Well first off I got my first two images of bucks with no velvet which is always exciting. I could scream for joy, the opener is right around the corner! My new property has yet to show any signs of big bucks, but I know they are around as I have seen them driving around the block in the evening. I'm sure come October they'll start hitting the scrapelines pretty hard and I'm hoping to get some good trailc amera photos to share with you all.
Speaking of trail cameras, I have been testing out the new CamTrakker MK-8 which was just recently release. The owner of CamTrakker has been working his butt off for a few years now on this new camera and as of his latest release it is really coming together.
The Pros: The MK-8 had a full color LCD screen which makes it super easy to use and program. This screen is also used for reviewing images in the field. I haven't had the opportunity to use it in cold weather yet, so I'm not sure if it will get sluggish or not. The unit includes a sealed lead-acid rechargeable battery which provides great battery life. Although I do recommend spending the extra money on a spare battery, that way you can switch it out while in the field without losing the ability to have your camera working while you charge the battery. The IR flash range on this camera is incredible; it reaches out the furthest of all my IR units and still provides good images. The MK-8 also features a faster trigger than it's CamTrakker predecessors.
Another great feature of these new units is that they have firmware updates so it is easy to upgrade the software when updates are made. Simply download the firmware from the CamTrakker website, load it onto your flash card, insert it into the camera, and you're ready to go. Each unit also comes with a free 512 MB SD flash card, which means one less thing you have to buy separately.
Daytime photos don’t have as much color as I would like. I know they are still tweaking the settings to get it better and it has been improving recently. The IR filter could be lost or broken if you are not paying attention careful as it fits in over the regular flash. So make sure you always know where it's at, and don't drop it on anything hard if you can avoid it. The LCD can take awhile to view the photos in the field, especially if you have a lot to go through. I still recommend carrying an extra card so you can get in and get out as quickly as possible.
This is the IR filter you need to keep an eye on so you don't lose it.
Here is what the CamTrakker MK-8 looks like under the hood.
This is not my photo but it shows the how well the regular flash works.
I wish these daytime photos had a little more color, but I have been ensured that the new firmware upgrade enhances the color.
Here is a great IR night shot. This particular photo was taken with the IR set on the near setting and can be increased to medium or far depending on what you're monitoring. Like I said, the IR will reach out super far on this unit.