2011 WGI W8X micro 8 red Camera Review - June 29 2011

2011 WGI W8X
(micro 8 red)

2011 WGI W8X Micro 8 red 36 count red flash digital camera review

I just picked out one camera from the middle of the pack to review this year because all our efforts to contact the company have failed but we decided we would at least do a sample from this company. This is a very nice small camera that is less than 6 inches tall (not including latches) and 3 inches wide. It will go down to 15 seconds delay and has a healthy flash which will definitely peak the interest of some. Most everything we have tested from this company the last couple years has been well above average. Things like external battery hook up and pretty solid cases. This is one of the bottom door types of cameras but this one has latches and gasket to keep things dry.

Built in a plain satin black plastic case with some small textured areas along the sides to break up the silhouette, gives it a square look. The LCD looks out through a front window with the control buttons under the bottom door. This means that programming must be done in the hand and not on the tree. The 36 count array is at the top with the camera lens just under that and above the PIR lens. There are two LED indicators also on the front.

Three resolutions that range from 4Mp at the bottom and 6 and 8 above that, video is 640X480 at 30 fps. This move to a high of 8 is a little over kill for most applications so we will probably start off using the middle setting for most of our tests. We will still gather pictures of all settings but for the most part the 6 MP setting will have enough file size for our needs. Once filled with batteries this camera takes on a very solid feel and is a little heavy.

Leak tests and drop tests had no issues that we found. The batteries seemed to remain in place and the springs seemed to hold things together as needed with no loss of settings. We are starting to find that just the plain old satin black camera will hide almost as good as some of the high tech camo skinned units we have tested. The array still is a dead give away and is hard to hide.

Out of the box the first thing I noticed was a dead area in the LCD but it is in an area where it does not matter. The printing on the LCD screen is very small and hard to read even with good light. The select buttons for the programming are small and you must keep looking under to see what to do but the programming was relatively easy. The external battery port (6V) is up on the left side looking from the front and is under a rubber plug. For those who just like to set their camera on a flat area and use it will find those front latches sure get in the way and prevent this type of operation. There are no strap loops on the back and only small side cut outs for a bungee cord (supplied).

I did a quick dark room test and trigger seems to be alright but that red sensor when camera detects movement that goes off needs to be covered. The flash worked well for that initial test. Next I managed a few outside 90+ degree bright sunshine shots and in the middle setting the pictures were sharp and clear with natural color.

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.

The booklet does have the specification chart but it is also displayed on the shipping box so you will see that displayed here on the review. Again I must say that the two indicators left and right of the PIR lens should be covered with a small piece of black electrical tape. The red light goes off each time motion is sensed and the green light goes off during the write to card function. Both of these indicators may attract to much attention toward the area of the camera.

We will get some lab testes done and then get up on the hill and do the day/night range tests and sensing.

07-03-2011 update: We got a good setup in the lab and the trigger times came in under 1.5 seconds and the delay measured 22 seconds for the 15 second setting. The new dead pixel count test showed no evidence of that and the image was solid black. The day range looked alright with a touch of fuzziness on the color pictures.

07-04-2011 update: The night range came out pretty good and the sensing was out to 50 feet at 82 degrees. So far most of the functions have been worked well and the performance is equal to most cameras in the same price range. Please view the sample picture of the range and evaluate. Night pictures for the first outing on the MED setting came out very good but with some motion blur. The transition times show quite a bit of whiteout which is not acceptable.

07-06-2011 update: View the sample (HIGH-rez) pictures and you will see that the day color pictures are pretty good but we are still getting way too many white out pictures during the transition hours. This is too bad because we thought this was going to be an exceptional camera. We are also getting more than enough motion blur for some reason with this camera, both day and night. This may indicate a need for a firmware update.

07-09-2011 update: We moved on into the video phase of the test and the whiteout situation followed us over there also. When it worked it seemed to work well except the night illumination seems to be a little weak. We are pretty sure this camera is a good choice for some type of a firmware change to help with the whiteout issue. There is no reason for us to continue on further with this review because of that problem. This would probably be a stopper for most who had to use this camera. This review is closed.

09-05-2011 update: We have a late edition of this camera and we set up at night to give it a run to see if what we heard about an upgrade being done to curb the issue dealing with white outs. It did not take long with our residential herd to find out that this cam also has the same white out problem. There is no indication as to firmware so we have no way of checking our original camera against this one.

Trigger Tests
( without flash 1.09s)

( with flash 1.56s)

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate

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

Video Samples

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