2011 WGI Z6 (Flash 6) Camera Review - July 29 2011

2011 WGI
(micro 8 red)

2011 WGI Z6 (Flash 6) strobe white flash 6 MP digital camera review

This is a carry over style from last year and many found favor with this design. It is a mini camera compared to the old cameras but compared to todays cameras it is just classified as being small and not mini or micro. The strobe (white) flash cameras are slowly gaining another following because of those who like the night color pictures. The loss of not being able to do video at night is sometimes a problem for those who like it but the strobe flash does not allow it. The resolutions are 6, 4, 2 MPs and I am assuming that the day time video is 640X480. The sensitivity is adjustable from High, Medium down to Low which should match about any condition that you may have. Delay is down to 15 seconds and up through 30s, 1m, 2m, 5m, to 10 minutes. Card size is up to 16 gig which is a plenty for a 6 MP camera. Power is supplied in tube magazines (4 C cells) under the bottom door near the SD card slot. External power port is on the right side of the camera.

Programming was simple and easy (except for the tiny buttons) to do but the thin lines on the LCD were somewhat hard to see unless looking strait on during programming. They say that the camera should last about a month on a set of batteries which we found last year as being a bit of a stretch so we will re evaluate that and hope that has been fixed.

My in lab basic tests made me feel that trigger was somewhere approaching 2 seconds. The color night pictures and color daylight pictures turned out to be above average and somewhat better than what we had seen with an equivalent Moultrie. The 15 second delay will be re tested but I think it is closer to 20 seconds but that guess is un official. The dead pixel test come out slick and clear with no snow storm happening with the sensor. This little camera so far seems to function well but it has not grabbed me like the little N-2 camera did but it was red flash.

Somewhere around five inches square and a couple inches thick it should hide well with the satin black finish. There are no back belt loops but each corner has a loop that can take a bungee (supplied) or a belt if you have one. Top front center is a good sized strobe with the lens and PIR in line below that. The LCD and outside on/off switch are located at the bottom front. There is a drop down door that has two latches and when open there is battery compartment, card slot, and USB port. There are the three programming switches up in the corner and very near the lip which makes it a bit hard to get big old fingers into the buttons.

The book has a specification chart and well written and graphics to aid in the programming. With the LCD located on the front of the camera and the switches located under the door in the corner, it requires that the camera be off the tree to service. The switch labels are written in white ink so that is a big plus for old eyes and makes it nice and easy to read. One thing that makes this camera a little hard to handle and that is the lack of a flat bottom. There is no setting this camera down on a flat surface and do a thing. It can only be laid down on its back because of those pesky latches on the bottom of the camera prevents it setting upright. So to do simple tests it has to be tied to something. I know it is designed that way but for a tester it still makes it aggravating. There is no obvious means of security other than size and color. Small and fairly easy to hide camera selling for about $70 this camera would still be a target if the wrong bad guy found it in the woods not secured or well hidden. I have just had yet another bit of aggravation that has happened twice today. This is a case where the on off switch located on the front is easy to bump when handled and when I went back to the camera I found it turned on and if I had not had a need when I did it could have been there for days that way. This made me think that those who transport there cameras a long way and have several days prior to deploying them might have this happen in a pack or ATV box, so take care how the camera is packed so the switch is protected. The bottom door is somewhat warped across the back and appeared to not close completely but my tests showed no leaks in that area even though it is a little out of shape.

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.

We will get this into the lab as time allows and get on with the testing.

08-08-2011 update: Trigger times came out a little better than previously thought with .93 for day and 1.36 with flash. The day range and sensing came out to 50 feet for 85 degree temperature. This camera also showed up with some picture quality that is pretty good for a $70 camera. The night color pictures had the flash reaching out past 60 feet. This is the third WGI camera this year and the first one just did not make the grade but the N2 and this camera have done well. The delay set for 15 seconds was clocked just over 20 seconds which is a 6 second slip. I can live with that as long as I have the less than one second trigger and decent pictures. Lets hope it holds its own in the whiteout department where the 8 mini failed.

08-09-2011 update: We were not to careful or the aim slipped because this setup the aim was a little low so this is not a good evaluation of this cameras potential. We will re set and try to gather some more and better aimed pictures. Please view the few samples we did get to get a general idea of picture quality.

08-10-2011 update: Got a little moisture on the lens but these came out better. Most every one of the WGI cameras tested so far has been well above average in picture quality. Please view these new samples to evaluate.

08-12-2011 update: The video mode (day only) came out pretty good. They were smooth and fluid. The color was good and natural. These little flash cameras are going to give some people a case of the I wanta to fill that certain need for those nighttime color pictures plus maybe grab some daytime videos also.

09-21-2011 update: Both picture and video quality were not to bad and being this camera costs so little it sure makes those looking at the ill fated problematic Capture camera think twice before they pay that amount and having to put up with that kind of customer service. We have had good reports about this companys customer service and direct exchange and sometimes upgrade without cost to the customer. They even answer the phone which is toll free. We are going to shelf this camera in a position where we can run out the battery testing which will be reported on later. This review is closed.

10-29-2011 update: Battery life lasted 42 days with 1942 pictures and 28 videos taken.

Trigger Tests
( without flash )

( with flash )

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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