2012 Primos Ultra Black Out/May 16, 2012
|Model||Ultra Black Out|
|Flash Type||Black IR Flash|
|Battery Type||8 x AA|
|Trigger Time without Flash||2.20s|
|Trigger Time with Flash||1.89s|
|Video Trigger Time||2.42s|
|Day Range||Slight white hue on pictures|
|Battery Life||Not very good. Just over 1,000 pictures in 15 days.|
|Filter Clunk||Noticeable at transition|
|Invisible Flash||No but very low glow|
|Sensing Test||30 feet at 80 degrees and increased to 50 feet at 65 degrees|
2012 Primos Ultra Blackout 60 count black IR 7 MP digital camera review
We had expected to receive this camera much earlier and should have had the review pretty well done by now. This has been a repeat of last year and the Primos cameras are going to have to be fitted in to our schedule because their window has passed.
Out of the box I was somewhat impressed all except for one thing. I didn’t even do a thing except to take one of my old trusty bungee cords and hung it on the closest tree and stepped back to have a look. The camera about disappeared on the tree except for that big loud banner that is stuck on the front bottom of the camera. From a distance it was real easy to see and made the presents of the camera much easier to see. With the very nice use of the black cover over the array and the PIR sensor also dark the bright sticker sure screws all that effort up.
Being a little over four inches wide and a tad over 5 inches tall this camera is actually shorter than the BTC. Mounted on the tree it has a two inch profile. This fall brown camouflage case is the cam in the door type and the 8 count AA battery holder is in the back half of the camera. The top front array has a black out filter over the IR’s. The hooded main lens is front center and the PIR sensor is just below. There is an external battery port along the bottom.
This is a switch based programming type camera with only the time/date input to the LCD through the use of three switches just below that display. The 5 MP image sensor can be controlled (interpolated) by the switch selection up to 7 MP. There are only two resolution settings which are the low of 5 MP and the top setting of 7 MP. Video also has two settings of high 620X440 and low 320X240. Time lapse also has two settings of day only or day only TL with night PIR at night. There is a burst mode up to a 5 count. Video length is 10, 20, 30, seconds and 1, 5, 30 Minutes switch selectable. The delay goes down to a great 5 seconds and has five more jumps of 10, 30 seconds and 1, 5, and 30 seconds.
All three Primos cameras are built on the same platform. The little 35 series has a smaller 1.3 MP image processor and the next two are jumped up to 5 MP. The arrays are the other change. The case design with the front (across the door) cable loops is a great idea and raises the security level up above those who have the cable loops on the back. Other cameras have used this same idea but this company has two feed through loops that prevent the cable from being slipped over the case.
From the box to the tree fully programmed with card installed can be done in just a few minutes. This is a very simple camera to setup and understand. Let’s hope that the function holds up to a nice high standard. The trigger time is supposed to be one second and if that holds true and the sensing and picture quality is there this just might be a great little camera. It is kind of sad to think that some of this technology might get slid over to Bushnell now that they have purchased this company. The bright side is they might get away from that Keep Time outfit they have been dealing with. Who knows what will happen once the management is incarcerated and all those funds will have to be given up for full restitution due to theft of protected patients. This company may look very good after that and the Bushnell cameras might take on a whole new look.
The very first thing I did was to stick it on a tree to evaluate how bad the big sticker looked and it stuck out like a sore thumb. After coming off the tree I wanted to see if that sticker was removable and it is. There is camouflage under it so that worked out good. I will wait until I get the pictures taken and then move it to the top of the camera out of sight. The next thing is that this camera really stinks. It reeks of some very strong chemical smell that gives me a head ache. I put it out in the sun to see if maybe that will help kill some of this scent.
There is a 1/4 X20 tripod insert on the bottom and the water seal seems to be tight. The battery compartment is somewhat of a problem on the positive ends where the tip of the AA cells hit. These little springs seem to want to hold the battery and it is difficult to fully seat the cell in its proper place. The back of the camera does not have strap loops and in there place is some side slots that are a bit hard to deal with and the strap does not want to slide through very easy.
My first evaluation in the dark room was to determine just what class we are going to stick this camera. It will have to go into the very low glow category because I can see the array at 5 feet fairly easy. The first flash pictures showed a grey tone to them but very readable. I moved out into the bright sun and did both Hi and Lo resolution single picture captures. The day pictures have a very slight white haze across them. I very quickly inspected the lens and there was a small smudge but I don’t think it was enough to cause that completely across the entire picture. The detail seemed to be a little fuzzy and the color saturation was a bit weak. The second take with the clean lens did not change the haze effect. I am a bit puzzled with the sensing. Today is right at 80 degrees right now and I could not get a trigger at 40 feet. I had to be much closer to the 30 foot range for it to pick me up. I do know this is warm weather but I had just finished another test with the WGI white IR camera and it had me on every pass at that range. I will have to do more testing on this tomorrow morning about 4 AM when the temperature should be another ten degrees cooler and see how good it does. There is a noticeable filter clunk at transition.
Those little side strap loops are very similar to what we dealt with on the DPS but they were a little more open and a bit easier to work with. I tried a bungee but could not get that to work. I ended up with a couple zip ties with one in each slot and this allowed me to use a bungee for the quick hang and dismounting of the camera for the tests. Normal field deployment would not be like the all day testing we are doing so it would probably not be as aggravating.