2010 WGI IR3C Camera Review - June 22, 2010

2010 WGI IR3C

This unit also comes in a camo version:

2010 WGI IR3C 3mp 18 count IR red flash Camera Review

I tripped and fell when I saw this camera from a distance setting on the shelf. Not knowing the manufacturer, from a distance I automatically thought (knock-off) and was searching for a good four letter word for junk. The closer I got to the camera I started to see some familiar details and began to see that it was far from the four letter word I was searching for. Three years running now we have watched Wildgame Innovations move from near that word to some pretty good cameras. The IR-4 was very popular last year and we have people that are still running them and still like the performance. I looked at the Cudde IR and classed it as a basic no frills picture only camera and they have the fortitude to try to sell that camera for $250. Well this little camera ($80) 6 X 6 X 2 inch camera is very much a basic picture only camera. No video or sound. The satin black case with large bungee loops at each corner is dressed out by having a bottom gasket sealed trap door with two latches. The top front is the array/camera lens combination like the old 3BU from Leaf River. The 18 count array encircles the camera lens. Center front is the bulls eye type PIR lens that measures inch and left and right is the PIR status and write to card indicator. There is a small window that looks through to the inside LCD so you can see time, date, temp, photos taken and what storage room is remaining on the card. This no frills just slipped a couple of notches above that Cudde we were discussing above. The external 6 volt power port is located on the right side of the camera. The back of the camera has no strap loops but the bungee loops are large enough to accommodate a strap if you choose to use that to mount the camera. Unlatch the trap door and you will see a small latched door for the four C cell battery compartment. The SD card (up to 2 gig) and USB (onboard 64 MB) ports are located here also. The top corner has three small switches and they are up/down and the center is advance and select button for setting time/date if you choose to do so. A nice little package that is small enough it should slip onto a tree without much notice. The external on off switch is a feature that I have always liked since my first Leaf River camera.

Dealing with cameras that have a top resolution of 3 MP has always been more of a favorite to me than the large file sized pictures that we see. The little 18 count array is only rated to 25 feet but we will get it on the range and see if it will do better than that. The advertised sensing distance is up to 40 feet assuming conditions are right. The four C cells are supposed to last up to a month using default settings. I just checked and there is only default settings available so I guess they mean the batteries will last a month. The only other things that were in the package were a little bungee and a USB cable.

The documentation was just a small booklet but was adequate for my needs. I would like to have seen the data that they provided on the box, also included in the manual like the specification charts and more detailed pictures. I gritted my teeth and dug into my package of energizer C cells (not my favorite after the mess we found with dead cells in un opened packages) and immediately tested them to insure they were good. I slid the latch to the battery compartment door over and it opened up and exposed a nice diagram indicating battery polarity and installation. The on button pushed on and held a short time got things fired up so I could install the card (up to 3 gig) and begin to set the date time. The three small buttons by the battery door are used for this. Hold the center button for a second and you enter the menu and then use the up/down buttons and the center button to select that setting and advance to the next setting. At the end just hit the center button and all is done. Push the off button and everything turns off. Select the location to hang the camera and achieve aim and push the on/off button and after 30 seconds it will take a picture if triggered. Then the delay time will kick in and the wait time will be a full minute before the camera can be triggered again. It is now ready to go.

Slid into the shop for a quickie unofficial trigger time test and recorded 1.75+ seconds repeatedly so we have a sub 2 second camera on our hands. Next was the sample picture tests and with good sun to my back I got sharp clear pictures that would put a lot of more expensive 2010 cameras to shame. Inside to the dark room and tested the length of the array flash time and found it was about a second. The pictures taken during that test were above average. This little no frills $80 camera seems to work very well. Lets hope we can generate a high degree of longevity before it turns to dust.

06-19-2010 update: While doing some FOV tests on other cameras I scooped up this cam and planned to get this data while I had all my instruments out doing the same tests on a series of other cameras. Because of the one minute delay period, this kind of testing goes pretty slow. I did manage to capture about a half dozen shots while I measured the PIR FOV and there was a pretty lousy match. The camera has a nice wide 14 foot view at a distance of 18 feet. The PIR could only see 8 feet in the center of those 14 feet. This means that the animal would have to be close to center, and with this cameras trigger speed there is no guarantee that the capture would be anywhere near center in the picture. A very slow walk across the zone only caught me one time and I had passed center by more than half the remaining distance to the edge of the zone.

08-14-2010 update: This little camera in the black case with standard batteries lasted 565 photos and 41 days on 4 C cells. The Camo version is still going with the WGI battery box supplying power. These little cameras are just neat little cameras with lousy delay, give me a 15 second delay with this camera and I would use a bunch of them.

09-19-2010 update: We kept this camera going to test the external WGI battery box and the combination lasted a solid two months of good service and over 700 photos. camera. This is another one of the WGI cameras that has performed well throughout the tests. We are going to close this review now.

Trigger Tests
(without flash 2.09 seconds)

(with flash 2.29 seconds)

Flash Range


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