2011 Hunten GCS22-70IR Camera Review - November 17, 2011

2011 GCS22-70IR

2012 Hunten C-22T70IR 56 count black flash 7d-5n MP digital camera review

There have been a bunch of folks chomping at the bit for this camera that has been long advertized but slow coming. It is here how and after the shipping box shreds finally began to hit the floor I had a set of batteries out and checked ready to play. This camera case has that same great color that we had on the red flash model. My first check was in the dark room and with a new clean card and fresh programming I waited for the camera to arm and flash. The only indication of trigger was the red motion indicator and the green write to card indicator. The first trigger I did hear a filter clunk but all other triggers there after there was no clunk so it only changes on the transition. I am not sensitive to black flash so I could not see any indication of the array going off. Some individuals how ever may be able to see it but I would bet if they did they would have to be very close to the camera. This camera is about 7 inches tall and wide and sticks out off the tree about three and a half inches. There is a bark grabber/cable/strap assembly that needs to be installed with the supplied 4 screws which takes about a minute. After that is a short easy programming procedure to set date/time and function and you are ready to go for a test. I chose the 2MP setting and played a while and the flash pictures were very good and the day color was good with a little fuzz. The color was true and clear.

Not paying much attention to the programming I went back and dug a little deeper. Most every thing is standard except for the burst, active, and delay modes. Each of these has a section where the user can determine the setting. This does not mean that where this camera having a minimum of 15 second delay can be changed to below that but it will allow a range above that to be set. This is the same on the active you can determine the hours you want active. Burst can also be set above the minimum. Every thing about the programming was easy and intuitive. The color view screen is nice and clear and works well. Once you apply power the screen comes on and the review and setup comes on and the plus and negative will allow you to toggle back and fourth. If no buttons are hit when on the review selection for 30 seconds the camera will go ahead and arm and start taking pictures. Trigger is rated at one third second and sensing is out to 60 feet. Flash is rated out to 70 feet.

The still mode is selectable for 2, 3, 5, and 7 MPs, night stills are 5 MP when set to 7 MP. Video has one resolution which is 640X480 with run times of 15, 30, 45, 60 seconds. The SD card size is up to 32 gigs and all this operates off 4 C cell batteries. There is an external port for solar and external battery setup if you choose.

Now I have a few hours invested there are a couple of things that I would work on with this camera. I am not too wild about the bark grabber bracket because of it making the camera stick out off the tree but the weight distribution makes the camera want to sag unless you do the old piece of limb trick under the bottom. Maybe one of our forum vendors could do a CNC trick and develop a flat plate with small grabbers on the edge with cable and strap loops that is tall enough to support the camera. The other thing is the front indicators which definitely need to be covered with a couple of small squares of electrical tape. Even though they are somewhat subdued I could see them very easy in the dark room.

I did an internet sweep to see any reports on this camera and I did see where some individuals stated they could barely see the flash. Back to the dark room and placing the camera up at eye level and being about a foot from the camera I could just see a very slight outline of the emitters. At three feet I could not so I am going to have to still call this camera a black flash. Like stated before there will be some individuals that will be able to maybe see the array at 6 feet but I would not think they could see it any further than that.

One thing I did not mention is that the SD card slot and USB port are just below the buttons and above the view screen on the under edge of the rim. The SD card goes in the slot with the label to the back of the camera. It is a bit hard to access with big fingers. The access latch for the drop down assembly on this camera functions much easier than the previously tested cameras with the same latch.

This after noon I ran my monthly test on the time it takes to contact customer service of each and every trail cam company. The first hour I was able to contact every single company except one. This company answered on the second ring. Moultrie was very slow but did answer in less than 10 minutes. The one company that did not answer was Cuddeback (non 800) and I gave up after 50 minutes when my phone battery beeper let me know it was about to go dead.

The documentation has been done with very good color graphics and is very easy to follow. Absent from the documentation was a good specification chart which is only found on the cardboard backer in the bubble pack the camera came in. We would like to see this chart incorporated in the user manual. I want to get this little cam on the hill as soon as we can get it through the lab process.

11-19-2011 update: Part of the lab work showed that we can figure on about a second of trigger time and the day range is pretty good and a 200% zoom still showed sharp edges. The color is good and with limited sun in the picture they still showed very natural colors. This little camera is beginning to impress me and I think that if we dont get a lot of bad field reported failures this camera should very quickly become an item on some fellows Christmas list (and Scouting Assistant of course).

11-21-2011 update: Night samples are good and day samples are good but transition pictures are going to need some help. During limited light situations the camera wants to adjust the light conditions and we see a light dark sequence in the pictures when we are getting continuous triggers. This camera would be much happier out from under the heavy canopy.

11-25-2011 update: I looks like we did finally get a bunch of new day samples at the 7mp setting and we are now set to video. We will back up after the video samples and gather the other resolution setting pictures. These day pictures came out very good.

12-03-2011 update: We are continuing through the resolutions and in the background we are communicating with the company on some findings. For first out of the door for this company this camera has functioned pretty well. The question now is if our test camera is actually a small part of the problem because it is a very early unit. As the tests at the factory continuing we will also continue the process here. Look for some more advanced updates that may be pending but not confirmed as of yet. If that happens we will make the announcement. Meanwhile we have also been watching the market and some of the comments on some of the outdoor forums. We see what looks like a bit of shill activity happening which makes us believe that maybe some of the competition may have more than a little bit of concern about some of the positive aspects that are being reported. As of now we are on a partial hold on this review until the factory testing catches up and we can report further.

01-21-2012 update: Engineers are aware of the issues we discovered and have reported they are working to correct this. This camera is completing its final operation for battery life. When this is concluded we will report the battery life. this review is closed.

Trigger Tests
( without flash .98s)

( with flash 1.03s)

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate

Dead Pixel Test

Video Samples

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