressure will be off again. Our largest set of horns has yet to re appear though. Our last set of pictures of him he had a hurt knee.

02-10-2011 update: Well after 40 days we finally went back and gathered a few more pictures. As you can see by the new sample pictures this camera is still doing a good job. Everything has worked as it should and no issues so far have stood out. We have now changed over to video and will catch a few prior to pulling the plug on this camera.

There is one thing that we need to mention and that is that one of the original outfits that was trying to spoof its way into selling these cameras has found their way back as a posing as a dealer. It was our understanding that they had been banned. Their site uses the namesake as part of the title so if you have suspicions about someone that maybe selling the knockoff versions, it would probably be very wise that you first check with the good people at Old Boys Outdoors prior making a deal. There are also vendors that frequent our forum and site that sell this camera and even if you choose not to buy from them they are good enough people that they will steer you in the right direction should you have a question.

02-14-2010 update: Spent a good long time going over a few of the videos we captured and I think I am going to have to say that the video feature on this camera is not its best feature. My first thought is that Anthony had the camera set on a very low setting but that was not the case. The sharpness that we see in the still pictures have given away to some pretty fuzzy videos, at least on this test camera that we are using.

03-01-2011 update: We had another outing and collected a bunch more of video time. This time we did minor aim adjustments and it seemed to help because the video quality was up somewhat. Please view the samples to see what I mean. Though they are not as sharp and clear as many we have seen they are not too bad. The reflective environment has a lot to do with how well this camera does in the quality department. Open spaces may not produce these same results.

03-7-2011 update: Still in the video mode we fired up one of our Uway XtendIR black flash converters and covered the array so only the black flash from the XtendIR flash would be going down range. The results were pretty good (view sample) so if you are one of the proud owners of an XtendIR you can also use it with good results with this camera which now enters the list of the cameras that function well with this converter. Another reason to have one of these in your inventory.

04-02-2011 update: Well we now have 3618 pictures and 682 ten second videos and this camera is still going. Most people should be very pleased with the operation and function of this little camera. So far we have heard of good support as long as you stay away from the knock-off dealers and deal with authorized dealers.

04-16-2011 update: Well we have the final closing figures and they are three months and five days with 5478 pictures and 682 ten second videos. This has been a great little camera to work with and it has served us well. We really liked this camera. We will now close this review.

Trigger Tests
(without flash 1.29 seconds)

(with flash 1.34 seconds)

Flash Range (12MP)

Day Range/8 Plate (5MP)

Video Samples

In this clip we demonstrate hooking the Uway Xtendir-B to this camera in video mode.


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