Trail Cam?

Nod

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#1
Just had a quick glance down the first couple of pages in this section to see if there are any recent threads covering this and didn't spot one. I know things move quite fast in all sectors of technology so older threads may well be out of date!

Anyway... I'm considering one of THESE via Amazon. Seems a reasonable spec and price as well as having no 3* or worse reviews there. Anyone got any other suggestions at a similar price/spec or a compelling reason not to get one of them?

TIA.
 
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#2
Just had a quick glance down the first couple of pages in this section to see if there are any recent threads covering this and didn't spot one. I know things move quite fast in all sectors of technology so older threads may well be out of date!

Anyway... I'm considering one of THESE via Amazon. Seems a reasonable spec and price as well as having no 3* or worse reviews there. Anyone got any other suggestions at a similar price/spec or a compelling reason not to get one of them?

TIA.
Can't help with this particular one, Nod but I'd be really interested to hear about and see the results if you get one. It has better resolution than the one we have and ours cost a lot more. I don't think the lower cost of this one is any indication of poorer quality, especially as the reviews are all favourable, just that prices have dropped over the last few years.

The attached is an example of the trail camera we use, its 720 rather than 1080. It is a compilation from few videos. the last one shows how it does in daylight. The quality isn't great but good enough to identify things.

Dave

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NJXFUny4Ls&index=14&list=UUnbmDduANoWyilfnbUqtC4Q
 
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#3
I own both a Bushnell Natureview I spent quite a bit on a number of years ago, and a Neweer thing I got for £45 in the summer. Overall the Bushnell is superior; the Bushnell has more control options in the menu, daytime image quality is pretty much a wash between them, the Neewer does have a slight issue with a grid pattern/banding at night. The equation might be slightly different if you're after the pictures/videos as the end product but as someone who is using them for researching subjects, I'll be going with the cheap ones in the future. I'll get more insight from four or five devices for the same cost, and when one dies or someone eventually nicks one, I'd rather is was something I spent fifty on.

Someone at work bought an Apeman device and physically it was very similar to my Neweer one. In fact Apeman's H65 looks identical to mine. I suspect there's some relationship between the two companies or shared supply chain.
 
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#4
My (current!) wants/needs are purely for interest rather than in expectation of fabulous images/videos. We've seen foxes playing outside and have seen badgers within 1/2 mile so I'm wondering what else might be about.
There are also a lot of interesting looking holes around the golf course that I could set it up to watch for a day at a time - I'd much rather have £70 worth of kit left out than a couple of hundred!
Particularly drawn to the one linked to because it doesn't light up when it's active so should be less noticeable and disruptive to whatever it might capture.
 
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#5
Just had a quick glance down the first couple of pages in this section to see if there are any recent threads covering this and didn't spot one. I know things move quite fast in all sectors of technology so older threads may well be out of date!

Anyway... I'm considering one of THESE via Amazon. Seems a reasonable spec and price as well as having no 3* or worse reviews there. Anyone got any other suggestions at a similar price/spec or a compelling reason not to get one of them?

TIA.
The Bushnell Model 119445 in the Classifieds any good to you?
 
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#6
TBH, I'd prefer new with a warranty but thanks for pointing that one out - I usually keep the classifieds section closed to "deliver myself from temptation!"
 
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#7
I have that exact model Nod it’s only gone up tonight to keep eye on our street of all things but will let you know in the next few days how well it works :)
 
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#8
Trigger time is important, otherwise you can end up with just the tail end of something disappearing, or nothing but a view of the background because the subject that triggered the camera has left the field of view before the recording started. After a quick look, the trail cam you linked to seems to refer to 'lightning fast' rather than a specified trigger time such as 0.1 second or something like that? If so, perhaps try to find out what the trigger time is (for video - as still camera trigger time is often quicker, but video usually provides a better chance of identifying the trigger source), and compare that against other trail cams within your budget? Hope this suggestion is useful and keep us posted on what you eventually buy and your experience with it. (y)
 
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#9
I'd be interested in your comments if you do get one, Nod. I was going to get a more expensive one but didn't when the garden grew so well I'd never have seen anything. I'd still consider buying one if I could get a much cheaper one.
 
