Sunday, August 10, 2014

Little Acorn Trail Camera 5210A Review

Ltl- 5210A

Im bubbling with excitement today as Ive something for all you wildlife enthusiasts.
Ever wanted to capture that elusive Tiger or Bald eagle in your garden...er...ok maybe not lol; but Im sure you've often wondered what wildlife comes into your garden at night?
Do you NEED a surveillance camera on a property that's unattended at night or during the day?--Finally, got you Mr Smith, no more free newspapers for you!
Then this review is for you....This Trail cam uses No Glow flash technology so the Infra-red flash is completely invisible and wont scare off the wildlife.
For years Ive been watching Spring Watch here in the UK with their amazing footage of wildlife captured on cam and at night with infra red.

So when I had the opportunity to review a Trail Cam from an Amazon based company called DB Power , I almost fell off my seat with excitement; waking the poor dog up. Plus when it arrived and I found it was a"Little Acorn Trail cam" Oh wow...Oh wow...one of the best ones out there; I was ecstatic.
We live in the heart of the countryside and Ive always wanted to know what wildlife we have living in and around us and Im so pleased to get the chance to find out.
One of my captures of the week!

Its quite a lengthy review...Im sure you wouldn't expect anything less...due to all the photo and video I wanted to show you; as its all about the images and footage with a Trail cam review. Its no good me just telling what I saw; you want to see it too...don't you!
So if you just want a summary of my opinion skip to the end and come back and read the details later.
But those who want to know everything just keep reading....and reading.....and reading. ;-)


First of all I have to apologize as this review has taken many months to put together...eeep...sorry Amazon....and all my other companies waiting for their reviews....sorry!
Its been a painstaking...but fun.... process of placing the cam in so many different positions and editing the 12,000 files of video and photo footage daily over the 2 months.

What would I need a Trail Cam scouting camera for?
  • Use to track wildlife around an area.
  • Use for security purposes indoors and outdoors.
  • Just for the fun of it.




Packaging
My Little Acorn 5210A came in a thick card box with captured "Deer" footage across its sides; tempting you with the shots you could capture.

Opening the box is like Christmas for me, the gorgeous sexy camo coloured camera is like receiving a diamond ring; for those of you that may not understand my over- excitement over this trail camera lol!


 In the Box
  • Little Acorn 12 million pixel trail Camera,
  • Instruction manual,
  • Webbing for tying to trees,
  • USB cable to view directly on PC,
  • AVI cable.

Main Features at a glance
  • This model of camera is the Ltl 5210A meaning it has a 12 million pixel camera, the Ltl 5210 is only 5 million pixels. I was so lucky to receive the newest version.
  • No-Glow IR flash night vision LEDs for 10m flash range.
  • It produces sharp bright colour images in daytime and clear black and white images at night via infra-red sensors.
  • Large 2.25 inch LCD screen for quick, instant easy playback and setting up.
  • Ultra low standby power consumption, long life in the field (in standby mode up to 3 months with 4 x AA and 6 months with 8 x AA batteries).
  • Wide sensor angle enhances cameras response speed.
  • Still takes images and videos in extreme temperatures of -22 degrees Fahrenheit to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Compact size of 5.5x3.5x2.5 inches.
  • Amazing 0.8 second trigger time.
  • Backpack tree grabber makes mounting and aiming easy.
  • Serial function enables you to code the images and video to remember the location.
  • Programmable to work as a time lapse camera taking photos/videos in long range day and night.
  • Date, time, temp and moon phase can be stamped on the photos.
  • Lockable and password protected.


Description
This adorable Little Acorn model Ltl 5210A is an outdoor scouting camera; also known as a game or trail camera. It is triggered to take a combination of video and photo footage automatically; by moving game that is in the region of interest, this is detected by highly sensitive Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensors.
This compact camera and video unit is extremely well made of durable plastic which is divided into 2 halves.
Both sides are held securely together by two metal and plastic hook clasps.

