2011 Uway NX80 HD Camera Review - July 08, 2011

2011 Uway NX80 HD

2011 Uway NX-80HD 30 count red flash 6/8 MP digital camera review

Our recent review of the NX50 series camera was thought to just be a good introduction to this next in a series cameras. We were surprised to see that there is just no comparison between the two. To start off we will have to say that you had better just put this in your lap and a good cup of coffee and the book and go through the programming. Even though there is a standard approach in the method, there are so many hidden up/down, in/out, and up/down places it takes a little getting use to. This will be covered a little on into the review.

With good fall brown camouflage color that gives this six inch tall camera a good chance to hide on the tree. The array is in an arch at the top front that wraps around the hooded main camera lens. The wrap around wide angle PIR sensor is just below that. There are no strap slots on the back but they have been moved to the sides up towards the front of the camera. At the bottom is a port that will accept the cord from the XtendIR-B2 Black flash converter or external battery. The internal programming will allow for the array to be turned off for the black flash conversion. There is a small drop down door that covers the view screen and programming buttons. Also under this door which wraps around the bottom are the on/off switch and the three standard (TV, USB, SD) ports. Behind these ports is an 8 AA cell battery compartment with the polarity marks on its small lockable door. The drop down door is also complemented with a full gasket for moisture protection.

Of all the cameras that I have dealt with I have managed to catch myself installing the cells wrong in this camera, more than once. Being a careful nut about things, I always double check. The tiny marks on the hinged battery compartment door should coincide with the tops of the batteries you have just installed. Getting into the cameras setup procedures, this camera allows for a perfect setup. Set the position on the on/off switch to SET and the view screen will come on showing the camera in aim mode. Hit the up arrow button to toggle the IR array on and in the dark it will show you exactly where the flash is reaching. This is something new we have not seen before which allows for night aim. The M button will bring out the menu which allows for everything from camera/video to how you wish the time date to be displayed. Burst mode is 1 to3, resolution, video length, quiet time (delay)(1 sec to 60 min), illumination (selects array on off for XtendIR-B2 functions), time stamp, video sound on/off, Set time/date, battery type, format, TV out, Temp C/F, Time lapse, default, password protection, and camera information.

Hitting the M button will bring you back to the beginning aim mode. As you enter each of these areas you will see a number of areas that can be selected. All of this is why you had better get a big old cup of coffee and set down and practice for a while to gain a feeling of all these little hidden features include preview mode with pan and zoom that is far above what is seen on the rest of the cameras we see on the market.

The top SD card size is 16 gig so even at the top 8MP setting we could get several couple weeks (not time lapse) of operations. The box says 10,000 pictures on a set of batteries, so if you plan on using this camera on time lapse you had better get an external battery because a couple days of operations would reach that figure. Photo resolutions are 8, 5, 3, MP for standard format and 6, 4, 2, MP in the HD format. Video resolution settings are HD 1280X720 or 640X480 with a length of 10 to 60 seconds.

The flash range is advertized as being 50 feet and sensing to the same distance. Trigger time is said to be one second but we believe it will be a little longer than that.


We had someone send us a pdf of the instructions because someone in the production line failed to get one in the box on its way to our lab. The instructions are usable and fairly easy to follow and because of all the little holes in the programming it may be needed to find them so a full and complete program can be installed. Security is in the means of password protection only so an after market or Uway's own optional box will be needed for those areas deemed risky.

Over all out of the box this camera is very well thought out and designed. We were more than impressed with the full range of items that are selectable in the programming procedure. It is more like some of the point and shoot cameras I have dealt with. The advertized picture count and battery life is considered good but I have some reservations about using this camera in the TL mode. We will wait and see how the lab and range testing goes. The degree of communications with these factory people has decreased a lot over the past year because of the efforts needed to get their cameras to market and keep the QC up to par. I went over the warranty data as we promised because of the slick sneaky ways that we found earlier this year on some. This is straight forward 1 year and we know that their customer service has always been first class, so you should have very little problems should a problem arise. It is off to the field and lab to put this animal through its paces.

The visit to the lab told us that the trigger times are in deed over 1 second out to 1.46 day and 1.81 night. The picture quality of the day range was very good and the 8 plate zoom was sharp and clear. This just might be another winner from Uway. The recovery test at a 15s delay was 18.5s which is very acceptable.

IMPORTANT NOTE [please read]
This camera uses a technique to improve trigger speed by relying on the SD ard to be "initialized" prior to being triggered the first time. This means that you need to insert your SD card, then switch the camera to SET, wait for the camera to boot, then switch to ON. In actuality, you only need to do this if the folders have been cleared from the card or the card was formatted on the computer, but good practice would dictate doing this each time prior to arming in the field. If you insert a formatted card into the camera and switch directly to ON your camera will lock up. In this case, turn the camera OFF, open the battery door and wait one minute, then close and switch to SET.

07-08-2011 Update: Prior to starting our lab testing we received a firmware update hot off the press and that version is 1107070. Unless otherwise stated we will perform our testing using this firmware version.

07-10-2011 update: The flash range was very good. The sensing reached way out to 60 feet at 78 degrees which is very good for the temperature. The night pictures do have good black white characteristics but have a little bit of fuzziness.

07-17-2011 update: Moved on to our herds stomping grounds and we managed to attract a few in front of the camera. This camera seemed to do a pretty good job (view samples) and one wary critter was way out there and still got sensed. We have now set up for video.

07-18-2011 update: We captured some video and it went well except for the background noise in the video. This is too bad because we also just finished the Pro X+ in the same mode and it had some really nice clear audio with its recording. Please view the samples. The corn monsters only came during the day and gobbled up their meal so there is no night videos this time.

07-27-2011 update: The critters finally agreed to pay a night visit so we could capture our sample video and now we are on the low rez picture setting and getting ready to pull the plug on this camera leaving only the battery life which will be reported after we close the review when that data finally comes available and the cells are depleted.

07-30-2011 update: The 2 MP setting for stills came out sharp and clear and now has been moved to the 4 MP setting to get a couple and then this review will be closed.

Trigger Tests
(without flash 1.48s)

(with flash 1.81s)

Day Range 8 plate in dappled sunlight

Flash Range

Video Samples

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