Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Monday, 03 January 2011 11:45
The price of infrared trail and wildlife cameras has dropped over recent years making them affordable to most outdoor enthusiasts. We use a Keep Guard KG 550 and have had lots of fun and some interesting results with it.
At Badger Bushcraft we bought our Keep Guard KG 550 in the summer of 2010 when we had the opportunity to film wild boar (Sus scrofa) whilst working in the Picardy region of France. The price of trail cameras had dropped considerably in the lead up to our purchase. We had looked at the same model for nearly £200 and found an online retailer selling them for, if I remember correctly, £140 including postage and packing.
The very attractive price point, an opportunity to hopefully capture some wild boar footage and our ongoing work with educational establishments made the purchase a necessity. We have since used the camera with students and to capture various wildlife activity including some lovely footage of some local badgers (Meles meles) which can be seen here
In France the wild boar proved to be quite elusive until baiting the area with an unusual food that would compliment the boar’s diet achieving instant success! Some footage of the wild boar of Picardy can be seen here
So back to the Keep Guard KG 550. For the money I believe it to be exceptional value; I think I would be loath to use anything of a higher value leaving it in the woods for days on end. I have used the camera in all weather conditions except snow; the camera has been soaked with days of torrential rain and left out in the frost with no adverse effects.
The setting up is quite simple requiring an SD card and eight AA batteries to be inserted and then the device can be programmed via the small LCD remote which is exceptionally simple to understand and use. Once the unit is programmed to your requirements it can be strapped to a suitable tree near where you would like to capture the footage, switched on and left.
I would suggest the rigging the device up in your garden prior to using it in the field to establish an understanding of trigger distance, focal area, angle etc. as this will save much frustration and avoid losing potential footage. I have found that setting up the unit at breast height and at a range of approximately 6m of the target to return the best results.
I tend to leave our camera set up for days on end perhaps checking the unit every other day and clearing the SD card by taking along a laptop with SD reader. This ensures the unit is working correctly and is positioned at the right height, distance and angle to capture your quarry. I have also found that the memory card can be filled in just one night when the nocturnal creatures I film have been exceptionally active.
Batteries seem to last for a long time. My unit is still on the first set of Duracell AA’s despite having been set up for days on end and capturing many hours of footage. The 2Gb SD card records up to 4,000 images and 120 minutes of video depending on the setting you prefer, I tend to opt for better image quality over more exposures and longer video recording.
The infrared illuminator works exceptionally well with this camera and some of the footage we have taken has been on pitch black evenings with no ambient light.
On the downside I have had occasional difficulty in getting the camera to connect via the USB lead to my office pc and now always resort to an SD card reader.
All the pictures below are taken from infrared illuminated video footage.
Occasionally you get something very strange on camera when somebody spies an unusualÂÂ device strapped to a tree! Nice hat Alex!
I hope the above article has been of some use and please do contact me with any questions andÂÂ I would also love to see your results.
Happy wildlife filming!