 The Trail cam opens like a book when you undo one side.


This version of the Little Acorn 5210A has the optional battery pack.

This offers backup power.
1x 4 AA in both sides = 8AA batteries in all giving you double the time to leave it out in the field.
TIP: All the batteries must be of the same brand, no mixing and matching according to the instructions, either alkaline or Ni-MH re-chargeable .
Well you don't want to miss anything do you.


The edging of this cam above has a very fine rubber seal all the way round.
We have even angled the cam up to the sky for bird footage and to the ground to discover whats in the hole...see video. We have found no moisture whatsoever; so Im confident in saying it is very showerproof, not waterproof as there is no seal at the base.


Both sides have an added extra security feature of this little plastic twist lock to keep both sides together.

 Which also enables you to slip a very small padlock through should you wish to leave the cam somewhere unsafe.

But that's not all you would think the clips and the slip twist lock would be enough to keep both sides together...but no....theres more.....On the back you see a small brass screw which pulls both sides together and holds them firmly.

 The back of the Trail cam is surrounded by a strong plastic frame known as a "tree-grabber" to make mounting to a tree easier.

The Base of the cam has a tripod mount; this is perfect for me as I can then move the cam around our large garden on an outdoor tripod...see later on.

This rubber bung protects the external DC power in jack.

I have a slight niggle with this lock hole as its so very flimsy and could easily break and wouldn't take much for someone to just snap it off.
It also takes the weight when attached to a tripod and you need to tip it over to retrieve the card and batteries, this is also very flimsy and you need to hold the cam firmly.
Everything else about the cam is sturdy, strong and secure.


The bottom once unlocked by the swivel lock reveals the connections , TV out port, USB port and the optional 6v power (under the rubber bung). You also have your SD card slot to capture all your amazing footage.
There is a simple switch off/on/test depending what you wish to use.

 Push/pop the battery cover to reveal 4 AA battery slots.



The Main Trail Cam Sensors
 Okay now for the front and the fun part of this gorgeous Trail cam.
 Which is full of techie sensors to capture anything that gets in this cams way.

I have added this diagram to explain a bit quicker what each part does as its so complex. You get alot for your money with this camera.

Starting from the top you have;
  • 24  x 940 NM Black LED's- No glow Infra-red flash night vision.
  • The white bulb in the centre is your light sensor to say when its time to switch from daylight to infra-red.
  • The next white bulb is your motion indicator to trigger the video and camera.
  • In the middle you have your main camera lens shutter.
  • Next is the large main PIR sensor which has a 35 degree angle view with a sensing distance of 65feet/20m.
  • At the bottom you have your two Prep sensors which form a left and right beam forming an angle of 100 degrees, each lens covering 10 feet and will sense if anything has come within the sensors range.
These 2 prep sensors are what makes this cam what it is, they really are amazingly sensitive and capture anything coming in the sensor range.
These 2 wide angled sensors can also be turned off to gain a finer tunnel view rather than wide.

The Camera inside

 Opened up you have a lovely sealed waterproofed camera with a large LCD screen to view your images and video immediately if you wish.

 The camera is fully programmable using these waterproof buttons;

 
The blue screen is easy to read and scroll down through all the main settings to make it personalized to how you wish to use the cam. 
The instruction manual gives you a thorough quick start guide to get you going straight away.



Use
We had planned for the Little Acorn's arrival like a new baby.

We Ordered two 16gb SD cards so we could keep a card in it at all times. 
TIP: Any higher than a 16GB you must check to see if it will work in the trail cam first. Some devices cant take more than 16GB.
It also works with a SDHC cards (High Capacity) like mine.



We ordered 8 Duracell rechargeable batteries and a top of the range Duracell quick charger all from Amazon UK, review soon.

Then we were ready for its arrival....woohoo!

As soon as it arrived I broke my number one rule of always take my review packaging photos first. If you are a blogger/reviewer you know what I mean. I just had to get in and see my new baby.

