Trail Camera Review: StealthCam Unit OPS

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Trail Camera Review: StealthCam Unit OPS

Posted 2012-09-05T16:21:00Z

Trail Camera Review: StealthCam Unit OPS

In the first of several upcoming trail camera reviews, Tony Hansen tests the StealthCam Unit OPS

StealthCam Unit OPS
Image Resolution: 8MP
Video Resolution: 640X480
Power Source: AA (8)
Advertised Flash Range: 50 feet
MSRP: $169

Down and Dirty:
The Unit OPS packs a lot of features into a sub-$200 camera. The Burst Mode will record up to nine images per triggering at a rate of about one image every two seconds. It works and works well. It offers video with audio, and the video, while not HD, is clear enough. It also has a plot-watching timelapse mode.

Trigger speed seemed solid. It captured deer as they moved into the frame and triggered on deer in a field at distances ranging from five feet to 40 yards. Daytime images were decent but a bit grainier than expected from an 8MP camera; they're certainly useable but slightly disappointing. Night images were on par with most cameras in the price range, though the advertised 50-foot flash range is a bit overstated. Deer within 10 yards were fairly-well lit, but much beyond that was a bit sketchy.

Setting the unit up was fairly straight forward and simple.

The real issue was that of battery life and delay settings. The camera was afield for two weeks, capturing about 100 images. Upon retrieving the card, the batteries were completely drained. And the camera cannot be set to delay less than one minute. I suppose you could simply set the camera to trigger in burst mode to compensate but I far prefer to set delays of 10-15 seconds in hopes of catching deer that are trailing just behind.

Final Impression:
It's hard to find a good camera for under $200. The best I've used are the TrophyCam from Bushnell and the M-80 from Moultrie. The Unit OPS is similar in features to both of those models, but falls short when comparing image quality, trigger delay and night photos. And the battery life was a major disappointment. In all fairness, something does seem off there. I've never had a camera drain batteries so quickly when shooting photos (video will do it though). So, the Unit OPS is back in the woods and I'll provide an update in a couple of weeks to let you know whether I might have gotten a bad batch of batteries.