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Trail Cameras

Dabber Avatar
Dabber 21 271 England
28 Jun 2021 4:21PM
About a month ago I bought my granddaughter an HC-801Adigital trail camera, from KentFaith, who I assumed were a UK company as their website has a after the name. Basically we built her an hedgehog house for the garden and we wanted to monitor any activities that occurred.
Anyway, after quite a bit of trial and error we are almost there. However, the instruction manual is next door to useless and the menus are quite daunting, so I wonder if anyone can help to resolve the remaining problem.
My intention was to set up in video mode, operating at 1290 x 720 p in 20 second bursts, short lag(?) 5 seconds, side motion sensors on, sensitivity low (although tried middle and high) target recording time off, time lapse off, endless capture off, Thatís about it.
The problem we have is that the capture is basically on all the time. It records for 20 seconds then a pause of about 6 seconds then continues again for twenty seconds, 6 second gap and so on. The quality is really good but obviously it doesnít appear to react to the sensors. I have put it in a closed room for an hour on its own, and it still records 20 seconds on 6seconds off! Any ideas?
In the meantime I contacted to report that the PIR was not functioning, all I get back from them is things like.... try it on auto, what settings are you using, send a photo or video to illustrate your problem. Furthermore these are from a .com outfit from China. Iím really annoyed that all they do is mess me about!
I would be interested to hear from anyone who is experienced with trail cameras and can recommend a decent one for a beginner.
Silverlake Avatar
28 Jun 2021 5:26PM
I'm not an expert, but I bought a trail cam a few months ago. After studying lots of the reviews (some genuine, some fake I suspect) on Amazon, I rejected all the re-badged Chinese makes with dodgy quality control and instead went to and bought a Browning Recon Force Advantage, which seemed to be well regarded and not too expensive. It's been good overall and I've got plenty of videos of the deer, foxes, hedgehogs, cats, humans, birds and robot mowers that run around my garden.

Like you, I get lots of false triggers, and it varies depending on the weather and where I place the camera. For example, I found the wavering of long grass in one location seemed to be detected almost continuously. I suspect some are down to low-flying birds that are moving so fast they don't get captured, which leaves you looking at the videos wondering what the camera saw. I don't get many false triggers at night though, which is when most of the interesting visitors appear. The fact that yours does it in a locked room suggests something isn't right, unless there is a heat/light source triggering it somehow.

I'm not familiar with your make or model unfortunately. You might be able to find some general setup tips (eg, regarding positioning) on the NatureSpy site. Can you put it on stills only rather than video and see if that changes anything? Other than that, choose all the options that reduce range/sensitivity and increase the delay between video captures if you can.
Dabber Avatar
Dabber 21 271 England
28 Jun 2021 9:36PM
Silverlake Thanks for your response, you were obviously much more wary than I was when researching for your trail camera. The website that you mentioned (naturespy org) is really informative, I wish that I had stumbled upon it when I was doing my research. I will spend some time on there and contact them before buying a replacement for the faulty one I have.
Big Bri Avatar
Big Bri 22 16.7k United Kingdom
29 Jun 2021 9:03AM
I just checked mine and there is no menu option for triggering - just how long to record for and how long (max) to wait before triggering again. As far as I can tell, these things are only designed to record when movement is detected, so if yours is recording all the time, it suggests it's faulty.

When I bought my latest one, the choice on Amazon was staggering, all looked similar, were all Chinese, and probably mostly use the same internal components. Some say they are full HD or higher, but are almost certainly upscaled. All have hundreds or thousands of great reviews from either bots, people paid to give good reviews, or people who literally have no idea about image quality.

As you have discovered, there's pretty much no way of knowing where an online shop is, so unless you buy from a well known British supplier (and will probably end up with something made in China anyway) best thing is to try and get your money back and just take another wild stab in dark.

FYI, I bought this one about 2 1/2 years ago (no longer available). It does work, but the quality is nothing like the stock photos used in the product details, and every shot in the details shows the camera upside down, which is odd....

Dabber Avatar
Dabber 21 271 England
1 Jul 2021 10:51AM
Big Bri, thank you for sharing your experience, pretty much ties in with my experiences.

In the meantime my persistence with KentFaith, the supplier, has paid off. Basically keep the camera plus 80% refund so no really worth getting embroiled in any further 'discussions'
Whilst waiting I did a bit more 'research' on tinternet and came across tis site which has loads of help and advice, based in Llangollen, quite close to me, so I'll probably contact them and see if their shop is a real retail outlet and pop over to see them. Their price are a bit more than the likes of Amazon, but at least they look as though they know their stuff. So, I'll keep you posted.

Big Bri Avatar
Big Bri 22 16.7k United Kingdom
1 Jul 2021 11:04AM

Quote:Their price are a bit more than the likes of Amazon, but at least they look as though they know their stuff.

I have to say, if I was more serious about it (rather than just wondering what was coming through the hole that appeared under my fence) I'd be looking at the £200+ bracket rather than £50.
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
3 Oct 2021 8:01AM
I recently bought the Browning Recon Force Elite HP4. It's very easy to navigate and use, and good enough for my garden. Very clear pictures and can be set on a timer.


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