2012 HCO Scoutguard SG560K/May 19, 2012


ImagesFactory SpecsCG ClassificationCG TestingTriggerSamples


CategoryScouting Cameras
Model Year2012
ModelScoutguard SG560K
Flash TypeIR Black Flash
Battery Type8 x AA
Test PerformedResult
Flash Range50 feet
Trigger Time without flash1.56s
Trigger Time with flash1.63s
Video Trigger Time
Day RangeHad over saturation
Battery Life409 photos and 98 videos over a period of 10 days.
Filter ClunkAudible at transition
Invisible Flash
Motion Blur
Sensing TestSomewhat above average
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2012 HCO Scoutguard SG-560K-8M 8 MP black IR digital camera report

We have been peppered with data on this camera for months. The gorilla marketers were steadily working the forums with their hype. There were a couple of internet vendors that were just the computer and tablet type of operation with no phone number or physical location. For some reason they were trying to circumvent the system around the US distributor of real Scoutguard cameras. We followed this camera by communicating with actual users and vendors in Canada and Europe. We began to gather and record all reports as we also scanned through the many outdoor forums. We can only assume that those reports were being taken from “real” Scoutguard 560K cameras and not a clone. I know the ones up north were the real thing. The reports were mixed and there were many reports of problems. We can only assume that this recently received camera is one of the latest and should be free of any of the previously reported issues.

Many of the so called forum reports were inserted into threads where the members were talking about another brand of camera and they would drop in and try to degrade the other camera and claim super performance from theirs. There were sometimes where there were tag teams who worked and one would act innocent and support the others claim. After being caught doing this on many occasions that style of marketing finally disappeared.

Now that the real distributor (HCO) has the cameras (not yet released) we will test one and give a very quick and accurate report and if all goes well they will proceed with sales.

Out of the box inspection showed a camera that could very much be taken for many of the past Scoutguard cameras that used that same case. The difference is that the shiny black array cover is there instead of seeing the usual red flash array. The case is a green/brown subdued camouflage color and is not reflective other than that black array. The array is top front with the PIR sensor just below with the main lens just below that. There is an external battery port on the bottom and strap loops on the back. This is a full gasket type case that seals up very tight. Inside there is a view/programming screen with the associated control buttons below. The SD card slot and TV/USB on the bottom edge below the control switches. The 8 AA cell battery holder takes up the inside back.

After my recent go around with a Primos camera I gave the battery box a very close look and especially the springs and contacts. I found no faults in that area and the new tested cells were installed without incident. The programming went well and I again monitored the function of the buttons (a reported area of failure) but found they seemed to function as normal. I installed my cleaned SD card and proceeded to boot up the camera. My first test was to evaluate the flash and I will be putting it in the black flash category. Next I evaluated the initial picture quality in both flash and bright sun. I was somewhat disappointed in the flash picture quality and thought it was very fuzzy. The day color pictures are about over whelming in color saturation to the point that they look almost false. Knowing what the actual landscape looked like and then viewing the pictures I would have to say there is far more color in the pictures than what was actually there. The contrast was alright. Sensing was somewhat above average and seemed to sense me very good for the temperature those tests were performed in. The delay says that it will go down to 1 second but that is actually false because of the write time to the card and will be in the 5-6 second range. There is also a time laps feature on this camera. The instruction specification says you can mount with strap and “Python Lock” but there are no Python loops. Burst is up to three pictures per trigger. The resolution can be set to 5MP on the low side and 8 MP for the top setting. Video is 640X480 and 320X440 and the FPS is 16 and 20 fps for those settings. The SD card size is limited to 16 gigs and there is no mention of class. There is no sound with the video and out of the 10+ sample 10 second captures I did in the top setting, all had very apparent vertical lines in the video. The dead pixel test was good and did not show any defects. The camera has a audible filter clunk at transition. Trigger time during my unofficial tests seemed to be near 2 seconds. The next step will be the trigger table and ranges.


Progress and Activity
05-21-2012 update
05-21-2012 update:  We managed to get the trigger times and they were in the 1.5 second area. The day range again showed the over saturation so we moved on to capture a few sample pictures and they all had that over driven look. The night flash distance seemed alright but the picture quality is very lacking. Please view the sample pictures below.
05-23-2012 update
05-23-2012 update: Video mode is not where you want to go with this camera. It does work but not very well. Please view sample video’s below.
05-30-2012 update
05-30-2012 update:  We were surprised to find that this camera was dead today after taking only 409 photos and 98 video clips.  The camera indicated low battery after 10 days of operation.  Upson testing of the batteries we determined that the first four went dead while the second four were full in amperage.  This indicates a wiring issue or battery holder problem.  For now this review is closed.  If a replacement unit appears at some point we may retest it.

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