Wow as soon as I picked it up I was in love. Its plastic exterior is excellent quality and it has a lovely substantial weight in my hand.

I adore the detailed camouflage design across the whole front of the trail cam.

We quickly popped in the batteries and SD card and scrolled quickly through the start up instructions and simple settings.
Once turned on a red LED flashes 13 times then your ready to rock.......

The Settings
You have a fantastic variety of settings so you can use this cam how you wish.
The settings we chose were for 3 images then 30 seconds of video for most the time. I thought this would guarantee me some great photos of what triggered it and then video of the culprit. 
  • The many settings included on the 5219A allow it to take a photo first then video, (the 5210 doesn't) when triggered, or just video or both. 
  • You can set 3/5/12mp resolution images. We chose 12 million pixel, I wanted to see the quality and show you guys too.
  • Video you can set to either 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 resolution (I certainly wouldn't advise the lower).
  • You can then set video length from 1 second to 60 seconds, we set 30 seconds.
  • Time lapse means it will go off at your choice of video length or number of photos regardless of sensors setting it off. But obviously you will zoom through your card and batteries.
  • Sensitivity levels you choose from low, normal and high depending on environment interference. If its windy I don't want the tree leaves setting it off every few seconds so its set to low or normal. High setting got me many images of nothing as the slightest leaf set it off, even the butterflies lol.

Planning placement
I knew immediately where my first area was going to be. You may have seen a previous review of mine of the 2 bird feeding stations I bought. So I wanted to see what birds were starting to visit that I maybe missing. For this review they are named feeding station 1 and 2. So we attached it to the tripod and placed it infront of my new wild bird feeding station 1.
 

 I love that this trail cam has a tripod mount as being a photographer I happened to have a really old, tatty outdoor tripod I don't use anymore; this was perfect to be able to move the cam around the garden.


  I left it infront of feeding station 1 and stopped myself from rushing out after an hour to see what Ive got.

Even this Hoverfly was interested.

 Okay after several days of placing the trail cam infront of both my feeders, we ventured outside the garden; which to be honest was a little worrying as we didnt want anyone to steal it.

 The Trail Cam's back is perfectly designed with a built in plastic "tree grabber" to tie the supplied webbing and strap securely to a tree.

Just look at how well camouflaged the cam is on this Birch tree. The holes in the tree grabber frame allow you to tuck in bits of extra greenery for more camouflage.


The cam is better camouflaged on a darker bark tree as it blends in better.
You can see just how long we left this cam here; hoping for deer footage with the dead bracken stuck in it lol!

I took these photos from different positions to show you how well it blends in. But we did find the sensor screens caught the light sometimes giving it away (see image one).
 Don't do this unless you are absolutely sure no one is around however.

Here it is from a distance; at first glance you hardly notice it.


Here the cam is angled upwards to try and capture a regular owl which passes over or the bats...so we will have to wait and see now.


 Video and photo footage
So after many weeks of moving this Trail camera around the garden and then the surrounding woodland; we placed it further and further from our cottage panicking every morning when we went to go and collect the card whether it would still be there...and it was...phewey.

I managed to capture a total of 151GB of footage and over 12,000 files. This was because I did try time lapse feature and it uses a lot of images.The downside is I had to go through every image and video...just incase I had captured something, its honestly taken 2 months to put this review together.

So what did we capture...tigers...lions....elephants...bald eagles....er...well..not..quite.
But what we did capture were some brilliant surprises and a few laughs too.


 One up One down!
This was my photo of the month, I have upsidown plant pots under both my feeding stations (Patented Gadget Girl...I wish) to "stop" the squirrels eating all the bird seed or damaging the feeders. So you can imagine my surprise when the cam captured this image and video. I just love the top squirrels expression as he looks down on his mate and the one below hanging on for dear life.
If you don't laugh outloud.
"whats wrong wiv you". I think I cried with laughter.
Its priceless; the expressions on their faces omg!


 Here are just some of the images this brilliant Trail Cam captured of my mischievous squirrel.
See more on my videos below.
When you get a trail cam you certainly will learn what is coming and going from your garden. I had no idea about this squirrel and it was a complete surprise to find he had managed to get onto the feeder...you will have to watch the video to see just...how...he gets on the feeder, this is amazing?

 It even captured my delivery driver, perfect as a security camera too.

I got such surprise when I was going through all my footage one day when I found this....Ta...Daaa....!
My dancing delivery driver has a great sense of humor; but don't worry I haven't got a bear as my parcel man its to cover his privacy. He'll like this too!
So in all I captured alot of garden birds too including Blue Tits, Great Tits, Wood Peckers, Magpies and my regular male and female pheasants.

My Video and photo footage
I have put together 3 videos that really shows the capabilities of this amazing Trail cam. I hope you enjoy them too.


This is my favorite video footage hope it makes you laugh too!


This footage was a complete and utter surprise to us as we had no idea there was even a nest here; let alone to be able to capture the Mum and chicks, day and night.



We found a mysterious hole in the ground in the wood nearby, so we placed the Trail cam angled above it for 24 hours and we finally found who owned the hole.


Disclaimer; The date time settings shown are all varied as we regularly formatted the card and tried different settings too, so I left it in the end. So its not 2011.


Improvements
I have to say while setting the cam up and aiming at something directly you need a bit of help to know its pointing in the right direction. So we used a little laser pointer we had and aligned by eye. But a small laser pointer built in would be invaluable.



Opinion
I knew this was a 12 million pixel camera but I was still blown away at the excellent quality of the images. I have added my footage to UTube and in each of my 3 videos you will see my video to photo comparisons.
The video quality is ok but don't get too excited, I did expect the video quality to be a bit better for this day and age technology as its only 640 x 480 resolution.  But as you will see if you peek at my footage its still good and you can still see what you need to.
The infra-red night time footage is amazing...checkout my Wren's fledgling video and you can even see the chicks fidgeting in the nest right up in the eaves...amazing!
Be careful not to point the cam at the sun as you will get alot of solar flare and could damage the lens.
Plus I must mention you can use the trail cam as a normal camera or video recorder too to just carry around as the LCD screen allows you to see footage immediately as you would a normal camera/video.
My highlights were the squirrel and his antics and one of my exciting finds was a bat via the infrared...ok its a white blur but its definitely a bat lol. A greater spotted woodpecker...oh and the...parcel delivery driver...not quite the deer Ive wanted yet.. but my cam is still outside as it will be everyday.
So do I like it...Oohh..Ya, I love my gorgeous Little Acorn and yes I can highly recommend this cam for any wildlife nut like me or for security purposes. I have to say if you buy a trail cam to also use rechargeable batteries to get the most out of this camera. The photos are stunning and just the fact you will never know what you will find makes owning a trail cam so exciting. You will be rushing out in the morning to see what its found I promise.


Pro's
  • Excellent quality 12 million pixel JPG images.
  • Great variety of video AVI and camera combination settings.
  • Excellent quality Infra-red photos and video.
  • 0.8 of a second trigger time.
  • No glow IR LED's.
  • Absolutely silent shutter.
  • Time lapse option without having to be triggered by PIR.
  • Tree grabber to help secure to trees.
  • Date, time and moon phase stamped on the photos.
  • Lockable and password protected.

Con's
  • Poor video resolution for today's standards.
  • Flimsy securing hinge.


Buy your
From DB Power on Amazon UK
or directly from Little Acorn
Prices from £99.93
At time of post
At this time also available with an 8GB SD card.

For Italian readers Here
For Spanish readers Here

All my thanks to DB Power for sending this gorgeous Little Acorn Trail cam for this review for you all.
My views and opinions are my own.



1 comment:

  1. I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. trail cameras

    ReplyDelete

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