Strange circumstances led me to buy a pair of “trail cams”. One of the circumstances being my desire to try them out, another being a need for surveillance at two locations, and the third – the ‘clincher’ – being a pair put on sale for 50% off. Okay, let’s see how good 12 MP Tasco cameras are.
The answer is: not bad, but not fantastic. Pretty easy to set up (I read the instructions after getting them working, it’s that simple). Resolution is not bad and the lens is fairly sharp. There’s no angle of view adjustment on these: fixed focal length. They also have infrared night vision, which works about as well as you might expect, i.e. not very good. You really wouldn’t be able to identify anyone from the night images.
Now the downside. False triggers are wanton and often. I have lots of photos of apparently nothing moving (most likely wind disturbing branches) and sunrise drives it crazy as it transitions from IR to daylight imaging. One of the testing problems was getting anything in front of the camera that it is supposed to take a picture of. Where is all that wildlife that’s been abundant in the yard this year? I only got this picture of some kind of weird bear creature.
As for surveillance, it disturbingly did catch something:
I have no idea who this is, but they pulled into the yard and right out again bold as brass. Considering how remote the location, this is kind of scary. The picture before shows me scanning the sky for an airplane I heard overhead, and the one after shows my friend Lorne’s truck pulling out when he went to town. I had left the gate open to make it easy for him, and this is the thanks I get.
There are settings to change how often it takes a shot when triggered, and right now it’s at 30 seconds. I should have had it at 15 seconds or on video but the number of false triggers caused me to slow it down a bit. See my reward!
Of course even if you do get a photo of the burglars it doesn’t prevent your house from being robbed, and this clearly demonstrates that having the gate locked is superior to any camera surveillance.
Meanwhile we have some documentation of the wood harvest:
Not the best equipment ever, but the least disappointing photography purchase I’ve made since the Fuji EXR. I will continue to experiment with them and see if I can get any pictures of actual animals, other than ‘sasquatch’.