The Spypoint Force Dark is a low glow IR trail camera that puts out 3 years of battery life and incredible detection speeds. Prepare for lots of pictures as this camera triggers and recovers nearly instantly. Image quality is average (picture) to below average (video). Overall, if speed and battery life are of the utmost importance, this camera is right up your alley. - TCP Staff
Daytime pictures have bright color, average clarity and plenty of depth whether the camera was placed in bright sunlight or heavy timber.
Night pictures have pros and cons. There is a decent amount of flash range, but the pictures do have a slight halo (more light in the center of the image - less on the edges of the photo). The Force Dark has three modes in the settings that control night image quality:
IR Boost- Max flash range but higher frequency of blurry images
Blur Reduction- Less flash range, but better clarity on moving animals
Optimal- This is a compromise of the two modes above.
Overall, the night photos are a mixed bag. We consider the Solar's night photos to be very average.
Day video is shot with 1920 x 1080 resolution but only at 10 fps. The frames per second really hold the Force Dark back in terms of video quality. The audio also seems to have a "whine" to it. We think the day videos are of poor quality.
The low frame rate is much less noticeable on night videos. The videos appear to be well illuminated and solid overall. Much better than the day video quality.
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, whichdigitally 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.
Battery Life: 98/100
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 0.23 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 0.9 Ws | 1.5 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 10.3 Ws | 57.5 Ws
If this camera were to take 35-day pictures and 35-night pictures every 24 hour period, this camera would last36 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. Phenomenal.
If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last3.5 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries.
Detection Circuit: 99/100
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.07 s. | 0.3 s.
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.71 s. | 1.0 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 120 ft. @ 39.7° Detection Angle (42° field of view)
This detection circuit is absurd, not matter what category. Crazy speed, 120' detection range, and a wide enough detection zone to get it done. Every time we pull an SD card the camera has tens of thousands of pictures. This is just silly and might we say, possibly too fast? We find that we prefer to set the recovery time down to a few seconds just to make it easier to view the pictures in a realistic time frame. Not a bad problem to have!
Quality of Design: 87/100
Dimensions: 3.8" x 5" x 3.2"
Battery Type: 8 AA batteries
External Battery Jack: 12-volt
The Spypoint Force Dark is very small and would be easy to conceal in almost any environment. The camera has a detachable bracket for mounting or removing quickly from a tree. There is a built-in python lock bracket on the back of the camera and a 1/4" x 20 threaded insert on the bottom of the camera for a tripod or Slate River Mount.
On the back of the camera, there is a cover that pops open to reveal the battery compartment (it requires 8 AA batteries). The batteries are easy to insert/remove and are held firmly in place. There is no chance they would become dislodged on their own. The battery cover feels a bit flimsy, but it attaches in a way that removes that as a concern. It is perfectly flush with the back of the camera and is not exposed to anything that would risk damaging it.
The latch on the Force Dark has been upgraded. It is now larger and much easier to manipulate with cold hands. All programming buttons have a positive click when changing settings. We wish the Force Dark had an on/off switch so you don't have to push and hold the "ok" button to turn the camera on or off. The camera has an internal picture viewer that you can replay images and videos on.
Programming is incredibly easy and intuitive. Whether this is your first camera or 21st, you will enjoy the programming options and fluid navigation. All programming is done on the internal viewer, so for those of you that do not enjoy squinting at small LCD screens, you will appreciate the bigger font on the viewer.
The Force Dark trailcam has custom start/stop time, which is useful for anyone looking at this camera for security. It also has hybrid mode, which allows you to take a picture and a video at the same time.
SD Card Storage Examples
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 2 mpxl photos (this is called normal in the settings, this is our recommended setting as it is closest to the native resolution), this camera could store 106,000 pictures on the SD card.
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 1920 x 1080 video resolution, this trailcam could store 1,100 10-second videos.
From this data, you can extrapolate out storage capacities of different sized SD cards and different resolution settings. We give you a 16 Gig SD card with the purchase of this camera through us. If you need additional or larger SD cards, you can shop allSD card options here.
We currently do not have any durability concerns. We will update the review if that changes.
Keep in mind, our2-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.
Spypoint Force Dark Review Conclusion: 89/100
The Spypoint Force Dark is a low glow IR trail camera that puts out 3 years of battery life and incredible detection speeds. Prepare for lots of pictures as this camera triggers and recovers nearly instantly. Image quality is average (picture) to below average (video). Overall, if speed and battery life are of the utmost importance, this camera is right up your alley.
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: Force Dark 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.
Internal picture view. The Force Dark has an internal picture viewer that you can review photos and videos on. This also aids in aiming the camera.
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. 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.
- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the M8000, but most people use two cards. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.
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