RCX-1 36 count red flash 8 MP digital camera review
This opening paragraph will also appear on the RCX-2 review and be the
same because both cameras share much of the same features. Our
discussions about this camera with the company have given us
some insight as to why things about this camera are totally
different than what we normally experience with other brands.
First off we will say that the brand name Leupold has been
synonyms with quality in the hunting optics field. This company
decided to enter the scouting camera business and chose to do
this by going to a supplier that has never been associated with
this type of camera. You will find that the procedures, layout,
terms, function and layout to be non standard compared to the
normal layout of what we have known with other brands. The
language used in their documentation seems to me as being more
computer orientated than camera orientated.
They start off by making two models with the RCX-1 being the bottom of
the line and not featuring the same goodies as its big brother
the RCX-2. Both require a remote to function. We have had years
of service out of our old Scoutguard cameras that are still
deployed and are still giving us good service and they also
required a plug in remote to operate.
This remote is made of a very solid poly carbonate plastic and a wired
USB cable to connect to the camera. These units are sold
separately for about $150 or in a kit which is remote and camera
combination. This way you can purchase several cameras and just
one remote to service all cameras. A word of caution about this
remote, it is lithium powered and rechargeable through a
supplied adapter (16 hours). This battery life is good but we
found that we needed to make sure it was topped off prior to
taking an extended trip to the field to service our cameras.
Some long travel time and a dead remote would result in no
service to the field units. Problematic button function also
created some minor issues.
The remote functions as a viewer, programmer, and storage download unit
meaning that it has its own SD card slot for a high capacity
card so you can just plug into the field unit and copy the
pictures to the remote without removing the cameras card. Our
attempts at this found that it does work but it is slow and we
ended up doing the standard card swap instead of messing with
the download procedure. Standing in the field viewing pictures
and downloading to an internal card eats lots of the remote
battery life which is critical for camera function. The remotes
battery is non standard lithium and not AAA or AA type cells.
The card swap seems to us to be a much better idea.
The language used in the instruction manual is somewhat hard to
associate with the actual function because of us being used to
the way other cameras function. You must learn in house by going
over the programming prior to going to the field. Even though
the programming is simple to do it does not follow the standard
means which most are use to so this new way needs to be found
out and then things fall in place.
The 3 inch view screen does work well but it is also a battery user so
we found we used it sparingly to insure we could get through our
procedures even though we had made sure everything was topped
off. Our second time out taught us this, because we failed to
top off the remote.
The RCX-1 is a 36 count fixed red flash not selectable like the 2
series. This camera is 8 MP that can be tuned down to 3 MP which
is much more acceptable for a scouting camera. Video is 640X480
and 320X240 at 15 or 30 fps. The PIR is tuned to a fixed 45
degree angle and the camera lens covers a wide 54 degrees.
Trigger time is advertized as being less than 1 second which we
will test and record the exact figure. Inside the tank this
camera needs 8 AA cells and they feel that it will work with
alkaline they would feel better if you would choose lithium. We
will be performing our tests with the cheaper cells which are
the Ray O Vac pro cells. For security they offer an optional
plate for this camera. Included in the box is the
controller/viewer, standoffs for plate, car adapter, house
adapter, USB cable, and strap.
We have spent months with this camera and were involved in the pre
release testing. We can tell everyone that they have been very
serious about getting things right. We will take a strong look
to see if the quality has been elevated to the Leupold
expectation. We can also say that the platform limitations of
these original cameras limit the upgrade procedures that cam be
done. We are in high hopes that these cameras hold up to
everyones high expectations.
Our post production cameras, even though improved do not seem to reach
the pentacle of performance we had expected. Our review window
has passed due to very late release and the balance of this
review will have to be slipped into the cracks as we progress
through our current line up. We had started to receive field
reports long before our review cameras were purchased. At first
we had decided we would only do the 2 series and just refer that
review to this one but if time allows we will at least get some
sample pictures and maybe a video. The arising list of things
reported good and bad will require us to maybe to do our best to
at least get some basic information posted.
an incorrect shipment of review cameras from another vendor that
had to be done next but we had to return them and wait for the
replacements we went ahead and took a little look at this
camera. As specified in the RCX-2 review these cameras do work
but they do not work well. No matter the degree of extra
features things like picture quality come first, after all this
is a camera. Please view the day range picture and see the
picture quality and to us it does not come up to the standards
we expected from this company. This remote seemed to function
without issue but the sensing is still somewhat weak. If our
shipment of other cameras does not arrive today I will go ahead
and do a little more tomorrow on this unit.
09-21-2011 update: As promised I have spent another 30
plus hours evaluating both the 1 and 2 series of this camera.
From a feature stand point, both of these cameras are loaded and
well thought out. From a functional (engineering) standpoint
these cameras are like a Volkswagen buss. There is just too much
body for the engine that powers it. The updates addressed some
things but the underlying problem appears that you cannot power
this much electronics with the battery setup they have chosen.
The picture quality and sensing are only fair and do not come up
near the quality of other brands costing much less. The only way
I would recommend this camera is that you use a bigger external
power source and then most of the features can run at their full
potential. We do feel that next years cameras will be a whole
lot better and this introduction has been a wake up for Leupold.
(without flash )
(with flash )
Day Range 8 plate
(factory supplied camera test below)