2010 Wingscapes PlantCam Review - May 27, 2010

2010 Time Lapse PlantCam by Wingscapes

2010 Wingscapes PlantCam Time Lapse Camera Review

Some time back we had some fun with the Wingscapes Bird camera and did a review. These people also have a time lapse plant camera that caught our eye because of the introduction of the new Plot watcher camera that was showing up on about every outdoor forum. The mail began to hit the inbox at a large rate so we began to pick through and go ahead and acquire some different units to test. This camera hit our door and when purchased including shipping was less than $75. Not exactly a woodsy looking device it appears more like a John deer collector item with the green and yellow colors. The size is 5 X 7 X 2 inches which is still small but not in the mini class. The color scheme is dark green and light green with small yellow latches but all are mat non reflective surfaces. There is a sight window (view finder) at the top and below that the light sensor just above the camera lens with the laser aims just off to the right. The bottom has a by 20 tripod insert plus there is the same insert at the bottom of the back. In the package is the normal USB, TV out , Strap and a really neat articulating mounting bracket. That can be hooked to a small post or be strapped to a tree. With the door open you have the main power on/off switch and around the lens the focus adjustment ring which we use at max. There is the main LCD for programming with its up/down/left/right buttons with the select in the center. There is also a rotary function switch for aim/setup/auto/playback just left of the programming switches. A full weather tight gasket seals the moisture out for long field operations. There is also a 12 volt external power port at the bottom for those who use those big 16 (max) gig cards on those extended stay field operations. Around the right side of the camera inside the door are the SD card slot (to 16 gig) and the TV out/USB ports.

The documentation was very well written and complete with the specification page. The programming procedures were simple and easy (just like Moultrie) with interval times as low as ASAP (instant except for write time to the card) 30 seconds 1, 5, 10, 15, 30, Minutes and, 1, 3, 6, 24 hour settings. Using the two low settings will use much more of your battery life. This camera has no flash so battery life should be good but we will definitely test it. You can also program to capture 10 second video clips instead of single pictures if desired. There is also a feature to convert up to 360 time lapse pictures into a video clip by a simple programming operation. I had a 136 picture sequence on a 2 gig card and went through the in camera change to video and it played as a high speed slide show on my windows media player just fine. Another feature is where you can select one two or three pictures per interval (burst) mode which for some may have a use especially for those longer interval setups.

This camera has opened my eyes up as to the potential it has to compete in the hunting field operations as a tool to work with the scouting cameras but not to replace them. The higher MP rating and external battery option with large capacity storage could have a real function with a little imagination. The John Deere colors dont bother me because the time laps cameras can be placed back away from the target areas out of site. They do not have PIR sensors so blowing brush or limbs are not a bother. If the color is an issue a little bit of Bow camouflage tape will tone it down to help it hide from those prying eyes. Everything on this camera can be covered up except the light sensor and camera lens. The LCD gives picture count and battery condition but it can be covered in some manner that can be lifted up if you need to see that information. There is little or no security on this camera and I know of no after market security box for this camera. Being more than a hundred dollars cheaper than the competition, I dont think there will be a rush to manufacture any aftermarket security boxes. WD series Stealth cam boxes may work with a little work.

My quickie tests performed on a construction site worked extremely well and I was favorably impressed so far. I will get this cam out to Anthony so we can put it on the hill and capture a few days of pictures/videos. We have the Plot Watcher cam here now so that review will be very close to the other two that are in process now. I also have one more to test but may wait until fall to do that because of the pressure to get to the 2010 scouting cameras that are getting released at this time.

07-27-2010 update: We raised a few eyebrows with this cameras and several people loved it. It has performed very well for us. The external battery option and programming options makes this camera our pick for long term use in the field. We are holding off for now and will close this review until we get closer to the end of summer.

02-14-2011 update: Ran it through another couple weeks of pictures and the camera function was fine it was just that we did not have much as far as activity in the area chosen. We are closing this review now.

Sample photos in high quality
(it is raining in the second pic)

The following is a Time Lapse video I made from the photos at 10 frames per second using my own software. I reduced the video to 720x480 from the original 2560x1920 frame size.

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