I have tried out quite a few Trailcams in the past including some from Campark and this one is a distinct update from previous models. But what is a trail camera? A trail camera is a camera which is designed to operate unattended outdoors and to automatically capture pictures or video of anything that triggers the built-in motion detector. They are mainly used to monitor wildlife activity but could be used for security purposes also.
This £59.99 new model T70 from CAMPARK arrived packed in an attractive mid-market product box inside of which was the camera itself, metal floor/surface mount with screw fittings, retaining tree mount strap, micro-USB to USB cable, User Guide. Although the camera itself is made of plastic and is rather lightweight (which is perhaps no drawback) build quality seems fine in general. The User Guide is large, very well printed and in understandable English and is the best I have ever seen for any trail cam. The User Guide is too long to add to my unboxing video but I do include a scan of the excellent getting Started Guide also included in the box.
The camera takes four or eight AA batteries, a lot but it means it can be left to operate untended over extended periods. Take note that if used intensively the batteries will quickly run down but in normal use should last up to six months. The batteries are housed in a compartment in the main body of the unit. It has the option to use an external 6v/2A power supply (not supplied). On the front of the device are the lens, light sensor, motion sensor LED, 44 LED infrared panel, wide angled motion sensor. On the side are clips to secure the front and rear sections of the camera together with a mount for an external lock. When the clips are released the front and back of the device open out on a hinge. On the underside is a metal tripod screw and a grommet protected external power supply input. On the rear are loops for the mounting belt or wire and a secondary metal tripod mount. On the inside of the front face is a colour LCD screen, with navigation buttons alongside. Below is a three-way turret switch for Off/SETTING/ON. On the underside of the front panel are a full-sized card slot (for cards up to 32GB), mini-USB AV port. The use of a full sized SD card is a major improvement and will make life much easier when using gloved hands in the winter. Another improvement over earlier Campark models is the new IP66 rating, which means the camera is protected against dust and strong water jets.
Some trail cams just have a standard motion sensor on the front, others have front and side sensors. This one has a single sensor but it has a 120-degree wide angle view so it should be able to match the multi-sensor rivals whilst consuming less power to do so.
Although there are plenty of refinements and fine-tuning that can be made in fact the camera can be up and running very quickly with the default settings. After inserting the batteries and removing the gels covering the lens and sensors and screen, switch it to the SETTING mode and press the MENU button. From here you can now set the image and video resolutions, video recording lengths and other parameters such as time stamping, time lapse, scheduling etc. One particularly useful feature is that you do not have to choose between Video or Stills as you can set it to record both at once. Time should be spent on best positioning the camera for the front and side sensors and the device can help you with these using visual indications of when you are in range during setup. Remember to insert a micro-SD card first and to format it using the camera software before use.
I was pleased and not a little surprised by the photo and video quality, too often budget trail cameras fall down here by using cheap hardware to save production costs, but not so here. Image quality is excellent for both Video and stills and has been upgraded to 14MP image size from the 12MP of earlier Campark models and gives decent quality FHD video at 30fps. I found that in some lighting conditions highlights can burn out so take care to select the right camera position to avoid them. Care must be taken also to avoid false motion sensor alerts – foliage, vehicles, etc – as this will soon flatten the battery. Although the trigger time is a very rapid O.4s when recording wildlife try and position the camera so the subject approaches the camera and not across it. That way the trigger has time to fire and you will see the subject head on and not get a picture of its rear end as it leaves the frame!
This camera can be great fun if you have a big garden and wonder what goes on there when you are away. Professionals might look to pay more for higher quality and improved build quality.
Good image quality
Good build quality
A range of mounting options
Simultaneous stills and video option
Wide-angle motion sensor
Excellent User Guide
4 or 8 battery option
Audio recording option
Full-size SD card
RetaingClips could be stronger
Heavy battery drain when used intensively
32GB maximum card
No slow motion video