2010 HCO Scoutguard SG-570V Camera Review - June 24, 2010

2010 Scoutguard

To make pulling the sd card easier, use these Post-it flags on your SD card.

2010 Scoutguard SG-570V 5MP 24 count Red Flash Camera Review

We are ashamed as to how long we have had this camera and have not been able to get to it because of one problem after the other. Our friends at Boly Media have had a time with this camera and finally things have settled down and all the molds and technology is back home they can now proceed with getting another Scoutguard to market. We hear of some litigation operations being directed toward some unsavory critters who may have borrowed some ideas for their own use. This may stretch all the way to the US as things materialize. Anyway this is a strong company who operates here through HCO to get their great products to market. Our first look at this camera in the pre production time frame showed a number of problems and after our reports there has been some real solid upgrades and testing going on and the end result hopefully will show in this review. The inherent flaws of the original camera and thought to have been borrowed with out permission actually showed up in a clone. Measures have been taken and the market is being watched for anyone who chooses to market what is not theirs to do so. So much for the history lesson on this production and lets get to the review.

The still on going life of the SG-550 has enjoyed a degree of popularity unprecedented in the trail camera industry. The old 550 had its issues by the clone makers also and were also found out. The 550 platform was advanced for its time and now that same system that has had a number of years to be improved upon with the results showing up in the 2010 units offered by Boly Media. Just a handful of camera (3 X 5 X 1 inches) that has a 4 AA cell power source so far during our initial testing looks to be pretty solid. The science of adjusting components and how they consume power is in the fore front in camera design. The worry, that a 4 cell system not lasting will be scrutinized very closely and reported on. We know how the previous Scoutguards worked on just 4 cells so we dont really see where it is going to be an issue knowing the advancements made in power management. Then there is also the possibility of using an external battery if needed.

This is a 5 MP sensor camera so there is no interpolation to reach that level. The 2560X1920 resolution is more than enough for any trail camera as long as it pumps any degree of quality pictures. Through the program you can also select the 3 MP setting if you wish. Video is the standard 640X480 16fps type that is programmable in length and can also be reduced to 320X240 20fps if needed. The motion sensor is the multi zone style like the 550. We should see a trigger times close to the one second timeframe. This is where these cameras shine, delay time 1 second (not really due to write time) to 60 minutes. They have chosen to still use the wired remote for programming which worked well for us on the old 550. When the battery gets low there is a LED indicator to tell you the batteries needs to be changed.

The bottom of the camera has a trap door (connected) that slides to one side then opens displaying the battery compartment, TV out, Remote jack, power switch, and external power receptacle. The external power jack Goes through the door so all the programming must be done with power on and the door closed prior to connecting to the external battery. They now have a neat little sliding cover instead of the rubber plug to cover the hole to the power receptacle when not in use. This is great for those who like to set the camera on its base and use it that way. There is no rubber plug sticking out that prevents the camera from setting strait. The battery cover is a trick to open by pushing on the outside lip towards the center of the camera the door will slide and open. Inside the door is the plus and minus symbols to indicate battery polarity installation. Once the batteries are installed the cover must be pushed down and slid back toward the outside lip to latch. This is not the greatest arrangement and came must be taken not to dislodge the door during card change. You have to remember that this camera is about and inch and a quarter thick so space for all the required switches and sockets is tight. The SD card slot is a good example of tight quarters. I used the same trick with this camera as I had to do with the I-40 Moultrie and put a piece of electrical tape or post it flag on the card to pull it out. The card and main switch is tucked in a tight place and old stubby fingers just cant go there very well. The card goes in with the card contacts toward the front of the camera. The front of the camera is very much at a glance a Scoutguard with some of the same profile with the added security loop at the top. The security loop may keep some real honest people honest but would not be much of a deterrent to determined individual. There is a chefs hat style array (24 count) at the top and the lens and PIR sensor are in line down the front of the camera. This is a full service camera that will do pictures and video with very minimum delay periods. The chart below has the specifications listed.

(correction to the chart below, it should read 4AA batteries)

We did not get documentation with this camera in its new bubble pack so I cannot report on that. The programming was easy and not at all hard to do. It follows the same pattern as previous cameras from the same company. Security is just the top loop which is not much so an after market box would be in order for those using areas where things disappear un announced. Having a little camera that has a 5 second delay made the trigger time (un official) testing go like a snap. I did not get the one second that I expected but it also did not go close to two. The remote is also the picture viewer if needed and it does work well but it is small and detail cannot be seen with my old eyes.

We will now get this thing back in line so it can take its turn through the system. My initial impression is that most people would probably like this camera because of the amount of function in relation to cost.

07-22-2010 update: Having to go back through all the notes to get up to date on material has slowed this process down a bunch. We have done all the final updates and done all the testing on the day range/8 plate plus the flash range and gathered the sample pictures. Day range pictures were sharp and clear and the zoom to the 8 was clear at 200%. Flash reached out past the 50 foot range and this is also the sensing distance. We posted the sample pictures and had a delay getting something here to talk about their quality. In the mean time we had plenty of comments where many people liked the quality, so we will let the pictures speak for themselves.

08-28-2010 update: We have kept this cam going and so far it has not let us down and has given very good results for the price. We are going to go ahead and close this review.

Trigger Times without flash - around 1.5 seconds

Trigger Times with Flash - around 1.69 seconds

Flash Range Tests


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