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#10
One of my plans is to setup my Bushnell and Neweer devices side by side, and compare how often/quickly they get triggered.
 
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#12
Mr Badger, a review HERE suggests a 0.05second trigger time - should be fast enough.

Most of the cheaper ones seem to be much of a muchness in terms of spec - possibly the same guts in different boxes so on the basis of the 4*+ Amazon reviews, I think I'll get it ordered. I shall post some results as and when I manage to get some!



ETA... Now ordered.
 
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#13
Mr Badger, a review HERE suggests a 0.05second trigger time - should be fast enough.

Most of the cheaper ones seem to be much of a muchness in terms of spec - possibly the same guts in different boxes so on the basis of the 4*+ Amazon reviews, I think I'll get it ordered. I shall post some results as and when I manage to get some!



ETA... Now ordered.
The review you linked to seems to be for a different version, as the LED compartment is a different shape and the LEDs are visible on that one too, but not in the one you've bought. So maybe the one you've bought is a later version? Anyway, let me know how you go on with it. I'll probably buy one later this week too as I've been waiting for the 'no glow' versions to come down in price. I use them occasionally for work and a no glow one would be less likely to draw unwanted attention, from both people and animals.

I went on a camera trapping training day a couple of years ago (which was very interesting) and the tutor recommended the use of lithium type batteries (Energizer or similar) rather than standard alkali type ones. ISTR this was to do with lithium batteries being much better suited to the current drain characteristics of trail cams on standby, plus lithium batteries apparently cope better with cold weather conditions too. I don't know if this had changed since I was told that, but thought I'd mention it. Hope this is useful and you like your new camera when it arrives. (y)
 
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#14
In our camera we use NIMH rechargeable batteries as it ate alkalines very quickly. At the moment we usually get 2 or 3 nights recordings before changing some of the batteries.

A very quick trigger time is in theory useful but the downside is if an animal moves through the field of view quickly, then a fast trigger time will spot the animal, set the camera recording but you could get a video of noting because the subject has already gone.

Dave
 
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#15
In our camera we use NIMH rechargeable batteries as it ate alkalines very quickly. At the moment we usually get 2 or 3 nights recordings before changing some of the batteries.

A very quick trigger time is in theory useful but the downside is if an animal moves through the field of view quickly, then a fast trigger time will spot the animal, set the camera recording but you could get a video of noting because the subject has already gone.

Dave
They recommend you don't use rechargeable batteries in this trail cam as some of the functions apparently may not work if you do (probably due to the voltage being lower than standard Alk or Lith AAs). Also, NiMh batteries tend to suffer from voltage loss when not being used, so this won't help either. I find my existing trail cams last for ages when set to record video, although it will depend on how often it's being triggered to record. Based on my experience so far, I'd expect to get several weeks of use out of a trail cam set to record video, with the SD card most likely filling up before the batteries need changing.
 
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#16
My intended use (at the moment but it may well change!) is for 3-4 days maximum and usually just overnight. I've got plenty of alkali cells as well as a load of NiMH/Eneloops so I'll see how well it copes and what its appetite for the things is like.
 
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#17
Posting to subscribe ;)

I have an Amazon voucher (a pressure) originally for when I was looking at have a simple folding hide in the garden. So the Ape-man you linked to sounds interesting especially for the price with invisible IR lamps.

If the image & video quality is a decent standard that would be great :)

Re: batteries ~ does it have a mains powered function (sorry ~ cannot recall reading it in the spec ;) )
 
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#18
Not sure about the mains facility - not important to me so didn't bother checking! Almost certainly possible to bodge rig something up if necessary.
 
