2012 Wildgame Innovations Elite 5/June 21, 2012
|Flash Type||Black IR Flash|
|Battery Type||12 x AA|
|Trigger Time without Flash||0.90s|
|Trigger Time with Flash||1.00s|
|Video Trigger Time||2.58s|
|Filter Clunk||Audible during transition|
|Invisible Flash||No but very low glow|
|Motion Blur||Small degree but more blur in night flash pictures.|
2012 Wildgame Innovations Elite 5 black IR 48 count 5 MP digital camera review
When I first started to research the WGI cameras I came across the data on this camera. When I spoke with the management at WGI I referred this camera as being the “telephone” camera and they knew exactly which camera I was talking about. This design is available in two configurations and the difference is the flash range which is because of the 8 series has 12 more emitters and a color TFT LCD view/programming screen. This design is a little like a camera that has a couple of external battery boxes. In this case they are adjustable tubes which contain the 12 AA cells divided in two separate compartments. These tubes are hinged so that they follow (spread) what ever it is mounted on (tree size). They can also be folded in behind the camera and then the profile becomes very slim look but then it sticks out nearly twice as thick.
This camera has two separate arrays that have 24 emitters in each. They are at the top and bottom of the front panel with the LCD screen in between. The camera lens is in the center of the top array and the PIR sensor is in the center of the bottom array. There is a bottom hinged compartment for the memory card/USB (up to 32 gig) and reset button.
This camera also has the new redux anti blur technology which we started to pay attention to in the red 2, 4, 6 reviews. There is no way to turn it off so we cant totally judge its effectiveness but so far it does not seem to help that much. You can also select wide cropped format to the still pictures which is kind of a loss in trail cameras because of the loss of the top and bottom of the pictures which could very easily contain target animals. Their flextime time laps can also be selected at the one minute rate day only and time lapse plus PIR function which can take you through the non daylight hours when the target animals are within the PIR sensing zone.
One of our forum members “Carl” is a WGI vendor and he has had the 8 series on a tree for a few days which we have been watching his results with interest. He has stated that the camera does not fit the true black flash category and is actually in the low glow category and he has stated that he can see the array at 6 feet in total darkness. We will also be making these tests on the 5 series but feel that finding will also follow over to this model. Our trigger tests on the cheaper models from this company showed that the 1 second advertized trigger time is just where is. We also expect to also find that to be true here also. There are three still resolutions and two video resolutions and the delay goes down to 15 seconds. Sensitivity is adjustable in three stages depending on the ambient temperature. My research has shown that the prices range from $115 to $150 depending on the vendor. Some include extras like SD cards in that price. Most were in the $140 range.
Let’s get down to detail, first off out of the box the camera is much larger than it appeared in the catalogs and vendor sites. It is a full 8 inches tall and 6.5 inches wide. Folded out it is nearly 3 inches thick. The bright orange buttons and white writing just does not make much sense on a blackout type of camera. Other than the little button markings the rest is crying for some treatment with a Sharpie pen, especially the buttons and “lights out” markings. There is screw in caps on the bottom of the left and right tubes with three positive out AA holders in tube. The caps were a little hard to re install once the batteries were installed but I managed. All the initial testing was a total pain in the ___. This was because there is no way to stand up or situate this camera unless you have a tree to put it on and my dark room is a little short of those at the present. How ever I did manage to get some initial testing done and found that we are going to class this as being very low glow and was hard to see past three feet. Programming was easy and having the buttons right next to the screen was a big plus. The walk test indicator and write to card indicator seem to shut down after a while and are no longer visible during the shutter process. The flash pictures had good black white balance and very little grey but still had that BF fuzz that all do. The dead pixel test showed that it was pretty speckled. Outside good light test had very good color with a degree of fuzziness. These pictures are definitely not as sharp and clear as the Red 2, 4, and 6 cameras. I did hear a bit of filter clunk at transition.
The still resolutions are 2, 5, and 5 MP through programming Video resolutions are 620X440 and 320X240 with 10, 15, and 30 second plus 1 and 2 minute selectable length. My initial tests were all done in the 5 MP still setting.
After the dark room fiasco I gathered a selection of bungee, straps, cables, and just plain old bailing wire and headed to the woods. When the sweat finally filled both eyes and I had visited a dozen or so trees I was not a very happy camper. Though it can be done, it is very difficult to hang this camera to where it is strait and aimed. A series of sticks and pine cones are always needed to not only get the vertical aim, it is also necessary in a lot of cases to have them for the horizontal aim. These articulating sides are symmetrical and the tree isn’t. The fold in battery tubes would work good on a nice round telephone pole or large pipe but very hard to deal with on an old crocked tree. I did have some good luck by folding one side all the way to the back and the other side all the way out and placing the camera on the side of the tree with the strap ran around the tubes, behind the camera and then around tree. The wire worked the best by anchoring the bottom of the tubes through the loops and then using a bungee in the top loops. This way the tubes would not move and stayed in place while stuffing the aiming material behind the camera. It does take a degree of getting use to and is the reason I spent so much time trying to find out the best way. It will certainly be interesting to hear the field reports on this new and different design.