Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tragic End


The beginning of the end.

As I briefly noted in my Sunday post one of my cameras met a tragic end last Saturday. It got caught in the flooding during the bad storms we had Saturday evening. I had it mounted about 12 to 15” above the pond trying to get pics of the ducks that migrate through each spring. I checked it about 1:00 Saturday afternoon and the pond hadn’t raised any and was handling the rain well. There’s an 24” drain tile at the end to control the water level and an overflow spillway to the side for when the pipe gets about three quarters full. So it can handle a lot of water.  I made the decision to leave the camera in place. Major mistake on my part or as one of my buddies so eloquently likes to put it….”ya dumbass”!!!
The final picture.

We got a LOT of rain in a cloud burst Saturday evening and the pond raised over 12” in a little over an hour and the camera was history. Circuit boards and water don’t play well together. Sadly The Codger had posted earlier last week on his blog about losing a camera to flooding but did I heed the warning…oh noooo. So I have no one to blame but myself for this one :(.
 

Reconyx Hyperfire
  This lost put me in the market for a new camera. Moultrie doesn’t make this camera anymore or I’d get another one like it since I already have the metal enclosure. The trigger time was the only drawback on this camera. I like the color pics at night so I really don’t want another IR camera. That narrowed my search way down to the visible white flash cameras. I’m having trouble finding one I really like from the few that are available. Each one seems to have something or another I don’t like about it from reading the reviews on various sites. Narrow sensing fields, poor color, slow response time, clunking sound on taking a pic, questionable customer support, etc. etc. I would have probably sprung for a Reconyx if they had a white flash model but they don’t. The Reconyx’s are the Porsches of trail cameras. If my IR camera dies or I manage to kill it I’m definitely going to look at going with a Reconyx to replace it.

 
Scoutguard SG565
So after a lot of study a Scoutguard SG565 looks like the way to go for a commercial camera. The only problem is a couple of reviews said it has a loud clunk from the filter operating when it takes a pic but it seems to meet the other functions I want. Those of you that follow my blog know I have a Moultrie I-40 IR camera that does make a loud clunk when it takes a pic. My personal experience is that the clunking sound affects the animals far more than the white flash does. One site has a 90 day no questions asked return policy and they assured me ”that in their testing the clunk wasn’t any louder in the Scoutguard than any other camera”. Now does this mean it’s as quiet as the one that got flooded, or are all of the cameras they tested loud, or has Scoutguard solved their clunking problem?  I’m going to mill this over for a few more days before I decide.  While not a huge investment anytime I’m shelling out a couple of hundred bucks I like to be sure I’m getting what I want and expect.


Sony S600
I’m also working on a homebrew that I’m building for a Sony 600 camera but my supplier is having a problem getting a couple of the parts that I need from his suppliers. For those who aren’t familiar with homebrews they are custom made trail camera setups that use point and shoot cameras in a pelican case to take the pictures. Hopefully I will have my homebrew up and running before summer. The Sony 600 gets rave reviews for the quality of pictures you get from it from people that have used them in homebrews. Another advantage of a homebrew camera is you can repair it yourself.  Maybe the homebrew route will be the solution to getting a camera that takes good day and night time color pics with the functions I want and without the other issues. This was probably a lot more information than you really want but hey...I was on a roll and I'm usually not this long winded ;).

15 comments:

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

Very informative post since we've been looking at purchasing more cameras for the farms.

That sucks about your camera and I know you guys got walloped with that storm. We were driving home to Delaware from West Virginia right smack in the middle of them. That was a fun, eight hour ride home :(

Farmchick said...

I have become more interested in game cameras since we only have the one on our farm. But, the most interesting stuff gets photographed on it. We need a couple more for sure. Love the pics you get on yours. Sorry to hear about losing one.

texwisgirl said...

I really hate it when things like this happen. 1st, because Old Camera Trap Codger 'warned' you about his experience and you chose to assume your camera was safe, you kick yourself over and over. 2nd, you can't get the same model anymore. Damn! 3rd, you have to spend money. Double damn! And all you've got to show for it is a blog post and a further warning to your readers to "don't try this at home!" :)

Thanks for the public service announcement, Joe. Sorry for the woes...

Nancy said...

All in all, I'd say you are having some fun at the expense of losing your camera. So, it's not all bad, is it? :)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Sorry for the loss of your cam, Joe. I've been impressed with the nature of man blog's homebrew and look forward to seeing your results.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Condolences, man. Go with the s600, you won't be disappointed.

Liesl said...

Sorry about the camera Joe, talk about filming your last few minutes! I also have a Sony Cybershot! An older model but very happy with it!

bigcatdetective said...

I have been looking at making a homebreww with a sony but am not sure at the trigger times but the pictures always seem to look brillianty sharp when people post them....

Buttons said...

Wow that sucks losing your camera I would certainly be upset by that. The home brew sounds very interesting. I love the shots you post. B

Rachel said...

So sorry about this most tragic death! Those floods were crazy weren't they? Our road was just washed away...

Ian Nance said...

I've been using a Covert Camera and love it. The battery life is outstanding.

KB said...

That's a huge bummer about losing that camera. As for replacing it, I understand how you feel about the color photos at night. However, I find that the animals around here start avoiding my white flash cams soon after I post them someplace. It seems that you don't run into that problem - so I see why you'd go for another white flash cam.

I'll be interested to hear how your homebrew goes. I'm tempted to try making one myself. It might be a lot of fun! Do you have a particular website that you plan to follow for how to build a homebrew?

Last, I have to say that I love my Reconyx cams more than any others. Their trigger times are SO incredibly fast that I never miss an animal traveling along a game trail. And, they have a pretty long range for an IR flash. I cannot say enough good things about them.

Trailblazer said...

OH man! Huge bummer!

I'd say reconyx. More expensive...but the best investment I've ever made!

I haven't used a Scoutguard 565...but I've used the 550 and it's a nice camera. I've also used Bushnells, Cuddeback, Primos Truth Cams, but all commercial cams pale in comparison to the reconyx in my opinion.

Stephanie and Dustin said...

Such a bummer about the Moultrie camera. I have a sneaking suspicion we own the same Moultrie you did, and we love it. It sucks they don't make it anymore. It was a killer camera for the price.

We found the clunking does make a difference more than the flash. We like the white flash, the color pics at night are just too good, and it helps you identify does on the property that you might not be able to tell the difference from on an IR black and white photo.

Look forward to your review of the cam.

-stephanie

Allison said...

I actually loved your "long-winded" post, Joe! :D You poor guy! I wouldn't have called you a dumb ass, but I might have bought you a beer. ;)