Saturday, December 11, 2010

My New Favorite Trail Camera

In late September I put the finishing touches on another homemade trail camera and I've had it out for several months for some field testing. This camera utilizes a 7.2 megapixel Sony camera that produces very crisp, clear images. The entire unit is very compact in size (approx. 6" x 4") and is customized with 3D camouflage. Here is the external view of the camera.

In order to try to extend battery life in the field, I added extra batteries to this particular camera. The first time out in the field it captured 265 images over the span of 34 days before the batteries died. Over 90% of the images were at night, which requires the camera to flash and use substantially more battery power. I also had the camera on a one-minute delay setting instead of rapid-fire mode. Had it been on rapid-fire it probably would have taken more pictures, but not lasted as many days.
I also used a high-performance wide angle fresnel lens for the motion sensor, which is the black, rounded object on the front of the camera. The case of the camera contains a pipe-thru system which allows a locking cable to be run through the camera and around a tree to help prevent theft. Here is an internal view of the camera.

So far I have been really pleased with the performance of this camera, and I plan to build some more just like it. What I like the most is the ability to view the images in the field on the camera's LCD screen. It is a 2.5" screen so the screen is similar in size to a Blackberry phone. The camera is also still fully-functional as a point-and-shoot camera, so it can be removed from the case and be used just like any normal camera. Here is a sampling of pictures from its first trial run in the field. The camera was located on my friend's property in Iowa, along a well-used trail from the timber to a food plot.

See why I like this camera so much?

No comments: