2010 Field Tuff Camera Review - July 22, 2010

2010 Field Tuff

2010Field Tuff 5MP 36 count IR red flash Camera Review

I got the heads up a while back to look for this camera slipping in through one of the catalog vendors. A few days ago it appeared in the Sportsmans Guide so I knew that I should see one falling out of the truck at my door soon. I was deep into a problem area on the new Moultrie D-50 case latch system when it arrived so I stopped and looked for the package. The name did not ring any bells and when it came out of the box I was still wondering just who makes this camera. The box was a plain Jane brown box with a sticker on it with that said game camera with a picture. I popped it open and inspected the camera and it was a typical low end plastic case but solid. The color was satin black and the hinges were much more heavy duty than seen on most game cameras. The back of the camera had strap loops along with a pretty severe set of bark grabbers in a nice curve. The front of the camera had the lens at the top front and the array (36 count) just below. Inside the array block is also the single test LED that is green that is used for walk tests. The PIR sensor lens is the wrap around wide angle type. There is a rubber covered external battery port (12 volt) at the bottom center of the lid. There is a large loop at the door edge for a lock or cable. Two small swing back latches open the door and it is a cam in the door design which is hard to handle when it is full of batteries and on a tree. Inside there is a LCD and a set of programming buttons with the on/off which. Battery compartment holds four C cells. I failed to mention there is a microphone on the front of the camera so I believe this camera may have video with sound. There is also a small solar/12 v switch which deals with the use of a panel and rechargeable batteries.

Different from most cameras this camera comes with a couple sheets of paper stapled together which includes the spec sheet and the programming instructions. I opened up a set of batteries (4 C cells) and ran them through the test and installed them inside the covered battery compartment. I inserted a clean SD card and hit the on switch. It took about 5 seconds and the bell went off that said (Stealth Cam) because of what I began to see during the programming. It acts just like all the WD series Stealth cameras and programs the same. The programmable resolutions are 1.3, 3, and 5 MP and the video is VGA (with sound) 20 fps only at 5 to 300 seconds. It will take up to 4 Gigs of SD card for memory. Just like Stealth it has the 1-9 burst setting along with that terrible Stealth 1 minute delay period. I wish they had not followed stealth in that department. Videos are stamped on the first frame with the Date/time stamp. There is 32 MB internal memory and it can be accessed through the USB port or TV out. The Solar/12v switch is to allow the use of a 12 volt adapter to charge internal Ni-Mh batteries and power the cam from an external 12 supply without internal batteries. Move the switch to the solar position the panel would charge the internal Ni-Mh batteries when used. With standard batteries you would need to leave the switch in the solar position but without solar panel. This is not spelled out very well in the instructions. There is a strap and USB cable contained in the package.

I spent way to much time on the trigger bench for the results that I finally got. The un official time looks to be 2+ seconds. A quick check of picture quality was good but not great. We will be able to tell more once we get it on the hill and do the day range tests. So far I would say if you selected any of the low delay WGI or Primos cameras of equal cost you would be happier mainly because of the delay and maybe a little better picture quality.

07-26-2010 update: The temperature is running in the nineties way into the evening now so our sensing range testing is of little value. The trigger times came out at two seconds for both day and night. Day range and 8 plate tests showed a degree of fuzziness and a bit of haze to the pictures. Night pictures showed the flash was good out past 50 feet and the pictures were pretty good and the normal IR fuzzy edges were still there. This camera did sense but for the high temperatures during testing it was just over ten feet.

08-05-2010 update: We have another $100 camera with a two second trigger time that seems to be doing pretty good both day and night. This camera is like many and is having trouble during the transition times with whiteout photos. Our area is a tough area and many cameras have this same problem. Stick it in a better lighted surrounding and it should do much better.

08-06-2010 update: You can check the sample pictures and videos and listen to the sound that are on the videos. This all shows that this camera does have potential especially when compared to some of the other cameras in the same price range. I want to get this camera in the deep woods down on the swamp and see how it does in video with sound. We did get some white out pictures at transition but not as much as some of the other cameras we have recently tested. Put it in a better location and it should do much better.

10-24-2010 update: We just cannot get things right with this camera. No matter where we put it we just cannot seem to get the animals in front of it. In the past two weeks we managed to capture one short video of a buck and that is about all. Either it just is not sensing very well or they are avoiding this camera. We still have it out and if it doesnt do a little better we are going to pull it and replace it with a camera that is known good to test to see if we just have a sensing problem.

11-14-2010 update: We force fed this camera by putting it in a very good place with new batteries and it managed to give us some pretty good videos with sound finally. The problem is, even though it did work and accomplish taking and recording videos with very good sound, it only took nineteen 10 second (fixed) videos on one set of batteries. That just plain sucks. This review is closed.

Trigger Tests
(without flash 2 seconds)

(with flash 2 seconds)

Flash Range

Movie Samples
(pardon the road noise)



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