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#19
Not sure about the mains facility - not important to me so didn't bother checking! Almost certainly possible to bodge rig something up if necessary.
Yes, ;)

The reason I asked was that based on @Tringa and @Mr Badger saying that their cameras accept NiMH type rechargeables but the Apeman apparently may be more fickle........it could make sense if mains powered was a possiblity.

PS having said that I have this sitting in my "what about it folder" for a good while so might still buy this kit ( https://mynaturewatch.net/infrared ) for some DIY assembly and 'playing' with it???

PPS on their blog page they have various other projects including one to 'read' the RFID tags that apparently are used in some bird ringing/ID programs...... https://mynaturewatch.net/blog
 
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#20
Yes, ;)

The reason I asked was that based on @Tringa and @Mr Badger saying that their cameras accept NiMH type rechargeables but the Apeman apparently may be more fickle........it could make sense if mains powered was a possibility.
No, I don't use NiMh batteries in my trail cams, I use Lithium AAs in them (I did use some good quality Alkali batteries for about a week or so when I first got one, but that was before I found out that Lithium were apparently better). As mentioned, I think this is due to the low but steady current drain (with occasional higher drain when triggered) characteristics of trail cameras, which apparently suit the properties of lithium batteries better. I remember reading a thread on a forum somewhere where some people had experienced issues when using alkali type batteries, but they had noticeably better results when they swapped them for Lithium AA batteries.

I seem to remember the thread participants were people who were using trail cams on a professional type basis and leaving them set outdoors in all weathers for longish periods of time. Even so, I'd rather use what's best and avoid possible issues for the sake of a couple of £ price difference. I believe NiMH aren't particularly suitable for most trail cams due to their lower voltage, power discharge when not in use and poorer performance in cold weather. Bearing in mind that digital recording equipment can 'lock up' if it loses power at the wrong moment, I'd rather reduce the risk, particularly when using 'budget' kit that may or may not be as robust to such things.

I think I read that the Apeman camera that's linked to can run off a 6v DC supply, but I might have imagined that! I should be able to let you know soon though, as I've just bitten the bullet and ordered one! :)
 
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#21
No, I don't use NiMh batteries in my trail cams, I use Lithium AAs in them (I did use some good quality Alkali batteries for about a week or so when I first got one, but that was before I found out that Lithium were apparently better). As mentioned, I think this is due to the low but steady current drain (with occasional higher drain when triggered) characteristics of trail cameras, which apparently suit the properties of lithium batteries better. I remember reading a thread on a forum somewhere where some people had experienced issues when using alkali type batteries, but they had noticeably better results when they swapped them for Lithium AA batteries.

I seem to remember the thread participants were people who were using trail cams on a professional type basis and leaving them set outdoors in all weathers for longish periods of time. Even so, I'd rather use what's best and avoid possible issues for the sake of a couple of £ price difference. I believe NiMH aren't particularly suitable for most trail cams due to their lower voltage, power discharge when not in use and poorer performance in cold weather. Bearing in mind that digital recording equipment can 'lock up' if it loses power at the wrong moment, I'd rather reduce the risk, particularly when using 'budget' kit that may or may not be as robust to such things.

I think I read that the Apeman camera that's linked to can run off a 6v DC supply, but I might have imagined that! I should be able to let you know soon though, as I've just bitten the bullet and ordered one! :)
Ah! sorry I misread your other post :oops: :$ if, as I read it correctly, you have ordered the Apeman one linked to by @Nod I look forward to your (and others who buy it :) ) review and comparison to what you have been using ~ TIA for the report and insight :)
 
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#22
Yes, I've just ordered the same one as Nod bought, will let you know what I think when it arrives and I've tested it against my existing model. I'm hoping for a quicker trigger time as well as invisible LEDs. :)
 
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#23
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#24
Yes, ;)

The reason I asked was that based on @Tringa and @Mr Badger saying that their cameras accept NiMH type rechargeables but the Apeman apparently may be more fickle........it could make sense if mains powered was a possiblity.

