HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera Review
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- Budget-friendly trail camera
- Full color pictures, day or night
- Excellent detection range
- Slow trigger time
- Short battery life
- Requires a wired remote for programming
Welcome to our review of the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera. HCO Outdoors produces a wide variety of outdoors products, and are one of the few manufacturers to still produce incandescent flash cameras for nighttime use. I was eager to get the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera set up and test it, so read on to find out what was great and what was not so great about the trail camera.
How Well Does the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera Detect Movement?
The HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera has one of the most impressive detection ranges I’ve seen in quite some time. Depending on ambient temperature, the camera can detect movement from as far away as 90 feet with a 42º field of view.
Picture trigger time is 1.31 seconds, and video trigger time is 1.66 seconds. This is pretty slow, but about average for the price point HCO was trying to hit. Recovery time is quite a bit better at 5 seconds for still shots and 5.9 seconds for video, but there is still room for improvement here.
How Reliable Is This Field Camera?
I found the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera to be highly reliable, surviving through torrential downpours without any problems whatsoever. The camera is well-built, made of high quality material, and the case seals completely to keep the weather and humidity out. The padlock hole makes it easy to secure the camera to your tree trunk or mount to deter theft.
What Is the Image Quality Like?
The HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera features a 5MP sensor, with software compression to allow for 8MP images. I briefly tested the 8MP mode, and found the quality to be pretty good, but I have no need for images that humongous so quickly switched it back to 5MP. Daytime pictures are outstanding, with excellent clarity and very vivid color. This inexpensive little trail camera just might produce the best daytime pictures I’ve seen in a field camera.
This is one of the few game cameras on the market that still uses an incandescent flash instead of infrared LED flashes. The night flash consistently reaches out to 50 feet, which is very admirable and provides good range for capturing wildlife at night. Since it’s using an incandescent flash, nighttime pictures captured by the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera are in full color. Objects close to the camera do have a tendency to suffer from white out, so you want to be sure to place the camera more than 10 feet away from where you expect animals to show up.
All of the images captured by the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera are stamped with the date and time, but no additional information is provided.
What Picture-Taking Modes Does This Camera Offer?
The HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera features two picture-taking modes, either still pictures or video. You can set the image resolution to 3, 5, or 8 MP, and can set the camera to burst mode to take 2 or 3 photos at a time when triggered. You can also change the trigger interval, which disables the camera’s PIR sensor for a short period of time. Valid settings for the interval are from 1 to 59 seconds, or from 1 to 60 minutes.
In video mode, you can record either 320×240 or 640×480 videos. The default length is 10 seconds, but you can set the video length anywhere from 1 second to 60 seconds. It is important to note that this camera only records video during the day; since it uses an incandescent flash, there is no way for the flash to fire frequently enough for video recording.
How Many Pictures Can the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera Store?
No SD card comes with the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera, but it supports SD cards up to 32GB in size. How many pictures or videos you can store will depend on what size SD card you insert, as well as the image or video resolution selected.
How Is the Battery Life?
Power consumption is decent during the day, but the incandescent flash really kills the batteries at night. If you use a set of 4 lithium AA batteries, you can probably expect around 4 months of use. The camera does take up to 8 AA batteries, though, for extended battery life. There is also a DC port for connecting the camera to a 6V external power source.
Is This Field Camera Easy To Use?
I only have one problem with the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera in terms of ease of use. In order to program the camera, you have to use a wired remote that comes with the camera. Actual programming is easy and simple, enabling almost anyone to master the camera in seconds, and the instruction manual is decent. The wired remote does provide one benefit worth noting: the LCD display on the remote allows you to preview your images.
Reviewing the pictures can be accomplished using the wired remote, by removing the SD card, using the TV out plug, or by connecting the camera directly to your computer using a USB cable. HCO actually includes the right USB cable in the box, so you don’t have to worry about locating and purchasing an extra cable.
Mounting the HCO Uway ScoutGuard Game Camera is also easy. The camera comes with an adjustable web strap for securing the camera to a tree trunk, but the camera also includes a tripod socket for use with other mounting systems. A padlock hole allows you to secure the camera with a Python lock for added security.