2011 Stealth Cam Delta 8 Camera Review - June 13, 2011

2011 Stealth Cam Delta 8

2011 Stealth Cam STC-Q8X (Cabelas Delta 8) 46 count red flash IR Camera Review

When the catalogs came out and there was some people commenting on different things and one things that I read was this is just one ugly camera. I have often thought about that being said and I wondered why. Built on the Unit/Archers Choice sized case, this camera has a little different look because of the array and camouflage. The array has a little bit of that old Leaf River look but fits well on the front of the camera. The array count is 48 so there should be more than enough light going down range. The camouflage is that military digital type and is very good and should hide well. The advertizing as being very easy to use and feature filled. Well it does pictures and videos, but it does have adjustable flash, selectable delay down to 20 seconds, three resolutions from 1.3 at the bottom and 3 and 8 at the top, 3 burst settings 1, 3, 6 and two video lengths 15/30 seconds (720 HD). Strange, but this camera has a lot of the features that were to be part of the little JS Sniper cam that did not make production but was in the early brochures.

All the settings are switch controlled like the Wildview cameras and the date time for the information bar on the photos is programmed on the LCD with the use of a three button up/down/select setup. These time/date settings are lost when you change batteriew so it must be re entered each time new batteries are installed. Inside the tank it takes 8 AA batteries and the instructions just say use good alkaline batteries, so you do not have to dig down deep for any of those high dollar lithium cells that some of these cameras need. There is a LCD that shows through the front door to give picture count without opening the camera. If this camera even comes close to the Archers Choice camera I think we are going to like it even if it is considered as being very basic.

Close examination of all the seals and water tests worked out well and we found no leaks. The drop tests did not cause any mal function and the batteries remained in place. I checked and it will be able to use up to 16 gig SD cards (this camera will not except high speed cards like ultra, optima, micro, platinum, store and shoot) use a FAT format for under 2 gig and FAT 32 for all above 4 gig and up. Do not insert card or remove card with camera in the on position.

In the test mode there is a walk test green indicator on the front of the camera so aim can be adjusted. There is also a red low battery indicator when flashing battery is low. You cannot go from test directly to on position because the camera will not work. You must pause on the off until the LCD shuts down and then move the switch to on.

The PIR and camera FOV is pretty well matched at about 50 degrees. This is always good news for us because we definitely have had problems with narrow sensing. There is the usual 12 volt external power port and they recommend their optional power pack. Security is non existent so a good after market box that uses a chain of cable should probably be thought about if deployed in those areas where it could be taken.

The price is pretty well fixed at what ever Cabelas sets it at. There will be no other sources so right now they have it at about $140 but they do have coupon programs sometimes where you can maybe get a few dollars off. This is not the lowest price for cameras but it is on the low end so performance and value may just come in this little package. We are getting ready to figure that out. The documentation is well written except the specification chart which is a little lacking.

Here is what is listed as specifications:

  • IR Emitter Range 50ft
  • 4 digits LCD Image counter
  • Battery Low indicator
  • Green Test LED indicator
  • Focusing: 5 ft to infinity
  • High precision multi-layer glass lens with coating
  • Effective viewing Angle: 50 degrees
  • PIR detection angle: 48 degrees
  • Low power consumption:

Standby current: < 6mA

Capture current: <280mA

  • Interface type: USB 1.1
  • Power: AA size alkaline Batteries x 8
  • Image format: Images - Standard JPEG / Videos Standard AVI

The thing that caught my eye was the camouflage pattern at first I was not sure but after playing around I think this may be a winner. It is the first camera that we have tested with this pattern and so far it seems to fit very well. The light colored Array can still be picked out so if by chance they may go with some black LEDs on the next version this camera it would just about disappear on the tree. That would be near black flash also. Well Stealth management what do you think about that idea??

Being there have been some sneaky warranty data published in some company instruction manuals, we are now starting to pay a little more attention to this. We can say that this company has a plain old limited one year warranty with no tricks. They also have a program where if your camera fails after the warranty period is over they will sell a refurbished recondition camera for half price or less of that product.

When you start to install the AA batteries in this camera keep an eye on the little springs on the negative side. They have a tendency to fold over if you are not careful. The programming the time/date is an adventure with the buttons on one side and the LCD on the other side. Once you learn the button position it is easy otherwise you are forever switching back and forth getting this small task done.

