TCP Rating: 70/100 - This camera lacks long battery life and detection speed. Outside of that, the Covert Phantom would have scored very well with the quality design and beautiful trailcam videos.
- TCP Staff
2016 Covert Phantom Review
Model # 5168
Trailcampro Comprehensive Score: What's this?
- Incredible video quality
- Solid night photos
- Easy programming
- Very slow video detection
- Poor battery life
Dimensions: 6.5" x 5" x 2.7" | Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: 6 Volt
The Phantom is a rather large camera trap by modern standards. The latch to open the camera is big and beefy. It gives a positive snap when closing the cover and manipulates easily - even with cold fingers. The battery tray removes from the bottom, with an easy eject button.
The settings are extremely easy to read, written in bright blue highlighted colors. The settings are easy to navigate and even have the popular start/stop time, shutter adjustments and PIR sensitivity settings.
The setup screen doubles as an internal viewer which comes in handy for camera trap setup. One interesting note, on this inside of the camera cover, the label says "Certified Cell Cam." This is not a cellular trail camera and this was surely just a misprint.
Durability on Covert cameras has always been a strength. If anything arises on the Phantom we will update the review immediately.
Overall, the only thing holding back this category is just the physical size of the camera. Everything else is solid and well-designed.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.67 s. / 6.0 s. | Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 3.65 s. / 9.1 s. | Detection Range: 60 ft.
The score looks worse than it really is. The extremely slow video detection is what holds this camera back. The picture trigger is pretty good even though the recovery isn't. However, the abnormally slow video detection keeps this camera ranked near the bottom for speed.
Day pictures have great color and depth. They aren't overly clear, but outside of that, the photos look really good. Night pictures have good contrast and flash range.
Video quality is a real stand-out. As you can see from the sample below, the clarity is outstanding, even at night.
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.
Resting Power (on): 13.27 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 2.72 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 3.41 Ws
The resting power is abnormally high causing the run-time to be far shorter than one would expect.
If this camera were to take 35-day pictures and 35-night pictures every 24 hour period, this camera could last 4 months on a set of 12 AA lithium batteries.
Covert Phantom Conclusion: 70/100
The Phantom needs faster detection speed and longer battery life to get our full recommendation. Which is a shame, because we love the videos and case design.
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- 12 Volt External Battery Jack
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Covert Phantom Accessories
Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the Phantom.
- 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 Phantom has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.
Start at $5.95
- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the Phantom, 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.