In the past I have had a few critters scale or crawl under my fence to snack on my tomatoes. Without knowing what is going after my crops it is difficult to figure out how to attempt to prevent these attacks. When Swann approached me to review their OutbackCam I decided this would be the perfect tool to answer this question.
The OutbackCam is a small device that holds a digital camera which with the help of motion sensor and an array of infrared LED lights can take quality pictures/videos of anything that moves within its range during the day or night.
Installation of the devices is very simple, you use the provided strap to attach the device to a fence post, tree, etc. and pull snuggly to keep it in place. This is fine for catching animals in the act, but if humans are your target you may want to provide your own cable and lock or protected enclosure to prevent someone with a pocket knife walking away with your camera and evidence it may have captured.
The camera provided numerous settings to allow you to choose between taking photos and videos and also the amount of time you want to delay between photos to prevent using up the whole card while lets say you are mowing the lawn. This configuration I would not call intuitive (meaning I actually had to look at the instructions) but I would consider no more difficult than setting a new digital watch. Once you understand the settings and the flow it is very easy.
Though it is a few months before I will be able to catch any animals going after my tomatoes I did turn it on and captured some less threatening creatures to confirm the image quality and the number of false positives.
Overall the device was very accurate there were very few false triggers and after I was unable to catch any critters in my garden I decided to simulate a zebra attacking a seedling in my kitchen which was pitch black when the picture was taken.
One things I did notice when taking the picture above the camera does make a mechanical noise when it takes the picture. Which could scare away the trespasser (which in my case could be a good thing) but if you are looking to catch many pictures of Bigfoot in your back woods this may not be the camera for you.
The camera uses an SD memory card (same used for many digital cameras) which you can plug into the media slot of your computer to view as needed.
Overall I think this is a great gadget for capturing wildlife (wanted or unwanted) and is easy to setup is pretty effective at capturing photos based on movement in its range. It is rugged we have had some pretty intense weather here over the past few months (hard rain, hail, snow) and the enclosure has stayed completely dry. As for using for “human pests” I would recommend using this due to the internal storage of photos and the ease it is for the “pests” to walk off with your photos and your camera. Though if you are able to install this in a location that is not easily reachable or visible it could work as a standard security camera.
Disclosure: I was given a free sample to review this product but not compensated or affiliated with Swann Communications Inc for this review.