A short spell in the lab and my estimate of trigger time will probably be in the just under 2 second category. The sample dark room pictures were respectable and then I went outside and caught a few in the middle resolution and they did not disappoint either. This is a very basic switch programmed small camera with a new camouflage pattern that takes decent pictures with a sub 2 second trigger selling for $140. I think we just might find a few that prefer this style rather than the elaborate electronic on screen programming that is pretty much commonplace with todays cameras. This camera is headed for the trigger time table then gets to spend some time on the hill getting flash range and sensing data. Then some sample pictures and videos.

I had a full morning doing research on this camera because we were trying to see if there was sound in the video mode. I do not physically have the camera with me because after I finished this morning, it is now on its way over to Anthony to do some more work on the review. There is a hole next to the array that appears to be a microphone port. I checked all the documentation and could find no mention of the video having sound. I then picked up the phone and within about 10 seconds I had customer service which was a very pleasant surprise. I asked the question as to what the small hole was next to the array and she immediately told me that it was the microphone for sound on the video. I then ask her if she was sure and she said yes. I then explained that the documentation did not state anything about this camera having sound. She then put me on hold and a few minutes later returned and stated that she could not find out and that being it was new they had not seen the camera. I ask her if she had ever visited our site and she said no and was not able to at work. I said then just take a peak once she got home. She told me that she did not have time or interest to do that because of her 5 kids in school. I tried to explain about the specification chart in this cameras manual and ask her maybe to view those on some of the other companies reviews on our site to see what I was talking about so that she could move that data up through the chain. She became very short with me and the friendliness went away. I guess she just did not want to find out. I will just have to physically have to test the camera its self to find out or give Anthony a call and have him do a 2 minute test.

06-14-2011 update: We have been told that this cameras look is not due to color. I guess this is a difference of opinion. The entire outside of this camera is flat OD green. The camouflage is achieved by texture that creates shadows and thus kills definition of shape. This is the same basic idea behind the bark texture of some cameras. This is the digital (pixilated) squares that cause this effect. I will say that it does a good job of it also. The only thing about most well camouflaged cameras is the bright array gives it away no matter the color or texture of the outside of the camera.

06-14-2011 update #2: All that research and effort and the call to someone who just did not have the interest was answered by a simple request to the person who has the camera. Anthony just stuck a card in it and selected video and way it ran. The camera does have sound with video which is a big plus. I would think that the ads and manual should have reflected this because it is a big selling factor. Maybe someone will be kind enough to send her a not to enlighten her. This makes me like this camera even better.

06-18-2011 update: The trigger bench finally got open and we managed to get this camera through that test. It definitely is not the advertized 1 second but more close to two seconds. The tests came in at between 1.84 and 1.86 seconds for both day and night tests. Next was the day range and night range pictures and they did not disappoint. Please view those samples for your personal opinion. The sensing distance was not tested.

06-19-2011 update: Deployed on the hill and a little corn brought the crew out to model in front of this camera. The first series of pictures are on the 8MP setting and are sure to please about everyone. Please view the sample pictures for your own evaluation. It is very strange that this camera with very good sound on the video and decent picture quality has not peaked the interest of more than a few. We have yet to have anyone even mention this camera or make comment. We are running the camera with all the array LEDS on this first set and we now have it turned down to the 36 count for another night of pictures.

06-23-2011 update: The ambient temperatures has sure kept the sensing ability down to a low level. We are still getting pictures but the info strip on the bottom of the picture says 98 degrees. This is some hard times to give any decent evaluation in the sensing department. All I can say at this time is this camera will work but has a hard time doing it at these temperatures. The reduced emitter count test selected on the flash still shows that we are getting good light down range. Sample pictures are respectable at that setting also.

06-25-2011 update: We thought that this camera had presented itself rather well for the price until we tried the video mode. This raised the bar somewhat as far as its value in our book. It just seemed to do very well and I was very pleased with the results. Please view the sample and when the rain starts the sound is very clear and it also picks up a lot of the rambling around noises and doe bleets. This may cause a few to pay a bit more attention to this little camera.

06-30-2011 update: Well we ran this camera in the medium resolution setting in photo mode. The medium setting also has some pretty good pictures both day and night. Please view the sample pictures to make your own evaluation. Next is the low setting and we will be able to close this camera review out hopefully by the middle of July.

07-02-2011 update: We have completed all the three resolution sample pictures, Please view the samples pictures. We have been very pleased with the function of this camera and we are going to close this review now. At some time later we will report on battery life as that data is found.

07-18-2011 update: This little camera worked hard for a full month and captured 2225 pictures and 70 videos and the cells finally gave out 6-18 through 7-17.

Trigger Tests
(without flash)

(with flash)

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate

Video Samples

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