A Review of the Little Acorn Trail Camera
- Thursday, 23 May 2013
Stuart Morrison Reviews the Little Acorn Wildlife Trail Camera 5210A
As a deer manager it is difficult to know exactly what is going on everywhere on your stalking ground. This is particularly the case if you are a recreational stalker having to juggle work, family and stalking into a busy schedule. This is where wildlife cameras or trail cameras come in.
They can be positioned in the fields or woodland to capture passing wildlife and record images or video for you to check at your leisure. Some are capable of recording sound as well and typically the more you are willing to pay the more features you get for your money!
Having wanted a trail cameras for a while when my birthday came along I explained to my wife that a trail cam might be a good idea!
The cameras vary in cost up to several hundred pounds for the top models. I suggested a budget model, the Little Acorn 5210A which seemed to have all the features I wanted at a sensible price.
I am extremely pleased with the unit. It has a 5-megapixel sensor, which is interpolated giving a nice 12-megapixel image. Video is recorded at a lesser resolution but is good enough to observe the deer and other wildlife on your stalking ground.
With all trail cameras trigger speed is critical. This is the time taken from when the sensor picks up a body moving until the shutter fires recording the image or video.
The little acorn actually has three sensors, a central sensor facing the same direction as the camera and two clever side sensors angled to left and right of the main sensor. The idea behind these is that they pick up a body moving into range and 'prime' the central sensor so it is ready to trigger the shutter immediately the body is in range. This greatly reduces the trigger time.
The Little Acorn can be programmed to take either one, two or three pictures in quick succession or to record video, or to take the pictures and then record video for whatever period of time is set by the user. It can also be set to a time lapse feature where it takes shots at a pre determined time interval enabling a time lapse video to be made.
After taking pictures or video in the field there is then a user settable time delay before the next actuation.
The unit has infrared LED illumination enabling night shots and video but these are captured in black and white. The LED's used are virtually invisible to animals so there is no disturbance to their activities.
Battery life is excellent. Four AA batteries power the camera but an additional 4 can be placed in the back plate for extended life. The manufacturer expects about 6 months use from a set of AA’s, which I think is excellent. There is no memory on board so an SD card must be inserted prior to use. I bought a couple so I could change them in the field and take the used card home for perusal on the computer. There is a built in screen for viewing shots but it is small and not much detail can be seen.
This screen and operating buttons are protected when the camera is connected to a backplate, which in turn is strapped to a convenient tree or gatepost.
Having played with the camera at home I set out to secure it in a likely spot and capture my first images. I chose to strap it to a tree near a badger sett and covering several converging deer racks and pointing at a popular fence crossing point for the deer.
Four days later I went out to check my camera with great excitement! I was very pleased with the results - there were several fox, badger and deer pictures and videos however in some pictures the deer had their legs missing so it was merely a case of height adjustment of the camera depending on how far it was from the likely position of the animal.
I am immensely pleased with this product. Within a few days it had produced an image of a Roe Doe, which was marvelous, as I hadn't seen a Roe here for about two years. The camera also recorded some video of a Fallow carrying a rear leg injury, so I was immediately able to set about looking for and culling this particular animal.
The pictures recorded have a time and date stamp and a temperature - very useful for those animals with a regular daily routine. The little Acorn is a good value basic trail camera, however if you want crystal clear video and sound then you will need to pay a lot more than the £110 paid for this one. If you just want to see what is happening on your ground when you are not there then this is the camera for you.