2011 WGI N2 Camera Review - July 29 2011

2011 WGI N2

2011 WGI N2 16 count red flash 2 MP IR digital camera review

We originally had considered just doing the M8 camera only this year but we now have several in line to be done so let me get going on this. I picked this camera to be next because it is the one that sticks out on the isles of the local sporting goods store. Ever since the time when Non Typical used to make good cameras I have been a fan of the low MP cameras as long as they produce good pictures as did the old Non Typical 1.3 camera. This is just a plain satin black plastic camera that sells in the 50 to 60 dollar range. It only takes pictures with no video capabilities at all. The front has a small 16 count array at the top with the PIR sensor and camera lens just below that. There are two indicators (PIR status/capture and capture indicator) below the main lens. There are no strap loops on the back of this camera and only four corner holes for the supplied bungee cords to hang the camera. There is an external 6v power port on the bottom back of the camera. Inside there is just the LCD fro programming and the 4 associated buttons. The SD card (up to 8 gig) port is at the bottom front just under the programming buttons. There is a full weather gasket on the door for moisture control. The battery compartments take two C cells on each side of the LCD. Our choice for this review was 4 pre tested Ray O Vac pro cells.

The booklet has all the needed data on programming and a specification chart. It is easy to read and follow with good graphics as to buttons and such. Being many have high risk areas that they hunt but still have the need to capture some pictures of the local population, this low dollar camera might be a good choice if the picture quality holds up in our tests.

With the tank full and an empty card I did a quick check on trigger time and it looks to be under 2 seconds and both dark room and day light photos are surprisingly good. When compared to a high dollar camera with a remote that we just tested these pictures are maybe as good or better. The with flash (dark room) were only at about 30 feet and there were more than enough light down range for that. Close in pictures have some IR burn. There is a sizable filter clunk during the transition time but not with each motion detection event.

There was something that caught my eye as I did the lap dance with this camera and it was taking very close in pictures of me and my face. This camera does a great job of this and I now have taken it out to the old bird bath and set it up to see how it does on the small game that comes to that watering hole. There may just be a niche there for this camera also if it works out. I should know something in about an hour because this time of year those feathered critters flock there for a bath and a drink.

So far this little camera has elevated my hopes somewhat and I think we may have a winner if the field tests and battery life hold together. The one thing that did not impress me was that the minimum delay was 30 seconds which kind of sucks because there also is no burst mode. Just cant expect all those frills in a $50 camera.

Ok, this applies to all the WGI cameras. This is the two small indicators that they use to show PIR function and also the write to card after capture. Both are very useful but can also give away the cameras location. I tried some of the self adhesive dots from the office supply store and they work well and can be bought in different colors. They do leave residue when removed, unless you find the removable variety. Of all the things I have tried I found that a small cheap role of black electrical tape (not the shiny type) with the dull finish works best. It can be lifted and moved to the side during setup and once all this is done they can be replaced back over the indicators and because the tape is opaque no light shines thru.

Well as I moved on to a couple other cameras I had this little camera watching my bird bath at about 3 feet. It did two days work for about 400 pictures of my visitors and I was pleased with the results of the close up picture quality. Those that have a feeder on their deck and would like to record the visitors this cam could pull that duty also.

08-08-2011 update: Time allowed for us to get some lab time on this camera and the trigger time came out at 1.06 for day and 1.43 with flash. We had some good sun so the day range came out to be as expected and the little two MP file size and 30 second delay made things go fairly fast. This morning I had someone point out yet another issue with the day range pictures on the Leupold cameras. I switch from looking at those pictures straight over to this camera's pictures and I can say that being that was fresh in my mind, it is my opinion that this little $60 camera will kick some Leupold butt when it comes to picture quality. You could have 5 of these cameras and enough money for a years worth of batteries for the same price of that camera. This camera also proved to have better sensing at 50 feet at 85 degrees and its trigger times are nearly identical to the Leupold. The big difference is that this is a very basic camera that just takes pictures, but it is a finished product and not a work in progress, with that problematic remote control and fuzzy pictures. We moved on to the night range and wow it just is doing a real good job. The flash reached on out to the end of the range and the pictures were sharp and clear. I had this camera on the list to be the first candidate to use with the wireless flash booster slave from another company but from the looks of things I may have to look elsewhere. With its great night pictures I may just go ahead and see what happens. This test will probably be sometime later this week, if I can arrange it. After that first little adventure with my bird bath/fountain I have been very impressed. The minimum recovery time at 30s delay was 34.85s.

08-09-2011 update: Being this is only one resolution and picture only it was first on the hill to get the samples. The disappointment that we did not want to see just happened. We did get some white out pictures at transition. The night with flash and the day color are really good but this tough area was not handled very well when it came to the transition time. View the samples and see the extent of the white pictures.

09-21-2011 update: Being this camera only takes pictures and has no video we have completed the testing with the exception of the battery life tests which will be reported on later. This review is closed.

03-10-2012 update: This camera took 2213 photos over a period of 19 weeks.

Trigger Tests
( without flash 1.06s)

( with flash 1.43s)

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate

Dead Pixel Test
(Little or no dead pixels on this unit)

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