Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SENWOW 12MP 1080P HD Game and Trail Hunting Camera


Available for sale at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GFQZGU6

BACKGROUND:
I have several other trail camera brands including Stealth Cam, Moultrie, Covert, Primos, Browning, TEC.BEAN, Crenova, and SEEWORLD/Outdoortop, Distianart, Bestguarder, and now this camera. The day time pictures with all of these brands are adequate or better for hunting and scouting purposes (though some are slightly better). What separates a camera in my eyes is trigger time, quality night pictures, recovery time, battery life, strap connecting to the tree, ease of setup, pictures of an object in motion, LCD menu screen, and durability. I’ve been using trail cams since about 2009, mainly with pictures. My choice in taking pictures or videos depends on the setup/situation. I don’t do time lapse. It’s just not something that’s useful for my hunting/scouting purposes.

RED FLASH VS BLACK FLASH:
This camera is a no-glow camera, or a “BLACK FLASH” camera. The flash is virtually undetectable by humans or animals (technically it can be seen to a small degree from a short distance but for all intents and purposes it's not noticeable). It makes a good security camera for this reason. The trade off with black flash cameras is that night pictures are typically a bit “grainy”. This is true with all black flash cameras I've used.

A low-glow, or RED FLASH, camera can be seen by humans at night (though it isn’t as bright as a white flash camera like that found on a DSLR or camera phone). A low glow is at times detectable by animals if they are looking at the camera. There are times that it might spook a deer or other animal, cause it to avoid the immediate area, or they might ignore it altogether. An animal’s response depends on the nature of that individual animal. For deer, it helps to keep the a red flash camera above eye level (5-6 feet or higher if desired). A red flash camera takes a bit better night pictures, generally speaking.

TRIGGER TIME:
I was curious to note that the trigger time varied. I suspect that there are cheaper/slower internal reading and storage hardware in this camera for video and multiple pictures. At any rate, here are my findings:
o 0.7-0.9 trigger time with 1 photo selected - See attached picture as evidence
o 2.7 second video trigger time





PROS:
+ If you've used a trail camera before, setup is fairly intuitive (except you must hold in the "Set" button to set the time). If not, a quick read of the user manual may be required to take advantage of all the features
+ Fairly fast picture trigger time of 0.8 seconds 
+ Day pictures are good. 
+ LCD screen to allow you to review pictures (very few have this in this price range)
+ It comes with a 32 GB SD card (a very nice bonus!)
+ Video with audio (1, 5, 10 and 20 second video clips)
+ Photo bursts from 1 to 3 pictures at a time (8 and 5 Megapixel options)
+ Security password (optional)
+ It operates on 4 or 8 AA batteries
+ Operator's manual is written in clear English (I had a suspicion it might be broken English but it wasn't)

CONS:
- Slow recovery time (time between your selection of 1-3 pictures/videos to the next trigger) of 7 seconds.
For instance, if you selected the option to take 3 photos, the camera will snap a picture and then it won't go off again for another 7 seconds at a minimum (you can have it wait longer if you desire). 
- Weak nighttime illumination
- Narrow picture ratio of 4:3 (oddly enough video is 16:9). Basically, if you remember old televisions were 4:3. New widescreen televisions are 16:9. This is basically what I'm saying with 4:3. It is a narrow, or box-like, picture as opposed to a wide picture.
- The strap going around the tree has a plastic buckle. I much prefer a metal clip for durability and because it's quicker to attach to trees if you move the camera frequently. If you keep it in the same location, a plastic buckle likely won't matter much to you.

OTHER NOTES:
o All trail cameras exaggerate their megapixels. Some state that they are 12 MP cameras, but that's misleading. These cameras interpolate, or replace every pixel with a number of pixels of the same color, but it doesn't add any quality or focus to the picture. It's essentially a marketing gimmick. This camera is a true 5 MP camera (like many or most others).
o Pictures do have some motion blur, but most cameras do. It's about what I expected in terms of motion blur.

WHO IS THIS CAMERA MEANT FOR?
This camera is best suited for those homeowners that want an inexpensive trail camera to set out and don't necessarily need the best or highest quality pictures. This is also for ranchers/hunters that want to use many trail cameras without "breaking the bank".

WHO IS THIS CAMERA NOT MEANT FOR?
This camera is not a good fit for those that want top quality night pictures, those wanting a feature-rich camera with top-end trigger time, or those willing to spend about 50 bucks more to a highly competitive class of cameras.

CONCLUSION:
Nearly every trail camera, no matter the price, has some benefits and drawbacks. Some are better and quicker at photos, some at videos, some better night quality, etc. This camera is a budget camera that does a decent job at taking pictures and videos, particularly given the price. Like anything else, if you are willing to spend a little more, you will get a higher quality picture/video output. However, there is a niche for this trail camera. Hopefully, this reviewed enabled you to identify if this camera is the right fit for you!







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