Improving scouting and odds of criminal prosecution one photo at a time.
By Kevin Reese
Texas –-(Ammoland.com)- Much of my writing over the years has revolved around scouting and preparation as key elements of successful and ethical hunting.
While trap, game or trail cameras have been around for over 100 years, the past 15 years have demonstrated the single most aggressive swing in trail camera use for scouting and preparation.
And, while trail cameras do significantly improve our ability to scout, plan and hunt, cameras are steadily evolving to include security. Over the past five years I’ve followed the security aspect of trail camera use quite closely and have enjoyed watching advances applied to one model after another. One company I’ve watched carefully over the past several years is SpyPoint.
From the IR-B in 2008, through the game changing technology built into the Tiny-W cameras, to the 2013 SpyPoint Live 3G, I’ve watched SpyPoint consistently walk the leading edge of trail camera technology. More importantly, they do so with such dedication to the protection and security of their clients there is little need to look elsewhere for multitasking products that not only track your wildlife, but give you a fighting chance to catch thugs in the act! And, as you’ll learn, the Live 3G, SpyPoint’s latest high-tech offering, has an added surprise sure to take accountability to new heights.
Live 3G – Finally, Affordable Cell Service!
While the rest of the trail camera marketplace focuses on cost-prohibitive cellular servicing, ridiculously high resolution that most hunters really don’t care much about and adding sound to video clips, SpyPoint has already been there, done that. Sure the SpyPoint Pro-X is a great at 12MP and the use of high resolution photos resonates with wildlife photographers, we don’t necessarily need that much resolution, or that much storage eaten up, to scout or catch a bad guy.
Today’s SpyPoint cameras focus on offering the best combination of scouting and security currently available. While SpyPoint still offers high resolution cameras for discerning wildlife photographers, the latest SpyPoint homeruns, the Tiny W-2 and Live 3G offer 8MP resolution to capture detail those important details without needlessly filling up your SD card. Want Black LED’s, video sound, wifi, cellular, resolution, simple interface and integrated viewers? SpyPoint has all of them!
But, there’s more… and that “more” is going to do more than shock you… it will rock the world of criminals everywhere!
Hunter’s Best Friend, Punks Worst NIGHTMARE!
Imagine someone at the top listening to your whims, wishes, moans and groans then actually addressing them! Now imagine a company listening to the wish lists and gripes of people using other manufacturers’ trail cameras? What don’t they like? What can we do to help them? Let’s be honest, what’s on your trail camera wish list?
Let me drop a boot by sharing what I would like to see in a trail camera:
- Decent resolution but not over the top
- Video with sound, if that turns my rotors
- Faster trigger times – I mean, down to zero!
- Multiple detection zones – see trigger time… not a back leg!
- Affordable cellular service – I’m on a budget
- Integrated viewing and configuration window, controls
- Multi-Shot capabilities
- Reduced, or increased, shot intervals – depending on my mood
- Most Important – I want to catch the trash who stole my camera
- I want to drive to his house and get my camera back!
Now, let me drop the other boot… IT’S HERE!
I recently setup my new SpyPoint Live 3G and found out some great things along the way! The Live 3G can be used as a stand-alone or cellular based trail camera. The cellular service knocked me for a loop; I was a bit scared of the cost factor; I had played with others and paid dearly for it. To my surprise, the cost is incredibly affordable.
SpyPoint Live 3G allows you to use your current AT&T account or a pay as you go Truphone account.
The first step in my Live 3G experience was to create a MySpyPoint.com account. MySpyPoint.com hosts webpages I use to manage my camera settings and manage my images. In MySpyPoint.com, I dictate image intervals, camera modes and other camera settings. Part of settings is the type of image I would like to transmit. Since I elected to keep my data at 100mb per month (no more than $15 monthly), I chose to transmit thumbnails with the option to download full size images with the click of a button. After thumbnail transmission, the thumbnails appear on my content management page. Along with image transmissions, I used MySpyPoint.com configuration settings to receive text and email messages whenever images are transmitted.
The camera comes with a Truphone sim card; however, again, you can elect to use your AT&T sim card. I chose Truphone to minimize my costs. Once the sim card is activated and the camera is registered with MySpyPoint.com, your camera in ready to communicate.
Full-sized images are taken at intervals you select, down to every 10 seconds and resolution is set at 8MP. Five (5) zones of detection mean a blistering fast trigger speed, down to zero seconds. IR technology has improved dramatically over the years. The Live 3G utilizes 48 LED lights to capture images out to at least 50 feet on the darkest of nights.
My personal SpyPoint Live 3G is capturing every bit of 50 feet… and a few feet more with exceptional clarity.
The security features are where this camera trumps everything else on the market! Not only do you capture images of perpetrators, those photos are transmitted for download. The camera also sends messages to your cell phone that your camera is being moved. You can even report the camera stolen in MySpyPoint.com. Reporting the Live 3G stolen locks the camera up (until you retrieve it) and provides you with GPS coordinates for your camera every 10 minutes! That’s right, the Live 3G has a tracking device! Imagine the punk’s surprise when you show up at his door, perhaps with the local authorities, and demand your camera back. To help you on your search, you’ve likely already captured images of the perpetrator! Security at its finest – If you want peace of mine, you need SpyPoint Live 3G!
What’s this world coming to, you ask? It’s coming to a place where honest people reclaim the upper hand. Much like video cameras record the good, bad and ugly of daily life, SpyPoint captures the good, bad and ugly of our outdoor lifestyle. Since the late 1800s, trail cameras have been used to answer questions. Today’s cameras, like the SpyPoint Live 3G, answers many more questions than some people bargain for.
So, What’s NOT to Like?
“Not like” is such a strong term. It’s not a dislike inasmuch as it’s a “wish I had”. After all, the Live 3G is, by far, my favorite of SpyPoint’s entire lineup… and I’ve used a number of different models over the years. So, here is what I wish I had in the Live 3G. I would love to be able to synchronize on demand. It may already exist; however, if it does then my gripe would be that the instructions, from what I read, did not reveal how I might activate that function. If I could push a button and automatically synchronize that would take my trail cameras desires right over the top!
A second improvement would be to add an outdoor booster to improve cellular signal and transmission. This is NOT a fault of the camera but I would love to see a battery powered external cellular signal booster to reach even further off the beaten path. (Editors Note: Spypoint now offers the Spypoint Live Booster Antenna for increased cell service reception. : http://tinyurl.com/onr59p7)
Even considering the cons that, frankly, I really had to search high and low for, the Live 3G is by far my favorite of not just SpyPoint’s offerings, but all trail camera offerings. As I mentioned earlier, the innovation, details and dedication to quality evident in this model assures me that SpyPoint cares about more than just my scouting, they care about protecting my best interests.
Even better, they give me recourse that NO OTHER trail camera to date offers. The SpyPoint Live 3G has been such a mind-blowing joy ride, I can’t imagine what they’ll come up with next!
Shop Cabelas for your own SpyPoint Live 3G Camera ; http://tinyurl.com/o9cwxsf
About Kevin Reese
Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers www.Just-Hunt.com and Just-Hunt A Blog at blog.just-hunt.com. Just-Hunt A Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews