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Test of Filin-200 LTE/4G camera traps and SEELOCK S378

HUNTERS-so called people with a gun, or other tools of production, the purpose of which is to get the beast. The modern hunter bears little resemblance to the hunter of half a century ago. Why, a half-century old, modern hunter is not the same as he was even ten years ago.

It is difficult to imagine a modern hunter without ubiquitous gadgets such as navigators, power banks, action cameras, day sights of variable multiplicity, night complexes and thermal imaging sights, and other equipment and tools that make our life easier.

Forest cameras, or as they are more often called photo TRAPS, have become one of these tools.

A camera trap is a multi-purpose device. It is applicable not only in hunting, but also in everyday life. It can be successfully used to control the territory adjacent to the house or an unattended camp of fishermen-hunters, monitoring the car, Pets, and you never know where it can be used.

Compact, wearable, Autonomous surveillance system that does not require expensive communication costs, and also all-weather and round-the-clock. And this is what the hunter needs. Nothing else will allow you to quickly and accurately set the time of visiting your salt cellar or bait area by a wild animal. The trap will not only set the time of the visit, but also determine the type, number and composition of the incoming animal. In addition, the trap allows you to establish the presence of an animal in this particular area and the path of its movement.

And what a help it is to a trapper-hunter with traps. You do not need to visit the fishing area every day to check the traps, and, therefore, you do not bother the animal in vain. It is almost impossible to lose the trophy because it is not retrieved in a timely manner.

This is what prompted me to buy my first camera trap ten years ago. Then the choice was not great, and the experience of using these devices for Russian hunters was very small. At that time, I had only one goal: to control traps in badger holes in areas that were difficult to reach and remote from my place of residence. It should be noted that when purchasing this device, I had a poor idea of its features and functionality. But after a few days or weeks of trying to adjust the settings, I still placed the trap on one of the holes 60 kilometers from my home. What was my joy when I got a picture from a trap with a badger caught halfway home. There is nothing to guess – the trophy would definitely have been lost if not for modern technology.

Over time, I got other camera traps that faithfully serve me to this day.

More recently, I was thinking about updating my fleet of devices, and when I received an offer to test new models, I gladly agreed.

First, it is interesting to try out and learn something new in this area.
Secondly, it is possible to compare new products with existing devices.
Third, make the right choice in the upcoming expenses without unnecessary expenses.
And now the transport company reports the arrival of a valuable cargo in my name. And I have two brand-new devices at my disposal.

The first acquaintance
So, we will be familiar with: forest camera (camera trap) Filin-200 LTE / 4G on the left and SEELOCK S378 on the right.

Let’s start with Filin-200 LTE / 4G
As you can see from the name, this device works in networks not only 2G, 3G, but also 4G, and this implies high-speed data transfer, with the ability to receive not only photos, but also video footage captured by the device. This is certainly a positive point, and it is also very significant.

The trap itself gives the impression of a good thing. Only the glossy surface, which undoubtedly gives glare on a Sunny day, is confusing, and the case has Filin-200 cast on it, and the label on the back of the case says that it is Filin-120. What would that mean?

At first glance, the system of fixing the device on a tree is not clear. The available eyelets for the fixing belt look very strange, having the form of a rocker. Most likely, according to the developer’s idea, this is done to change the angle of inclination/elevation of the camera body. Future tests will show how convenient the existing mounting points are.

After the trap was removed from the box, I caught sight of the included TWEEZERS, the purpose of which was initially unclear.

But when I opened the device locks (by the way, there are two of them), and got access to the controls, everything fell into place. First of all, even with my fingers that were not too stiff, it was difficult to fit not only a mini SIM card, but also a microSD memory card.

Secondly, access to the battery compartment is hidden by a false cover, the latch of which I also could not pry without tweezers. With bigger nails, I would have been able to do it, of course, but long nails in a hunter are something…

So, tweezers, as they say ,” in the subject”. This is undoubtedly an extra element in the hunt. So the first, although not critical, the disadvantage of this device is already there.

