I had decided to try the Epic Stealth Cam, after seeing sample videos online. It arrived in the mail last week, and I've had a chance to play with it just a little bit.The unit itself is pretty cool. It comes in two configurations, a black model and a real-tree camo model. I went with the camo model, solely because it came with an accessory that the black model didn't - a clip that mounts the unit on a cap brim :)
The controls are easy to use and understand, and it has a "tone" feature that you can use to determine exactly what you're telling the camera to do without having to see the display. Different tone lengths indicate if you're turning the unit on/off, starting video taping, stopping video taping, etc. That's great, particularly when you are using the unit on your hat. You can turn the tone off, if you're using it while hunting.
It uses an SD card, and can down load video to my computer via the card, or a regular USB cable.
The video on highest resolution isn't anywhere near as good as my regular video camera, but for the price it's pretty good. There's only two complaints that I have so far. Since the unit doesn't have a display, and is completely out of your line of sight when mounted on a hat brim, it is impossible to tell exactly where your pointing the unit with any kind of precision. For example, I shot a video of myself catching a distempter infected racoon in a parking lot. When I downloaded and viewed the video on my computer later, I discovered that I had filmed the concrete parking lot a foot away from the racoon the whole time.
The other factor is wind noise. Even a moderate breeze can cause a rushing wind noise on the playback video that drowns out all other sound. This is pretty common when filming video with sound outdoors, though, and not solely a problem with the Stealthcam.
I'm not sure what I'll do about the wind noise, if anything. The alignment/aiming problem I'm in the process of trying to fix. I'm hoping to find a small, inexpensive laser pointer that I can ziptie to the unit that will allow me to "red dot" whatever I'm filming. That way I'll be able to adjust the tilt of my head to maker sure my subject is in frame.
Below, is a short video I shot as a test run of the unit.
The call that I was responding too was this:
That's an overflow drain for a suburban park pond. It keeps the pond from flooding into the nearby houses during heavy rains. Its about 12 feet out from the bank, and is about 8 feet deep. At the bottom, is a large drain that channels water away to the storm sewer. The duck that you see in the picture is a Mallard Hen. Her 7 babies are at the bottom of the drain, having fallen in.
That's the babies all huddled together at the bottom. I had to wade out to the drain in water that was roughly chest deep. It took a couple of trips back and forth before I was ready to try to extract them. This video is of when I was ready to scoop them out. You have to be carefull at the moment of capture, because ducklings have an annoying tendancy to scatter and run down the storm drains where they are lost forever.
Here's the babies safe in a bucket:
And here's a shot of Mom and her brood after being released at a nearby pond that doesn't have a drain like this: