2009 Tasco 3mp White Flash Review - August 2, 2009 Back to Main Review Page
   

2009 Tasco 3.0

 

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There was a buz around the internet about a new Tasco camera that was spotted hiding on the shelves at Wallyworld. I spent some time trying to find this item and information on the net but there was not any information. Being Tasco is owned by Bushnell I contacted them and I was told that this camera is a Bushnell (119203) camera with the Tasco name. It comes in a flat black case that appears to me to be a natural color and I like that tone better than the brown that the Bushnell cameras have. This is the same size as all the Trail Sentry cameras produced by Bushnell which is 6X 8X 2 ˝ inches. Having that flat black simple look it looks like it means business by having that appearance. It is simple but still has a clean good look to it.

There are four things on the front of the camera and they are the PIR sensor lens on top and then comes the flash strobe and below that is the main camera lens. Just below that is the movement sensor indicator (can be used for walk test). This indicator has always been covered up with black electrical tape on all our previous cameras that we deployed in the field. That little red indicator will spook the hell out of a deer that is close. PIR sensor is rated to 45 feet and the flash range is the same. There is a full door seal that is held tight with two small plastic latches. The back of the camera has a belt slot and some raised curved areas to match the contour of the tree. There is a nice wide strap supplied.

The bubble pack that it came in has a few of the specifications listed. I referred to the manual to get more information and there is a statement written that states “All Tasco trail cameras will have a trigger time of less than 1 second”. Well, la de da, that is good news as long as it is true, which we will find out for sure. Another cam in the door setup which always aggravates me because I set up and get a good aim and they open the door and the weight causes the camera to move and ruin my aim. That is just one of my pet peeves I wish they would not do. With the door open you can see the LCD screen with its associated 5 buttons for turning on and off the camera plus programming. The SD card slot (up to 1 gig) is just to the right of that and the battery compartment is across the bottom.

First lets talk about this battery holder setup. It takes four D cells but care must be taken when inserting to ensure that the springs do not fold over and appear to be strait against the bottom of the battery. With the design and the battery holders things fit very tight. This camera was so tight that the positive end of the last installed battery was not touching the plate and the camera would not turn on. I had to physically slide the batteries toward the positive plates to insure contact then everything worked just fine. Now with the cells in place and the power on hit the enter button 5 times and you will see the word pass come up on the LCD screen. Hit the menu button and you can toggle through the time date setup and select either 14 second video (320X240 AVI 10fps) or select one of two (1.3 MP or interpolated 3.0 MP) resolution settings for stills. Hitting the enter button will fix your selection and also move you on to the next programming mode. Security, this is one of the all time features that most customers want. Password protection type of setups like you can select on this cam has caused me more headaches that anything else. Yesterday we had another person that had difficulties with this and we have had untold amount of folks who have just messed it up and could not get their cam unlocked. We have chosen to just use the enter button and not set a password because of this. Physical security like the use of a locking bar through the strap loops and a Python cable around the tree through the bar and across the front of the camera has always worked for us. Should you choose to use the password please do it with care, because it is easy to mess up. A quickie test on the trigger time bench (unofficial) and I will say this cam is fast and I don’t think you will be disappointed. One of the first cameras having this style but with the Bushnell name on it had an instant trigger and we put it up against what was considered a Cadillac (cudde 1.3) and that little cam would out work the Cudde every time. Maybe we might see a second addition of that old camera with the introduction of this new Tasco cam. The delay between pictures is a fixed 30 seconds which I can live with but those who setup on feeders and licks should probably use the 1.3 MP setting because of the limitation of 1 gig SD cards. The company states the battery life should be around 30 days of average use.

I have to get this cam in the light box for a couple pictures and then move it to the hill after we get the trigger and flash tests done. One thing that we noticed that has been seen on these cameras in the past is that these cameras are hard to turn off. Make sure that you see the word “off” on the LCD or the camera is not off. This appears to be another sub $100 very functional white flash camera so things look like it may get interesting as we get into the season. This company is staying with the market and is only offering a one year limited warranty. They are still asking for that ten dollar bill when you need to return the camera. Time/date and moon phase are stamped on each picture but not on the video’s.

08-03-2009 update:  The trigger times went very well and easy to do with the 30 second delay we could pull a god awful plenty of them in about 45 minutes. Though the owners manual says less than a second we have seen where there has been a tendency to fudge on numbers before. The real trigger time comes in just under 1.5 seconds which is still very respectable and puts this camera in the “trail” category and not the “feeder” category. The 30 second delay is also a plus but we still wish it was shorter and selectable so those who don’t get to visit their cameras on a regular basis will not have to worry about the card being full. Flash range came in out past 20 feet and the pictures were also pretty good. We are developing a hole where one of the other cameras in review is coming to an end, so we will have a place to fit this camera in a field situation very shortly.

08-06-2009 update:  We had this cam on the hill just long enough to capture a few sample pictures. The day time color pictures were good but had a slight degree of blur because of movement. The shutter time must be a little long. We only got one night picture and it was a pretty short distance so it was still in the flash range. The printing on the bottom of each picture is yellow and unless conditions are exactly right it is very hard to read. This cam did pretty good in the sensing by picking up a rabbit that was about 20 feet out on a very warm day. Our test area is under heavy canopy so we hardly ever get real bright sun because of the leaf cover.  Performance so far is acceptable considering the price.

08-18-2009 update:  Battery life lasted for two weeks and the picture count was 316 pictures. Looks like this cam will also be a keeper in the white flash category. The function was pretty good, without any failures and two weeks is not great battery life but it will work considering the price and It does seem to work as long as it is placed within its limited flash range.

08-19-2009 update:  We have taken this cam as far as we can for its single function. It has worked well and a limited two week battery life. Review closed.

 

Trigger Time
without flash - 1.5 seconds




with flash - 1.5 seconds


 
Flash Range
Sample Photos 1
Sample Photos 2
 
   

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