Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Night-time trail camera - Fox

I recently had the opportunity to try two Acorn trail cameras and compare them with my Bushnell NatureView HD Cam. The Bushnell works reasonably well in daylight with both stills and video but the infrared stills are disappointing and the infrared video is only just OK.

The Acorn 5210A is a basic model and the video seemed to have fault that I couldn't overcome with the menu settings or the manual - despite being set to record for 30s it cut out every time after less than a second giving only tantalising glimpses of the fox.  The infrared stills were OK.

The early morning colour shot was very grainy but technically challenging because of the dark foreground and very bright light in the background.

The Acorn 6210MC is a more advanced camera and worked as set in still and video mode.  I tried it in the garden and in darkness the infrared still shot was like this - only good enough for a record shot.

When the security light came on the camera worked in colour - not too bad.

The video results were variable, again better with more light but disappointing in total darkness.  In this clip the fox and hedgehog are sharing dinner and the foreground is overexposed.  The hedgehog runs out of frame and triggers the security light.  The camera takes a second or two to adjust but you can see the improvement in resolution.

This next clip was shot in twilight with extra light from a 60W wall light but the camera is in infrared mode.  The two hedgehogs are joined by the younger fox.  The resolution here is OK.

In this last clip the security light is on.  The camera starts in colour mode but clicks almost instantly to B&W (it did this every time and again I can't find out why in the menu settings or the manual).  The resolution is notably better with more light.


If they are in the same video format as the Bushnell these clips won't play in Safari on an iPad but I can't test it before publishing the post.

Overall I don't think these cameras are significantly better than the Bushnell, which also does better in B&W with more illumination from the security light.  I am still looking out for a better trail camera.  If you know of one to recommend please leave a comment.

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