I will be reviewing and testing the Stealth Cam DS4K Trail Camera from a wildlife filmmaker’s perspective. Full-disclaimer, I bought this camera with my own money and this video is not sponsored by Stealth Cam. If you link the affiliate links in the description of this video I do earn a small commission. The aim of this video is to provide you with my honest opinion about this camera, its uses, and who I think the Stealth Cam DS4K would be best suited for.
First Impressions of the product:
My first impressions of this camera were that it is a solidly built camera and I really like the attention to detail. It has a pseudo-wood finish on the face of the camera and a strong plastic case to encapsulate the day and night cameras and the battery compartment.
The Stealth Cam DS4KMAX is the updated version of the Stealth Cam DS4K, which was the world’s first 4K trail camera. The DS4KMAX features a 32-megapixel sensor for photos, a 0.2-second camera trigger, 100 feet (30 metres), and 4K 8bit video (3840 x 2160).
On the front of the camera, you will see that there are actually 2 cameras, one to record video in daylight conditions, and another camera, the Infra-Red camera for taking photos and recording video under low light and for recording nocturnal wildlife.
There are 42 LED lights on the front that illuminate your subject when shooting in Infrared mode. You can program the camera to only shoot during the day or at night as well. It will automatically switch between the two modes depending on the light, and I have found that this camera will switch to Night Mode even under low-light daylight conditions if it is very overcast, which can be a bit strange at first, but I think if you recording wildlife sightings and being able to identify them as easily as possible then this probably a benefit. If you are looking to record 4K video footage and quality is the most important, then this might get frustrating as the quality difference between the day and night modes of the camera is quite different.
The quality of video footage is excellent for its size and considering this is a camera that you can just set up and leave for months in the bush to film, I am very impressed by it. Trail cameras are notorious for bad quality and low-resolution videos, but this camera is pleasantly good in terms of video quality. Yes, it does have video quality similar to a 4K smartphone camera, that is usually overly sharpened and the colors can be a bit off at times, but for $199, you have a camera that records 4K videos with sound and you can record species of animals that only come out at night and you would never be able to find them otherwise.
The night camera has 42 No-Glow LED Lights that illuminate your scene at nighttime and are extremely bright when you have a look at your footage, which was amazing to see the first time because when you see the camera activated in night mode, the LED Lights barely even light up, this is because they work with the infrared camera, us humans are unable to see the Infrared light emitted from the LEDs, meaning that the camera won’t startle or scare away most wildlife species and you will be able to record their natural behavior without interfering or stressing the animals.
Who is this camera designed for and why would you buy it?
This camera is best suited for people who are looking for a top-quality trail camera for recording wildlife for research and investigative purposes. I think that the Stealth Cam DS4KMAX makes an awesome addition to the camera gear of any wildlife filmmaker as an affordable way to capture wildlife species in environments that are either too harsh to film in for extended periods of time and to capture species that you wouldn’t be able to capture in any other way. The fact that you can simply set up this camera and leave it for extended periods of time makes filming with it very convenient and an adventure in itself. Every time you go back to swap SD cards and change batteries you never know what footage you are about to see and what your trusty trail camera has filmed for you. I think this is the most exciting part about working with Trail Cameras. A small camera like this won’t give you high-quality 4K video as you would expect from a Full-Frame Video camera, but it will give you a lot of good quality 4K video wildlife footage that you do not have otherwise, and there is nothing more exciting than reviewing your footage, it feels like Christmas every time.
To get started, there is a clip on the right-hand side of the camera which you will need to open up and you can release the battery compartment by pressing the Eject button on the bottom right-hand corner of the camera. The Battery compartment will slide out, but you might have to pull it a bit to get it out completely. I was worried at first that it wasn’t designed to come out all the way, but with a little tug, it will come out and you can put in all the batteries.
If you decide to only fill up the front side of the battery compartment, the camera will still function perfectly. It will tell you that your batteries are at 50% but this only affects the duration of that the camera can be left out in the wild, and under most conditions, if you are coming back to service the camera and swap SD Cards on a regular basis, this shouldn’t be an issue. It might also be an advantage if you only use half of your batteries at a time so that when you come to swap batteries you can take out the 6 used batteries, install 6 fresh new batteries, and take the 6 used batteries home to charge for the next time you come to check the camera.
What did I like the most about this camera:
What I like the most about this camera is that it is built to withstand harsh environments. It has a tightly sealed battery compartment and no moving parts that could get damaged. The actual camera compartment itself is completely sealed so you can easily open up the camera and service it in bad weather without worrying about damaging the electronics and internals of the camera. strong camera, so I would not be worried about dropping or having an animal investigate. It’s a strong trail camera built to survive the -10°C to +40°C.
What didn’t I like so much about it?
I think the only thing that I don’t like about this camera is the lack of manual controls, it would be so much better if you could manually set up our Shutter-Speed, Frame-Rate, ISO, and Bit-rate according to your project needs. But then again, I have to remember that this camera is designed to run as efficiently without any hiccups for months on end, without a cameraman coming along to check that everything is running well and the camera hasn’t frozen or encountered an error. So I guess simple is better, in this scenario.
How to set up the camera:
Using this camera is fairly straightforward and it is probably the most basic camera I have ever used.