PS having said that I have this sitting in my "what about it folder" for a good while so might still buy this kit ( https://mynaturewatch.net/infrared ) for some DIY assembly and 'playing' with it???

PPS on their blog page they have various other projects including one to 'read' the RFID tags that apparently are used in some bird ringing/ID programs...... https://mynaturewatch.net/blog

Thanks for those links BB, especially the first.

Dave
 
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#26
Thanks for those links BB, especially the first.

Dave
Your welcome, they also as you will find have one design/kit for a non-IR lamped camera design................from what I recall the last time I looked at the kit prices it was approx £45 to get the IR based one. So not cheap when compared to the commercial products now available but maybe worth a punt for the fun of assembling ones own with the (appropriately?) individualised housing designs ;)
 
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#27
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#29
Dunno! I followed Google to find it.

Your link is to apemanelectronic while mine's to apemans but they seem to show the same products.
 
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#30
It's arrived. First impressions: it was packed in a smart-looking cardboard box that didn't appear to have been opened before by anyone else (which is usually an encouraging start!). The trail cam looks quite well made and nicely finished, and has tight-fitting toggle latches to close it and seal it against the weather (hopefully). A brief read through the instructions and a thorough (but fairly quick, as I already have a trail cam and the menu settings generally share the same sort of contents) set-up process, followed by a brief test indoors and it seems to be working as it should.

So far the only slight niggle is that the SD card (using a micro SD card adaptor as I don't have a full-size card spare) is quite difficult to remove: it loads and ejects 'on the spring' as it should, but pulling it the rest of the way out takes strong fingers as it seems to catch on something.

Unfortunately, the delivery arrived just as it was going dark so I've not had chance to test it in daylight yet, but a quick trial indoors in artificial light shows it 'hangs on' to colour video longer than my existing trail cam, which had switched to infra-red black and white recording at that light-level in a side-by-side comparison. It also seems to trigger more quickly than my existing trail cam (a 'Maginon' that I bought from Aldi in 2016 for £69), which I'm pleased about as that was one of the two reasons I bought the new one!

There's also no visible red glow from the LED illuminator, which was the other reason I bought the new one. This was really obvious tonight as I've set them both side-by-side in the back garden to test and compare them overnight. You can see the IR LEDs on my old cam glowing like the dull-red embers of a dying fire when it triggers, but nothing at all from the new cam, plus the black LED cover on the new one doesn't seem to reflect the light and show up like the transparent one does on my original cam - altogether more stealthy! :)

It's almost -1C here already tonight, and flat calm, so it should give fair comparison test conditions, with no vegetation moving to 'false trigger' either of them, plus warm-blooded wildlife should stand out well against the frosty surroundings. I'll post a progress report tomorrow evening, and try different video resolutions on the new cam during daylight tomorrow too. It's set on the 1080p max res at the moment, but I couldn't find anything in the instruction manual about what frame rate the 1080p setting uses... sometimes you can be better off running at 720p and 30 fps rather than 1080 at 15 fps, or whatever... so it's going to be a case of trying it to see which setting delivers the best looking video. Will keep you posted. :)
 
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#31
I left mine running for a few days outside, night pics of people walking by are not that sharp but might be as I have it too high so triggering too late as its on a tight angle looking down, day pics are pretty good, night would show up animals etc but so far not as good as I hoped
 
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#34
Nothing to add to BB's experiences other than agreement.

Too knackered last night to set it up outside so left it on the landing to see what the cat gets up to. Seems to be completely invisible to her (well, the lights!) - after an initial sniff at something new, she completely ignored it during her nightly wanderings.

Despite what I said in post #12, the trigger time is 0.5 seconds NOT 0.05. Fast enough to catch the cat!

Had it set to take 3 photos then 30s of video but I'll try 1 photo tonight so it doesn't miss so much action.

The IR illumination is quite bright so close ups are fairly blown out. Experimentation will see what the optimum camera to subject distance is.
 
