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Stealth Cam DS4K Review
The DS4K has killer battery life, realistic photos, easy programming, respectable detection speeds, and excellent 1440p & 1080p videos. This camera has a lot going for it. - TCP Staff
- Only 4K video trail camera on the market
- Excellent video quality in 1440p & 1080p
- Incredible battery life
- Fast trigger speed and good recovery times
- In 4K video mode, the videos are shot in 15 frames per second
The Stealth DS4K has received noticeable hype as the first 4K video trail camera. Let's find out how it stacks up to the competition.
1/12/18 Update: Stealth has released new firmware that should improve the blurry day photos. Testing reveals that the blurry day photos were fixed by this update.
Photo resolution: 30 mpxl (interpolated)
Video resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K) w/ audio
Flash Type: Low Glow IR
The first thing we should mention is the native resolution of the Stealth DS4K is 16 megapixels. Nearly every other camera on the market has a native resolution between 2-5 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 most 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.
The firmware update drastically improved the blur on daytime images. We no longer see blur on moving objects (within reason, of course). This was a fantastic update. Our sample photos (below) will have pictures pre and post update.
Night pictures have adequate flash range, but the edges of the photo are darker than the center. They have good contrast, clarity, and very solid illumination. We have found the amount of blurring at night to be consistent with most other low glow trailcams.
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 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.
*For the purpose of the Stealth Cam DS4K Review, we are rating the video quality in the 1080p resolution.
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.
* The Stealth DS4K has a native 16 mpxl resolution. If you set the camera to any photo setting over 16 mpxl, the camera will interpolate to meet that rating.
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 1.38 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 1.98 Ws | 4.5 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 23.67 Ws | 74.81 Ws
Battery efficiency is a big plus for the Stealth DS4k.
If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the DS4K would last 15.6 months in the field on a set of 12 AA Lithium Batteries. This is absolutely outstanding.
If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 3.4 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. This is very efficient as well.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.39 s. / 2.7 s.
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.36 s. / 2.9 s.
Detection Range: 70 ft.
These detection speeds are a result of an August (2017) firmware update Stealth released. All the speeds are very quick and respectable.
Detection range is 70 ft. Overall, this is a very efficient detection circuit.
Dimensions: 5.5" x 3.5" x 3.25"
Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries
External Battery Jack: 12-Volt
The DS4K feels beefy and well-made to the touch. It is slightly thicker than other Stealth models, but not a large camera by any means. The latch is easy to manipulate and has the added benefit of working with a Python lock bracket to secure the interior of the camera when using a cable lock.
The battery tray ejects easily and the batteries are easy to load and unload. There is a threaded insert on the bottom of the camera for a Slate River Mount. The DS4K can accept SD cards up to 512 Gigs in memory.
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.
The DS4K is among the most balanced, impressive low glow trail cameras on the market. Killer battery life, easy programming, respectable detection speeds and excellent 1080p videos make this a big winner.
We appreciate Stealth's progressive vision for 4K trail camera videos, however, due to the low 15 frames per second, we consider the 4K videos to have very little real-world practicality. Buy this camera because it is an excellent 1440p video trail camera, not because it has 4K marketing hype.
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FAQ's: 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.
- 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.
- View pictures on your smartphone. Choose between the iOS Reader for iPhones and the Android Reader. Phone readers require an app to access the photos, you can read more about these via the previous links.
- 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 somewhat controversial. Humans can't see the flash as the nanometer spectrum is above what the human eye can detect (that is where the 940 comes from in the Dark Ops name). It's also much harder for an animal to see, but that could depend on the species of animal as different species see in different light spectrums.
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.
Read Reviews From All the Game and Trail Cameras
- 44.7° Field of view
- 12-Volt External Battery Jack
- Accepts up to 512 Gig SD Cards
- 30 interpolated mpxl's
- 4K Video w/ audio
- 5-59 second / 1-59 minute timer interval settings
- External 12-volt battery jack
- Adjustable IR ranges
- Start/Stop Programmable timing
- Video records 5-180 seconds
- Time Lapse w/ PIR override
- Adjust triggering range
Buy your next trail camera or accessory from us and we will protect your purchase with our 90-day return policy and our exclusive 2-year warranty.
Most manufacturer warranties are only one year. In our opinion, that isn't good enough. Our customers get a two year warranty, directly from us.
Trailcampro's 2-Year Warranty
If the trail camera you purchase from us goes defective within two years of your purchase, we will quickly replace it.
We strive to make the warranty process as quick and easy as possible. Simply fill out our warranty form.
Trailcampro's 90-Day Return Policy
We believe you have the right to return any game camera that does not meet your expectations within 90 days.
Our return policy lets you field test products, at no risk to you!
- Buyer's remorse? Return the camera to us for a full refund (minus shipping).
- Purchased the wrong camera? We will ship you the right camera.
- Something wrong with the camera you received? We will replace it at no cost to you.
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Trail Camera Accessories
Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the Stealth 4K Trail Camera.
- There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.
- Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The DS4K has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.
Start at $9.95
- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the DS4k, but most people use a second card. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.
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We would love your feedback if you purchased this trail camera from us. We want your honest feedback, these reviews are a vital part in helping consumers choose the right game camera.