2011 DLC Covert Edge Camera Report - September 24, 2011

2011 Covert Edge

2011 Covert Edge series 8.1 and 8.1TL 30 count 8 MP red flash camera informational report

The normal process that I go through when I know that I have a particular camera on the way in for our reports is to research ahead of time and know everything that I can prior to its arrival. That process just plumb went to hell with this camera. The vendors seemed to have their own set of specifications and there was a great deal of differences found. Many were like the video mode or modes, array count, depending on vendor sites and the cost per unit. The prices ranged from a low of around $130 all the way up to $220. I know that the time lapse version is more expensive but those prices were also much different depending on where you looked.

The two cameras we have are the CO 2274 time lapse and the CO 2366 standard. Both cameras come in a fall brown leaf pattern camouflage color. They are roughly 4X6X2.5 inches in size. The front top is the small panoramic multi zone PIR sensor. Below that is the main camera lens. The bottom half of the front has a bow tie shaped array with a 30 count IR display. The two centered emitter looking devices are actually operating indicator LEDs. At the bottom is the external battery port. There is also an optional back pack battery holder for this camera available that holds another set of AA cells. This camera has a top latch that allows a front hinged assembly (camera in the door) to drop down to allow access to the inside. There is a full weather gasket on this door. The back of the camera has strap loops and in the box they have a wide OD green elastic belt for attaching to what ever you choose to mount the camera on. Built into the back is also a cable through hole for a cable lock which only secures the back of the camera to the tree. This cable feed through is positioned so that the double wrap used on some cameras to prevent opening the front cannot be accomplished unless you cross a portion of the array. There is also an aiming thumb screw knob on the back to fine tune the camera aim.

Technical Specs:

- 5MP Color CMOS
- Adjustable picture resolution:
8MP, 5MP, 3MP
- 50 Infrared flash range
- Up to 32GB SD/SDHC card
- Takes pictures or video
- Video resolution 640x480 (30fps)

- ES8.1TL has Time lapse mode (20 sec-24hour interval) and includes Covert Game-Trakker Software by Scouting Assistant

- Trigger speed 1.2sec
- Interval 1sec-60min
- Photo burst 1 or 3 images
- Adjustable PIR sensitivity (low, med, high)
- 5.9x3.7x2.5 in size
- Operates on 4 AA batteries

Inside the door is the 4 AA cell battery holder with the programming LCD and associated switches just below it. The time lapse model has an extra switch to turn on that function. The USB, TV, and SD card slot (up to 32 gig) are on the inside edge of the programming platform.

Both of these units are the same (see spec chart) with the exception of the additional switch on the time lapse model to turn on that function and the firmware to drive it. Once unpacked and inspected I proceeded to go ahead and get the cameras ready for this report. The process of installing the batteries on the non TL version went well and the programming and setup went without a glitch. The time lapse camera however has some out of the box issues so we will not be using it for any of our tests. The battery compartment is so tight when the cells are installed that the switches for programming do not want to work. I believe this may be warping the plastic and causing the switches to stick in the on position. So we will only be making the sample pictures and video using the standard camera. Should we have time we may try an external battery at some time later to see if the time lapse works. This is not a problem because both cameras have the same 5 MP processor and the balance of the function is the same.

Programming is fairly simple to do and seems to be fairly intuitive. Once the unit is turned on and is in standby just hit the down button to toggle through the different menus and then once entered select the OK button to lock that choice in. If you choose not to program the camera once turned on it will arm its self in about 20 seconds and start taking pictures if something is there to trigger the camera.

The camera rating is 8 MP on the top with the option of 3 and 5 Mp below that. This camera should be set on the 3 MP setting when the user selects the TL setting. Otherwise the file sizes and battery life will limit the use and fill up the card very fast. Delay is all the way down to zero which is a fallacy because there has to be write time and our thoughts say that 6 seconds is a good choice for this setting. Of course you can go up to as much as 60 minutes. Flash is rated out past 50 feet. The video resolution is 640X480 at 30 fps. Burst mode can be selected from 1 to 3 images per trigger. The PIR sensitivity can be switch set for low, medium or high. Time lapse can be set to take a picture as often as 20 seconds or as long as 24 hours. Trigger time is rated to be around 1.2 seconds. There is a password protection option in the programming.

Trigger time testing showed 1.58 seconds without flash and 1.32 with flash. Delay measured 12 seconds on the 6 second setting. Sensing range came in at 70 feet at a temperature of 79 degrees. Flash range showed to be 60+ feet average.

10-29-2011 Update: Battery life 25 days, 8186 pictures and 260 videos. This review is complete.

Trigger Tests
( without flash 1.58s)

( with flash 1.32s)

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate (cloudy)

Dead Pixel Test

Video Samples

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