Deciding to try something a little different, Bestok created the low priced 12MP Digital Infrared Night Vision Outdoor Waterproof Wildlife Cam. There is a load of stuff to go over with this cam that explains why it is one of the best alternative trail cameras available. Bestok came firing out of the gate with this one and really came home a winner.
The style doesn’t lend anything to its potential to hide in plain sight for trail hunting, but as an all-black object it can be hidden in specific places. There are two yellow lens on the main cam and the main cam and sensors, but most game won’t be able to tell the difference if your placing is correct. For home security it is stellar and can be a hard one to find for an intruder trying to evade getting caught.
Weight & Dimensions
Its compact at 5 1/2 x3 ½ x2 ½ inches so has a lot of placement options if you want to get creative. There is nothing particularly telling in its dimensions other than how compact it is, so it won’t be a bother for any of the weird spaces that bigger cameras have troubles with. The weight is a non-factor as it clocks in at under a pound, keeping its compact badge in tow.
On one hand you could say that beginners can get the hang of it, but truthfully this is a camera that is better in the hands of intermediate and up. Advanced users will benefit the most from all of the extra features that the company throws at you. The manual isn’t that big of a help, which is why intermediate users will use their own common sense with a lot of the customizable features. A little trial and error can be very rewarding when it comes to this camera.
And this is where the interesting portion of this review takes place. The protection is poor, especially for such a high grade camera. The casing might as well be the camera, and it can’t take any punishment at all. The poor below average protection comes into play greatly when it is put in severe conditions that compromise the integrity of the lens itself. Being cautious when using this camera outdoors is a must, as it can easily end up DOA from a bad drop.
Pictures and Video
A glorious 12MP with great brightness and clarity, during the daytime and night time intervals. Maximum pixel size is 4000×3000 and looks fantastic on an HD television. If you want to dial it down a notch you can use the 5MP mode. Strangely though, the video is only 720p but still good at 30fps. Why it isn’t full 1080p with a 12MP camera is a mystery, since it would have been preferred. All other models of video default to only 20fps, so it is a pretty significant drop-off.
Batteries get ate alive in this model, which could possibly explain why they dialed back the power in the video functions. Generic batteries hate the camera, and brand name batteries don’t do that much better. Four AA’s are required, and if you want to add up the full 8AA’s you have to make an additional purchase for a battery box. At the very least there is an option for a 6V dc external jack, which would save you hundreds in battery bills.
High performing 12MP camera that takes fully realistic photos without any shortcuts. Night time pictures are just as sharp, and both can be stamped with moon phase, time and date information. Innovative wide angle shots using the side Prep Sensor to take photos, getting a larger field of view compared to even upper tier cameras on the market. Small and compact (here’s the buying guide of small trail cameras), can be placed anywhere in the field or in the home. One second trigger time which is respectable and will get you your best shots. A new serial number function is embedded into the software so that locations can be coded into the photos. Combining this with the password protect function is essential when using multiple models of the same camera.
Says that it can stand extreme conditions, when in fact it has one of the weakest casings in the industry. In order to enjoy extended battery life you have to purchase a battery box that holds extra batteries, and even with that you’ll only get six months max on a single charge. Night photos are in black and white rather than color, and video is capped at 720p rather than 1080p, despite the power of the camera. Company is not well known, so with the weak case it would be a risk for new users of the brand.
How Do People View It?
Some have complained that even with the wide field of view built into the camera, the field of view is still narrow when compared to competing products. This is conflicting with what a lot of people say, as others have praised its wide field of view-your mileage may vary. While the camera isn’t durable, customers have operated it in low and high conditions, while others have had success using it in the rain. Night time videos aren’t really good unless the unit is put on high, which in turn drains the battery and fills up the memory card.
Inside the package is a 4GB card to get you started, a USB power cable, a TV cable and a belt. This is a lot to include for such a low price, so the value holds up well and is worth the purchase. There is going to be some push and pull with some of the hardware and software features, which is a prime reason why only intermediate and up users should consider this purchase.
If the camera is taken well care of you’re looking at five years max. There are too many conflicting opinions on the usefulness of some of the higher end features, namely the wide field of view. That is a selling point for the camera, so if it is narrow like some say, that may kill the long-term appeal.
This camera is not rare at all, but is gaining popularity in certain circles. Buyers are becoming enamored with its specs and buying sight unseen. How this effects your purchase is irrelevant, since it will most likely be available whenever you want to buy it. But if the fandom keeps growing at the current rate, this could turn into a hard to find camera.
To not recommend this camera would be wrong, since it really does have a lot of great features. The balance on those features is questionable, but that could possibly be a brand name bias. Bestok has put out an incredible camera at a price that’s hard to pass up. The best way to figure out if this is the camera you need is to purchase it and put it to work. Even if it turns out to only be half of what you expected, it is still better than a lot of the other similar cameras in its price range.