Now that 4K technology has begun making its’ way into the televisions and other devices we use in our homes it is only natural that people want to see this technology become available in more devices. This increasing demand for 4K technology isn’t just limited to the devices we use in our homes. Trail camera manufacturers know that many people want to see this technology in their next trail camera purchase as well.
Stealth Cam was one of the first companies that became aware of this demand. That is why they created the Stealth Cam STC-DS4K 4K trail camera, which is the first 4K trail camera. If you are someone who is looking for a top performing trail camera that can record the highest quality videos the Stealth Cam DS4K is a great trail camera for you to look at buying.
To answer this question we need to talk about pixels because the more pixels an image or video has the more detail it can display.
Let’s first talk about the standard for traditional HD which is 1080p, measured by the number of vertical pixels. It maxes out at 1920 horizontal columns of pixels and 1080 vertical rows of pixels, which comes out to a total of 2,073,600 pixels.
The terms 4K and Ultra HD (UHD) are often used interchangeably by many people, but technically they are two different things. The term “4K” is a term that is often used generically to refer to a resolution with a horizontal pixel count of approximately 4,000. However, both Ultra High Definition (UHD) and 4K represent a massive step forward in terms of the number of pixels that comprise the images and as we already said the higher the number of pixels equates to more detail that can be displayed in the video. Let’s examine the two types of “4K” video more closely to learn their differences.
UHD (also known as 4K UHD)
Something labeled as UHD or 4K UHD is what you will find on 4K televisions that are currently being sold. UHD will have 3,840 horizontal columns of pixels and 2,160 vertical rows of pixels.
4K (also known as “Cinema 4K”)
Something that is listed as just 4K or Cinema 4K will have 4,096 horizontal columns of pixels and refers to what you will see on a projector in a theater. This was the resolution that was set forth by the motion picture industry with the Digital Cinema Initiatives. Since the aspect ratio (the exact rectangular shape of the image you see on a movie screen) of movies can vary no vertical resolution is specified.
Even though 4K and Ultra HD are technically two different things, but both types have more than four times the amount of pixels as traditional HD, which means that both are able to display four times the level of detail as traditional HD (1080p). So this is the way to go if you want the most detail and clarity in the videos you get from your trail camera.
If you want to read more about different resolutions you can read an article from CNET here.
The first trail camera in the industry to offer 4K video recording the Stealth Cam DS4K trail camera is designed for the trail camera user who wants to record the highest quality videos that are possible.
In addition to the 4K video recording, Stealth Cam created a high-end camera with a bunch of customizable settings to ensure that you will have great results whether you are recording video or capturing still images no matter the time of day.
The camera of the DS4K is the real star of the show here as it should be on a 4K trail camera.
Starting with its’ 16:9 wide image ratio the Stealth Cam DS4K can capture stunning 4K Ultra HD video in lengths ranging from 5 to 180 seconds. Note that the maximum night video is 30 seconds to conserve the batteries.
When it isn’t recording video this Stealth Cam can capture impressive 30MP ultra hi resolution still images.
With its’ dual image sensors (one optimized for daytime and the other optimized for nighttime) you can feel confident that to will be able to capture incredible images and video regardless of the time of day.
The Stealth Cam DS4K comes with an adjustable passive infrared sensor (PIR) to allow you to have range control.
The adjustable PIR allows you to control the sensitivity distance the PIR will be activated. These distances can vary depending on environmental conditions. This setting will change between EXTENDED which will trigger about 1/3 further than the STANDARD setting, the STANDARD setting, or NEAR FIELD that will only trigger on movement closest to the camera.
Depending on where you set the camera up and how near or far the activity typically is from the camera being able to adjust the PIR will help you get the pictures you want from the trail camera.
Once a trigger speed gets under 0.5 seconds it is pretty fast. So the DS4K’s Reflex Trigger with a speed of < .4 seconds is more than enough to get the job done.
The Stealth Cam DS4K 4K trail camera comes with 42 NO GLOW IR emitters. It also has an adjustable flash with a maximum range of 100 feet.
The adjustable flash has 2 settings: FULL and HALF. On FULL brightness the LEDs have a further flash range making it ideal for large open areas. The HALF brightness setting is great for situations where you get a lot of close-up shots and want to prevent the subject from being overexposed.
One of the negatives with the DS4K is that it doesn’t have a color viewing screen. There are a lot of entry-level trail cameras that don’t have viewing screens, but this isn’t an entry-level trail camera and a lot of people expect higher-end models to include a color screen.
Not having a color viewing screen isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. Yes, not having a screen might mean that the trail camera isn’t quite as easy to set up, but this is mitigated by the fact that this camera has 3 quick setup options in addition to creating your own custom settings.
Not having a viewing screen also means that you can’t view images in the field, but we don’t advise people to do much of that anyway. It is a much better idea to have a couple of SD cards for your trail camera and swap them out when you want to find out what the trail camera has captured.
The DS4K accepts SD cards up to 64GB. While that is double the 32GB cards that most trail cameras accept we wish it could accept a larger memory card.
Modern cameras have better battery life than ever allowing them to capture images and video for several months on the same set of batteries. That being said, if you set the DS4K up in an area that has a lot of activity and have it set to take longer duration videos it is possible that the memory card could fill up if you don’t check the camera for a few months. However, if you plan on checking the camera more frequently this shouldn’t be a problem.
If you want to read more about memory cards you can read our article about SD cards here.
The Stealth Cam DS4K isn’t an entry-level trail camera. It is one of Stealth Cam’s top cameras and compares favorably with higher-end cameras from other manufacturers.
So while you won’t see it on our Best Trail Cameras for under $100 list it is usually very competitively priced.
The Browning Recon Force 4K is one of Browning’s top-of-the-line trail cameras. Not only does it take amazing 4K UHD videos, but it can capture 32MP still images and has a bunch of high-end adjustable features. It also has a color viewing screen, which is something the Stealth Cam doesn’t have. If you are in the market for a trail camera that can take 4K videos this Browning will make most people very happy.
The only people who might be unsure about this trail camera are those who need or want a unit with No Glow flash.
The Stealth Cam DS4K is the first trail camera that can record 4K UHD video. In addition to its’ 30MP camera, it comes with a bunch of high-end customizable features that when combined with its’ dual image sensors (one optimized for the day and the other optimized for the night) allow you to capture incredible images and video regardless of the time of day.
If you are in the market for a 4K trail camera there are only two things that we would change about this trail camera and admittedly they would be very minor changes.
You can learn more about the Stealth Cam DS4K 4K trail camera here.
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