2011 Bresser 360 Degree Camera Review - August 04, 2011

2011 Bresser 360 Degree Camera

2011 Bresser 360 degree 96 count red flash IR 5 MP camera

We were definitely not going to do a review on this camera because we had attempted to contact the company several times and all request went without reply. We then ran into a situation where we had a space reserved for the Spypoint cameras and we had to change our minds which left a big opening to fill in a very busy schedule. The availability of replacement cameras was still weeks out on our schedule, so this camera became available and we decided to go ahead and use our time to at least take a quick look and see if it has any potential as a true trail camera. Being very different in design it tweaked a degree of interest which also aided in our decision.

The description says 96 count but this is a very big misnomer. The flash wraps around the entire camera so the illumination would only be effective in the direction of where and if there is an animal present. The balance of the flash would just be a waste of battery life in the directions where there are no target animals provided the design fires the entire array for a single trigger. The camera looks at a hyperbolic mirror (curved) and through software produces a flat picture. There are also 6 PIR sensors which wrap around the camera and cover the entire 360 degrees around the camera. The flash is rated to 40 feet which we feel may be a bit of a stretch but it will be tested. According to the specifications they say that we can expect a 1 second trigger time which will also be tested very carefully. The delay time is not listed so we will have to test that. It does have a view screen for field and programming functions. The camera does 5 MP stills and video with sound. The tank holds 4 D cells and the data says that we can expect 24 hours of continuous operation which we are not sure exactly what that means but we will give it the normal method of evaluation to see how long they last during what we feel is normal operation.

The SD card limit is up to 8 gigs which should be plenty for a 5 MP camera. There is also a 6 volt external battery port for a boost in the battery life data. Being a full 16 inches tall and a lot of that being highly reflective clear plastic, it definitely will be hard to hide this monster in the field. There is absolutely no security built into this camera. There is a tri-pod hole in the bottom center of the camera. The instructions state software supplied but we do not know yet whether or not I can just pull the card and view the results on my computer or if it is necessary to have some software on the computer just to view the images. All this will be answered as we get into this a lot deeper.

It is a solid good looking camera but it certainly has its work cut out to give us a good reason and method of using this camera in a true field hunting situation. It is supposed to come with a strap so do we just lean it against the tree and strap it down?? Then there is a tripod insert on the bottom which means it would have to be placed out in the open on a tripod. There is also a metal box looking bracket with screws sticking out of the sides which I think is meant for some type of post mount. We are just going to have to feel our way through all these questions as we get to them. Right now there is our WGI selection of cameras that has the floor but we will be getting to this as time allows.

Well, this is very strange because over the years we all have been taught to avoid pointing your camera east and west to avoid looking into the sun during the morning and afternoon. Now imagine that you have a 360 degree look at things during the day time and it is early morning or late evening which is prime time for movement. Over 50% of your viewing area is now in jeopardy. If it is mounted on a tree then there is also another percentage is going to be missing and blocked by the tree. This only leaves the north south avenues for field of view. This would not be an issue during the with flash periods except for the area behind the tree. This makes it only of max value if you mount it on a tri-pod out in the middle of an open area to achieve the maximum amount of value. This being the case then all animals would also have to be within the sensing range out in the middle of this open area. There may very well be an ideal situation where a person could maybe get full use of this design but unless that situation is only at night I cant think of any.

This is looking like a strong case for conventional scouting cameras. We had scheduled a test on the Stealth Cam Wideeye which failed to make the final production list this year. What was attractive about that camera was its wide angle lens which we thought might have been a good idea. The wide angle would capture a lot of ground and could be aimed away from the rising or setting sun. There are just too many questions without a bunch of field time. We are just going to have to give a fair and honest look to see if we can answer many of these questions.

The camera already took a bit of a hit when a friend saw it in the lab and asked, ya expecting a power failure? I ask why and he said why do you have your camping lantern out? I had to admit that he was not far from being wrong.

When the lantern arrived it was packed in a piece of sponge in a cardboard box. There were no instructions in the box. The only other thing that arrived was the metal bracket and two cables. The strap was not included as the advertisement advised. There was no software (disk) with the camera so the results could be viewed.

After setting it up and then listening to the friends comments about this monster I just about stuck it back in the box and sent it back. I will give it a couple of days but for sure I can see no real reason to own one of these unless it was for some kind of security purpose but not stuck out in the woods looking like a glass fire hydrant. It is useless to me as a camera without the software to view the pictures so what this report is all about is for information and to possibly keep others from making the same mistake as I did.

I went ahead and installed a set of cells and card and ran through the programming which is very straight forward. The delay period is minimum of 1 minute and it does have a burst up to 6 count. The view of what is on the card using the view screen (2 inch) is worthless because all you see is a big round swirl that is suppose to be a picture. It does however show that the camera took a photo.

When the card is put in my card reader on my computer I also get the big round swirl of a picture. This means that the software is definitely needed to use this camera. The case against this camera just grew a few more points. There is also a password protection in the menu. There is no support on the net for this camera so I could not download anything thus I am stuck with a 15 inch camp lantern that I cannot use. My vendor also attempted to work for me but so far no results there either. As it stands right now I think that this review is closed. I will also say that I just dont think that the buying public will be very happy even if they got the whole nine yards with disk and all, it is just not very practical at all as a scouting tool.

Going through a late night and an early morning I have little more negative things to say. The over all height of this camera is 15 inches. All but three inches of that height is covered by a clear plastic that is very easy to scratch and it is also a magnet for dust and dew. Before I retired last night I set up on a stool on the back 40 and left it to run overnight. There were no pictures on it this morning except for one of me turning it off. The plastic was covered with a fog of moisture this morning. I brought it in and wiped it down and while doing that I found that the 6 PIR fresnel lenses are somewhat out of shape. Some are concave and some are convex which indicates an installation problem and should also cause a focus problem. I set this camera up next to a Reconyx 600 which is no mini cam by any means to give a reference as to size. (see picture below) To transport this camera to the field would require some type of padded protective case because of the vast expanse of scratch able plastic. I would think some type of weather lid may also be needed to keep the moisture off the exterior of the plastic where the reflective mirror where the image is turned down into the camera lens. Today this monster is going to take a one way trip back to the vendor. We also understand that a good number of these same devices have been returned to that same vendor.

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