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#35
The night one seems to show a degree of motion blur compared to the day one. Are you able to "see" what the shutter speeds were???
looks like 1/20s at night, the settings when checking were 5mp it can do 12mp, medium sensitivity and single shot so will need to have a play with other settings might even check if there are any firmware updates as I believe they have a good support site
 
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#36
looks like 1/20s at night, the settings when checking were 5mp it can do 12mp, medium sensitivity and single shot so will need to have a play with other settings might even check if there are any firmware updates as I believe they have a good support site
Hmmm! at 1/20 second even people walking there will be some motion blur.

I look forward to both your and Nod's further update insights.

TIA :)
 
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#37
A quick check of the recordings from last night and it's looking promising. No nocturnal visitors to the garden though, other than me walking back to the house (probably too cold for the neighbours' cats to go out!). Once it came light a blackbird found the bird food I'd sprinkled in front of the cameras, with the first recording (from the Apeman) at 8.28am.

I had 2 recordings of blackbirds from the Apeman, and two recordings (one blackbird and one blank) from the Maginon, but both at different times, however, the bird recording from the Maginon was outside the field of view of the Apeman, so I'm happy with why it didn't record that one. I also had 1 recording from the Apeman that I'd have expected the other camera to have picked up, but it didn't. The Apeman definitely seems to trigger noticeably faster than my 2 year old Maginon, with it picking me up the moment I stepped out of the patio door (14.5m away from the camera) and the Maginon only picking me up after I'd slid the door shut behind me - this would seem consistent with the 0.5 versus 1 second trigger times quoted in the manuals.

The frame rate on the video from the Apeman did seem a bit slow (perhaps 15fps?) at 1080p, so I've changed this to 720p to see how that looks (I have the Maginon on 720p as that runs at 30fps rather than 15fps at 1080p, and I suspect the Apeman may be the same?). The Apeman also seems to have a narrower field of view than the Maginon (although both lenses are quoted as being 55 degrees - which I checked before buying) so it's not as wide a view as the Maginon, which is a bit of a downside for general use. I'll see if changing to 720p makes any difference in case there's a 'zoom' effect at 1080p.

As for general settings, I usually run my cameras on 'video only' (30 second clips) as I believe this gives me the best chance of seeing what triggered the recording and I can always take a screen shot if I want to have a record photo (I've found with night shots that if the trigger object is quite distant then it's sometimes only the movement from it that reveals its presence). After seeing the motion blur on the night photo from Adam I think I've made the right choice. Mind you, it's to be expected as the Apeman has no-glow IR illumination, so it's not going to be as bright as a trail cam with 'low glow' LEDs, which are supposedly about 30% brighter, so it's going to need a slower shutter speed - we can't expect the latest tech at the budget end of the market!

Anyway, I've left my cameras set in the garden again today so will see what they capture, then I'll run the Apeman overnight on its own and see how any night recordings look, as last night it would have had the shared benefit of the low-glow LED illuminators from the camera next to it. I then plan to give it a proper 'wildlife' test at the weekend. Will keep you posted, let me know how you go on too. :)

PS @Box Brownie - In answer to your question in post #17, it has an optional 6v DC input via a rubber plugged hole at the bottom of the casing.
 
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#38
@Mr Badger thanks for the comprehensive write-up. Looking forward to further reports.

@AdamSi The daylight picture certainly looks very good. I have a Little Acorn 6210M trail cam that I have had for a few years and have not been too impressed with the images TBH but this one looks very good.

@Nod Where did you get your Li AA cells and what make are they please?
 
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#39
Thanks @Giblets, will do. Be interested to know where Nod bought his Li AAs from; just ordered 4 packs of 4 x Energizer Lithium AAs from Battery Force in Manchester, £21.91 inc second class postage. I went for that, as I've bought from them a couple of times before.
 
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#40
Li AAs on their way from 7dayshop. Energizers. 24 for £24.99 delivered.
 
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