2011 WGI N4 (red 4) Camera Review - August 06, 2011

2011 WGI N4
(Red 4)

2011 WGI N4 (Red 4) IR 18 count red flash 4 MP (fixed) digital camera review

The third in this series we are testing and this time we are back to the red IR flash with day/night video capability. This is a fixed 4 MP camera or a 640X480 video camera. It will only go down to 30 seconds on the delay or up 1, 2, and 5 minutes selectable through programming. The PIR is fixed and not adjustable and rated out to 40 feet. SD card is up to 16 gig which is nice but would probably be over kill for a 4 MP camera. Battery life is rated to 30 days. We will look at this closely.

The satin black plastic case is about five inches square and a little over two inches thick. There are four loops on the corners that will accommodate either straps or bungee cords (supplied). The array is a single line of eighteen emitters wrapped around the main camera lens. These are high insensitivity and do push a good amount of light down range. Below the array is the PIR and its associated indicators. The LCD is across the bottom front next to the external on/off button. There is a 6v external battery port on the side of the camera. The bottom is a hinged door that opens up to expose the battery tube compartment (4 C cells) and USB/SD card ports. Because of this door/hinge arrangement this camera cannot be set up on its bottom without some other support to keep it upright. The bottom door on this unit is also warped but still seals fine with no leaks.

Programming was very easy and the instruction booklet was easy to follow and had good graphics to guide the user. The location of the switches verses the LCD screen requires that you have this camera off the tree to service. The buttons are well marked but hard to access because of the bottom lid and their location that is up in a corner.

With this camera full of new tested cells and programmed I ran it through some basic evaluations. Trigger seemed to be well under two seconds and the IR flash pictures were pretty good but did not grab me like this cameras little brother the 2 MP (N 2). Outside tests in the bright sun came out sharp and clear but we still liked the little brothers pictures. This camera sells from $70 to $90 so this is a very budget minded camera with both still and video options. We are sure many will find that it will fit into one of those addiction caused needs.

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.

It is time to get this camera in line to have all the good stuff looked at and some official information added to its review.

08-08-2011 update: Again, the next in line got its time on the bench and range. The bench showed trigger at 1.29 for day and 1.39 for flash. The delay set at 30 seconds tweaked out at 35 seconds. Sensing was 10 feet weaker with this camera than all the others tested today. It came in at 40 feet for this 85 degree day. The night with flash pictures are very clear and sharp but have a definite gray cast to them where the other IR cameras were more black and white. Day with color is somewhat washed and not strong as normal in color. There is also a bit of fuzziness to the detail.

08-12-2011 update: We collected some of our sample pictures and the detail and color was good. There was some motion blur and the night time with flash showed the grey cast to all pictures. This is not a bad thing but it is not the sharp black and white tone we have seen on other cameras like the N2. This same tone can be seen on the Moultrie mini camera night time pictures.

08-13-2011 update: Moving on to the video setting this camera seemed to like this a little better. We did how ever get a few light pictures but not full white out like we found on the X6 camera. The video setting produces some pretty good samples and the grey ting to the pictures is not there when the flash is on.

09-21-2011 update: We have moved through the modes and reported with samples. We are now waiting for the battery life, which will be reported on later as we finally see them depleted. This review is closed and that battery life will be reported later as we get it.

10-29-2011 update: Battery life lasted 41 days with 911 photos taken and 58 videos.

Trigger Tests
( without flash )

( with flash )

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate

Dead Pixel Test
(no dead pixels)

Video Samples

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