As mentioned earlier, the trap works in the 4G network, but it does not have an external antenna, and this may have a negative impact on the strength of receiving and transmitting signals from the cellular network. The future will show.

On the front side of the device is a backlight unit with a range of 940nm, which should make the backlight invisible to the human eye and animals. Just below, the camera lens is located, with a stated viewing angle of 120 degrees, and at the very bottom – three Windows of motion sensors, with a stated capture angle of 120 degrees.

The control keys are located on the inside of the cover, which has an o-ring around the perimeter of the case. There is also a visualization screen, a connector for the data cable to the PC, and a built-in speaker. The menu supports Russian – and this is a huge plus of this model. The manual in Russian is also present.

The bottom of the case has a socket for connecting additional power and a thread for mounting the camera on a tripod. The weight of the device is 333g empty and 538g equipped with batteries.

Main technical characteristics declared by the manufacturer:
Viewing angle: 120°
Response speed: 0.3 sec
Response range: 25 meters
Lighting range: 20 meters
Photo size: 8MP/12MP/16mp
Power supply: 4haa, 8 haa
Memory card support: microSD/microSDHC up to 32 GB
Data transfer via channels: 2G/3G/4G
Produces photo and video recording with audio recording.
Sends both photo and video materials via communication channels.
The product package includes: device, strap for mounting, data cable to the PC, installation disk, tweezers, manual in Russian.

The second participant of the test – a camera trap SEELOCK S378
With all its appearance, this product inspires respect.

First, this is a massive device with a net weight of 446g and a curb weight of 740g (I used only 8 batteries out of 12 possible). Total with parties 180*240*60 mm.

Secondly, the massive antenna promises not only high-speed data transmission in 4G networks, but also stable communication in areas with a weak mobile network signal.

The device is Packed in a colorful box with information about its technical characteristics. Instructions in Russian are attached.

The device body is made of high-quality plastic, camouflage colors with a matte finish. This distinguishes him from his opponent.

On the front side there is an IR illumination unit, a camera eyepiece and a motion sensor. The cover is fixed with a wide and very convenient latch and has an o-ring around the perimeter. On the upper side there is a socket for connecting a reinforced antenna.

Under the cover on the inside there are control buttons, a mode switch and a fairly large screen.

In the second half there is a compartment for batteries. The device can work from 4, 8 or 12 AA elements, which, according to the manufacturer, increases the life of one set, up to one year.

I was alerted by one element – the cord connecting the power supply to the” brains ” of the device. This element seemed to me to be the weak link in a seemingly flawless trap. How this wire will behave in sub-zero temperatures, I do not know yet. But the experience of dealing with modern wires is alarming – too cheap polyvinyl chloride is used in insulation recently.

On the lower end side there are sockets for connecting the data transmission cord, an additional power socket, which are covered with sealed rubber plugs on the outside, as well as a thread for a tripod.

This device has the following indicators:
The angle of view of the camera is only 50 degrees, which, in my opinion, is still not enough, especially if the fixation is carried out “short”. On the other hand, at the stated working distance of 20 meters, this angle is really justified, because at a viewing angle of 120 degrees, an excessive area will be covered, which is not always justified.
Response speed: 0.6 sec
Response range: 25 meters
IR illumination range: 18 meters
Photo size: 3MP/5MP/8MP/12MP
Power supply: 4haa, 8haa, 12haa or 6V external power supply
Support for memory cards: SD and SDHC up to 32GB
Data transfer via channels: 2G/3G/4G
Resolution in video mode: 1080 and the manufacturer claims that the camera is capable of shooting Full HD
Device weight: 333g empty and 538g equipped with batteries.
Produces photo and video recording with audio recording. You can also use the video and photo sharing feature.
Sends both photo and video materials via communication channels.
It should be noted that there is no installation disk with the device, but the trap setup program is already sewn into the internal memory and it is enough to install the memory card in the device, transfer the program and then enter the required information on the memory card via a PC.

And most importantly, along with other “Goodies”, this device is remotely controlled via SMS codes!!!

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