Stealth Cam DS4K Max Review
The DS4K Max combines great picture & video quality, with 14+ months of battery life, a great case design, and fast trigger speed. The recover speed and detection range are blow average, however, the DS4K remains one of our favorite cameras based on image and video quality alone. - TCP Staff
Model # STC-DS4KMAX | DS4K Max Owner's Manual
- Excellent picture and video quality
- 14+ month battery life
- Faster picture trigger speed
- Below average detection range
- Below average recovery times
Photo resolution: 32 mpxl (interpolated)
Video resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K) @ 15 fps w/ audio
Flash Type: Low Glow IR
Stealth Cam added dual lenses to the DS4K Max trail camera (dedicated day and night lens) in order to help improve picture quality even more. We have found this to be most beneficial to night photos. Although not mentioned in the owner's manual, we believe the native resolution of the Stealth Cam DS4K Max trail camera is still 16 megapixels. Nearly every other camera on the market has a native resolution between 4-5 mpxl (before digital interpolation). This allows you to zoom in closer on images that would normally pixelate immediately.
In our opinion, the DS4K has the an extremely realistic color palette for daytime photos (and videos). Color is outstanding and true to life. The clarity of the lens is remarkable, regardless of whether the animal is close or far from the camera.
Night pictures have adequate flash range and are fairly evenly illuminated from left to right ont he photo. They have good contrast, clarity, and solid illumination. We have found the amount of blurring at night to be consistent with most other low glow game trail camera.
Video quality needs an explanation based on this camera being marketed as and even being named after 4K video quality. Yes, this is a 4K video trail camera. However, there is a significant downside to using this camera in 4K.
- In 4K mode, this camera can only shoot at 15 frames per second. This result is very choppy video quality.
With that in mind, running the camera in 1440p or 1080p (at 30 frames per second) results in excellent, fluid trail camera videos. Just like pictures, the daytime color is among the most realistic we have seen. It also uses a more normalized file size for videos. For that reason, our recommendation is to use the Stealth DS4K in either 2560x1440 or 1920x1080 video resolution.
Night videos have very good flash range, clarity, and contrast. Night videos are among the best you will see from low glow trailcams. Audio seems to be really good on both day and night videos.
What if you purchase from us and aren't happy with the image quality?
This is a common question and we have a very simple solution. Call, email, or chat with us and we can take a look at the images and offer suggestions or immediately tell if something is wrong with the camera. If so, we will warranty the camera for you (with the free 2-Year warranty you receive from us) or return the camera for a full refund (within 90 days of purchase). You have control of the process, remember, we work for you.
In the past, many people get confused with the megapixel rating trail camera manufacturers advertise. Companies inflate the mpxl rating to attract eyes to their products. They do this through interpolation, which digitally adds megapixels to a photo without actually improving the picture.
The best way to judge picture quality is to look at actual pictures. You will notice this the most when you zoom in on a full-size image that a camera has taken. The details of the photo will appear hazy or even digitized. This is normal, and to be expected.
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 1.68 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 2.3 Ws | 4.8 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 19.5 Ws | 73.1 Ws
If this trail camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the Stealth Cam DS4K Max would last 14.3 months in the field on a set of 12 AA Lithium Batteries. This is outstanding but it does use 12 AA batteries.
If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 3.5 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. This is very efficient as well.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.39 s. | 3.3 s.
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.25 s. | 3.2 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 60 ft. @ 50° detection angle (42.2° field of view)
The picture trigger speed is very fast but the recover speed is middle of the pack. The video detection is above average in both trigger and recovery.
Detection range under-performed and is going to be subject to a few "false triggers" with a detection angle that is 8° wider than the field of view.
Dimensions: 5.75" x 3.5" x 3.25"
Battery Type: 12 AA
External Battery Jack: 12-volt
The DS4K is a thick, sturdy trail camera that feels quite durable and hefty to the touch. The latch easily manipulates open and closed, and has a positive snap when clamping it shut. The battery tray is easy to eject and batteries load seamlessly.
There is a threaded insert on the bottom of the camera for a Slate River Mounted and a Python Cable Lock bracket on the back of the camera. The Python Lock also locks the latch, which would in turn lock the SD card inside the camera. Overall, the DS4K is a touch larger than the average trail camera but is built solidly and has no obvious flaw.
Setting the camera up in the custom mode is very easy. Simply toggle through the settings using the up/down arrows and change your desired settings. You can format your SD card in the settings, set a password, control IR brightness, and the PIR range. It even has a start/stop time. Setup is extremely easy.
For a camera at this price range, we would have expected to see an internal viewer. Other than that, we don't have any complaints about the DS4K setup process.
We have had no issues with the Stealth DS4K and expect it to be a reliable camera. If something comes up, we will update this review.
Keep in mind, our 2-year warranty program is your free insurance program in case something goes wrong with a camera you purchase from us. This warranty protects you from any manufacturing defect the camera might experience for two years.
The DS4K Max game trail camera combines great picture & video quality, with 14+ months of battery life, a great case design, and fast trigger speed. The recover speed and detection range are blow average, however, the DS4K remains one of our favorite cameras based on image and video quality alone.
Since 2005, our mission has to been to provide consumers with unbeatable value, advice you can trust, and customer service that exceeds expectations. There are plenty of places you can choose to do business with, if we are lucky enough to earn your support, we promise to give you our undivided attention. Trailcampro has grown each year not only by relying on your happiness but on the assumption that if we blow you away with customer service, you will brag about us to your friends (have you seen our referral/reward program?).
As always, if you have additional questions, feel free to call, email or chat with us. We look forward to helping you find your next trail camera!
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FAQ's: Stealth Cam DS4K Max Trail Camera
Q: How do I view the pictures?
A: There are a number of ways to do this. Pictures/videos are stored on the SD card you place in the camera. Here are some other methods for viewing images:
- View pictures on your computer. Plug the SD card in a desktop computer or laptop via the built-in SD card reader or use a USB reader if your computer doesn't have one. This method works for most tablets as well. With this method, we recommend having two SD cards per camera so you can swap them in the field.
- Trail Camera Viewers. While more expensive, handheld viewers are useful if you don't have a smartphone or run multiple trail cameras.
Q: Will this trail camera trigger on small animals (birds, rodents, etc.)?
A: Trail cameras detect on a combination of heat and movement, so, yes, small mammals will trigger the camera. However, if you are going after smaller warm-blooded mammals, we recommend getting the camera closer to your target. For best performance, place the camera in an area that would enable picture detection from 3 - 20 ft.
Q: Can animals see the infrared flash on this camera?
A: This is a low glow trail camera, meaning it has an extremely faint red glow when taking pictures or videos at night. We rate cameras as low glow if we can see the glow within 15 ft., but have a much harder time seeing it at a greater distance.
Q: Where can I purchase this camera?
A: From us! We hope to woo you with our incredible charm, two-year warranty, 90-day returns, free continental U.S. shipping, and technical expertise. If that isn't enough, we give you a 16 Gig SD card with this camera and you can call and talk our ear off anytime.
Seriously, though, we know you have plenty of options of where to spend your hard-earned money. The internet can be the wild, wild, west of too-good-to-be-true deals. If you choose to do business with us, we will go out of our way to make sure you are happy with the camera you select and the service we provide you.
We are passionate about testing and reviewing trail cameras, but most importantly, we are passionate about treating our customers the right way. We do things differently from what you have come to expect from other internet retailers and we hope you give us the opportunity to prove that to you.
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