2011 Spypoint Tiny Camera Review - October 10, 2011

2011 Spypoint Tiny


2011 Spypoint Tiny/Tiny W 38 count red flash 8 MP digital camera review,---When we first heard about this camera we had it added to our list of cameras we would eventually review. The first item of interest was that the minimum delay is one minute. The next Item was that the W series is not functional in video or burst mode when the box is used. With the Tiny without the black box the burst (6 multi shot) can be used to help get around some of that 1 minute delay but if that doe with the buck following comes along about a minute later he would be missed. If burst and video is important to the user of the Tiny standard model should be your choice. The W series will only work in the single exposure mode and still transmit to the external box.

Technical Information

Resolution: 8.0 MP
Trigger Speed: N/A
IR or Incandescent: IR
Number of LEDs in Flash: 38
Range: 60 ft
Video: Yes
Video Resolution: 640 x 480 AVI
Internal Memory: Yes, 32MB
Memory Card Type: SD
Memory Card Size: Up to 32GB (approximately 200 5.0MP images per GB of storage)
Memory Card Included: No
Multi-shot: Yes, up to 6 shots
Weather-resistant: Yes
Menu Type: 2" LCD
Programming Remote: No
Viewing Screen: Yes
Battery Type: 6 AA
Batteries Included: No
Battery Life: N/A
Computer Requirements: N/A
Time and Date on Pictures: Yes
Temperature on Pictures: Yes
Moon phase on Pictures: Yes
Mounting Strap Included: Yes
USB Cable Included: Yes
TV Out Cable Included: Yes
Camera Dimensions: 4.7" x 3.5" x 2.7"

To explain a little bit about the W feature mode on this camera. The camera is set up in the single picture mode and when a picture is taken and written to the card, it is also being wirelessly transmitted in a lower resolution to a remote (within 50 feet) receiver which can be hidden. Some may see this as a security feature where if the camera is taken it may capture a picture of the thief and transmit it to the hidden box. The other thought is that you could just visit the remote box and retrieve your pictures without accessing the camera and spreading your scent into that area. Eventually you would have to still clean the card in the camera to prevent the card from being completely filled unless you have the camera set in continuous mode in which case the camera will overwrite the oldest photos and continue operating. The give away is that there is an antenna on the camera, so those familiar with cameras would know that the black box would be hidden somewhere some where within 50 feet.

First we will talk about the standard camera even though both cameras are the same except for the wireless version which has a transmitter and antenna to the remote box and a built in view screen. This is a small camera which is about 3.5 inches tall and four and a half inches wide. It sticks out off the tree about 3.5 inches. The camera is in two pieces which is a receiver (holder) which mounts on the tree and the camera which slides down into the receiver. This is a positive setup because once aim is achieved; it will remain once the camera is returned to the holder during card/battery change. It is no easy task to remove the camera from the receiver because of the latch which requires a rotating up to dislodge. The color is a nice fall brown camouflage color and with its small size and color it hides well except for the white arrays. The front of the camera has two antler shaped arrays left and right of the camera lens. Below that is the three sensor PIR setup similar to the WGI 10 X and Ltl Acorn setup. There is a 12v external battery port on the bottom that must be accessed through the holder. There is a pipe through both the camera and holder. This would lock the camera into the holder to help prevent theft. It would require the cable to be removed to access the camera for service. These cameras are also available in the flat black case. Once the camera is out of the holder the back of the camera has a view screen (W series) (2.4) and LCD (standard) series with a set of programming buttons. There is also a on off switch opposite the programming buttons. Even with a magnifier I had a hard time determining the purpose of the programming buttons. They are not marked very well.

A quick note about the tri-sensor setup, the cameras that have this setup have side sensor which pre alert the camera of the presents of movement off to the side of the camera. This allows for a very fast trigger once that movement enters the center zone. What if the movement is coming in the center zone and never makes it to the side zones? This has been tested on other brands and the trigger times exceeded two seconds. We will see if that is the case with this camera. Having that one minute delay really makes repetitive tests a pain.

The simple task of installing the batteries in this camera is a bit of a mystery. So let me just go to the book and figure this out. Hmmmm that information is a bit lacking. If I fill the battery holder and follow the markings on the tray then how does the tray go into the camera? This question came up because it can be installed either with the batteries up or batteries down. One of these positions will cause reverse polarity. By chance I installed the tray so that the top of the tray (batteries showing) was up in the same direction as the front of the camera and this proved to be correct. What ever you do is when you open the camera door to access the card or battery tray, have the door pointed up or everything will just fall out down into the ground and under the leaves. Alkaline cells (AA) are recommended and rechargeable cells are not. When external power is selected do not have internal cells installed. Optional lithium battery pack and charger are available.

Getting into the programming we see that there are three resolutions which are 3, 5, and 8MP and one video resolutions of 640X480. There is an option for burst to a 6 count which is 10 seconds apart but still will wait the full 60 seconds of minimum delay before entering the next trigger. The PIR sensitivity can be set to high, Medium, and low depending on needs. Side sensors can also be turned off if desired. Video can be programmed to the desired length 10 to 90 seconds. Flash can be shut down to only I emitter for the purpose of using one of the booster devices. Time lapse can be set from 30 seconds to 60 minutes with programmable start/stop times.

We have enjoyed for the most part reviewing Spy Point cameras because of their function. These cameras are somewhat the same but what needs help are portions of the Tinys documentation. I have three versions of the manuals, some of which were downloads and some are vendor site downloads. I could not tell by the documentation that I studied the facts about these cameras. Not until I physically had the camera powered up and preceded through the programming and function did I finally get the facts. I had thought earlier that this was a fixed 8 MP camera with two video resolutions. Well now I know that it has three picture resolutions and only one video resolution. Then there was the battery tray explanation.

This black box thing that is part of the W system needs to also be explained. This is a small wireless system that communicates in two directions. In the direction of the camera it is a range signal test and in the direction of the box it is a data receiver. And this data is in the form of pictures. While the camera is busy writing a triggered image to the camera it is also busy transmitting a smaller version wirelessly to this black box receiver. This little half of a coke can sized receiver has its own SD card slot and runs off a set of 6 AA cells. This little receiver has its own antenna and can be located up to 50 feet from the camera and if everything is alright the cameras program under the signal mode (next to view) will show a green signal icon if the two devices are in contact with each other. More than one black box can be programmed in if desired. Both the camera and receiver are rated to take up to 32 gig SD cards. You had better have small nimble fingers to remove the SD card from the black box because it is down in a crack and I had to use my Swiss Army knife tweezers to get it out because there was just enough drag in the card slot to keep it from being bumped out.

In the lab the trigger times came out around 2 seconds for both day and night. The flash range/8 plate test showed adequate flash as long as there were reflecting surfaces like small vegetation in the area. When there is just a single target with no extra reflecting surfaces there is that flashlight effect. Over all I would judge the flash as good.

Sample pictures at the HIGH setting came out sharp and clear with the color being a tiny bit washed. The night sample pictures did show some of the tunnel flashlight but still provided a good deal of center illumination. Video mode was smooth and clear with good detail. In this mode the flash definitely takes on that flashlight effect more so than the picture mode.

This camera also will do time lapse. It is a single window with intervals of 30 seconds and 1, 3, 5, 15, 30, 60 minutes. The time lapse resolution is 800X600 which converts to .48 mega pixel. This is a very small file compared to other time lapse cameras. We will post a few sample TL pictures as time allows.

10-18-2011 update: Trying to figure out our process and logical schedule on this camera again has met yet another wall. There does not seem to be a mention of the time lapse minimum interval or what the camera resolution is during this function. If it follows the 3, 5, 8 MP setting as with the picture mode then for an 8 hour daily period the count would be 480 pictures if this function follows the same 1 minute interval as found being the minimum delay. This may be satisfactory for monitoring a construction site but a food plot could be crossed by many animals in that period of time without ever being captured. The documentation does not outline this function in good detail so we are going to have to just set up and evaluate by actually getting the settings off the camera and then measuring the pictures to see what the resolution actually is. We also do not know if the external black box can be used during the TL mode. All these questions will be answered as we develop time to look at it. This review is being slipped in a hole in our schedule due to the late arrival of the BF Hunten cameras.

10-29-2011 update: We had a note from the factory people stating they were pretty unhappy with us because of the negative review. I went back through and could not find anything that could be related to what I could call a bad report. Things like where we stated that a knowledgeable trail camera person would know that a remote black box would be hidden within 50 feet if the tiny camera had an antenna caused some upset. This is just fact and not anything negative. It would also indicate that should you choose to hide your remote box then do it well with this in mind. Other things like flash are what it is and only tell the new user that camera location and aim may be somewhat more critical on this camera than maybe some other Spypoint cameras they may be familiar with. This is a good company and has good customer service so the choice is up to the consumer.

We did a series of tests in an attempt to see how well the three PIR sensors functioned. With side sensors covered and with them uncovered the trigger times remained the same. With the center covered and side sensors open the camera would not trigger. When all three are open and a very slow swipe across the PIR FOV we got mixed results from 1 to 2.1 seconds. This indicates that the report from the side sensors to the camera to activate and get ready requires a degree of time.

11-12-2011 update: After a couple days of conversation with the company we finally found the marking arrows on the side of the battery tray which say up. What this indicates is the up is suppose to be when the camera is laying on its back and then the up indicates toward the front of the camera.

12-10-2011 update: We completed the battery life on the Tiny and got under 300 pictures which means there must be an issue with our unit. Also, after finding that we had trouble with the transmission on the Tiny-W to the black box, we returned these units to Spypoint. At some point when we get replacements we will retest these issues.

01-28-2012 update: At the direction of the factory folks we are closing this review not completed. They have stated that because of the rapidly changing technology in their cameras the version we were testing is not up to date and will be replaced by a newer much improved version with another letter other than the Wwhich was the designation for this camera. When ever that happens we wil re open yet another review on the Tiny camera.

Trigger Tests without side PIR
(without flash 2.14s)

(with flash 2.25s) without side PIR

Flash Range
(camera only)

Dead Pixel Test

Day Range/8 Plate

Video Samples

©2022 Chasingame.com


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?